Fiduciary Duty

I applaud Paul Rubin's article regarding further exposure of the malfeasance of fiduciaries ("Nancy Drew," January 20), whether public or private. These crimes against the elderly would be more frequently exposed if the judiciary would do its job and stop rubber-stamping annual accountings when they are presented without any questions or concerns. What a shame that the judiciary system, including court commissioners, is so trusting, and has such high regard for these individuals that they can't see when red flags are raised, such as in the event of annual accountings that are filed late, or not at all, or when there is personal property missing from the ward's homes. Paul Rubin's continuing vigilance may be the only safety net society's vulnerable have.

Carleen Warrack
via Internet

Great article about Nancy Elliston. Keep up the good work. With the exposure that you give these "fiduciaries," I'm sure that the mention of Paul Rubin's name strikes fear in their hearts. They know who they are.

Mitch Mauldin
via Internet

Stress Tress

I loved the article about Mullets (A href="http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/issues/2000-01-27/house.html">"Shout at the Mullet," David Holthouse, January 27). It was hysterical! I've been trying to get my friends to go on a "Mullet Hunt" for about a year now. It's played like this: Everyone works in teams of two. Each team gets a disposable camera and has eight hours to find as many types and styles of Mullets as possible (i.e., fe-Mullet, Mexi-Mullet, kid-Mullet). Each person puts $5 into the "pot," so that whichever team brings back the most pictures of different Mullet categories wins all the money. Obviously, the more people, the more money, but it's not about the money. We just thought it'd be hilarious trying to nonchalantly get pictures of all these Mullet Heads in a sneaky way! We were going to start at Bank One Ballpark since baseball games get such a wide variety of people. Truck pulls, NASCAR and even hockey games are just too obvious -- it takes the challenge out of the hunt!

Melissa Santello
via Internet

Thanks for the Mullet bulletin. As a one-year resident of the Phoenix metropolitan area (and soon to be ex-resident), I, too, had noticed the predominance of Mullets crowning the populace. Although other factors played a larger role in my decision to depart, I must say that I am glad to be headed for an environment that, hopefully, is less attractive to those of the Mullet persuasion. I also made sure to send the link to your column to a friend of mine in New Jersey to see if she can do something about closing the gates back there. I just couldn't believe this hair style had migrated across the country when I got here, but I guess none of us can feel safe anywhere we live now. And (gasp) to think I thought I could escape it in Ahwatukee! There, it has already infected the youth. Such a waste of access to top-quality hair-care products. Anyway, thumbs-up to your vigilance. May the shears be with you.

Erin O'Donnell

Pond Slum

Good for you, attacking the Town Lake project ("Lake Eerie," David Holthouse, January 20), which might bring a bit of pleasant urbanity to an Arizona town. Goddamnit, it might enrich the people clever enough to get it built. The bloody capitalists! Better to keep lower Arizona a shithole wasteland of rock, sand, dirt, desert, cactus, lizards and rattlesnakes.

George Donaldson

Thanks for this article and uncovering the two sides of Robert Sentinery. To me Java is all about image and appearing edgy! Magazines such as Java are about creating the mythology that the Phoenix metro area is a hip and cool place to be. The reality is that it is about to become a theme park attracting many more families and snowbirds. Also, the terminally hip are usually not the source of cash that developers are looking to attract. This is why this Java article seems so out of place.

It is not only Java that is selling out, it is also the City of Tempe. Did you notice The Gap on Mill Avenue? Please! Everyone in Tempe has his eye on the prize, ASU, the mayor, developers and, for some strange reason, Robert Sentinery. What's in it for him? Maybe he's looking to get out of the hip and cool business and into a broader advertising market to help increase readership. I guess it had to happen. How long can a person stay hip and cool anyway?

April Richey

You know, you're being really negative. What could be cooler than a circle of outlet malls around a manmade lake? Perhaps they could only be accessible from the water, so in addition to having the challenge of parking a car in Tempe, visitors could fight for primo line space for boat rides to go shopping! Combine that with a street fair, and it's more of a workout than most people get all year! Stop standing in the way of progress, you're just going to get soaked by the wave of the future.

Mary Katherine

Taco Belly

I read the article on Valley of the Sun tacos ("Taco Bender," James Hibberd, January 6) last time I was home in Tempe. My roommate clipped it out and we decided to go check out a couple of the places you reviewed to see what your credentials were. Caroline's checked out as your reviewer said; I was underimpressed on all counts. The joint on Seventh Street also was less than I would have imagined. Both of these mean that I trust your judgment. And as far as Mexican food goes, that's saying a lot for me!

