Joltin' Joe

Indecent exposure: You should do an exposé on what has to be the worst major metropolitan newspaper in the country, the Arizona Republic. For 10 years now, I've seen New Times struggle to expose corruption and fraud at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office only to be obstructed every step of the way ("Histrionics Lesson," John Dougherty, August 11). Meanwhile, the Republic -- and every local TV news station in the market, for that matter -- continues to whore itself out for this idiot.

Case in point: In an effort to justify his deputies' arrest of Sergeant Patrick Haab for detaining illegal immigrants at gunpoint, the Republic filed a public records request, and Sheriff Joke promptly supplied Haab's military service record for publication on the front page of the paper.

Whether you agree with Haab (I do not), the fact that the sheriff only obeys the public records laws when they don't threaten to expose his corruption is yet another sign that he must go.
Brad Dugan, Glendale

Selective compliance: Isn't it funny how selective Sheriff Joe Arpaio is about who gets public records requests handled promptly, or at all? Always the media whore when it makes him look good, he will practically deliver the information to the newsroom of whatever butt-boy newspaper or broadcast outlet requests it.

New Times, which is the only publication in Arizona to go after Joe's cruelty and incompetence, of course, gets nothing! Not without a legal fight, and then it gets next to nothing. Outrageous!

Now, I thought Joe did the right thing regarding Patrick Haab; it was County Attorney Andrew Thomas who looked like a fool. But here's what I'm getting at: Since Joe was on the side of prosecuting Haab, he pushed a story on the Arizona Republic that made him look good and made Thomas look bad. The grandstanding buffoon was all too happy for the Republic to get public records -- when he has been fucking New Times around forever on records that might put him and his administration out of office or in prison.

How can Superior Court Judge Michael "Bend-Over" Jones endorse selective compliance with the Arizona public records law?! Well, just like a lot of other politicians in this town, Bend-Over is scared to death of Arpaio.
Ronald Jones, via the Internet

Trolling for the truth: I never really put it together before reading your latest Joe Arpaio piece.

Thanks for referencing all the previous articles John Dougherty has written on the evil old troll Arpaio. It is truly mind-boggling what Joe has done over his years in office.

I would encourage all your readers to click onto this column on the Internet so that they can click onto each of the previous New Times stories you link to. That way, they can see the breadth and depth of what Joe Arpaio has done to (not for) the citizens of this county.

Why is justice so hard to come by regarding this old fool?
Willa Cain, via the Internet

Plus Signs

Image conscious: After reading your letters page on Club FullFilled ("Bigger and Better," August 11) and the article ("Full Bloom," Inferno, Stephen Lemons, July 28), I had to throw my two cents in.

I think the whole point of the club has been distorted by people's viewpoints. It's not about promoting unhealthiness. It's about giving plus-size people a comfortable place to be themselves without having to deal with social stereotypes. Let's be real: People make fun of fat chicks. Society has a double standard. We're supposed to just overlook the beer gut on a guy, but Lord forbid a woman have meat on her bones.

We are faced with a Barbie-doll image of what we're told we should look like. But the fact is, a lot of us can't live up to that and never will, and we shouldn't have to kill ourselves trying.

I think that reader Dr. Terry Bender's comments about how any man who is attracted to a plus-size woman has serious psychological issues is absolutely ludicrous. Maybe he should work more on his bedside manner and stick to his day job than making assumptions!

As for our being "easy," once again, there go the stereotypes. Not every fluffy chick is easy. Not every skinny girl is hard to get. I may not be a size 5, but I still know how to turn heads (in a good way).

And most men are "easy." So, fat or not, I still have the upper hand. Easy women are easy by choice; it's not just because they're overweight.
Beth Holliday, Mesa

Thanks a ton: I just wanted to thank you and your staff for the cover story on Club FullFilled, Arizona's only plus-size nightclub. Since your Inferno column came out, we have received tons of inquiries and met so many great new people.

I just wanted to make sure that everyone knows we will no longer be at Buster McNutty's. Anyone wanting the latest information on where Club FullFilled is happening on a given week can log on to www.clubfullfilled.com or e-mail me at info@clubfullfilled.com.
ChristyLee, Club FullFilled

Run, Florist, Run!

