Is That a Banana in Your Pocket or Just a U.S. Senator?
Senator John McCain is promoting the Spur Cross public land swindle in Scottsdale for a pal of his from Cincinnati--the wealthy manager of Chiquita bananas. Amy Silverman points out that Mr. Chiquita is a major contributor to U.S. presidential campaigns ("Saving Private Interests," August 6).

McCain would now demand that the five forest services in Arizona sacrifice 120,000 to 350,000 acres of Forest Service lands to please Senor Chiquita. Forest Service officials protest that Forest Service lands are for the benefit of all the citizens of this nation, not just the economic benefit of McCain's pals.

But McCain is well accustomed to intimidating and coercing Forest Service officials as he did during the Mt. Graham fiasco in 1989. Forest Service officials can look forward to the same McCain bludgeoning as they received in 1989 from McCain regarding Mt. Graham. On May 18, 1989, the GAO documented McCain calling into his office Jim Abbott, forest supervisor of the Coronado National Forest. Abbott had been attempting to follow federal environmental law on Mt. Graham to McCain's displeasure. McCain told Abbott he had better shape up because he, McCain, ". . . had an understanding that the USFS would not stand in the way and would facilitate the Mt. Graham project." The GAO went on to describe the legendary McCain temper: "McCain said: 'If he [Abbott] did not cooperate on this project he would be the shortest tenured forest supervisor in the history of the Forest Service.'"

It is against the law for a U.S. senator, or anyone else, for that matter, to obstruct a public official in carrying out the laws of the nation. The laws McCain violated were 18 U.S.C. 1505 ("Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies and committees") and 18 U.S.C. 371 ("Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States"). No one has yet had the courage to take this lawbreaking U.S. senator to court.

Will McCain do it again? Who knows? But here is a man that willfully violates U.S. laws to help his developer friends. This is not a nice, ethical, law-abiding citizen. That such a temper-ridden lawbreaker is planning to run for president or vice-president is alarming.

Elise Lauster

Accolades for Amy Silverman on her exemplary and definitive article. It has clarified to some extent the shell game involving the Spur Cross Ranch issues.

Ticking-clock syndrome and grab-bag swaps should make a savvy public back off from these high-pressure tactics.

We, the silent majority, hope Senator McCain, et al., will be able to ascertain the difference in the color green, chlorophyll vs. paper. We don't want to say shame, shame, Senator McCain.

Jeanne Lefkowitz

I just finished reading your article on the Spur Cross Ranch joke, and one thing that I wish to say is: Don't stop there, go out for more.

I am tired of seeing the desert lands torn up to build houses, resorts and golf courses for the people from back East. Back in 1989 I returned to Arizona (which I'd left in 1959) after living in England for 20 years.

Since returning here, I have seen so much of the desert disappear and put off limits to the people that it makes me sick. I used to go out into the area around Pima Road, Dynamite Road and 136th Street to relax and get away from the city. The stars in the sky at night out there were something to behold. The wildlife to be seen was great. At night in the desert it is quiet--only the calls of the animals. Now that is gone. Golf courses, houses and resorts are all over the damn place and they won't let you on the land that has not been developed, and the state won't let you walk on the land without paying a fee for it. This so-called State Trust Land belongs to the people of this state. It seems that the federal and state and local governments have forgotten that they don't own a damn thing or rule this country; it is the people that own every stone, every drop of water, every tree and every blade of grass in this country, not the governments.

John W. Devins
via Internet

Abdiel Burgueno Jr.
Your article "Human Target" (Barry Graham, August 13) was superior. As much as we all tend to judge, Abdiel was as genuine as they come. He was not flaky. (And though I knew him less than two years, neither do I remember him as frequently shoeless. This may not mean much to you, but Richard Ruelas from the Arizona Republic seemed to be unnaturally preoccupied by it. I hope he didn't lose any sleep.)  

Forgive me if I sound bitter. For nearly two weeks, sweet Abdiel has been 'The Machete-Wielding Madman.' It seems that everyone is talking about THE INCIDENT. Water-cooler conversations. It's actually sickening to hear their conjecture, their blame, what THEY would have done.

