Killers Behind Badges
I'm still reeling from David Holthouse's column ("Murder on Madison: The Norberg Remix," April 15), although I'm still not quite sure why. Both Scott Norberg's tragically ironic letter to his father and Holthouse's brilliant juxtaposition of Norberg's words with the testimony of his murder are enough to set any rational mind awhirl. Even one "isolated incident" is too much.

Kudos to New Times for standing up to the Joke Arpaio Flack Machine, and to David Holthouse on this Pulitzer-level piece.

Hugh Lander
via Internet

Just finished reading David Holthouse's story on Scott Norberg. Outstanding job!

Lieutenant Roy Reyer (retired), MCSO
via Internet

"Murder on Madison" was an excellent column and a tribute to a young man who was wasted by Joe Arpaio! Keep up the good work.

Cal Taggart
Sun City West

I just finished reading David Holthouse's column on the Norberg case wherein I came across the following passage: "A fat guard with stupid eyes grabs Norberg's foot, then drags him down a hall and into a cell, beyond the camera's view. A bullish female guard follows."

My question is this: Is it New Times' editorial policy to allow discriminatory statements against people with weight problems, poor eyesight and alternative sexual orientations? I found the article in question to be sufficiently damning of the sheriff's office and the individuals involved without having to stoop to the level of name-calling. A writer of greater talent would have found another way of making the same point without sinking to such a low level. Moreover, an editorial policy of sufficient strength and character would catch the shortcomings of the writing staff before wholesale insults are delivered to groups of people who have no control over their physical appearance, eyesight or sexual orientation.

John M. McBrien
Alexandria, Virginia

My thanks go out to David Holthouse for an outstanding column on the murder of Scott Norberg. I didn't know Scott, but I wish I had, and I think about him a lot. The story brought tears to my eyes and was one of the best stories I have ever read in New Times.

David Hoke

David Holthouse's story about the murder of Scott Norberg is a frightening and powerful example of Joke Arpaio's criminal organization at its finest! I was appalled at the details of this sick man's demise. As a community, it is up to us to take action against this barbaric Hun and get him out of his position.

Lisa Woodard
via Internet

Sub Serbia
I read "Expatriotism" (Nightwatch, Brian Smith, April 8) with interest. Getting all sides of the story is always good. But like so much else in life, there are three sides to this story: their side, the other side and, someplace else, the truth.

I'm glad these American Serbs can protest and try to explain their side. It is a right more Americans need to exercise. But the self-serving, disingenuous statements given by the Serb protesters are more than I can handle.

A common Serbian complaint is that "ethnic cleansing" is going on by both sides. That is somewhat true; there are no angels in that area. However, it is the Serbs with the advanced weapons, it is the Serbs who invented the term, it is the Serbs who started this mess by trying to build a "Greater Serbia" by expelling or killing everyone who isn't a Serb in the region.

Something the Phoenix protesters didn't mention was that the KLA started because the Serbian ruler was setting up an apartheid system similar to the one South Africa just got rid of. Except it was based on if you are Serbian, not skin color. The Albanian Kosovars were systematically losing their rights to education, getting loans or even jobs. The Serbian government was forcing these people to second-class status. The KLA is a reaction to that the same way the ANC or the IRA was a reaction to their repressive governments.

Does that make the violence right? No, but it shows that the Serbs aren't as blameless as the protesters would have us believe. They are, in fact, the instigators who started the violence by trying to make Serbia "pure." Serbs always claim everyone hates Slobodan Milosevic. I find that very hard to believe. If everyone hated him, then how did Milosevic get elected president? How come the army obeys his commands and commits murder, rape and genocide because he ordered it? Why weren't these people protesting to have him removed from office?

James Brucker

Gag Reflex
I loved your "Arm the Homeless" spoof. It is one of the best April Fool's jokes I have ever seen in my entire life.

