By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
STANDING UP TO JOE
No excuses for Joe's behavior: Mayor Phil Gordon should be commended as a true hero for continuing to stand up to the tyrant Joe Arpaio. The sheriff's consorting with neo-Nazis shows a level of despicableness that's beyond anything I've seen in this county in the past 20 years!
There's simply no excuse for such behavior on Arpaio's part! None!
The corrupt Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has already tried to [trump up] something criminal on Phoenix's mayor for daring to criticize Herr Arpaio for his immigrant sweeps. And, no doubt, it'll do it again. These Sheriff's Office goons think they can get away with anything because their boss gets 55 percent of the vote.
We've got your back, Phil: Until the past six months or so, I thought Phil Gordon was a weenie. But I have a new view of our mayor — as a man of substance, somebody who's willing to risk the wrath of Joe to do what's right. Go Phil! We've got your back.
Tony Renteria, Phoenix
How is it possible?: How can the feds allow Joe Arpaio to keep his 287(g) program while he's running around with these criminal motorcycle groups, neo-Nazis, and who knows who else?
I don't want my tax dollars going to fund someone who has extremists like these as allies. How can the Obama administration possibly condone this?
George Cruise, Glendale
Phil's got balls: Thank God for Mayor Phil Gordon! While other politicians, like Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, sit back and take it up the ass from Joe Arpaio, Phil grabs his balls and speaks out.
We may not have had the votes to remove Joe and his wife, County Attorney Andrew Thomas, in the last election, but our forces are building up steam. Another election is a long time away, however. When President Obama appoints another U.S. Attorney in Phoenix, [that official] simply must intensify the investigation of the misdeeds of these men.
We need sanity to prevail in our troubled county. Phoenix will never be the major city we long for it to be until the Joe & Andy Show is canceled around here.
Jonnie Morris, Phoenix
Giving bikers a bad name: These wanna-be biker badasses [who support Joe Arpaio] are pussies. I know people in the Hells Angels who would kick their asses and piss on them in a New York minute.
This guy with the beard [pictured beside The Bird column] probably works at Home Depot. What a bunch of freakin' losers. They give all bikers a bad name.
Yard apes need not apply: I'm starting my own bike club: R.A.I.A., Riders Against Ignorant Assholes. Yard apes, like those in Riders USA and Riders Against Illegal Aliens, need not apply.
Do we really want this kind of injustice?: I would like to thank Sarah Fenske for her exceptional column writing and congratulate her for winning the Don Schellie Award for feature column writing at the Arizona Press Clubs Annual Awards banquet. Way to go, Sarah.
I really enjoyed her recent article "sex, lies, and videotape(s)." Her last line, "What the fuck ever, dude" was the perfect way to end the story. I had to laugh. There couldn't be a better way to sum up the mentality of Sheriff Joe and the MCSO.
As for the people of Maricopa County, is this the kind of county we want to live in? A place where any criminal can be free from arrest and prosecution just by muttering such words? Is this the kind of county — a place where we live and breathe, work, and raise our families — where we want this kind of injustice?
Or, as one reader of New Times from California [pointed out about our county], "Hell, I've heard it called 'Aribama'," and he went on to say, "I really hope that you, the people of Arizona, start doing a hell of a lot more."
"Aribama" sounds pretty fitting to me. Or maybe we should change the name of Maricopa County to "Don't Give a Fuck County."
To all the Hispanic people being racially profiled and deported, try using this line in Spanish to Joe Arpaio: "What the Fuck Ever, Jose." You never know: Based on past experience, he may find it in his good graces to leave you alone.
Tom Koslosky, Phoenix
What's that smell at Symphony Hall?: Many thanks to Stephen Lemons for shedding some light on the current state of the workplace at the Phoenix Symphony. According to some, what was once a labor of love for these musicians has become a nightmare gig over the past few years.
This music director [Michael Christie] came here with a very ugly agenda, which seems to have had nothing to do with improving the music-making in the orchestra and everything to do with personal power and self-glorification.
It is interesting to many that the players who have been injured by the evil management are some of the most visible and highly respected musicians of the orchestra and, mostly, players who are in leadership positions.
How long do you suppose the management thought they could cherry-pick these individuals out of the orchestra before their own patrons began to notice and question what was up? Things have been smelling funny at Symphony Hall for some time now.
Gary Jones, Glendale
Bring back the veterans: At concerts, I heard over and over from people like Michael Christie how well the symphony was doing financially. Does anyone there tell the truth about anything?
Christie never stops talking. I'd prefer a conductor who has some musical talent instead of the gift of gab. Personally, he creeps me out a little.
The orchestra has traded musical richness the veterans gave it for youth. Bring back the veterans and get rid of Christie and the higher-ups.
Jason Richmand, Phoenix
No more trips to the symphony: My husband and I moved here from Buffalo, New York, where we were patrons of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. We attended many concerts where cellist Richard Bock enchanted us with his beautiful solos.
We were thrilled to come to Phoenix and have the opportunity to hear him again, this time with the Phoenix Symphony. We were shocked to read your article and learn how terribly Michael Christie and management have treated this superb musician and his colleagues.
We couldn't figure out where the concertmaster, principal violist, horn player, and Mr. Bock were. We thought they might have been on sabbatical. We will no longer be returning to the symphony.
The Phillips family, Scottsdale
THE UNKNOWN LEGEND
Typical of his generation: Great profile of Sonny Long. Of course, you can't help but feel kind of sorry for him at points during the story. But at other points, annoyed with how arrogant and delusional he is. And not just because this is him, but because it's so typical.
So typical of people in this era. So typical of people in Phoenix in general, unfortunately. We're all "legends in our own minds." If everyone I've met in Phoenix was who they say they were, well, I might as well be famous myself. What, with all the models, musicians, artists, drug dealers, and gangsters I know.
Yet these same people have asked to sleep on my couch. They have worked at telemarketing jobs — and quit them. They have been fugitives — on the run from a warrant stemming from a marijuana possession, or a DUI arrest. I have watched them beg their significant others not to leave them.
But, hey, fake it 'til you make it, right? We've all got to see ourselves as celebrities before anyone else does, and eventually they will realize who we are, right?
No, I don't really think so. Because we all want to be famous these days. Only so many of us can be, and even after that, so few of us deserve to be.
Zack Adelotte, Phoenix
Off to see the wizard: The article on Sonny Long was amazing! The writers were so articulate in describing the events from the first meeting all the way to the last. Especially the analogy of the Wizard of Oz. It really expressed the way Sonny Long is living a lie in his own mind.
Yeah, but does he have a story: I appreciate your covering the Arizona music scene and trying to give exposure to some of the hip-hop talent. But, the article on Sonny Long was comical. Please do some research on an Arizona talent named Atllas. He is truly one of the artist on the verge in this city.
There are plenty of talented artists out here who are not impersonating something they are not.