As much as I want to shout from the mountaintops that Abdiel was nothing like they have heard, my voice--ALL our voices--are not so loud or far-reaching as yours seems to be. You have done him justice.

Katrina Sewell
via Internet

First, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family of Abdiel Burgueno Jr., the young man killed by Scottsdale police. It is always a tragedy to lose a family member, no matter how it happens.

I am writing to point out that Barry Graham has, in his undying effort to disparage police officers, once again missed the point. The title of his story alone suggests that the officer involved was practicing his marksmanship. This is an insult! People who enjoy killing other people do not get to become cops. Furthermore, the suggestion that the officers should have tried to subdue Burgueno when he rushed them with the machete is ridiculous, regardless of how much he weighed or how young he was. I guarantee that my 110 lb. sister-in-law could rush a 200 lb. cop with a steak knife, and if not met with deadly force, could very well kill him before he hit the ground.

Sgt. Popp's use of deadly force was reactionary. Maybe we should focus on what circumstances might have led Burgueno to make this fatal mistake, instead of painting him as the innocent victim of a trigger-happy police officer. Finally, Sgt. Popp: Thanks for being out there. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with this situation which is, I am sure, not an easy one for you either.

Steve Clark

Professional Opinion
Hats off to Phoenix New Times. You accomplished something rarely seen in the media: You humanized a porn star ("The Best Laid Plans of Nikki Lynn," Brian Smith, July 30)! By giving equal time to both the sensationalistic aspects of Nikki's career, as well as her rather all-American home life, you painted a picture of an interesting, complex and vibrant human being. Porn star or no porn star. I know Nikki well--have worked with her often--and you've captured her essence in a most informative and entertaining way.

James DiGiorgio
Blue Light Pictures
Northridge, California
via Internet

With regard to your article on Nikki Lynn, a few curiosities were aroused. First, when she's asked if she has any moral dilemma with her profession, she can only say "I only treat people the way I would want to be treated . . . and that's the end of the story. I don't go deeper into it. . . ." Hmm, what kind of answer is that? Sounds to me as if she wants to deny that there even are any moral questions involved.

Secondly, when her husband is asked what his reaction was the first time she "acted" with one of her male co-stars, he answers much the same. "I just handled it, I just handled it. . . ." Sounds like he's still trying to handle his jealousy he obviously feels every time she has to make a "business" trip to L.A.

I think your article unintentionally points out the many problems in American families today. Girl grows up with alcoholic father and indifferent mother, meets a man from the same background, and they try to pass themselves off as a normal family from Kingman when she's in the porn industry!

It's too bad that people today have such a hunger for money and fame, that it's clouding their judgment of what's right and wrong. Shame on New Times, too, for painting a picture of this family as normal when it's not! Especially with Nikki Lynn at such a high risk for HIV.

I pray for Nikki Lynn, her husband and their kids, who'll grow up learning what their mother does for a living. And hopefully they'll change, and realize what truly is important!


I am writing this e-mail in response to "An Angry True 'Mom'" (Letters, August 13).

If she is feeling insecure about Nikki Lynn, then that is her problem. I feel that if her husband and other family members and the town of Kingman don't have a problem with it, then why should she? Maybe if this woman would go to a titty bar, then maybe her life at home wouldn't be so dull as to sit around and complain about other women's jobs when she doesn't have one herself.  

She also stated that women have such low self-esteem because of this. Well, maybe she does, but she does not represent all women. I have plenty of friends that watch pornos and also go to the titty bars with their hubbies, and we don't have low self-esteem. She needs to accept the fact that no matter where she lives there is going to be another woman like Nikki Lynn. As far as Nikki Lynn being an airbrushed makeup queen with implants and that she could not be a good mother--that is bull. There are lots of moms with implants.

It also angered me to hear that the only time she will pick up New Times is to burn it. Well, it is her loss. There are lots of other people that will still read it. You are number one in my book.

Regina Done

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