Name withheld by request  

Piano Mangle
Serene Dominic's Billy Joel article ("It's Still Rotten Joel to Me," April 8) was dead on. I was beginning to worry that I was the only person who thought Joel's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction more than just a bit ludicrous, as much for his recent renunciation of R&R in favor of modern classical composition (except when it comes time to earn a few tour bucks, eh, Bill?) as for his list of dubious musical achievements, which Dominic so kindly provided. Watching this thieving, ungracious, squat toad on TV make his acceptance speech became particularly appalling when he launched into a highfalutin twist of the "some of my best friends are Negroes" rant. No doubt impressionable viewers are now reckoning that such rhetoric will pass among polite company if a public icon such as Mr. The Entertainer utilizes it.

Oh, wait, someone already has--didn't an Arizona pol recently defend her anti-Semitic remarks with "some of my best friends are Jewish"?

Fred Mills

Forked Tongue
I just wanted to let the powers that be know that Howard Seftel's weekly restaurant review is one of the best features in New Times. I recently relocated to Scottsdale from San Francisco and am sure glad that there is a food critic here with some good taste, love for ethnic food and a sense of humor. He has helped to lessen my panic about moving to the desert a bit with his witty and insightful reviews that have helped guide me to some good eatin' in this sprawling valley.

Rose Brownson

Plot Boiler
This letter is in response to a review, in the March 25 issue of your paper, by Robrt L. Pela, of a play titled Insurrection: Holding History. I don't know anything about Mr. Pela's background, but he can't count, he doesn't know much about history and he is obviously confused about theatrical genres, among other things.

I am a member of the cast, and I would like to clear up some of the confusion for Mr. Pela and anyone who may have read the review. First of all, my character only says "fuck" two times, not "at least half a dozen," and the part was not written for "an elderly woman." It would have been funny if it had been said by someone younger. Second, for Mr. Pela's edification, Nat Turner is not "an icon of black literature"; he is a prominent figure in black history-American history. Finally, the play is a farce, a satire--anyone with any intelligence would know that.

The bottom line is that Mr. Pela simply did not get it. And it would have been more honest if he had just admitted that instead of reviewing the play as if it were something it's not. It is not a musical. It is not a history play. It is not a play about gay activism. It is a play about the relationship of the past to the future in the life of a young black man, and how knowing your past can empower you. I don't know what prevented Mr. Pela from getting it. One possibility is a closed mind. Is that a requirement for being a critic?

Joyce Gittoes

Solid Goal
Kudos to Paul Rubin on his feature article regarding the Phoenix Coyotes ("A Season on the Rink," April 22). I grew up in a professional hockey family and, being a Valley native, I am proud to have an NHL franchise right in my backyard. I never got to see my father play because of a career-ending injury, and I now at least get to see my favorite player, Rick Tocchet, whom I have followed for more than 14 years, take the ice right here in my own town.

I have had the pleasure of meeting members of the team on many occasions and I must say how pleasantly surprised I have been to see how they interact with their fans. They are not only the unsung heroes of the rink, but they are nice guys as well.

Robin Cote

Stadium Checker
Thank you for the refreshing honesty in your report "House of Cards" (John Dougherty, April 8). It seems so obvious to many of us, but it helps to have someone in the press point out that this emperor is bare-assed naked.

I've heard the story of a man who thinks this is a good idea because he hates having to explain to his friends where he lives because "Mesa isn't on the map." I would suggest that he move to Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami or New York. Let them find him there. Most of us who bought homes in Mesa did so wishing it were less on the map than it is.  

The only matter in your excellent article that I would even remotely take exception to is the apathy of the immediate neighbors. Most of us are not indifferent to this grandiose plan. We do not want to lose our park, with its view of the mountains (when you can see them through the brown haze from the excessive traffic). We do not want our streets to become the extended parking lot and race track for those who don't want to funnel out with the crowd onto the 202 .

And above all, we don't want to pay for it.
Catherine Hulihan

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