Amy Silverman's smokin' piece about the trio of terrorists taunting teenagers to trash tobacco is terrific ("Mrs. Good Retch," April 24)!
The lead protagonist, Amy Dominy--backed up by Dave Robb and Shawn Eichenauer--deserves a carton of credit for her creativeness. And the Department of Health Services is entitled to a pack of praise for presenting such a pukin' promotion. It's sure to have a Dominy-no effect!
The allegations that my client Alejandro Rodriguez Canelos is involved in drug smuggling and money laundering are false ("Symington Family Partner Under Suspicion," March 20, and "Visa Granted," April 17, John Dougherty). It is also untrue that United States law enforcement agencies "suspect" him of any such involvement.
In fact, only a few days after New Times made its allegations, the State Department issued Canelos an unlimited entry visa into the United States, as it has been doing for many years. Issuance of the visa was based upon a review of "all information available pertaining to (Canelos') activities," and is clearly a complete repudiation of the New Times allegations.
One would think that, after the terrible injustice done to Richard Jewell (the man falsely accused of the Olympic bombing in Atlanta, Georgia), the media would become more cautious about reporting unsubstantiated "suspicions" leaked by unidentified "government sources."
But at New Times, the zeal to demonize Governor J. Fife Symington III apparently outweighs any consideration of justice and fairness for the people it writes about. I suppose Canelos can take comfort from the fact that, unlike in the Jewell affair, not a single other news organization has found New Times' supposed "revelations" to be worthy of publication.
Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld
Editor's note: A significant difference between our stories and the coverage of Richard Jewell was that Mr. Jewell was never denied a visa to enter the United States, as Mr. Canelos was. New Times stands by both Canelos stories.
Congratulations to Amy Silverman on a very well-rounded profile of Secretary of State Jane Hull ("Ascent of a Woman," April 17). Her work is proof that a reporter can write a balanced, informative political story without having it turn mean along the way.
One nit, however: Most people inside and outside legislative District 8 believe that the reason Speaker Joe Lane was defeated in the September 1988 Republican primary was because he was the one who took the initial steps (hiring Bill French to investigate, etc.) in what became the impeachment and ouster of then-governor Evan Mecham.
Speaker Lane, whose manner recalls the days when deals were settled with a handshake and a fella could go to the bank on another man's word, never could have been called a "supporter" of Evan Mecham.
M. V. Moorhead's review of Angel Baby was certainly far better than the ones that appeared elsewhere ("Crazy in Love," April 10). I wonder if those reviewers had even seen the film. They seemed eager to make it fit the Benny & