I think the public better unite to defeat the toll roads before we are stuck with them ("Carr Wrecks," Howard Stansfield, April 10). I have yet to hear anything but praise from the Arizona Department of Transportation about the concept; has anyone from ADOT contacted you, the taxpaying public, and asked for your opinion? Between tags, emissions, insurance and taxes already in place, I do believe that Arizona is already one of the most expensive places in the U.S. to own a car. Now, it wants you and me to pay $50 more for the privilege of driving on an easement that we are already paying for. (Besides double taxation, this does appear to be discrimination against the poor.)
If you pay any attention to the few sketchy plans released to the public, ADOT wants to put a toll section on U.S. 60 (Superstition Freeway) at Mill Avenue. I do believe this section of freeway, which has been in existence for most of my life, has already been paid for; ADOT has stated that toll roads were only being used for new sections and would become free or "public" roads when the private companies were "paid off" in about 15 years.
These companies have done great research and realized the incredible income potential because of our lack of public transportation. I hope the mayors of some of the cities involved realize the amount of traffic that will be dumped in otherwise residential areas as drivers like me exit these freeways in protest.
Howard Stansfield's hilarious article "Carr Wrecks" shows that it is not only our Arizona public and private leaders who are easily conned but also large corporations. The enthusiasm with which this well-exposed promoter is now greeted in faraway states shows how much sought after is the mythical free lunch. People believe what they want to believe.
After reflecting upon this "new" idea of toll roads, it struck me--why not privatize some of our existing highways! Highway maintenance is a big ongoing cost to taxpayers. Let's get the government out of the highway business. With privatized roads, there will be no government to blame for maintenance problems or congestion; efficient corporate management will speed motorists along; Arizona will get billions of dollars from selling them and we should get a lower gasoline tax. Allstate may not wish to buy any bonds to finance privatized highways, but Arizona has some famous bond salesmen! And if the bonds default, we keep the roads. What a deal!
Robert W. Zimmerer
For the Count
At long last, New Times presents the real story of Michael Carbajal ("A Long Day's Journey," Paul Rubin, April 10).
I had the pleasure of meeting the Carbajals in late 1989, and my respect for them has continued to grow. In spite of adverse publicity and ups and downs, they remained the same--genuine, hardworking and devoted to their family.
As for Michael Carbajal, he is a true warrior. I, too, believe that he will go out on top!
I can't believe I found a review of Gregory's Grill ("Fare to Remember," March 27)! I stumbled upon the restaurant accidentally a few weeks ago and went in to take a look. The owners were so incredibly nice and helpful that I made a mental note to try to come back another time when I had not already eaten.
I also thought it was a shame that they were in such a random location, but I read it's a previously lucky and successful one! Now that I have seen Howard Seftel's review, I can't wait to try Gregory's food. Keep up the good work. To this restaurant's owners: Keep up the refreshing optimistic attitudes!
Raining Cats and Dogs
I would like to commend New Times for the story "The Truth About Cats & Dogs" (Terry Greene Sterling, March 27). Lise LaBarre was bombarded by unsympathetic TV reporters and journalists when her home was raided because of allegations of animal cruelty. Anyone who has ever sheltered a lost or an unwanted animal knows that this is no easy feat. Because of overpopulation, more than 34,000 cats and dogs are put to death every year in shelters.
This tragedy could be prevented by spaying or neutering pets. It is, after all, our responsibility to take care of our pets for their entire lives, not to abandon them when they no longer "fit" into a new apartment, or when they're just not as cute now that they're not a kitten or a puppy. The easy thing to do when we notice a stray animal is to say, "It's not my pet, not my responsibility." Easy? Yes. Right? Wrong!
As for those lost or unwanted cats and dogs in our neighborhoods, let's give them a chance at life. I'm not saying take every stray into your home forever, but perhaps even just for a few days. This gives you a chance to contact lost-and-found organizations, as well as time to look for lost-and-found fliers in your neighborhood. If nobody claims this animal, it can be brought to a "no kill" shelter or, even better, it can be adopted out to a good home through a number of various organizations. Before condemning these animals to their certain deaths, please try to be humane by giving another one of God's creatures a chance at life.
