New Times is cruel and unfair to exploit Kevin Johnson's life and career with an unproved accusation ("The Summer of '95," Paul Rubin, May 8). And to imply that KJ's career as a mentor to children was nothing but a sick game is ignorant. It is his right to live his life without complications and accusations. After all, no charges were filed because of a lack of evidence.

Newspapers and reporters, unfortunately, would love to put celebrities' lives in the public eye, usually in a negative way. Any respect or interest that I may have had for New Times, I can guarantee, is gone.

Lisa Ortiz

Maybe it happened like this: Kevin Johnson meets a teenage girl and finds her irresistibly attractive. After that ill-fated night in the guesthouse, a close assessment of the situation caused him to withdraw from her, and she, with a long history of desertion, insecurity and mistrust, took his action as another betrayal.

Or else: KJ had the misfortune to fall in love with a 16-year-old girl. He exhibited very bad judgment. She was troubled, even unstable. I do not think KJ harmed her with his ill-advised physical attentions. Probably, though, he did hurt her because he repeated a painful pattern all too familiar. She's hurt and betrayed, and trying to make herself feel better.

Too bad for KJ and his poor judgment. And too bad for this girl whose therapist has not helped her understand that "getting even" is not "getting better."

Cathy Pitts

Kevin Johnson has the good sense not to take a chance at getting caught doing something so crazy as what Kim Adams alleges he did. He knows he has an awful lot to lose and nothing to gain. People just have to realize that there are some who are really above such things. I, for one, believe KJ is one of those special people.

Raymon Wier
via Internet

Dear John Daryl Letter
KFYI-AM (910) talk host John Dayl is a full quarter Choctaw Indian, and perhaps he understands the lessons of North American history, though politically correct writer Tony Ortega dismisses Dayl as a stupid xenophobe ("Beware of the Dogma," May 8). Dayl is being honest when he says that he was merely being sarcastic when he made his "boys will be boys" statement in anticipation of the minority apologists. Ortega better read up on his PC literature, as he seems to have a problem with Dayl's assertion that "poor" is just a state of mind. Dayl has often said that he grew up poor, but never knew it.

Once Ortega begins to quote Tom Leykis, he loses all credibility. As a talk-radio host, Tom Leykis is so obnoxious that he makes Howard Stern look classy. Whereas Dayl's shows often have callers who sound racist, and, occasionally, Dayl's politics make no sense or he puts his foot in his mouth, Leykis and his callers are soulless androids. Ortega should stop blaming right wingers for all the evil in the world.

Robert Barber Jr.

If Tony Ortega had tried to do a balanced article and just report the news, he would not have done that hit piece on John Dayl. Ortega quotes Dayl as saying that he couldn't get excited about the 15-year-old girl getting raped by 18 thugs. Someone who listened to Dayl would know that he often demonstrates absurdity by being absurd. He will often pretend to take a position on an issue that is completely opposite from his real position.

He will exaggerate the point in order to show just how absurd it is. That is what he was doing when he was saying that he couldn't get excited about it, that "boys will be boys." If Ortega listened to him, both before and after that bit, he would know that Dayl wants those animals found and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

New Times is not a serious newspaper. It is a trashy tabloid that caters to the liberals in the Valley. The reason there are so many conservatives in Valley media is because there are a lot of conservative people in the Valley. People buy a newspaper that has conservative columnists. KFYI does better than its liberal competitors because more people want to hear a viewpoint based on real life rather than hear a bunch of people whining about everything.

Jim Nantz
via Internet

Battered Up
Thanks to Amy Silverman and Jeremy Voas for keeping the heat on Jerry Colangelo ("Playing Soft Ball," May 8). Just a couple of things about the baseball stadium I never hear mentioned by the mainstream press or Colangelo and company.

With the taxpayers ostensibly "owning the stadium," Colangelo pays no property tax! Why doesn't New Times have the county build it a building to exacting specs, throw in about 25 percent of the cost and use the building tax free for eternity? It could also brag that, unlike the Arizona Diamondbacks, it will never hire anyone right out of high school for millions of dollars.

The Phoenix Firebirds must leave. What is the cost to the City of Scottsdale? If it's spun as a minor loss, that would expose the Cactus League as the taxpayer-funded fraud that it is. Humh!

Judge Robert Myers ruled against the incensed citizens of Scottsdale who filed enough signatures to force a vote on the Phoenix Coyotes practice ice rink. Judge Myers is also the one who ruled against 131,000 Arizona voters who wanted to vote on the baseball stadium! Keep the heat on those bums. Colangelo owns this town, and New Times is the only opposing voice in town.

Dan Judge

Musically Declined
As a teacher in the Wilson Elementary School District, I think Terry Greene Sterling's column sells Lee Holmes and many children short ("Little Drummer Boy," May 1). The children that I and others have worked with have learned to look beyond where they are and to dream and aspire. More important, these children are learning not only to look out for their own needs, but for the needs of others.

Jane Juliano is the best principal this particular primary school could have. She loves this population and gives tremendous amounts of support to her staff. In 1995, Wilson School District's music program won an award from the City of Phoenix, long before Keith Ballard came to "build up" the program.

There are many different methods of teaching music, and the character of the instructor is important. Anyone who puts his or her program ahead of relationships with students, peers and families and those in authority runs the risk of tremendous hurt. It is, in the least, arrogant, self-serving and, in the long run, hurtful to the children.

I can't help but think that Greene Sterling's main source of information may lack the credibility to tell this story truthfully. Keith Ballard has caused a great deal of hurt and to this day continues to play out a vendetta. In his zeal, he has, unfortunately, lost sight of what matters the most: the respect and support of the community of which he was a part.

Curtis Greenberg


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