Today, a baseball tax; tomorrow, the world: Kudos to John Dougherty for his superb column about the second dictator ousted this year -- Jerry Colangelo ("Please, It's About Time!" September 9).
Like Saddam Hussein, Jerry exemplifies arrogance to the highest degree, and he has the characteristics of a Middle Eastern dictator. Yes, he pushed through a baseball tax that voters opposed. He built America West Arena with no regard to fans whose views were obstructed with rafters in front of their seats. He did away with shuttle service between Bank One Ballpark and Park Central Mall.
But he still has his defenders (just turn to KTAR-AM 620). Lately, however, they've been rendered mute regarding Jerry.
Incidentally, this same bunch lauded Jerry for buying a World Series championship, yet knock George Steinbrenner for the multimillions he's spent on the New York Yankees.
To Jerry and his followers: How does it feel to eat crow?
Kurtis Wolf, Glendale
Colangelo's kind of town: I've been a fan of John Dougherty's work for a long while now (I did graduate work at ASU between 1985 and 1990 before moving to Chicago in 1996). So Dougherty was the first person I thought of when I got my copy of the Chicago Tribune last week and saw a puff piece by Sam Smith (the paper's NBA beat writer) paying tribute to Jerry Colangelo for having "built" Bank One Ballpark along with Phoenix's downtown.
One does expect a certain deference to Mr. Colangelo's antecedents in Chicago's south suburbs, but this was way over the top. Of course, I had to revisit some of your pieces on Mr. Colangelo's machinations to neutralize the disgust brought on by the Sam Smith article's obsequiousness.
Hari Chengalath, Chicago
A 10 on the non-crapola scale: That was a great story on money man Jerry Colangelo. How long does it take for people to get what's going on? The man is so greedy he has to destroy unspoiled desert, too! Shame is not in his genes.
Thanks for your work, John Dougherty. You are the only serious, professional, non-crapola writer in the Phoenix area. Compared to you, the others are 1.5 on a scale of 10.
Rosemary Holusha, Phoenix
One down, one to go: Finally, John Dougherty gets to dance on Jerry Colangelo's proverbial grave. It's high time! Too bad he wasn't able to dance on the grave of old Joe Arpaio as well. Dumb-ass voters in this county will never get it. I just hope that the county attorney or the U.S. attorney will wake up before Joe kills any more innocent people. It's a small wonder he didn't kill anybody in that raid on the upscale neighborhood in which his men tear-gassed the house and burned the puppy to death.
Regarding Colangelo: Dougherty always told it like it was about Jerry. Colangelo used other people's money to get his projects done. And he lost other people's money to get his projects done. He was a lousy businessman, and the Arizona Republic has been spinning all this crap about how he built downtown. Well, look at it! Downtown is a joke. There is no downtown to speak of, except for the ballpark and America West Arena.
What Dougherty says is true: It's time for this loser businessman to get out of the way and let the real players turn Phoenix into a world-class city. It's obvious that Jerry was never up to the job. But if his benefactors hadn't called his bluff, Jerry would still be sitting in his Bank One Ballpark office calling the shots. Wimpy Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon never would have done anything to stop him! That was obvious when Gordon -- supposedly a progressive Democrat -- backed that Ivy League-educated Neanderthal Andy Thomas (Joe Arpaio with a brain) the other day. I will never vote for Gordon again, I can promise you that!
Juan A. Garcia, Phoenix
Deihl Us Out
Ain't that a kick in the head: Thanks to New Times for exposing the Deihl of the century. Joe Deihl is quite a success story, all on the backs of the gullible consumers he took in ("The Real Deihl," Robert Nelson, September 16).
Isn't it amazing how so many rich Phoenicians made their money in questionable enterprises? But I guess that is true all over the country. So many snake-oil salesmen are able to trick consumers because we all want an easy cure for every ailment, every potential danger. We are willing to believe anything!
Thanks for acting like the New Times we all know and love and kicking somebody who's richly deserving in the head.
Paula Anne Smith, Phoenix
Joe dirt: Your article on the "snake-oil salesman" and his wife and son reminds me of the New Times of old. It was a great read, but I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.
It's hardly comforting to know these Deihls are welcomed with open arms and that people support another local Joe. What a deal!
Sherry Olson, via the Internet
Into the Vitamist-ic: I'm mentioned in "The Real Deihl" as a source of a medical opinion regarding the product Vitamist. I would like to clarify a few things in the article.
First, I am not "one of the nation's leading drug researchers." Second, I am a professor of anesthesiology, not pharmacology. The Dietary Supplements Act was passed in 1994, not 1993. Finally, I do not agree that Vitamist "doesn't work," but I believe that it does not work as advertised.
Since most of the spray is swallowed, the vitamins in Vitamist are eventually absorbed. The cost of the product, however, is approximately 10 times that of daily multivitamin tablets available at any drugstore, and the method of administration (frequent oral sprays) is very inconvenient. Finally, I can find no evidence to suggest that Vitamist offers any advantage over traditional inexpensive multivitamins.
Dr. Timothy J. Quill, Professor, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire
On a Bender
Hmm, how about light-rail?: I enjoyed reading the very blunt and to-the-point article by Bruce Rushton ("How to Drink and Drive and Get Away With It," September 2). I don't raise issues with the .08 legal limit of alcohol consumption, except to say: If the state of Arizona is going to be so harsh with first-time offenders who are slightly over the line, where is the public transportation to help alleviate the issue of people driving their cars after having a few drinks?
Unlike cities such as San Francisco, where there are multiple public transportation options, we have a Phoenix Metro bus line. How about a little more support from our public officials to launch a campaign for more types of public transportation?! This would not only help with the drunk-driving issue but also the devastating issue of our polluted environment in the Valley of the Sun because of daily car transportation.
Ashley Duva, Phoenix
Say that five times fast: Great story on how to beat a drunk-driving arrest! However, New Times forgot the one preparation I've used to foil cops numerous times: reciting the ABCs backward with lightning speed.
To do this, you must practice every day for weeks, learning four letter groups at a time. That is, when you have the ZYXW group perfected, move on to the VUTS group and gradually increase the four-letter groupings until you can recite the whole thing by heart.
If the cop who stops you has a camera in the car, all the better. Cops generally have microphones, too. Every cop who has stopped me has agreed to bargain on DUI testing: I say I have sore knees from laying tile in the kitchen, or I say I've had a head injury so the testing isn't going to work. Sometimes I challenge the cop that he doesn't have probable cause for a Breathalyzer test.
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But the crème de la crème is reciting the ABCs backward faster than he can follow. Step right in front of the patrol car if you can so you can get ZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA on tape. Then politely ask for your license and firmly state that you have to get home to care for your elderly father who is on life support.
A cop once insisted I call his supervisor on my cell phone and repeat my recitation of the ABCs backward. I cranked the volume on the cell phone and blasted away!
"Have a good evening, Mr. Long," the supervisor enthusiastically said. "Tell the officer to get with me on the radio."
Minutes later, I was hurtling home, laughing hysterically.
Chris Long, via the Internet