Editor's note: Below is an array of feedback from our "Best of Phoenix 2009" edition, also known as "Wonderland" (September 24). Readers loved and hated us, thought we were right-on and full of shit. Some of you thought our picks were inspired; others called us bad names ("idiot" and "moron" were popular). Some just wanted to offer their own suggestions as to what and who's best. Check it out:

It's a coaster! It's a fun-finder! It's a big, weird magazine!: You folks at New Times outdo yourselves every year with Best of Phoenix. It was an outstanding issue followed by an outstanding party. Way to go!

Every year, I keep the Best Of on my coffee table until the next one replaces it. I consult it weekly to discover a new place to dine, drink, or party. There is no resource like it in Phoenix.

I also like the snarky political items that are always in the issue.

Thank God for New Times; without you we would be adrift in stupidity and mediocrity around here.
Elizabeth Hanson, Phoenix

Actually, the longer you've been here, the more you appreciate the Cards: You know, you guys used to be hip to what was going on in this city, but you have gotten out of touch. Some of your stuff seems written by newcomers. Stop doing a Best Of until you hire some cooler/more in-touch people.

And who was it who wrote "Best Reason the Cardinals Will Be Better than Last Year" and "Best Local Owners of a Sports Franchise"? What an idiot!

Because judging from the beginning of the season — Beanie Wells or not — the Cards suck. They remind me of the Cardinals of old. Last year was a fluke. Way to prognosticate, dudes.

And to give the Bidwills "Best Local Owners"! If the Cardinals ever excel, it will be in spite of these skinflints. Get a handle on things again, New Times!
Tommy Gallegos, Phoenix

Fancy talking: Jeff Farias has one of the best liberal talk shows in the Valley ("Best Webcast that Should be a Radio Show").

He started out with the Truth to Power show with Kyrsten Sinema. At first I thought he was fair, at best, but over time and changes, he just gets better and better and more down to earth about liberal politics. I do believe his best days are yet to come.
Douglas Kladis, Mesa

Farias even impresses Scandinavians: I must say a few words, even if I don't know a thing about other talented people in Phoenix.

I'm from Sweden; our media is good and free. I had in mind to tune in to the BBC, when by accident I heard Jeff Farias' voice. That event was about three months ago, and it has turned my life upside down.

Jeff is unique. It's hard to understand how he manages to catch all the guests of global interest. It's also hard to understand how he can be so well informed on so many different topics. He must be a good organizer with good people around him.

Jeff has really proved that our world is small, and that it's best if we work in concert. With mutual respect, we can do it.
Kerstin Lindstroem, Sigtuna, Sweden

For the record: Dennis Gilman's stuff rocks ("Best Videographer")! This little guy has balls of steel, and he, more than anybody else in Arizona, is showing it like it is with the Nazi sheriff and his goons.

Check out Dennis' many videos [through the Feathered Bastard blog] in New Times and on YouTube. Way to go, Gilman!
Chris Adkins, Phoenix

We'll never know: This "Best Videographer" award should've gone to me instead of this communist punk.
Name withheld

Big drinks in crappy old buildings FTW: You have got to be kidding about Hanny's serving the "Best Old-School Martini"! Old-school means large, morons. Not tiny like at Hanny's.

Old-school also means you want to get drunk on your beverage, preferably in a dark place with red-leather booths, like Durant's.

I forget what Hanny's charges for a martini, but whatever Durant's charges (and, granted, it's a lot), you're getting more bang for your buck at D's.
Charles Hammer

Opening a can of Wop-ass: Thank God your restaurant writers saw the light and returned this honor back to Marcellino's ("Best High-End Italian").

It is, without question, the best Italian restaurant in Arizona. It's like a place you'd find in New York or San Francisco. Thanks for wising up before you lost all credibility regarding Wop food.
Jasper Jones-Jordan

And he was a jolly, happy soul: Mr. Snowman was compliments of three friends from Tempe looking for a little adventure, with the help of one of the friend's 6-year-old twins ("Best Snowman").
Amanda Nielson, Tempe

But she didn't break up The Beatles. Just the cake: It's true, there is a Cake Lady, and she has another quirk; she's a big fan of Yoko Ono ("Best Urban Legend").
Steve Weiss, Phoenix

Hey, what's uncool about cake-stealing?: This once was the coolest "Best Of." Once.

