Dens of iniquity: In my opinion, Arizona and Utah must look seriously at custody cases, sending or keeping little girls in polygamous organizations whether First Ward or Second Ward. A look at the Stubbs family reveals just how many girls in one family can be underage victims ("Eyes Wide Shut," John Dougherty, August 7). When there are custody cases in which one parent seeks to keep a child out of that environment, that must be made a serious consideration. It is almost certain that these girls will eventually become victims and is tantamount to leaving a girl in a house of prostitution.
Name withheld by request
Wake-up call: Joe Arpaio -- mmmmmm -- polls ("Sheriff Gets Poll Axed," Spiked, August 7). Well, a reality check, guys. In the year before every election, Arpaio romances the seniors by telling them what a wonderful sheriff he is by keeping all that awful violence and crime at bay. The newspapers play it up and the TV stations eat up the grandiose gestures, such as the expansion of Tent City, by publicizing them in a positive light rather than the light of actual journalism.
When are the people who have power and the citizens of this county going to wake up? This man is a menace. He has cost the county millions of dollars. He is so well known for his abuses that my friends overseas know who he is. They wonder why we, as generally intelligent people, would continue to allow this man to abuse us.
Wake up, Maricopa County. We have slept way too long.
Name withheld by request
Kind of a drag: For once I must agree with you on most of your review of a show, that being Pageant ("Gender Bent," Robrt L. Pela, August 7). I do, however, take umbrage at your needlessly tactless description of the costumes that I designed and worked on for six weeks as "ugly dresses." That is only a matter of opinion, not at all a true depiction of the quality of costuming of the show. The evening gowns are designed to be garish and the talent costumes are designed to be comedic just as I am sure your wording in your little article is designed to be intentionally rude.
You make statements in your review that are not at all accurate. If you are going to criticize, then get your facts straight. The only sequins in the show are on Miss Texas' talent outfit. Miss Great Plains is wearing a prairie-style dress, not a Pilgrim frock. The daisies are silk, not plastic.
These screwed-up facts might just be laughable if it were not for the fact that you continuously make such obviously stupid errors in your writing. (Point in fact your own admission of "mistaking" Manuela Needhammer as a costume designer last season. By the way, your use of the word "mistook" speaks volumes about you trying to put this error off as not being a fault on your part.)
You say that the "drag thing" gets old pretty fast for you. Well, there are many among the theatergoing community who feel that your columns, like yourself, have begun to get old and drag on for no apparent reason.
Entertainment weakly: I thoroughly enjoyed your review of the movie Gigli ("Bad Asses," Luke Y. Thompson, July 31). Very clever and entertaining. I enjoy your writing style. And thanks to you, I will definitely save money and skip this film. (Not that it was even a contender on my "go-see" list.)
Recently, my sister and I were discussing how astounded we were that someone J.Lo with so little talent can make so much money -- but she's "still just Jenny from the block." (Yeah. Whatevah. That video was truly offensive. Get the hook!) I find J.Lo and Ben coverage so nauseating. I know they're not exactly Ph.D. candidates, but don't you think they could pay someone to coach them to sound a bit more intelligent? Talk about Dumb and Dumber.
Enough ranting. Again, your review was refreshing. It even made me chuckle aloud a couple of times, and I sent it to my sister. Thank you!
Mirth certificate: I would just like to tell you that your review of Gigli was hilarious! Honestly, I shed tears of mirth. Especially liked the Red Vines noose and the reference to South Park! Bravo! Thanks again!
Hot to Trot
Public relations: Robrt L. Pela's interview of Ms. Vanessa Abbott, Hottest Woman in America, was very good ("Some Like It Hot," Speakeasy, July 31). He adds a lot of subtle comedy and makes it fun to read.
Why not do another interview of Vanessa Abbott about health, as the USA Weekend magazine did? College kids are basically unhealthy, including ASU kids. Vanessa looks pretty healthy, though. And she seems really with it.
Maybe Vanessa could write a report every week for you guys and have a different picture each time. Now wouldn't that grab a bunch of new readers? She is in communications, I see.
Escape from New York: In Don Russell's defense, I sense there is a trace of bragging rights in us all ("Brotherly Love Fest," Speakeasy, Robrt L. Pela, July 24). Phoenicians everywhere were once tortured by my constant Manhattan boasting. With news of my relocation, I could not fathom the idea of not having a Starbucks on every corner, yellow New York City taxicabs, and Chinese takeout delivered personally to your doorstep at 3 a.m. I'll admit moving from the Manhattan scene to the Phoenix area was definitely hard to swallow. What wasn't, however, was the luscious fry bread discovered by yours truly. And that, my friend, by no means can be found on the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway.
Thaisi H. Velasquez
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Crime and punishment: Kudos to Cole Bailey Sr. ("Skinhead Slayer," Susy Buchanan, July 17). I think he is handling it in a well-mannered situation. I feel in some cases you should be able to take the law into your own hands. Why is it that when a crime is committed, the guilty are protected better than the victims are? I know that people are "innocent until proven guilty." If the evidence proves it was that person, send them away. The crime should fit the punishment. If you kill, rape, molest, the same exact thing should be done to you; that is why it is called an eye for an eye.
There shouldn't be any rhyme or reason they be allowed to appeal a thing. And these heartfelt bleeders who don't think a life should be taken, what if the tables were turned on you? You wouldn't be smoking a cigar with that person who just hurt your loved one. I know I wouldn't, I would want vengeance.
Again, Mr. Bailey, kudos to you! I hope that Mr. Bailey gets his peace.
Name withheld by request