Taking It in the Shorts
Grid 'n' bear it: Instead of Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano on the cover ("Quarterback Sneak," John Dougherty, August 16), that should be all the residents of Maricopa County that Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill is -- ah -- er . . . "standing over."
Boy, did we get screwed in this stadium deal!
Name withheld by request
Offsides: In regard to the issue of zoning and public hearings over the new Cardinals stadium, I find it amazing that Mayor Giuliano could state that the Tourism and Sports Authority is exempt from zoning requirements because it is another governmental body. Did he not threaten to sue Salt River Project over just this issue when it tried to build a power plant in Tempe, SRP's Kyrene power plant? SRP also claimed a municipal status when trying to build 150-foot smokestacks in violation of the city zoning code covering height of structures. I find it interesting that once again height (nearly 200 feet in this case) is an issue, only the mayor is taking the opposing position. Also that SRP is once again in the center of things after claiming governmental status to violate both Tempe's and Gilbert's zoning and building codes to build their power plants within city boundaries.
Foul bawl: You wrote: "Part of his [Mayor Giuliano's] strategy is to create the appearance that Tempe government operates openly, when, in fact, the opposite is true, particularly when it comes to the stadium. Tempe has kept citizens in the dark for more than nine months about the details of its financial dealings with the Cardinals and the Tourism and Sports Authority."
I myself believe it is more like five or six years. When I got wind of the "East Valley partnership" and who were the members and their goal of building a stadium for the Cardinals (Neil will claim that like his Diablos "honorary" membership, it was nothing) -- as the old saying goes, "One cannot fool all the people all of the time." And this does apply through all of the city of Tempe's public business!
On November 29, 2000, just days after the vote on Proposition 302, at the Tempe City Council issue review session, I asked, "Are the citizens of Tempe going to be able to vote on how they're going to pay for this stadium if it is located in Tempe?" The Mayor assured me that no dealing was done.
I had the information that, in fact, on December 16, 1999, at the Task Force B meeting at the Tasco building (in the same SRP businesses park), Giuliano had offered that the Tempe City Council had approved/authorized this offer on the Priest/Washington site. If there was no "deal" made at this point with Tempe and SRP, it would be like making an offer to a homeless person to live in your home without your permission/knowledge! One could boil this down to what is the meaning of "deal" or "is." You make the call!
So what is there to believe in anything that Neil or Tempe have to say on the stadium or anything else?
Taken for granted: This is in response to your story regarding the Arizona Humane Society's opposition to the Maddie's Fund grant ("Pet Peeves," Maria Luisa Tucker, August 9). We not only supported the Humane Society's decision, we hoped the Humane Society would hold to its decision to oppose the grant, despite this article and others like it by other local press.
We find it disconcerting that both you and other local media touch only on the surface of a complicated issue. Are you aware that the $10 million grant Maddie's Fund is offering can be used only for adoptions, spay/neuter surgeries, and advertising? Not one penny of the grant can be used to treat sick animals or to test animals for diseases prior to surgery. None can be used for education, which we see as an essential component of any successful adoption. Did you know the grant will be distributed over a five-year period with the stipulation that for any year's funding to be given, certain quotas, on an escalating scale, must be met for spay/neuters and adoptions? We find these quotas unworkable. The implementation of Maddie's Fund quotas must surely lead to unwise adoptions that may prove to be harmful either to the adopting family or to the adopted animal.
The spay/neuter numbers are no better. The coalition applying for the Maddie's grant hopes to meet these quotas by the mass capturing, spay/neutering and releasing of feral cats. While CABRA supports this mass-sterilization effort, we strongly object to the fact that none of these cats will be tested for feline leukemia, FIP, or any other disease before undergoing surgery. These wild cats will be rounded up and subjected to surgery with no regard given to their overall health. Then they will be released, with the probability that some will suffer a protracted death because of the combination of disease and surgery. You should also consider that the Maddie's Fund grant has no provision for caring for these animals after surgery. So if an animal gets an infection, oh well. . . . It may die, but at least it can't reproduce. More important, it helped fill the quota. This is a caring, humane attitude?
When the Maddie's Fund was reviewed by our members, they unanimously agreed not to participate. No matter how much money was on the table, they felt the welfare of the animals was more important than trying to meet quotas.