Chad Harrison Ford
Austin, Texas

Green John

The Flash's criticism of Senator John McCain is entirely justified (Flashes, January 20). But let us look at the alternative. Governor Bush is 100 percent a representative of the special interests that are entirely opposed to any environmental program which limits their profits. Attack McCain and help Bush? Ridiculous. McCain is less likely to destroy our environment.

David Lerner


Working for Don Lapre ("Don Wan," Leigh Farr, January 13) could best be described by a line from Animal House: "You fucked up, you trusted me."

Al Ryan

Critical Mess

Just want to compliment New Times for its focus on the overlooked and underrated bands, labels and records that get lost in the shuffle in the current bleak mainstream "music" culture of thug rock "Korn Biscuits" and plastic "neo-New Kids." I especially enjoyed last year's features on Bomp! Records, Brian Wilson's Smile, MTX, The Muffs, and Sweep the Leg Johnny (old friends from my university days). The well-chosen reviews from "independent labels" like Dionysus and Sundazed are exciting to read. Also, the recent pages and pages of Top 10s have been both fun and interesting. Overall, I'm impressed with the amount of space and quality devoted to music in New Times. Ironically, The Metro Times of the rusty rock n' roll city of Detroit (where I used to live) has only had about a quarter of the musical coverage of New Times! I look forward to New Times each Thursday because of its ambitious, copious and knowledgeable music coverage.

Ted Liebler

I realize that a critic's role is to be critical, but I am weary of the frequent caustic and cynical attacks of many of the reviewers featured in New Times, as if in competition to top each other's sophomoric elitist discernment. To quote a recent reviewer, it is "more exhausting than edifying." Lighten up, and save the hellfire self-righteousness for truly worthwhile causes.

Julia Nations

After reading Carey Sweet's review of Joe's Real Barbecue ("Spit Happens," January 20), I decided that since I'd already come from Minnesota to Phoenix, I might as well drive a few more miles to check out the cuisine in Gilbert. I wondered if the food was as good as she said, such as the meat being " moist": In all my other Phoenix cue experiences, "moist" has turned out to be a euphemism for "mush."

It was worth the drive, she told the truth and, even better for this reader, she was succinct. I applaud what I hope is a trend to tighter, more concise writing. It shouldn't take as long to read the review as it does to eat the meal.

Sheila Dickson
via Internet

Excuse me if I don't join the chorus of protesters who feel that the elimination of the Independent Film Channel is the end of civilization ("Cox Suckers," Brian Smith, December 9). Yes, the IFC has its virtues, but variety of programming is not among them. Though the network has access to classic foreign films of the past, it seldom shows them, preferring endless repeats of recent American films. How many showings of Barton Fink or Jungle Fever does the world really need? A little more Jean Renoir and a little less Coen brothers would do the IFC inestimable good.

A few weeks ago, the Arizona Republic's resident pseudointellectual, Richard Nilsen, patted himself on the back for being one of the "thinking, feeling people" who will mourn the loss of IFC. Enough said; any person who is truly thinking and feeling (not to mention educated) knows that if Nilsen likes it, there must be something wrong with it.

Morton Lowry

Separation of Church

As a 1977 graduate in good standing of a moderately sized university in the Deep South, which in the late 1980s severed its decades-old formal ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, I can guess why Grand Canyon University ("The Tie That No Longer Binds," Terry Greene Sterling, January 20) has severed its formal ties: The Southern Baptist Convention is stiflingly conservative and widely invasive of people's private lives. At my alma mater, for example, all students were forced to attend chapel once a week, at which they were treated often to public vocal derision of other Christian denominations; all faculty had their private lives scrutinized to minutiae, such as being forbidden to mow their lawns on Sunday; students were forbidden to hold dances of any kind; and the list goes on. My heart swelled when at last I heard that the board of trustees of my alma mater had broken completely with the SBC, and that as soon as they did, private donors came forth to give the university enough money to build two entirely new halls for the sciences and the humanities and to renovate one of the pre-existing halls. To my knowledge, my alma mater has done nothing but thrived since the decision.

