Ain't it just perfect?: Ray Stern's piece on the Centerpoint Condominiums debacle got at the heart of the greed and hubris of the development boom, not only in metro Phoenix but in other Sun Belt cities.
First, the developers were proposing four towers! What were they smokin'?! Two towers was a colossal stretch, even in the booming economy of 2005, when the project broke ground.
Then, throw in Scott Coles and his Mortgages Ltd., with its unscrupulous practices, and you've got a colossal mess — one that cost Coles' investors their life savings, in some cases, and cost scads of condo buyers their earnest money.
And ain't it just perfect that the two most beautiful high-rises in the Phoenix area (from a distance), buildings that tower above Tempe's landscape, are nothing but empty shells that may someday be imploded?
John Cooper, Phoenix
Coles' grim legacy lives on: Scott Coles reaches out from the grave like some Halloween monster. There are plenty of people he scammed who would like to kill him, if he weren't already dead.
Interesting that the Tempe "twin towers" deal was the thousandth cut to Coles (with his trophy wife leaving him being the 999th).
Ed Stein, Phoenix
Tempe is a hunk of Swiss cheese: Thank you, New Times, for writing about this issue again. Being directly affected by the development in 2005, I have been talking about this BS for years.
Downtown Tempe is now a big hunk of Swiss cheese. I, personally, will be holding a demolition party on the day they push the button.
Jessica Jordan, Tempe
We're with you, Al: What I'm wondering is why anybody in their right mind would invest their savings in something called Radical Bunny? You've got to think from the get-go that this thing would go bad.
Al Hodges, Tempe
Living in the wasteland: Hey, we all know the Valley is just one more high-rise/mall/rail scam away from perfection, right?
The denouement will be people flocking from the East and the South to live in a "world class" place. Then they can all sit around in the blast-furnace heat and say, "Gee, isn't this overcrowded, overdeveloped place great?"
After all these years, how can rapacious developers still sucker so many people? After they get their buck, they're gone, and little people like us [are left to] live in the urban wasteland.
Chris Long, via the Internet
Hats off to the Varlottas: My heart goes out to Niki Varlotta and her family. It is truly sad when a family is destroyed because a child has mental issues. And it is even sadder when you live in a state like Arizona that has little compassion for such children and now is in an economic crisis.
The story of this family's struggles with Alex was heartrending. Any parent can understand the grief these parents felt at having to leave their son in a treatment facility in a far-away state.
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I don't think I could be as strong as Niki Varlotta has been. My hat is off to her.
Betsy Mathis, Phoenix
No easy solution: This is such a sad story. A parent having to call the police on her own child is almost unthinkable, except if Niki Varlotta hadn't done this, there could have been tragic consequences. She had another child to consider.
Yet I understand how expensive this kind of care is. What happens when the judge continues to order the state to pay, and there's no more money in the public coffers?
Jim Kirkland, address withheld
What's your point, Charlie?: Honor thy father and thy mother. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. Survival of the fittest left to take the land.
Charlie Sutter, Phoenix