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Jaywalkers, Trash Talkers

Street Scene

No more run of the mill: Now, if we could only do something about those jaywalking car sales people at the dealerships around 12th Street and Camelback ("Urban Menace, or Artistic Vision?" Patti Epler, July 11). I find myself dodging guys in white shirts and flying neckties every day with my car.

Maybe Sheriff Joe might want to set up a JWTOACP task force with one of his tanks. (That's "Jaywalking While Talking On A Cell Phone.")

Bridget Carroll
Via e-mail

Animal Crackers

Circus, circus: I especially enjoyed reading about your experience with/without Brandi The Naked Tiger Girl and PETA ("Naked Jungle," Spiked, July 11). As an animal advocate, I became acquainted with Ringling Bros. circus about 10 years ago when I happened to be standing outside the back of the San Jose arena and witnessed an elephant being beaten on her leg, I guess, because she wouldn't lift up her leg. It is a world far away from the image of glitz and glamour that you and your rented 5-year-old saw on stage.

Juli Roffers
Via e-mail

Hard Time

Budgeting justice: I read with interest the recent article on the drastic cuts made to the Clemency Board ("Insufficient Notice," Paul Rubin, July 11). It was concise, told the story and made the point necessary to all those unfamiliar with what is happening here.

As a remaining staff member of this agency, I can tell you that all members of the staff, both past and present, were hardworking and diligent. We lost some invaluable people, starting with the first reduction-in-force (RIF) last fall. Some of the folks RIFed were within months of reaching their retirement, and with them left an irreplaceable wealth of information regarding not only the agency's operation but also a valuable public contact.

Thanks for speaking up for one of Arizona's smaller agencies. I am sure as events and notifications begin to fall through the cracks, issues raised by this unrealistic budget cut will be visited on future headlines!

Jim Dubé
Phoenix

Food Fight

Tasteless, too: Tactless: your article/critique on Rawsome! cafe ("Severe Grain Damage," Carey Sweet, June 27). Honestly, I was surprised that any "professional" restaurant/food critic would use such a poor and tasteless approach to evaluating a restaurant. I've read many reviews, but yours scores big on the "tactless" scale. Everyone is certainly entitled to his/her opinion; however, it is my understanding that your job as a restaurant/food critic is to comment on the food, service, prices, ambiance, etc., not the people who choose to dine there. Maybe you consider them part of the ambiance, but your words and comments are in poor journalism ethics.

I am not one of those hippie-looking, wispy, sunken-eyed people that you saw slouched over a stuffed cabbage leaf and drinking a green-n-clean; however, I am a 100 percent raw foodist, and proud of it. Believe me, I have not taken any personal offense to what you wrote about the people you saw because, frankly, I think your remarks are so shallow that your opinion is meaningless to me. Anyone who bothers describing and criticizing people who choose to eat a raw-food diet to improve their health and quality of life, and who make an effort to eat organic food, has really missed the boat. To many, those people would be applauded and respected for their lifestyle choices, but instead, you chose to judge and slay them with dramatic depictions of sufferers and skeletons. What a shame.

You even had the audacity to publish a picture of an employee having fun with a photo-opportunity with a pizza crust, and wrote a tasteless caption below it. That, to me, is shallower than your overall comments about Rawsome!. Come on, Carey, get some class. However, to turn the tables, according to your description of the raw fooders you saw, the picture in the article is certainly not one of a starving, emaciated, sickly person, but rather a female with a healthy body. And, if you had bothered to use a picture with her actual face, you would've seen radiance and a warm smile. Too bad you wasted your energy and caption on such nonsense.

Heather Johnson
Phoenix

Getting your goat: Your review of Everett's/trials of pygmy goat ownership was the most hilarious thing I've read in months ("Even Cow Girl Gets the Blues," Carey Sweet, July 4)! I knew as soon as I read "organic" that that dinner was going to cost some serious money. My entire life, my diet has been, let's say, not an expensive organic healthful diet. It has been a typical junk-food fest with fits of vegetarianism and fits of sheer gluttony, like most Americans. Whatever damage is done, is done. What is the point of the healthful organic restaurant? If I go there (which I surely will not) to eat, is that going to make me healthier in some way? By paying double for pesticide-free string beans, etc.? When will I get healthier? What a scam! Even if Everett's was noted for fine cuisine, what, exactly, is the point of going there, other than enriching the owners?

I read you every week. Hope you have better luck with your goats.

Sally B.
Syracuse, New York

Troubled Youth

Federal offense: Amy Silverman and her editors at New Times have implied once again that there are serious problems within the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections ("Federal Inquiry," June 27). They even try to emphasize their point by prominently displaying a quote that says, in effect, if the federal government is investigating ADJC, there must be something wrong.

In fact, as Director David A. Gaspar said in the memo you quoted, this department welcomes the examination, because there is nothing to hide. The evidence is clear that the men and women of ADJC are doing an effective job of creating a safe, secure environment for juveniles, allowing them to change their delinquent thinking and actions.

Steve Meissner
Arizona Department
of Juvenile Corrections

Led Ashtray

Bar none: In response to Robrt L. Pela's interview with Roger Egan ("Up in Smoke," Speakeasy, June 27), I would like to add a little perspective given that the interview occurred prior to Proposition 200 going into effect. I am in the bar business in Tempe, although I do not own a bar. I am a bartender/waitress in a Tempe billiard hall and have experienced approximately a 40 percent drop in income as a direct result of the passage of Prop 200. Where the irony lies is in the uselessness of the law. The law is complaint-driven, meaning that if the police receive a complaint that there is smoking occurring in a bar, they will check it out when they have time. This has happened several times in my bar. An officer will come in, have a conversation with the manager on duty, take a stroll and leave. He has no power to cite the bar and I have yet to see an officer cite a customer. My line to the customer is, "We are a nonsmoking facility."

Should you choose to smoke, you will have to deal with the consequences; I am not a baby sitter. I am paid to make cocktails, not write citations. Making the decision to smoke is solely that of the smoker. The complaint-driven aspect of the law allows our competitors both in and out of Tempe to send the police into our establishment in the hopes of driving our customers to their places of business.

Word needs to get out that this law is hardly enforceable, a waste of taxpayer dollars, and completely ludicrous, so Tempe business can once again be competitive with the rest of the Valley. Did the few citizens of Tempe who voted for this law actually wish to drive bar and restaurant business out of their community? The responsibility of the passage of this ridiculous law lies solely in the hands of those Tempe citizens who were too lazy to get out and vote.

Sally Filler
Via e-mail


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