Joseph Bridwell
via Internet

Family Ties

Thank you for your articles on gangs ("Hard Core"). The interviews with gang members pointed out for me the dysfunctional families from which they come. By and large, they were unloved. One of those interviewed said that it is too late to remedy the gang situation but perhaps the next generation can solve the problem. I wish to make the point that as long as kids are victims of their stressful family life, little change can be expected. I see help coming from Planned Parenthood, sex education and agencies that help prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Dorothy Perrault

Packin' Heat

Well, bless Heather Berg's 11-year-old heart for objecting to the advertisements for perfectly legal firearms in New Times (Letters, December 9). It is fitting and proper that such comments come from a preadolescent, as I have long described such "logic" as being puerile. The gun store/advertiser, like all federally licensed firearms dealers, must comply with some of the strictest laws and monitoring of any product sold in America. (That moronic, oft-repeated lie about how "a squirt gun is subject to more government regulations than a real gun" is so wrong that it's off the scale; and its unquestioned acceptance as being "fact" by gullible airheads would make Little Joe Goebbels beam like a proud papa, admiring the success of his axiom about "If you repeat a big lie often enough . . .")

Equating "guns" with "gun violence" is like equating the sale of cars with drunken driving. Just as automobile manufacturers, dealerships, designers, etc., deplore the illegal and dangerous misuse of their products, so do firearms manufacturers and legitimate dealers condemn the illegal use of guns. Arizona, with one of the best concealed-weapon permit laws in the country, has very strict and swift punishment for any illegal firearms use, and that is why less than one-half of 1 percent of Arizona concealed-carry permits have been revoked by DPS (and most of those because of clerical screw-ups, not firearms misuse) because firearms violence is not tolerated in the real world of responsible firearms ownership and use. This outstanding safety record is better than that of driver's licenses or just about any other safety-credentialed activity you can name. And that safety and law-abiding record is true in other states with similar "shall issue" concealed weapons, including Texas and Al Gore's Tennessee (but he changes the subject when that's pointed out). The very serious decision to use a deadly weapon in self-defense -- whether you choose a gun, a knife, a baseball bat -- is an entirely voluntary one, and anyone is free to choose whether to do so. But as a wise philosopher recently pointed out, "Promoting gun knowledge and safety while deploring violence is no more contradictory than is a school's having a wrestling or football team while forbidding illegal violence on campus." There are those, of course, who would prefer to do nothing other than jump up and down and wet their pants while being victimized by a violent assault, and they are free to do so. Unfortunately, they are the same denizens of that incestuous, inbred world of the cowards and sissies who insist that everyone else should be likewise craven. That won't happen. More guns are being sold, more guns are legally owned by Americans, more concealed-carry permits have been issued than ever before. From good ol' boys goin' huntin', to gentle, soft-spoken Shakespearean scholars and classical-music activists, good, responsible citizens have pushed gun ownership and firearms training way, way up, more than ever. Even people who have considered themselves non-joiners, loners, joined the NRA and other firearms groups in record numbers during 1999, and the numbers go up more each time a Rosie O'Donnell or a Bill Clinton repeat some bogus statistic about guns and gun owners. The oh-so-prissy and politically correct pompous asses -- who claim to have invented the word "diversity" and who claim to deplore bigotry and stereotyping -- are amazingly bigoted and un-diverse when it comes to stereotyping gun owners. And now it's backfiring on them.

Tom Burns

Bumper Crop

I read with much interest Dewey Webb's piece on Duncan Family Farms ("The Farm Side," December 9). My memories of that corner, Cotton Lane (not Road) and Indian School, go back to the early 1950s, when the "farm" was known as Waddell Ranch. My father left a job with the John Deere plant near Des Moines, Iowa, to take an equipment foreman position with the ranch in 1952 when I was 10 years old. The large corrugated metal shop where he and others worked on the farm equipment is still there, as are the ranch office building, covered parking for farm equipment and quarters for migrant and resident farm workers. The building right on the southwest corner was known then as Pugh Store.

The ranch was owned by D.W. Waddell, a New York financier, who also gave his name to the community of Waddell north of the ranch and to Waddell Dam at Lake Pleasant. Waddell secured the financing to finish the dam in the 1930s.

My brother, parents and I lived at Waddell's home for nearly a year. No, not in the big house, located about a mile west of Cotton Lane and just south of Indian School, but in the servants' quarters in the back. We took care of the huge yard in exchange for the temporary quarters. The Waddells spent much time in Europe and had furnished the big house with antiques purchased around the world.

Later, after moving to Glendale, where my parents purchased a home, I worked with my dad at the ranch, doing odd jobs and tromping down the load in cotton trailers during picking season. At that time, in addition to acres and acres of cotton, the ranch also had a cattle feed lot and stables.

The late Scott Libby, Waddell's son-in-law, has a school named after him in Litchfield Park. Libby actually managed the property for Waddell, who often visited and held forth from behind a huge desk in the office building.

Believe me, I was the envy of my buddies in Des Moines when I told them I was moving to a ranch in Arizona. I could ride whenever I wanted, and I even got to help with the branding. What more could a 10-year-old want?

