A Hard-Rock Life

It's been done before: About Katie Rose, her fans who worship her are either people who lead dull lives and who are dissatisfied with themselves or they're people who don't have anything better to do with their time ("It Girl," Megan Irwin, May 25).

Pretty pathetic, if you ask me, that people admire such a sedentary and common lifestyle in this local music scene. I wish her well, but there has to be something more interesting about her than the typical local rock star junkie story.

I see her around and say "big deal." When you hang out with different local musicians, you hear similar stories of drug abuse, child abuse, child-sex abuse and any other dysfunction imaginable. It's commendable that she can promote herself based on some of this dysfunction, but it's a story that has been told time and time again.

In this local music scene or any other music scene, there are other musicians more deserving of fame because of their talent, not their image. I have to admit, it was a good story to read while I was sitting on the toilet.
Luis C. Porter, Phoenix

What readers want: I loved the story on Katie Rose. She's an interesting character, and she's somebody who wouldn't get the time of day from any other publication in Arizona. I'm not dissing New Times, I'm praising it! This is why people read New Times: because you find out things in it that no other media are cool enough to report.
Mary Castaneda, Phoenix

Dear Abbys

Father figure: I just wanted to say thanks for "The Case of the Two Abigails" (Paul Rubin, May 18). It was such a great article!

It really touched me and saddened me that there can be men out there who would hurt a child so. I love being a father, and even though I won't deny that it can be a little unnerving at first, it is so full of joy that you just can't put a price on it.

I am angry that the one little Abigail's father, the one who put her in a toy chest, is still walking around a free man. If our justice system fails her, there is always divine justice.
Natsuki Saballos, Tempe

A great storyteller: "The Case of the Two Abigails" is another example of Paul Rubin's great storytelling ability. I have loved all of the "Murder City" series, but this story was especially poignant because it involved two innocent little girls.

I thought the juxtaposition of the two cases was interesting; at first you thought that both dads might be guilty, and then you found out that one was and one wasn't. The good parents whose child got hanged accidentally became a cautionary tale.

As for the guy who stuffed his daughter in the toy chest, there is no hell hot enough for him. I pray every night that the authorities are able to put him behind bars where he belongs. Imagine, he's so busy playing a video game that he can't be bothered by his baby. What a monster!
Alice Pugh, via the Internet

A detailed investigation: Regarding the "Murder City" series, that article you published about the investigation of Phoenix police Officer David Uribe's murder was very good ("The Case of the Grim Tweaker," February 2).

A friend of mine is an extended family member of David's, and I know it hurt them deeply when he was killed. Thank you for the article. I never really knew what went into an investigation like this. Wow!
Robert Foster, Mesa

Cult Figure

She blinded us with Scientology: The article on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's house ("Dianetics Dive," The Bird, May 4) is far from journalism -- it is propaganda, and bigoted. Devoid as it is of any information, a clarification is in order as to the true significance of L. Ron Hubbard's presence in Phoenix in the 1950s.

In May 1950, Mr. Hubbard published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, his perennial best seller that has since sold more than 21 million copies in 55 languages. Through application of Dianetics principles and practices, millions around the world have learned to uncover and resolve the source of the stress, fears, unwanted emotions and uncontrolled reactions that overshadowed their lives.

Mr. Hubbard's continued research led him to the realm of man's spiritual nature -- and to Phoenix. In March 1952, he arrived here and immersed himself in these investigations. It was here that he made many of the discoveries about the spiritual nature of man upon which the Scientology religion is based. That same year, he introduced Scientology.

While in Phoenix, Mr. Hubbard delivered hundreds of lectures to local residents, and thousands from around the world traveled to Phoenix to hear him speak. Several such lectures and events were held in Phoenix's largest auditorium at the time, the Little Theatre -- now called the Phoenix Theatre -- on Central and McDowell.

From these early activities in Phoenix, a religious movement flourished. Today it spans the globe, with more than 6,000 Scientology churches, missions and groups in 159 countries, and an estimated 10 million members.
Marylyse Brock, manager, L. Ron Hubbard House, Phoenix

Deface-Off

Tag team: Thank you, Bird! Concerning the tagging story, what a waste of money Andrew Thomas' policy is ("Tag, You're It," May 11)! I managed property in L.A. County and battled taggers daily. We had to work very hard in those days to keep our occupancy high enough to meet our income demands. It was difficult to encourage people to live on our property when the area around was covered with the tags of the Bloods and Crips gangs.

The management company I worked for had the philosophy that if we got out there and covered or removed all the tagging by 6 in the morning, the taggers would be still sleeping, and when they awoke, their efforts would be gone and they would eventually stop.

It was a continuous battle, and we won. The taggers got tired of painting and getting it painted over. We had more paint than they did!

I am suggesting that the Maricopa County Attorney's Office rethink this. What about making taggers do community service cleaning up and painting? Utilize the juvenile "criminals" and do not charge them with felonies. Charging them will only create angry, unproductive people.
Wendi Gutierrez, Mesa

Park Place

Juiced: Poor Papago Park. She was a beauty queen, a national monument who was then stripped of her title and abused for decades. And now we have three city governments, committees, associations, experts and consulting firms all suggesting cosmetic improvements ("Cash Cabal," John Dougherty, April 27).

But nobody ever mentions Papago's most obvious problem: the massive set of 12-story high-voltage power lines that run right down the middle of the park. Cyrano de Bergerac had a big, unavoidably ugly nose. Papago has dozens of steel snouts that seem to point up in contempt of the scenic beauty they mar.

