I am happy that the girl in Paul Rubin's article about Kevin Johnson is receiving counseling; it appears she needs it ("The Summer of '95," May 8). I work in the mental health field and would like to say that accusations should be taken seriously regardless of the person's motives. I hear all kinds of stories on a daily basis, and the majority of the stories are usually found false, but some are true.
It is a shame that public figures, lately athletes, are being targets of sexual-abuse allegations. Shame on those who lie to extort money from wealthy individuals. I work with people who have scars from sexual abuse, and it just breaks my heart. I hope that for Kim Adams' sake she is telling the truth, because if she is not, the guilt will ruin her life.
I feel for KJ, but if he is guilty of some misconduct, then he can receive counseling himself. This is coming from a great fan of the Phoenix Suns and of KJ. I have a poster of him at work, and I admire the guy for what he has given the unfortunate teens.
I hope that the truth comes out and this serious allegation is put to rest, as I also hope that both parties involved will walk away from this with a lesson learned.
Why is the name of the girl in the Kevin Johnson story being withheld? She is taking this allegation public at no risk to herself and every risk to the accused. I think her name and her mom's name should be released--that would certainly make her claims a little more believable.
Editor's note: As a rule, New Times protects the identities of victims of alleged sex crimes. Exceptions include cases in which the victims agree to be identified ("Not Victim Enough," March 27) or, in this particular case, the alleged victim makes good on a threat to initiate litigation.
I don't take the topic of child molestation lightly. However, it seems apparent that Kim Adams is emotionally disturbed and Kevin Johnson, for all his wonderful philanthropic efforts, should have applied the same tact he uses when dealing with the media and overzealous sports fans: red-flag caution.
KJ has a big heart but lacks judgment. Because he tries to live "righteously" does not mean he is infallible. So what, he has been exposed as having weaknesses. This is a lesson for KJ that he cannot save the world, but he should choose his battles wisely.
In the Know
I wanted to thank David Holthouse for the public apology to Phoenix's own Know Qwestion (Coda, May 1). I personally feel that KQ was all too deserving of a music award (category: hip-hop), and that's not just because the band members are beautiful and I love MC Cash, either--I promise!
I'm not trying to diss the Shinndiggs by any means, but I just have my doubts as to whether they would have won had the contest been truly fair. Though disappointed with Gibson's, I am thankful to New Times for even having KQ as a nominee. I, for one, believe the band will have its time to shine and its due far more than the 15 minutes of fame everyone is entitled to.
Dunce Cap and Gown
I am very disappointed with the appalling behavior of the Wilson Elementary School District's primary principal Jane Juliano and superintendent Roger Romero ("Little Drummer Boy," Terry Greene Sterling, May 1). Their actions on firing music teacher Keith Ballard, without a doubt, show that they are not qualified to hold these positions. What the teacher was asking for was not out of the question, inasmuch as the Wilson district is one of the richest in Arizona.
If Juliano and Romero were doing their jobs correctly, they would have seen one little boy's improvement in his grades, because of the opportunity he had. This is an injustice even to one little boy, not considering the many other children. Taking the drums away from him hurt him as much as it would hurt the principal and the superintendent to lose their jobs or their homes and cars.
How can the Wilson Elementary School District's Jane Juliano and her school board call themselves educators? They had a program that raised students' self-esteem and grades and gave them something to look forward to, then they pulled it out from under them.
This is not just about politics; it's about bigotry, plain and simple. Multicultural? Oh, my--that would mean the students would learn the music of other countries and races and maybe grow up to be tolerant and open-minded and respectful of one another's ethnicity and lifestyle--what a nightmare!
I grew up in a large inner city on the East Coast. I was fortunate to have a music teacher who dared us to dream and celebrate our diversity. This was the late '60s and early '70s, when the world was in a different kind of turmoil. This wonderful teacher allowed us to listen and learn about what was going on around us through the music--from Bob Dylan's protest songs to Tito Puente's salsa to the magic of George Gershwin.