Dishing it out: I have to say that the review of My Florist Cafe was the worst article that I have ever read ("Grade Inflation," Cafe, Stephen Lemons, August 4). I have been reading New Times since the beginning, and never have I come across such a horrible misrepresentation of a restaurant. Mr. Lemons must have an awful grudge against the owner. What else would explain this terrible review?

The food has always been fresh and good any time I have been there. I think Mr. Lemons should learn what good food is before he goes dishing out such harsh words to a place that so many love.

Owner David Lacy has done a wonderful job making a great place for the neighborhood, including the businesses in that area. It was an area that was going downhill fast, and Mr. Lacy took the risk and made something of his place. How awful of Mr. Lemons to try to tear that down with such harshness!

I am saddened that someone in Mr. Lemons' position decides to take such a low road and spread such words. I wonder what the others in the maddening crowd of ladies will have to say when they read Mr. Lemons' garbage.
Brenda Fulkerson, Phoenix

Piano player, good; food, bad: The food at My Florist Cafe totally sucks ass! One of the most nauseating things I had there was the spinach and artichoke dip appetizer. I swear that the restaurant hollowed out a piece of that God-awful bread and slapped the contents in there!

And, yes, the bread is bad -- it is nearly impossible to eat a sandwich without getting a sore jaw. And the pastries suck, too.

I seriously think people go there just to hear the crazy piano player. And, oh my God, she is good! But I don't want to compete with an ear-splittingly loud medley of tunes from The Phantom of the Opera while I try to have polite dinner conversation.

Overall, though, My Florist would be such a cool place if it just had good food. Thank you for suffering through eating there so that Phoenix diners could have confirmation that all their unsatisfied feelings are valid.
Stephanie Moos, Tempe

A differing view: I am very disappointed by the comments of Stephen Lemons in the article on My Florist Cafe. I have eaten at my share of bad restaurants, and the worst of them are better than the way Mr. Lemons characterizes this establishment. I believe the word "slander" sums up Mr. Lemons' description.

Further, I would like to comment that I have eaten at My Florist several times and was never disappointed with the service, food or entertainment. It is obvious that Mr. Lemons has some kind of personal vendetta against the owner or one of the workers at My Florist and is using his powers to vent. He should be ashamed of himself.
Dan Todd, Phoenix

Breaking bread: I just wanted to let you know that your article on My Florist Cafe is so true! All of my friends love the place, but I will never eat there again. Every time I tried to eat one of those damn bread sandwiches, my mouth was all torn up on the inside the next day. Oh, and what about that bread salad?!

That establishment is toast.
Treg Bradley, Phoenix

In need of improvement: Bravo on your review of My Florist Cafe! I have eaten there on a number of occasions with the hope that things would improve on my next visit. But, alas, my hopes were dashed each time. Phoenix needs this establishment to succeed. Perhaps your accurate appraisal will push the owners into action.
Neil Schneider, Phoenix

Not a suck-up: I must say that I enjoy Stephen Lemons' articles and his tell-it-how-it-really-is attitude. Most critics are suck-ups, and he is a breath of fresh air! Although, if I ever get a chance to open my own restaurant, I hope he will be gentle!
Lou Swartz, Gilbert

Dead on: I just read your review of My Florist Cafe, and you are dead on about the place. I have always wondered, what's the big deal about My Florist?

The sign outside is the only really cool thing. Once you get past that, it's downhill. You are right about the food, and I don't even think the ambiance is so special.

I think having Nicole Pesce play there is actually a bad idea. Although I agree that she is very talented, the acoustics in that room are horrible (especially for a passionate piano player). There are no noise-softening surfaces, so the room is an echo chamber. I could not really enjoy her playing, nor could I really hear what my friends were saying to me from two seats away.

I really appreciate your honesty, and your ability to pan a place that deserves it. In Phoenix, it is refreshing.
Harrison Hurwitz, Phoenix

A not-so-subtle plug: Thanks for being so honest; this place bites big time! I can't believe ambiance can get to people so much. Just because the place looks like a San Fran restaurant does not mean we have to pay for overpriced and bad food. You need to write more honest articles like this one.

