I bumped into Brad Singer ("End of a Record Run," Gilbert Garcia, May 21) several years ago and was immediately endeared by his playfulness and utter lack of pretense. His life was busy and already crowded with people, but he made room for our friendship. He loved introducing music amateurs like myself to the good stuff, but we didn't really talk about music that much. We talked about life. He relished certain aspects of his success, but the endeavors closest to his heart faltered.
He struggled hard to find happiness, every day a battle against lupus and depression. Despite this, I never once saw him give out anything less than patience, generosity and humor. He was the kind of friend who knew my feelings by the tone of my voice, made the chicken soup himself when I was ill and never let me miss the humor in any given tragedy.
The few regrettable times I let him down, he responded with love and complete absolution. I know he would be touched by the tremendous outpouring I witnessed at his funeral and in the press. I also know he would add his exemplary dark humor and smartass commentary to this whole death extravaganza. I can only imagine what kind of devilishness he's up to now.
Down for the Account
It truly disgusts me that there would be no repercussion from a criminal standpoint to an accounting firm that participated in guiding its clients (who place their trust in it) into investments that it would subsequently profit from ("Accountants Payable?" Amy Silverman, May 14). I know there has been no case that was tried; however, it certainly does appear via the firm's settlement of a civil suit for an undisclosed amount that it participated in some way.
State rules are quite clear on this issue. Commissions at that time were not allowed, and would never be allowed, under the circumstances described in your article, i.e., profiting by helping to set up fictitious limited partnerships, directing clients to invest in those partnerships and being paid to prepare the tax returns.
I don't understand why the public trusts so implicitly that accountants are honest and are working toward their best interest. It seems clear to me that over the past 10 years, there have been significant cases indicating that many times it is just the opposite.
I know that every CPA is not a crook. There are plenty of hardworking and ethical accountants out there, too. It is disappointing as a CPA and personally to have worked so hard for a certificate that means so little to so many. Their actions put a black mark on all accountants, and there should be strong ramifications to the firm and all principals if the allegations are correct. However, it appears there will be no action taken at all.
Just because others are doing it doesn't make it the right thing to do. These people know that, too, but greed has made them rationalize their actions.
Jennifer Haslip, CPA
I met Sam Campana ("Sam I Am," Kate Nolan, May 14) when I was playing her (and Ann Symington) in the most recent version of GUV (The Emperor Strikes Back). I found her to be kind, hardworking, personable and highly intelligent, with a fantastic sense of humor.
So, I'd like to take a moment to explain "spin" to those who may not have lives in the public eye. As an Arizona native, I've been involved in theater for 19 years. I've been in some great shows that have been smeared by critics, and some horrible shows that got rave reviews. Many times, articles in the paper are based more on the mood or preconceived notions of the writer than they are on the subject. But, once it's in print, right or wrong, it's given credibility. Thousands of people will read about the play (or the mayor) in the paper, without having firsthand knowledge.
When your name is frequently in the paper and you never know what's going to follow, you have to learn not to take it too seriously. You just do your job to the best of your ability and learn to dodge the bullets. Sam Campana is one of the few people who can do it with a smile. She tries to find the positive side of everything. So she's portrayed as a blonde bimbo who's full of bullshit.
That couldn't be further from the truth. But it sells papers.
I've seen Sam at work. She studies the issues she'll be voting on. She honestly cares about the constituents. Ultimately, while her decisions can't possibly please everyone, she does what she feels is best for the majority. Isn't that what we elect politicians to do?
Ironically, when I met Sam, I was expecting her to be the person described in "Sam I Am." Instead, I met a refreshing, lively breath of fresh air. In fact, she's the most unpolitical politician I've ever met. Because she's real.
Nobody's perfect. There isn't a politician on earth who can make significant changes without losing votes. So, we have a choice. We can look for people who will tell everyone exactly what they want to hear and accomplish nothing. Or we can look for people who will do what they think is right and pay the consequences. The latter is a rare and dying breed. But Sam's one of them.
It's about time everyone stopped talking about her hair color and started talking about her achievements.
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SHOW ME HOW
Michael Lacey's comment ("Ambient Derelicts," May 7) regarding Larry Naman ("They say Larry Naman is a transient with a history of mental illness. Myself, I don't know about that for certain") and his interaction with Mary Rose Wilcox got me to thinking. I saw Mary Rose on a local news show, and she made the claim that she was elected by the people to do a job, and she wasn't going to let anybody with a gun prevent her from doing that job. Apparently, Wilcox has missed the point, in much the same way that Larry Naman missed his intended target. See, Mary, Larry took a shot at you precisely because you failed to do the job for which you were elected. When Phoenix voters were asked if they wanted to foot the bill for Jerry Colangelo's latest moneymaking toy, they said no. Even if only 51 percent of the people said no, then Wilcox needs to understand that that's a majority, and she's supposed to support that decision. The saddest part about this whole thing is that, if he ever gets released, Naman would probably do far more to help promote democracy and representative government than Mary Rose Wilcox will do, even (or maybe especially) if she was elected to office for the next 20 years.
In a profile of Scottsdale mayor Sam Campana ("Sam I Am," Kate Nolan, May 14), Campana's salary from Arizonans for Cultural Development was incorrectly reported. Her annual salary is $16,800. ACD is a not-for-profit that advocates for the arts and nurtures the state's artists and arts groups. Its annual budget is less than $150,000. Nolan regrets the error.