Jane Juliano has succeeded in teaching the students a lesson they'll remember for a long time: mistrust, prejudice and intolerance. My generation's motto was to question authority--Juliano has taught these kids to ignore it completely.
Right Restaurant, Wrong Time
Howard Seftel goofed in his review of Minervas at Carefree Inn ("A Mother Time, a Mother Place," May 1). I've been there twice for lunch and once for dinner and was pleasantly surprised at the excellence of the meals. Service was enthusiastic and not wanting.
I, too, "collect" restaurants, but only for pleasure, not work. And my taste buds were nurtured in Brooklyn and those other boroughs of New York City. So far, I've agreed with Seftel's reviews, but here I differ.
Seftel should forget about brunch and try Minervas again. I think he'll be pleasantly surprised. I'm always looking for an excellent restaurant up north and there aren't many. Minervas, the new kid on the block, is a real find.
Robert Bear Miller
We do enjoy Howard Seftel's restaurant reviews. It is a must to pick up each New Times issue and check out his latest touts ("Profiles in Corkage," April 24). We will be trying Coup Des Tartes tonight! We do enjoy BYOBs so we can exercise our wine cellar other than at home.
Tanya and Jim Labrtew
The Hopi have a very valid and understandable argument ("Dark Days on Black Mesa," April 24, and "A People Betrayed," May 1, John Dougherty). I agree that it is time for the U.S. government (and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt) to champion Hopi rights and quit kneeling to the deep pockets. I do, however, have some concerns related to this issue.
I have spent a considerable amount of time along Colorado's front range, and I have observed, firsthand, the absolute devastation to the landscape. Strip-mining scars left a hundred years ago are still unsightly reminders of how the dollar reigns supreme. This type of big business has destroyed, and still is destroying, our beautiful country.
Even more disturbing is the method by which the coal is transported. "Slurry" sounds less disgusting than it is. How about corporate diarrhea, or the big-business bowel movement? To take possibly the most pristine water supply in the country and mix it with coal to save a little cash turns my stomach. With all the Superfund sites across the country, one would think something else would be used at any cost.
In the article about the Hopi water crisis, the water-rights attorney for the Navajo Nation asserts that Peabody Western Coal Company's mining of water is not causing an adverse impact on groundwater resources of the Hopi and neighboring Navajo.
Stanley Pollack, who is not an expert hydrologist, claims that the diminished flows from springs and washes is because of "improper placement of Hopi municipal wells rather than Peabody's industrial wells." This interesting conclusion is in direct contradiction to the 1984 Navajo Nation Water Resources Department analysis.
The report notes "water levels dropping steadily in all but two of USGS' [U.S. Geological Survey's] observation wells," and recommended that "every effort should be made to encourage Peabody to research and develop alternative water resources of inferior quality than the Premium N-aquifer water presently being pumped in excess of annual recharge." (Writer's emphasis added.)
The many grassroots Navajo living around the Peabody leasehold area share the same observation and concerns regarding diminishing water resources and deteriorating quality of N-aquifer water, as do the Hopi. New Times is to be commended for bringing to the public the serious water problems and blatant environmental injustices occurring in northern Arizona to North America's oldest living civilization.
Embroiled in Oil
This is in response to David Holthouse's column about the New Times Music Awards Showcase (Coda, April 24). While I can't claim to have been at all the shows that Holthouse obviously did not enjoy, I was at Fat Tuesday for the Oil show. Apparently, Holthouse was too wrapped up in the "look" of Oil to listen to its music.
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What he didn't say is that people were having a good time, loving Oil's music. Isn't that what it's all about? Oil was smokin'--who cares what the band members looked like as long as they delivered, and they did. Oil has a great sound which, by the look of the 500 or so people there, is going to take it far.
I don't understand why former KTVK-TV Channel 3 weather forecaster Jim Howl has set his sights so low as to run for governor of Arizona (Flashes, April 10). He appears to meet the Constitutional requirement for president: sexual-harassment allegations.