Reform school: It was refreshing to read that finally some of our legislators are seriously looking at reforms to the failed legacy of the Mecham/Reagan era ("Clink!" Robert Nelson, October 23).
I was just at my first "buffet-style" parent/teacher conference, where overwhelmed, underpaid teachers attempted to talk with the parents of the 180 or so students that each is responsible for. We are lucky that anyone is willing to deal so much for so little.
Robert Nelson's article is fabulous; it points out so many of the failures of this failed plan. This cycle is going nowhere. Let judges be judges, provide treatment for the disease of addiction and all for less than imprisonment. The way it stands, we'd be better served by replacing the judges with a computer and "sentence printer." Maybe the judges could then fill in as history teachers, teaching of the days when someone made decisions based on the facts of a case.
Cash cow: This is the best article I have read on this subject. There is a lot more to the prison system than the public knows about. Have the prison financial records ever been audited by an outside organization? I do not think so. I think that the prison system is a source of income that the state uses to supplement budget deficits. The federal government pays the state prison monies to keep all violent inmates the full 85 percent.
I pray that Dora Schriro will be able to overcome the good old boys of this state and make changes to the prisons.
Change is good: Enjoyed the well-written series on the Department of Corrections. Your writer deserves to be commended for his excellent presentation. Through such well-thought-out and well-written articles, changes can be made. Keep it up.
Politics As Usual
Throwing stones: Robert Nelson almost gets the point ("Out Foxed," October 23). Liberals aren't passionate because the politicians are not discussing intellectual issues. Liberal politics amounts to throwing the same stones back at conservatives. A liberal radio network intended to compete with conservatives misses the same point. Liberals want something more considered and measured than simply trying to throw the same mud at conservatives that their radio entertainers throw at liberals. And that, in a nutshell, explains why liberal radio stations have little following. Liberals don't need the kind of evangelical (everything is black and white) zeal that conservatives do.
From the horse's mouth: Why the hell would anyone throw away their money with some stupid liberal maniac radio station? Don't you left-wing douche bags get enough of your liberal propaganda from TV and our crappy local newspapers?
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Special investigation: I just finished reading your article about Jerry Colangelo and I am appalled at the corruption that is going on in the city of Phoenix ("Jerry's World," John Dougherty, October 16). If you can get ahold of this info, how come the IRS doesn't do anything about it? Why can't we bring special investigators in from out of state to find more evidence of the corruption inside the Downtown Phoenix Partnership? I guess that is just another reason for me in my long list of reasons to stay out of Phoenix. Great story.
Heartless: As Gertrude Stein once said of Oakland, California: "There's no there there." And that is the problem with downtown Phoenix. When we moved here in 1960, we bought a house on a bus route and went downtown to shop, to the doctor, to the movies and to church. Now only First Presbyterian Church sits in solitary splendor on West Monroe, which used to be church row. There's no heart in Phoenix, much less soul.