You've lost all of your cool factor. Cable news fills 24 hours of time with bullshit, but I expected better of you. I didn't expect you to find the "Burning Bird," but you could've come up with better than some stupid broad who steals cake.

Fucking stupid to no end. Whoever wrote this should be talked to. You're a fucking idiot. Sorry, but it is what it is. It's a big city, guys. Put a little thought into it. Better yet, put a little heart into it.
Name withheld

We forget which idiot it was: Who was the idiot who said summer is the best season here ("Best Phoenix Season"). This person has been out in the Sonoran Desert sun for way too long!

I realize that New Times tries to be counterintuitive, but this is the stupidest thing I've ever read. I'm not sure this person should be allowed to write for the media. Please tell me that Stephen Lemons didn't write this one. Or Sarah Fenske.

Winter is the best season in Phoenix, except for the fact that all the snowbirds bring in their flu germs and ruin it for the rest of us.
Mike Snyder, Phoenix

It's all ours: Shit, yes! I say this to people all the time! Summer is the time of year when all the assholes stay inside at home. It's when the real AZ folk enjoy life!
Name withheld

It's kind of a pot-kettle thing: Talk about a backhanded compliment on the East Valley Tribune's Pulitzer Prize ("Best Coup").

Jayson Peters, Phoenix

See before you pee: You can see a video tour of the awesome Liberty Market bathrooms (Best Bathrooms) on YouTube (
Jeff Moriarty, Gilbert

Where to get down with brown: The Arizona Browncoats now have an official Web site: Check it out for up-to-date information. Or, follow them on Twitter@AzBrowncoats (Best Geeks with a Cause).
Jennifer Anderson, Mesa

Undead gorgeous: I am so enormously overwhelmed by this. What an amazing honor! I'm tempted to share this news with the Sock Zombies, but I'm afraid they'd go crazy and start gnawing on each other ("Best Zombie Inspired Art").
Erin Glaser, Phoenix

The gang's not all here: Thank you very much! The Phoenix Phreaks have regular Phirst Phriday Phreak Bike Rides every month at 7 p.m. Meet at The Firehouse (also a "Best Of Phoenix" pick), 1015 North First Street, Phoenix ("Best Bike Gang").

We love custom bikes, but all bikes are welcome.

We also have other rides throughout the year, and we participate in other Phoenix events, like the St. Patrick's Parade, Parade of the Arts, and the Tour De Fat.

If you are a bicycle phreak come and ride with the Phoenix Phreaks. It's free.

Also: The Green Fuzzy Chopper was stolen, and I believe it is sitting in someone's back yard rotting away. I would love to get it back.
Allan Greenblazer, Phoenix

Oh, baby: Are you kidding me? Kid to Kid ("Best Secondhand Clothes for Kids")? There are so many local and much cooler kids' consignment and resale stores in the Valley: Puddleduds, Urban Baby Exchange, Baby Bloomers, A to Z Kids Resale, Hissyfits.

Instead you choose a boring, nationally franchised big-box kids' resale store. I'm so disappointed by this choice from New Times. Especially in an issue that is supposed to revolve around local businesses.

New Times, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Pathetic!
Name withheld

Finding the best old stuff: I'm very surprised that the Antique Trove was [chosen for "Best High End Antiques"]. This antique mall has almost no high-end antiques — lots of vintage items, though, and lots of reproductions.

But high-end? Not a chance. There are actually very few stores in Arizona that have high-end antiques. For visitors to Arizona, I would recommend Central Antiques and Beyond Expressions in Mesa. Both stores have a decent selection of higher-end antiques.

For an awesome antique mall with a huge selection of everything, go to Patterns of the Past in Apache Junction.
Name withheld

The more good tortas, the merrier: Tortas El Güero is far from the best in Phoenix. I went once and was disappointed. I went again after reading this article and was even more disappointed. I tried the carne asada on my first visit and the cubana this last one.