Coalition of All Breed Rescue of Arizona
Go With the Flow
All wet: I wonder when the collective "we" will wake up to the fact that we live in a desert and our most precious resource is water. The prevailing cavalier attitude about water is nowhere more exposed than in Peabody Coal Company's insistence on transporting coal 273 miles via groundwater ("Righteous Run," John Dougherty, August 9). The only place in the entire country where coal is transported by water is here in Arizona. What's wrong with this picture?
I'll have meth with that: I have never read about such disgusting people as the Carters ("Harassment Supreme," Gilbert Garcia, August 2). I hope they all get what they deserve, and I hope they take Betty down with them. And I hope Pizza Hut takes action. It's their name that's being dirtied by these morons. As for Mr. Unger . . . there's so much more out there. I just hope he finds what he's looking for.
Name withheld by request
Up 'n' Adam
Riff notes: I wanted to take a moment to write and thank you for the wonderful article ("The Coffee-House Kid" Rob Patterson, August 2). It's rare in this overproduced and generic world of music today to find an artist as wonderful and sincere as Adam Carroll. Sadly, it's probably much harder to find a newspaper willing to give coverage to these artists. Thank you again for the great article, and I hope you continue to cover artists who are making real music about real life.
Shannon L. Heaton
Hell of a Feller
Flak for the flack: David Hans Schmidt is bailing out a criminal he doesn't know, and fronting Jefferson Davis McGee money when Schmidt is thousands and thousands of dollars behind in child support ("Spleen Man," Robert Nelson, July 26)? Get off this "noble" thing people say he's doing to "help" McGee and get to the real issue. He's an arrogant, angry, violent person who will do anything to make a buck, even feed some stranger when he refuses to feed his own kids. And when he makes the buck (and he does), guess what? His kids still go without. What a guy.
Name withheld by request
Freedom's just another word: Kieran Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity is half right ("Bye Bye Birdie," Jennifer Markley, July 19). Sure, the little birdies won't fly to a newly purchased habitat. Even if we gave them maps with really good directions, they might miss the turnoff and wind up somewhere else of their own choice, and freedom of choice is something he doesn't believe in. Mr. Suckling doesn't want the CBD to be seen as the bad guys, but they are, and more people are starting to notice.
Name withheld by request
Blind justice: I just finished reading state Senator Tom Smith's response to Amy Silverman's article on ADJC (Letters, July 26), and frankly [Senator Smith], I am surprised that a man of your standing and responsibility to the taxpayers of this state would come to such an opinion based on a few "visits" (scheduled in advance, I'm sure). This has only made me more aware of how out of touch our "said" leaders are with the real day-to-day activities of the departments they are in charge of.
I'm speaking from one and a half years of being involved on a daily basis in a facility. I saw so much that I left ADJC and transferred to another state agency. Not because of the youth or the staff. I left because of the leadership, or should I say lack of leadership.
If you truly do honor your oath of office, you will actively listen to the people, all the people, not just the ones who are telling you what you want to hear so your job is easier.
Here are just a few issues for you to look into:
Special-education services. Why aren't the youth being given services that they are entitled to and that federal and state law mandates?
Grant monies. Are the grant monies being spent as reported?
Staff certification. Why are there employees performing jobs that they are not certified to do, plus earning salaries that do not reflect the grade level or certification level required for that grade of pay?
Sexual abuse of youth. Why are sexual abuse reports that involve contract staff and youth not reported to the authorities, but rather the employee is just terminated or in most cases asked to resign?
Staffing of facilities. Why are there so many staffing problems with the education staff in particular?
You've only seen the tip of the iceberg! And to quote Paul Harvey, "And now, here's the rest of the story." Stay tuned!
Name withheld by request
Swap mart: Let me get this straight. I am considered a racist because I refuse to shop at a Southwest Supermarket ("Meet Market," Edward Lebow, August 2)? Let me clear a few things up for you, Mr. Gioia, since you and your supporters are obviously a little confused. Neither I nor anyone I know shops in your stores because they are filthy and run-down. That in itself is enough for me, but let's not forget to mention the "swap mart" atmosphere, the blaring music, the dirty parking lots, or the lack of name-brand products.
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If you think selling sushi, hiding behind a different name or making your stores more "festive" is going to help the poor reputation your stores carry, you are in for a rude awakening. Your stores have carried the same reputation for years, and you can blame that on the owners and management of Southwest Supermarkets. That you have any customers of any race is beyond me.
Lisa A. Hernandez
Chile reception: You couldn't drag me into a Southwest Supermarket even if it was giving away free tamales and piñatas. And gee, guess what my race is. I'll give you a clue.