DeWayne E. Smith

Malaprop Department

In the "Cruising for Cops" article in the December 2 issue, Brian Smith writes:

"Tempe cops working the Mill beat seem nonplussed by the Copwatchers. Most acknowledge that their jobs are matters of public record."

I love your newspaper, but if I see one more journalist (or editor, assuming one read the article) who uses the word "nonplussed" without having the slightest idea what it means, I think I'm going to scream. I seriously doubt that the Tempe police are "confused and bewildered to the point of not being able to speak or proceed."

Huck Kennedy
via Internet

My Favorite Martin

I have read with great interest the many responses to David Holthouse's dead-on appraisal of Ricky Martin ("Ricky-Ticky-Tacky," November 25). In their breathless, laughable attempts to find something about their hero to defend, they originally come off as hilarious, but now come off as sad, shallow MTV-heads.

Of all the responses, only one mentioned Holthouse's pondering of the commercialization of Ricky. And he actually seemed to trumpet it as a good thing! Admittedly, corporate sponsoring can be a tricky subject. Performers say it helps put on a better show while keeping ticket prices down, but fans say it's selling out. Yes, I know the whole business started with the Rolling Stones' 1981 tour, and the Stones have continued the practice. But as far as I know, the Stones never forced their fans to sit through a commercial before their performance.

A lot of the responses touched on David's wondering about Martin's sexuality. Critics have been wondering publicly about the sex lives of Mick Jagger, David Bowie, et al., for years. And their fans took it with a grain of salt, so why can't Ricky's? It's not like he's the pope.

All the responses claim that Ricky is a role model. To whom? Are there really other Latinos who aspire to be juggling talentless hacks, whose careers will (hopefully) be forgotten about in a few years?

Finally, one fan said Holthouse was being mean and selfish by paying for his ticket when he wasn't a fan. The way I see it, David Holthouse should be commended for doing a public service!

John Krieger

Credit Check

I was delighted to see "Blues Christmas" about George Bowman (Jack Rackham, December 16). However, I am disappointed with the media approach of dealing with musical groups. Over and over, the focus is merely on the singer and does not highlight the very persons who make the whole thing of music possible -- the musicians. George deserves all accolades he gets, but it pains me to see how the musicians who remain anonymous "friends" who gave their hearts to make the music sound good are ignored like they do not matter. It isn't so.

The fact that George Bowman and Friends won the Arizona Blues Showdown with only three rehearsals in November was a team effort. Without the extraordinary talents of guitarist Dean Murphy, keyboardist Moe Denham and drummer Robert Severino, the band and George would not be on their way to Memphis. Dean Murphy has played with almost every blues artist in Phoenix, from Midnite Blues to Big Pete Pearson, etc., and backed up national acts like Joe Houston, Carey Bell, and Larry "Texas Flood" Davis. The stats of the incredible Moe Denham on keyboards are enough for a whole New Times page filled with names like Victor Wooten, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Steve Cropper, Chester Thompson and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, names people may actually recognize. These two guys, Murphy and Denham, are world-class musicians whose only handicap is that they live in a cowtown world where people don't give a toot to acknowledge more than the front person in groups. These two men deserve as much praise as George, and they go unmentioned. If you are a great drummer like Robert Severino, you're even farther away from getting any recognition from the public since you're that much farther away from that thing that seems to determine who the band is, the almighty microphone.

I am lucky enough to be one of the "Friends," and I'm also bassist in Sistah Blue, a local blues groups. We deliberately take a democratic approach to the whole music and media thing cause bands are like cake. The singer might be the icing, but that's not what gives the cake its substance. You go without that sugar and flour that make the keyboard, the guitar or the harmonica, you try making it without those eggs and the yeast that are thrown into that batter in the form of bass and drums, and you've got yourself a formless mush.

I love George. He is a very humble human being. I call him Saint George sometimes. But I don't like this media treatment. The article mentioned Two Flavor Blues. This band was fronted by George Bowman and Scotty Spenner. But Scotty is not even mentioned. Scotty is a great guitarist and a great singer. All these great musicians who make these other people sound good remain in the dark. Who in Phoenix knows Tommy Washington, Mike Lyons, Jacky Tutt, Delmar Stewart, Kirk Hawley, Les Paul Rogue, Johnny Rapp, Vieto Robinson? Some of the very people who make the music happen sometimes end up living in a garage with a single light bulb, like late saxophonist Bob Tate. There's this incredible lineup of musicians who live in the shadows, and it saddens me. Because they all matter, and they do not get their accolades.

Kati Ingino


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