If you want a good sandwich or salad, try Crazy Jim's on 15th Avenue and Indian School Road. Great chicken feta salad, and the pita bread rocks!
Doreen Petrillo, Phoenix

Paying through the nose: About My Florist Cafe, when you're paying more than $10 for a sandwich, you don't want it on that crappy bread.

I just wanted to mention that, about a year ago, I wrote to Stephen Lemons because I thought an article was kind of, well, offensive. Well, I've been reading his stuff since, and I really like it. He has style. He's entertaining.
Heather Lesser, Tempe

Run From the Border

Raising some questions: I guess New Times wants to become another Southwestern media apologist for illegal immigration! However, Robrt L. Pela's Speakeasy concerning the "Wilson Four" didn't help much, as it was littered with obscenities and curiously phrased baited commentary ("Pardon Me," August 4).

Pathetically, the analysis was far below Pela's usually compelling and coherent writing quality. However, the article did raise some unasked questions.

If Luis Nava "wasn't sure about [his] legal status," why did he travel across the border? I can't believe someone possessing international business skills could be ignorant of such a basic reality.

You have to wonder if the "Wilson Four" incident was a premeditated test of this country's immigration policy, and even a way of motivating changes in border law.
Scott Hume, Phoenix

An important issue: I just want to congratulate Robrt L. Pela for exposing issues such as the "Wilson Four" controversy in such an important publication. I am a reporter myself for a Spanish-language newspaper, but it makes me really happy to see that there is a journalist out there in the English-language press in Phoenix taking these issues into people's lives.
Luis Avila, Tempe

Treading Water

A river runs through it: I was exceptionally appalled at articles written on the San Pedro River in the Arizona Republic and by John Dougherty of New Times ("Doomed River," August 4). These articles were written about the fact that the San Pedro ran dry for several days in July. They were poorly researched and factually incorrect, but will stand as truth in the eyes of some readers.

About the only source mentioned was Robin Silver's Center for Biological Diversity. Silver's agenda is biased, and his information and press releases slanted toward his sole agenda, which is to close Fort Huachuca. With the help of improperly documented and researched articles like the ones in New Times and the Arizona Republic, he will eventually succeed in getting Fort Huachuca closed as a military post.

If anyone considers this a good thing, then consider that three counties (Cochise, Santa Cruz and Pima) will be severely affected economically. The loss of federal dollars to the state will be in the billions. In addition, it is not at all clear who will eventually own the grounds. Closing the base as a DOD facility does not mean that the infrastructure will not be used by any number of other agencies, state or federal. If the post is closed and the facilities are used anyway, how would anyone rationally consider that this outcome will reduce the use of groundwater?

Here are some facts that were not discussed in the articles:

• The area of the San Pedro in Cochise County has experienced a drought since 1993. Several other streams and tributaries such as Soldier Creek, which runs through the Greater Huachuca Golf Course, are completely dried up. The head of that creek is the Garden Canyon Area of Fort Huachuca, and there is no groundwater drawn from its watershed.

• The San Pedro originates in Mexico, out of which it flows north. I doubt that there is much control, voluntary or not, when it comes to the use of San Pedro River water before it comes into the United States.

• Not one mention is made in the articles about the enormous and costly efforts that Fort Huachuca has made to reduce groundwater usage on the post. The entire World War II area of Jeffords Street and the old hospital areas have been completely razed because the 1940s cast-iron water pipes were leaking and hard to repair. Every effort has been made to replace every water fixture with a low-usage equivalent.

If the conclusion of the articles is that the state should start an initiative to save the San Pedro, Fort Huachuca stands as ready as ever to be a member of that effort. Ask Silver if he would like to partner up with the fort on that initiative and see how much he really cares about the San Pedro.
Jay P. Gordon, Chandler/Sierra Vista

Hot under the collar: John Dougherty's column was great! Not only the part about the doomed river, the San Pedro, but the part about the homeless dying on the streets of Phoenix.

It makes me really angry that nothing more was done by the city for these homeless people during the heat of this summer! I'm going to pass this around my office for everyone to read.
Bobbie Brian, Glendale


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