Some may call Lise LaBarre crazy. I call her courageous!
Thank God for Terry Greene Sterling's article about Lisa LaBarre. I want everyone to understand that Dr. LaBarre is one of the most thorough and intelligent doctors I've ever had. She always is neat and clean, with her hair styled. I've also seen the boy, and he is a very polite, clean little boy who is obviously very happy.
It would be a great injustice to Dr. LaBarre and her patients should she lose her medical license. She has so much love for animals that she lives as she does and sacrifices a better life for herself. I love animals, too, so I admire Dr. LaBarre for her desire to do for others what few others will do. Give her credit as is her due, and ask the public for donations to help with expenses for the animals that need care.
Give her back her child, where he wants to be. Give her back to her patients who have needed her, too. Let Dr. LaBarre live her life as she desires. It's her right.
Ruth V. Moore
I would like to thank Terry Greene Sterling from the bottom of my heart for her story about Dr. Lise LaBarre. I adopted my dog several years ago from Dr. LaBarre. She was my pet angel and my best friend. I try to help Dr. LaBarre on Sundays all day so she might take a break. She works so very hard for those animals. She has the biggest heart of gold I've ever seen. Never in my life have I ever seen someone take all she has to nurse these creatures. It's a lot of hard work and she does it by herself.
I only wish I didn't live so far away. I would be there more often. I enjoy being around these dogs and caring for them. I have been there when the other agencies have tried to make Dr. LaBarre look bad. She is not like they talk about or write about. She is a remarkable lady, and I will always have the deepest respect for her and her efforts. I hope many will read New Times' story. I have told everyone I know how it really is out there.
Sharpen the Quills
After reading the responses to the Kim Boyden story from Kit Jahnke, Mark Hayzlett and the brave soul who wouldn't give his or her name, I come to the sad, sickening conclusion that there's no compassion in Arizona (Letters, April 10).
It doesn't matter what "condition" Boyden was already in, it was no excuse for another person to violate both her body and her home! I had a lady friend who was raped (the only reason she didn't press charges is because she's afraid of what this guy can do) and the anger I felt then came back after this story.
I wonder if Jahnke, Hayzlett and "Name withheld" wouldn't change their tune if they walked a mile in Boyden's shoes. Hayzlett in particular cares more about the damn dog!
I was outraged and sickened by the letters to the editor about the Kim Boyden story. I do not understand why all those who wrote put the focus exclusively on this woman's behavior and the mistakes she made. It is obvious from her injuries that what happened to her was something other than a drunken sexual encounter. The really frightening thing is that, no matter how a woman behaves, there is no immunity from violence, no way to guarantee that she will not be victimized.
Blaming the victim may make some people feel it could never happen to them, but they are living with a false sense of security. A great number of women are victimized at home, in their own beds. But what is really inexcusable about blaming the victim is that it takes the onus of responsibility off the perpetrator. Who forces rapists to rape women? Does the frustration of being "offered" sex and then denied it entitle one person to physically hurt another?
Taking a stand and insisting that people take responsibility for their actions has too often been the rationale for victimizing women twice. Instead, we should all take a stand to state firmly and finally that one person will never be allowed to get away with harming another, no matter what!
I understand Kim Boyden's outrage, fear and frustration as I, too, was a victim of a crime ("Not Victim Enough," Amy Silverman, March 27). You work your entire life to be honest and moral and to pay taxes, and the system is not there when you need it (and you don't need it very often).
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I changed my Ph.D. major away from law because I was so disenchanted with the legal system. We wonder why our courts are jam-packed busy, but we keep putting criminals back on the street to break the law again to put back into the system again and so on.
My heart goes out to Kim Boyden. It will take her a long time to find peace. Hopefully, she can find justice. I'm glad to see she did learn a valuable lesson. Protect yourself. Trust no one. Because sometimes no one else will help you except you! Even those who are sworn to protect and even paid to protect just don't and just don't care.
Mary K. Spangenberg