If you want a really good torta, go to Los Reyes De La Torta and get the king! For the same price you get almost twice the amount of sandwich, and it tastes better and comes with chips. [Also] Gallo Blanco for the naco torta. Absolutely delicious.

I am surprised New Times is pumping up this place.
Name withheld

Just grab a chair and keep it coming: All the food at Bertha's is phenomenal. Yummy sandwiches, cupcakes, and cheesecakes! So glad New Times gave Bertha's the recognition it deserves! ("Best Cupcakes").
Jennifer Katz, Tempe

No way, Ben, you'd enjoy it too much: Congratulations to Ami Johnson. She's one tough gal, but with a heart of gold. She can toss me anytime she wants ("Best Bouncer").
Ben Grant, Phoenix

You have no idea: Sometimes all those sober teenagers looking at art need to be taught a lesson!
Stephen Chilton, via the Internet

Mmmmm, cookie: Dat Ami Johnson is one tough cookie. I can vouch for her bouncing skills — she definitely lays down the law at Modified Arts, but always with a smile!
Name withheld

Finding Farias: Jeff is great! The hardest-working liberal in online radio. Only one thing; the correct Web site is
Name withheld

An oasis of rational enlightenment: This is well deserved, as Jeff has the best three hours daily for any rational-minded listener around the world.

Jeff offers a down-to-Earth examination of politics and culture. He never insults or offends, but enlightens. Jeff takes calls from listeners and encourages self-expression.

Hey, you want a good time? You want to hear what's happening and gain something real? Then you'll have to tune your computer to Jeff's show, Monday through Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m. And sometimes he plays an hour of great music after his show.

When Jeff was formerly heard on KPHX last year, he was the heart and soul of the progressive community, the nexus of local concern and positive action. The Valley has no other personality around who can match Jeff Farias.
Name withheld

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Crystal Jacquez
Crystal Jacquez

San Francisco, CA


Pedophiles are learning to love single moms. Not because these predators are changing their sexual preferences, but because many single moms are inadvertently creating happy hunting grounds for that subspecies of pedophiles who like their prey young – really young.

“Think of it” says Crystal the Jacquez, managing editor of Guys That, an online back grounding site. “If you’re one of the tens of thousands of pedophiles with a taste for really young kids, how do you get to them? Children under five or six are just too young to be online by themselves.” “So what does this most dangerous form of pedophiles do?” asks Jacquez, “He surfs social networking sites looking for the pages of proud single mothers just aching to show potential dates how beautiful their children are and just hoping to attract men who will not only will love them, but will love their children too. Well, the single moms who put photos of their pre-school kids on their social networking homepages are certainly attracting at least one type of child-loving guy – pedophiles” “And single mothers almost always do it.” says, Jacquez. “Just look at the pages of Facebook and MySpace. It’s not only incredibly dangerous but worse, most single moms have absolutely no idea that it’s dangerous at all!” Literally, millions of single moms are now on social networks like Facebook and MySpace -- and almost all of them proudly show off photos of their kids on their homepages and profiles. So if you’re a pedophile stalking preschoolers, half an hour of searching out single mothers on social sites and you’ve got a dozen lush candidates – photos and all - just a few key strokes away”. Not only that, continues Jacquez, “but the predators know that these kids are often protected only by lonely, vulnerable women. WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY! It’s a pedophile’s dream! Read this excerpt from a report in the journal American Psychologist, published by the American Psychological Association, regarding pedophiles stalking pre-schoolers on the internet: “Finding prepubescent victims directly (on the Internet) is quite rare; such offenders use the Internet in other ways. Pedophiles typically get access to preschool victims through online contact with parents” “If you have pictures of your child on line,” says Jacquez, “don’t be too surprised to get a message like the following from some nice sounding guy”: “Hey! I just saw your profile on Facebook and you are one great looking lady --- and that little girl of yours is just marvelous looking! She looks so bright etc. etc. etc!” “You’re going to have a new best friend very soon,” she says. “Count on it!” Who hasn’t heard of Lolita, one of the most famous books in America, in which the pedophile gets access to the prepubescent daughter by courting her divorced mother. You can still see the movie on cable TV with James Mason and Shelley Winters as the grown-ups and Sue Lyon as Lolita.? Jacquez also cites the following statistic from: Offender Characteristics, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics re. Victim-offender relationships in sexual assault regarding who sexually assaults children under 6 years old. Who assaults children under 6 years old: Trusted family members: 48.6%Strangers: 3.1%Trusted family acquaintances: 48.3% “If a pedophile targets your child’s photo on your homepage, trust us,” says Jacquez, “they’ll become a ‘trusted family acquaintance’ soon enough. “ “Don’t close down your social network homepages” Jacquez says. “Just get those photos of your kids off them!” “One thing more thing,” says Jacquez, “when you meet a new guy online, check him out immediately with us at Guys That ( Our site is free and was built in order to empower women to check out the backgrounds of guys that they meet online. “First, check our Child Molesters Section where we access the photos and home addresses of over almost 1,000,000 registered sex offenders. Then check him out in our Criminal Records Section. Then check to see if he’s using a phony name. After that, check out all his claims about his background. There is no way,” she says, “that you can be too careful.” Guys and Lies also has a special page on Facebook at and on MySpace at Jacquez asks you to please forward this article to single moms you know who have their kid’s photos online.. Contact:Crystal Jacquez, managing editorGuys That Lie.com415 678-8610crystal02@guysthatlie.com

