Political Action
That creepy feeling: I've gone around and around about these Tempe mayoral candidates ("The Mouth That Should've Roared," John Dougherty, February 26). But I'd prefer not to vote for the obviously ignorant and corrupt one. That's Dennis Cahill.

If Hugh Hallman is bad for Tempe, we'd know it pretty quickly. But there was so much going on with that stadium fiasco that it hardly fits to blame Hallman for not speaking up. The mayor has more Cardinal mud on his hands than anyone. I laugh as I remember a New Times cover of old.

We in Tempe already know that Cahill spends like a drunken sailor, takes junkets, wastes millions catering to developers at the expense of the poor (the grocery tax), violates campaign laws (learned from his wife) and is not above name-calling.

I'll take the "creepy feeling" you describe over the solid hit my wallet's gonna keep taking from Cahill any time. True, I'm working to help Hallman right now. It beats waiting for Cahill to publish my W2s.

Gene Ganssle
Via e-mail

Not his fault: John Dougherty trashes Hugh Hallman for his acquiescence on Tempe's site selection process for the Cardinals stadium but provides no analysis on where Tempe should have located it. If Tempe had no viable site, he can't blame Hugh Hallman for losing the stadium.

Mr. Dougherty fails to mention that Hallman tried to persuade Arizona State University to build the stadium on its land. Had he been successful, Tempe would still have the Cardinals, the Fiesta Bowl and a future Super Bowl. Did John Dougherty or Dennis Cahill support these efforts? Not that I recall.

Tom Hinchion

Race Relations
Insert your view here: While there is no doubt in my mind that racism is conveyed through both overt and covert actions, many aspects described in Paul Kix's story seem to be, at best, a series of coincidences surrounding an extremely small portion of Millennium High School's population ("The New Racism," February 26).

Whose fault is it if a student club falls flat on its face because of a lack of participation by its members? I have a hard time placing blame on a faculty sponsor not receiving a return on his or her investment of time.

I don't know who should be more embarrassed: the author, for penning two juicy editorial comments near the end of the story (C.H.A.K.A., in effect, was Millennium's black student union, but the club fell apart because no one wanted to sponsor it; and too bad Michael Mack and Tiffeny Denman aren't qualified to sponsor school clubs at Millennium High), the first of which is contradicted by Cloyce Lamb earlier in the story; or his editors, for allowing such a breach of the journalistic ethic to reach the newsstands. I expect journalists to let the readers draw their own conclusions, not insert their own views into the narrative.

Jim Small

A Food Odyssey
Call to odor: I am the owner of the George & Dragon English Restaurant & Pub on North Central Avenue. This letter is a complaint regarding the review written by your food critic Mr. Stephen Lemons in a recent issue of New Times ("Bottom Feeding," February 12). I fully understand that he has a job to do, but certain comments regarding our restaurant were totally absurd and uncalled for. I am not sure where he got the notion that the English serve their fish and chips wrapped in a newspaper cone. That has not happened since the 1960s. Apart from his lack of knowledge about the English culture, he has added insult to injury by telling the public that they can look forward to the welcoming odor of urine.

We consistently pass our health inspection with top marks. I think if the Health Department detected the smell of urine, we would have been informed. Although his comments regarding our food were complimentary and we appreciate them, we at the same time feel very insulted by the comment regarding the urine. I would therefore appreciate an apology and retraction from your publication.

In the nine years that we have been open, this is the first time that we have been truly insulted by your newspaper. I would like all the public to know that they will not be greeted by the smell of urine when they come to dinner. Our restaurant section is completely nonsmoking. You may only smoke in the bar.

I hope you understand my dilemma and concern.

Anne King
George & Dragon LLC

The true bottom feeder: I'm a firm believer in the old saying that if they're throwing stones at you, you must be doing something right. In this case, however, all the bashing of Stephen Lemons is right on the money. As a restaurant reviewer, Mr. Lemons is rude, sophomoric, generally ill-informed, and wholly insufferable due to his proclivity for asides and excesses that typically have nothing to do with the establishment he's supposed to be telling us about. Yeah, Steve, we know this isn't Manhattan or Melrose; we're working on it, okay? As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day. Is it really necessary for you to belittle our fair city's fine restaurant folk who are at least making an effort to bring us quality food? Please bring back the wonderful Carey Sweet. She at least knew her food, and if it was bad, she could gently tell you (and the restaurant) why. Unlike Mr. Lemons, who wouldn't know a disco from a dog show.

Name withheld by request

Fish tales: Thank you, thank you! You are a breath of fresh air. I am so sick of everyone saying, "I'm addicted to Pete's Fish and Chips." It has got to be the worst mess I have ever had to pay for! I have lived in this Valley for 15 years and really miss a good fish and chips place!!

There is one in the East Valley called Sullivan's Pier. It is near the corner of Gilbert Road and Main Street. We have been going there for years and have never been disappointed.

Thanks again for speaking your mind, I admire it!

Jae Richards
Apache Junction

A new low: Congrats on reaching a new low on reviewing eateries in the Phoenix area. It's a wonder New Times even allowed such a crass review. I am 68 years old and my wife and I have eaten fish and chips while on vacation in England several times. We have also been eating at Pete's since 1979 when we moved here. You cannot compare the two. But your reference to fried garbage regarding Pete's is without question a new low in reviews.

