IS IT ART?
Watch out for ass-missiles, Bird: I'd hate to be The Bird after coming out in favor of graffiti art ("Good Graffiti," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, December 11). The beaker's proposing too high a concept for the peckerwoods in P-town. Get it, Bird, all graffiti's bad! And you better not ever fucking forget it!
Phoenicians (I used to be one) will argue that, even if a business owner asks an artist to paint graffiti art on his wall, he hasn't the right to do so. Because, see Bird, the good folks of Phoenix shouldn't have to even look at graffiti on a wall they don't own if they should happen to venture by it (as if any of the complainers would dare go south of Jefferson, where the building you mention is located).
You're sure to get mail calling you a criminal for even suggesting that there's artistically redeeming graffiti art. And your mention that you used to see some great graffiti art in Los Angeles will really set Phoenix tempers aflame. Most of graffiti-haters in Phoenix have never even been to L.A., but they still consider it the pit of hell.
So look out, Bird, the missiles are about to start coming out of the asses of the small-minded residents of Phoenix.
Rich Benedict, Los Angeles
Porn is already legal, David: Is this Bird twit a supporter of complete lawlessness?! He's in favor of graffiti and taking a pickax to speed cameras ("Pickax Politics," December 11). And I'm guessing he's for legalized pot, prostitution, and porno.
What a creep. And I see from his past columns he's even pro-illegal alien ("Mr. Disingenuous," November 6). Is nothing sacred to this scofflaw? That New Times lets him get away with this is very disturbing.
David Baker, Mesa
Stop touting NYC and L.A.: I'm all for getting rid of speed cameras, but I must draw the line at The Bird's defense of graffiti, even if it's on the wall of a business that allows it. I shouldn't have to look at the shit!
And stop writing about how great Los Angeles and New York are. Shut the fuck up, or get out!
J.J. Keith, Phoenix
We've all been touched by graffiti: I think it's about time that graffiti artists in Arizona get more recognition for their work. Seems anytime citizens hear the word graffiti they think vandalism. That isn't the case.
The art form has been exploited by major corporations — such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola — since the '80s. Take a look at the clothes your kids are wearing, or look at the shows on Cartoon Network; they've all been touched by graffiti artists!
Keep up the good work and continue to give graffiti art a voice in the AZ.
Mike Amaya, Avondale
Promote and encourage graffiti: Graffiti is nothing more than self-expression, and these artists are a prime example. We as a city need to promote and encourage this type of artwork in Arizona, just as we've promoted the artwork presented on First Fridays.
Amanda O'Kieffe, Tempe
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Who are Joe and Andy to attack Stapley?: As she usually does, Sarah Fenske got it right ("No Honor Among Thieves," December 11). Who are Joe Arpaio and his benefactor Andrew Thomas to be going after Don Stapley?! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
Maricopa County's sheriff refuses to give up records — has for years — about his own commercial property holdings, and he has the nerve to go after somebody else. And nerve is just what he's got, because he thinks he's untouchable.
I hope to live to see the day that this lying hypocrite goes down. And I hope that Candy Andy winds up as his cellmate. Maybe somebody, someday will investigate this black mark on all Arizonans.
Tom Leroy, Sun City
Investigate these guys already: Before Andrew Thomas and Joe Arpaio start accusing others of financial malfeasance, a full and complete audit of the MCSO should occur, and that includes jail commissary funds. Anything else is unprecedented hypocrisy.
David Saint, Phoenix
They've made his family suffer: I've heard all the stories in the past and know all the players. I've called for years to have a full audit of the MCSO, including pink shorts funds, but nobody has the guts to do it, all because Board of Supervisors members are afraid of Joe.
Joe's attempted to destroy my family and me with all kinds of lies. Our son is on death row in Arizona for a crime that he didn't commit while the murderers that placed him at the scene all made plea agreements for second-degree murder with the sidekick of the sheriff, County Attorney Andrew Thomas ("Pastor's Son," The Bird, December 18).
The judge even stated in his minute entries that "justice was not done in Patrick Bearup's case."
Our church phones were tapped, and my family was under surveillance. A good use of taxpayer money? Our bank records were also looked at.
Was all this payback because I had the guts to run against Arpaio twice?
I hope and pray that someone comes in to investigate the Sheriff's Office, including Joe, Chief Deputy David Hendershott, and the many others who continue to cover up crimes within the MCSO.
Rick Romley wouldn't put up with this, but Joe now has Thomas to do the dirty work for him.
Yep, the citizens of Maricopa County will have to pay the bill when the truth comes out.
Tom Bearup, Soldotna, Alaska
A plea to the president-elect: Please, please, Barack Obama, appoint a U.S. Attorney with the balls to investigate Joe Arpaio and his outrageous behavior. For Joe to lead a probe of somebody else for the same kind of thing he's got to be guilty of is absurd!
I'll bet Don Stapley feels like a fool for standing up at the Board of Supervisors and supporting Arpaio in front of all those protesters. Here's a guy who carried water for Joe — voted to approve his wasteful budget — who gets thrown under the bus by Arpaio and his wife, Andy Thomas.
What a black comedy all this has become. Blatant abuse of power by Arpaio and Thomas! Yet, besides these two, nobody more richly deserves a corn-holing than Stapley.
Roy Brownstein, address withheld
Partners in crime at it again: Again, the only place to get the real story is New Times. Great article by Sarah Fenske. Seeing this on TV, it sounded like, "Wow, this guy did all this?!"
Nope, just the partners in crime [Thomas and Arpaio] at it again. Who's doing their jobs while they're playing around costing taxpayers a ton of money? Full investigation warranted!
The snake comparison is apropos: Once again, an outstanding and courageous story that makes Illinois look like Corruption 101.
The arrogance and abuse of power by these Maricopa County elected officials, who grandstand daily and fight costly legal battles, is breathtakingly disgusting. And those who voted these criminals into power are complicit in the demise of our community and justice system.
The courageous people who attended the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meetings — who picketed and cried out to cut Thomas and Arpaio's advertising budget and get rid of Joe's leases in the premier, luxury Wells Fargo Bank building — were ignored. Thomas' and Arpaio's budgets were approved [with Don Stapley leading the way for Arpaio]. Shockingly awful.
This sounds like a "war game." Now Thomas and Arpaio take great pleasure in turning like a snake on Stapley, who's presumed innocent until found guilty.
The city's idiotic logic: The argument that the city will get the money back and then some [from CityNorth] is absurd because I've seen nothing to indicate an increased net gain ("Mall Rats," Sarah Fenske, December 4).
More likely, as was stated in the New Times article, this revenue will come from a decrease in sales at other area shopping centers and an increase in overall population in the Northeast Valley.
The idea that a subsidy helped the community here is idiotic. Moreover, it hurts other Valley businesses that aren't competing on a level field because they didn't get a subsidy for their business.
If the city really just needed to get rid of $90 million, then it should have decreased taxes a fraction of a penny so that revenue decreased by that amount.
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Anyone who has taken Econ 101 will tell you that the net impact would be the same or better by offering the sales tax revenue to everyone instead of just one company.
Mike Norton, Phoenix
Fuzzy math?: Buy locally = support Chicago? Genius!
David Wilbur, Phoenix
Parking lot criticism was overlooked: I'm no fan of CityNorth, but this article overlooks one major argument the Phil Gordon administration has made in defense of the deal — that having a parking garage instead of surface lots frees up more land for retail development, resulting in increased sales tax revenue.
It's a weak argument, especially since the economic meltdown will make it hard to lease the space already developed. But it should've been acknowledged in any critique of the arrangement.