Hole-in-the-Rock offers nice views -- facing west. Look east and you'll see nothing but two columns of metal towers and wires marching along the canal and through adjacent neighborhoods.

The bike/jogging path is nice in the Tempe section -- as long as you look down. Artful, scenic, it's like being in the middle of the desert. Except, of course, for the 30-plus cables humming above your head, or the metal-and-concrete footings you have to navigate through the slalom course of steel. So pronounced are these that one can follow their path from the window of a plane approaching Phoenix.

How many people visit the Phoenix Zoo or Desert Botanical Garden and wonder why, in this desert oasis, did officials allow this blight to be erected? Even Frank Lloyd Wright was so horrified by high-voltage lines that he redesigned Taliesin West so as not to see them.

All Papago needs is some cosmetic surgery to remove that ugly scar, and she'll be well on her way to a beautiful comeback. Anything else would be like putting lipstick on a pig.
Jon Evans, Phoenix

Poor Sports

Arrested development: I read your column on the Arizona State University athletics situation ("Fire HIM!" John Dougherty, May 4), and I want to thank Rob Evans for all he has done with the basketball program, taking it from disgrace to a place where a lot of players are earning degrees. It seems, however, that ASU forgot to thank him for putting the student part of it first. His reward: He was fired.

On the other hand, football coach Dirk Koetter, in about the same period of time, has done little to grow his student athletes. How many of his players have graduated? And what is the ratio of arrested athletes to graduates? Much higher than the university will ever admit. Yet ASU gave him a better contract. Wow!

I would like to say I am surprised, but I am not. Even in 2006, it's quite clear to me why. Seems like ASU did not judge Rob Evans on the content of his character.
Name withheld by request

Taste Test

Not even close: In doing your "satire" titled "Xtreme Cuisine" (Stephen Lemons, May 11), you compare yourselves to The Onion, Mad Magazine, and National Lampoon ("Man Bites Dog," The Bird, May 25).

In your dreams, you sick creeps. Your genitals should be lampooned. You are ethically bankrupt and morally reprehensible. And not talented. May you suffer agonizing gastritis from eating sautéed sheep shit.
Anne Baker, Phoenix

Losing the public trust: I was disappointed to see New Times devote so much space to what is reportedly a "spoof'" article by Stephen Lemons. Slow news week, perhaps?

My biggest concern, as a fellow journalist, is that you chose to believe that most people would read through the entire, lengthy piece -- at least enough to start raising eyebrows. And I also wonder why you chose not to clearly label this as a spoof. I find this a very irresponsible practice.

The media continue to struggle daily with regaining the public trust that was almost a given three or four decades ago. Now, readers are more likely to disbelieve a genuine news story.
Teri Carnicelli, Phoenix

Butt of the joke: I read your article on Kaz Yamamoto on May 11 and was disgusted. Not picking up on the satire, I further thought the author was an idiot for believing Yamamoto's claims. I guess the joke was on me.

A little note in response to your response to the letter from the Wrigley Mansion folks ("Editor's Note," Letters, May 18): Your paper, unlike The Onion, Mad Magazine, and National Lampoon, isn't known for parody. Rather, it's known for sometimes great and sometimes sleazy investigative reporting -- the polygamy stories (see "Polygamy in Arizona") being the former and the ASU athletics column being the latter. [Both the series and the columns are by John Dougherty.]

I know the "Xtreme Cuisine" story got more outrageous as it went on, but I attributed that to "Chef Yamamoto" rather than satire. Apparently, not everyone's smart enough to figure out your satire.
Name withheld by request

The Dogmom cometh: First off, I don't think it was in good taste (no pun intended) to print an article like "Xtreme Cuisine." It is terrible to spray all that garbage about in your newspaper. Even though you say it was a spoof, people like myself, who love animals, are having a really hard time not wanting to hunt down this guy Kaz Yamamoto.

Even if the article is a big funny something to someone, I find nothing humorous about it and wish that you'd take into consideration the large amount of animal lovers that you've messed with!
Teresa "the Dogmom," Phoenix

But how do you really feel?: I'm the Dogmom's friend. Yeah, I read your article or fake story or whatever you call it. That was gay, bro! I mean, it wasn't even funny. It was fucking stupid. I guess stupid things or ideas come from stupid people. How about I write a fake article about you eating your mom and dad? That's the comparison of how an animal lover feels after reading that story.

We can even say in the fake story that you invited your grandpa and grandma to enjoy mom and dad for dinner. Anyway, stupid fucking idiots, if the stories are fake, say it in the beginning. After all, you have to be bored, brain-dead fucking losers to have the time to make up shit like that. Bye, fucking morons.
James Kelly, Phoenix

Of course we're credible . . . except when we're not: Without even addressing the "spoof" article itself (which would take pages), I'll stick to your response to the Wrigley Mansion's letter. If you want to compare yourself to Mad Magazine or The Onion, that's terrific. However, I thought your aim was to be a credible news source.

If you want to be viewed as a humor publication, fine. But don't expect me to trust anything I read in New Times.

Remember [past parodies in New Times, such as] "Yemen-Aid," or the cover photo of Grant Woods with the escaped convict? Don't you guys ever learn? Being cute, snide and precocious -- is it really worth this?
S. Brian Beckett, Phoenix

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