Gary E. Bennett
Gary E. Bennett

An Awful DistortionI understand that Mike Moore�s films are politically themed and targeted. However, I object to the reviewer labeling him and his films as Marxist. I think the reviewer should stick to films because her understanding of politics and logic is suspect. To attack the inequalities and distortions of capitalism is not by default an endorsement of Marxism. Moore�s critique is that capitalism has become undemocratic, a far cry from a call to Marxism, which is not a democratic system. Moore is arguing for is a more democratic capitalism, not a Marxist dictatorship. Such distortion is disgusting.

Rev. Maralee R. Koval
Rev. Maralee R. Koval

As a Christian I find it truly horrifying so many citizens of Maricopa County & Arizona in general support the cruelty & viciousness of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Though the majority of Maricopa's citizens declare themselves Christians, nothing about the situation in the county's penal system is in the least Christ-like.

Sheriff Arpaio brags, "You bet stray dogs are better fed & better treated than MY prisoners!" How wicked! Are none mindful how in the Gospels Christ warns us the way we judge, treat or measure others is precisely the way in which we�ll be judged? "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy" [MT 5:7] Or "As often as you did a thing to the least of your brothers, you did it to ME" [MT 25:45]. That frightening passage alone should give serious pause to any who help or support the hellish conditions in Maricopa. Imagine housing, feeding & treating Jesus worse than a stray dog!!!

I pray for all who think cruelty, mistreatment, humiliation & even torture are in anyway sanctioned by G-d, or that being inhumane to your fellow man in any way is somehow justice. It�s bad for any person to mistreat another but worse if one claims Christ as their G-d and Savior for our eyes are supposedly open!

On a final note, I looked up the stats for the supposed 'success' the Sheriff claims �his� tent city gets: not surprisingly Maricopa�s tent-city hell has almost the highest recidivism rate of any prison in America. This means crime hasn't decreased one whit despite the depravations & viciousness of conditions. In fact, after watching this week's report on the powder-keg conditions worsening under Sheriff Arpaio, I wonder at anyone's feeling safe in or around Maricopa! What a disservice this cruel agent of Satan�s done to you all, both as citizens and Christians!!!

Truly, to have allowed an obvious sadist to freely & ever more imaginatively abuse your brothers and sisters in Christ is something G-d will ask of every one who helped or who did nothing to stop him. I pray G-d shows more mercy on the Day of Judgment than you showed your prisoner brethren.

In Christ Jesus� Name, Amen.

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