With more than 50 years serving the Phoenix area, obviously Pete's is doing pretty good. I just wonder where you will be after 50 years.

Jerry Jess
Via e-mail

No re-Pete business: I couldn't quit laughing!! I completely agree about Pete's Fish and Chips. It is one of the worst places I have ever come across! And I tout myself as a food connoisseur, since I have food service industry background.

Thanks for the laugh and honesty.

Iris Spencer
Via e-mail

Voice of Reason
A no-no: The "Reasonable Doubt" article on the Department of Corrections chief's credibility was very informative and revealed facts that I didn't know (Patti Epler and Bruce Rushton, February 19). I congratulate your efforts. However, there is one thing you shouldn't have done -- released the last name of the female correctional officer since she is a "rape victim." Her last name, to my knowledge, has not been released even by the Arizona Republic (Phx Pravda).

Name withheld by request

Infernal Blather
We'd rather not think about the origin of "Kreme": Doesn't this potty-mouth Kreme have anything better to do than roam the clubs looking for people to make fun of? I just read the latest Inferno column about Hot Pink where Kreme and his co-columnist Jett (does she really exist?) make fun of some guy named Mike, claiming he has a small penis ("Hot Pink Perdition," Stephen Lemons and Elaine Bell, February 19). Is that what it all comes down to for this filthy pair? How big someone's equipment is? How high school can you get?

This column is an insult to your readers! Tell us what's going on in the clubs, but please spare us your columnists' obsessions with body parts.

Maybe Kreme suffers from penis envy himself. Maybe that's why he has such a disgusting name.

Timothy Biggs

Must be a friend of Stephen Lemons': Just read Stephen Lemons' column on Hot Pink, and it's another winner from this talented scribe. Lemons writes like a long-lost bastard grandchild of Raymond Chandler and Dorothy Parker, cruising the American wasteland with a thesaurus in one hand and an adult video club membership card in the other. I'll be back for more of his hilariously skewed perspective next week.

Michael Tunison
Los Angeles

Almost makes us want you to: Best bit of writing I've read on the Internet since they put Salon.com on the subscription model ("Loungin' With Lucifer," Inferno, Stephen Lemons and Elaine Bell, February 12). Almost makes me want to visit Arizona.

Julie Pittman
Via e-mail

Hot topic: Thanks for starting the new column Inferno. I love the two characters, and am enjoying their bawdy exploits. I agree totally with the second column's conclusion about electroclash and that whole nostalgia movement. Why can't people of my generation go for the music that is now and of today? There's great stuff out there, you know? What a crock all that '80s stuff is.

Reading Inferno is really better than going to the clubs, because you get a quick hit of what they are all about, without having to put up with some of the stupid assholes who frequent them. Hey, Kreme and Jett, keep it coming, yo. You have a real public out there.

Edgar Barrios

Skin Games
One racist is too many: At first the article "Barbecue Nations" (Susy Buchanan and David Holthouse, February 19) seemed like a bland account of some twisted racists preaching to each other and getting smashed in the desert. All along I thought these people were despicable because of their love for Hitler, bombings, and beatings of hapless victims.

Fortunately, the writers pointed out that I should not worry because these people are of no more concern than Don Knotts in a Disney film, good family fun. Well, thanks!

There are just not enough haters to worry about. Can't do much damage with only 350 people or less. How many Timothy McVeighs are enough to worry about?

Now, I know you writers are tough realists; hey, big deal, a few measly racists. To their victims, even one racist is too many!

I'm sure the writers were being sarcastic in trying to trivialize the skinheads, but the writers just came off as callous jerks. It doesn't matter if the hatred comes from an 80-year-old man or an 18-year-old, it all hurts. Get a grip!

Name withheld so I don't get beat up by skinheads.

Name withheld by request

Danke schön: Great article. I loved "There was at least half a cup of Kahlúa in his cream" and your use of the creaking, wheezing Butler as metaphor for the movement. Your German could use just a bit of work, though. For future reference: It's "Sieg Heil" -- roughly, "Hail Victory." Also, "amerikaner Gretel" is a bit of an oxymoron -- "amerikaner" means "male American." You need the feminine ending "in" here: "amerikanerin Gretel."

Chris Menzel
Via e-mail

Earning respect: I have a couple of questions to the authors of the article. I wanted to know if they are going to attend a NAACP meeting and talk bad about the blacks or to a Hispanic heritage gathering and talk bad about them. I don't think they will because they are scared! Why do white people have to earn the right for respect? Wasn't it white people who did the most for the building of this country and the shedding of blood for this country? Don't you realize that the white race may become extinct? You are only helping with this biased article. I demand that you get some balls and be fair and go to a NAACP meeting and talk about how they are gay, etc, etc!!!

Brian Smith
Via e-mail

A psychological ploy: Read your "Barbecue Nations" hose job. I thought this bit was particularly aromatic: "Except for the occasional zieg heils, the festivities were reminiscent of a gay pride picnic, with shaved-headed men merrily romping about with arms around each other."

Oh, I get it -- reverse psychology! Tar the skinheads as "latent" turd burglars, thereby exploiting the "homophobia" of other dispossessed white men who might be tempted to join the fun! Clever!


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