Cultured pearl: I have just finished reading your piece on Kax Herberger and the state of the arts in Arizona ("Queen of Arts," Edward Lebow, May 3). It is a stunning portrayal of the climate of giving in this state. It is such a thoughtful, comprehensive, well-written piece that I think it should be required reading throughout the state. The generous donors you have described point out that there are resources in the Valley that have not been tapped as well as the loyalty of those individuals dedicated to the support of the arts. Your final quote from Mrs. Herberger about the lack of giving from presidents and chairmen of boards is so on point. I'm calling as many people as I can think of who must read your piece. Thank you for the care, respect and selection of the people you included. I learned a lot, and I've lived in Phoenix for 42 years!
Penelope W. Butler
Brine damage: Thank you so much for the piece "Russian Roulette" (John Dougherty, April 26) on the effects of offshore oil drilling on the sensitive marine habitat around Sakhalin Island, and for the editorial commitment you've made to this crucial issue. It's an important reminder that the much-talked-about Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is only one remote corner of the planet that is endangered by a voracious and greedy oil industry, and that many places and species around the globe are under threat. This is especially important to remember as Vice President Dick Cheney just declared that conservation of energy is an outdated solution. As your article so persuasively underscored, our continued reliance on fossil fuels poses a direct threat to many species. Including our own.
Jump for Joey
Punky dory: Thanks for the column on Joey Ramone ("Joey Ramone Leaves Home," Brian Smith, April 26). I was beginning to think that no one in Phoenix had heard of him. I listened to the radio all day on Monday (the day after Easter) and did not hear one Ramones song or a mention of his passing. As a teenager growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s and having disco forced down my throat, hearing the Ramones was the most unbelievable, explosive sound I had ever heard in my life. Twenty years later I can say that I still love them, they had a big influence on me and they were a great band and one of a kind. And yes, I agree, the Ramones saved my life.
Run-on sentence: I read "Justice for Some" (Amanda Scioscia, April 19) subsequent to my denial for sentence review under the most recent domestic violence justice efforts.
The article was excellent. Senator Elaine Richardson informs my paralegal that I probably didn't "meet the window" for this bill.
Since my written ineligibility letter from the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency, I have written Senator Richardson asking -- what can be done now? That was nearly a month ago and I've yet to get a response from her. Actually, she has failed to respond to any of the letters I've written for almost two years now.
I'm certainly not knocking the efforts of Senator Richardson; she has moved mountains in legislation to help the battered woman. But the war is far from over. Carol Herriman was the second victory, and for that I'm eternally grateful.
There's so much to be said about the number of battered women in prison. I'd need to copyright a novel to get it all out in the open.
So here I sit -- as do Susan Brune, Rebecca Llamas, Cynthia Avila and Nancy Looper. Ms. Looper goes home this August when her sentence expires after serving 13 years. The remainder of us have already started our second decade in prison or will be starting it soon. I've been here for 12 years (July 14).
Lisa G. Shannon
Editor's note: After Herriman's release, Richardson added a section to a bill that fixed the wording, and will allow women like Shannon to access it. Hull signed the bill into law Friday.
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