Letters From the Issue of Thursday, November 23, 2006

Display Cases

Taste test: "Stunning"??? I'm sorry, did Wynter Holden really describe the effect of Jen Urso's In Place installation at the show "Phoenix: Land of Somewhere" at Modified Arts as "stunning" ("Going Nowhere," November 9)? Wynter, go with your first instinct. It looked like a Halloween decoration (and a bad one at that).

I am as hopeful as anyone that the downtown art scene will continue to grow and prosper, and Modified is a great place. However, I'm not about to drop my taste level to accept strings across a building as stunning, edgy, promising, dynamic, or any other adjective we would wish upon Phoenix's art scene.

On a side note: Agree or disagree on the art, I always enjoy Wynter's writing.
George Pasquel, Phoenix

Loft story: Leslie Barton, myself or curator Lara Taubman aren't as hopeful with Phoenix's Loftization, expressed in our video installation for the show "Phoenix: Land of Somewhere," as Wynter Holden would like us to be.

When Leslie and I first shot Endless Loft in 2002, brick structures in the warehouse district were being torn down as replica "lofts" were being constructed across the street. Evans Churchill was a viable neighborhood instead of vacant lots prepped for a canceled downtown football stadium.

Last and most pointedly, the laughable "from the low $300,000s" was a ridiculous sum that now could barely pay for a multi-flipped one-bedroom apartment turned "loft." Have you noticed how many purchased lofts are unused? The resale market created "lights out, nobody home" in the city center.

We didn't spray-paint "Resist Lofts" across the downtown, but there is a certain sympathy. The answer isn't spray paint; it's affordable housing models, authentic historic rehab and live/work potential for artists and small businesses. This would help make downtown Phoenix more livable and lively than the sterile highbrow loft-life we portrayed.

And no, it's not Lionel Richie and Diana Ross [singing "Endless Love"], it's a karaoke version with singers who "sound like" Lionel Richie and Diana Ross! The "empty voice" version is part of the statement.
Steve Weiss, Phoenix

Yee-Haw!

Splendor in the bluegrass: Thank you for writing about one of my favorite local bands, The Breadwinners ("Mountain Music," Revolver, Brendan Joel Kelley, November 9). I love traditional bluegrass music, and alt-country and hippie jam bands, so they fit the bill for me on many levels. I agree with Kelley, I am surprised they don't have a larger following, but their regular fans are very loyal. Hopefully, the Rhythm Room show will give them more exposure. A lot of the bluegrass bands are promoted by Hillgrass Bluebilly, and I believe The Breadwinners self-promote, so that may have something to do with it, too. Word of mouth takes time, so your words are appreciated.
Pattee Spott, Tempe

Green Acres

My son, the chef: What a beautifully written article on the Quiessence Restaurant at The Farm at South Mountain ("Farm Fresh," Michele Laudig, November 9). I am the mother of sous chef Anthony Andiario, and it was overwhelming for me to read that story about Greg LaPrad and my son Tony and the restaurant. Greg and Tony both work very, very hard and have achieved so much in such a short period of time. You made me very proud.
Elizabeth Andiario, Kingston, Pennsylvania

Nurse Wretched

Outfit to be tied: I am writing in regard to The Bird's piece "Nursing Grudge" (Stephen Lemons, November 9). The Bird calls our organization, the Center for Nursing Advocacy, "a prudish national nursing-rights group." Obviously this was a hit piece. Had he taken the time to actually return my four telephone calls to him, then I would have been able to explain what our organization does. We work to improve public understanding of nursing. It is not our mission to remove naughty images of women in public or the media. Our concern is to remove the nurse from the "naughty nurse" images so commonly found in the media and more recently found in the outfits of Heart Attack Grill waitresses. We also work to increase accuracy in the portrayals of nursing in Hollywood television shows, books, music, print press and others. We applaud good images and work to fix the bad.

This was a shameful piece of "journalism." When The Bird ends up sick in a hospital and wonders why there are no nurses to care for him, he will only need to look in a mirror to find one of the many members of the media who have contributed to the deadly global nursing shortage.
Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH, executive director, Center for Nursing Advocacy, Baltimore, Maryland

The Bird responds: This is a story about attempted censorship and political correctness. Ironically, there are more "sexy nurse" images on CNA's own Web site than on a soft-core pay site.

(See Stephen Lemons' blog, Feathered Bastard, for much more of this exchange.)

Society's Children

Gimme shelter: A massive increase in children torn away from everyone loving and familiar. Infants filed away and forgotten in institutions. No evidence that children are safer. And Arizona Child Protective Services administrator Janice Mickens calls it "the best four years I've had in the whole time I've been at the agency" ("Suffer the Children," Sarah Fenske, October 26).

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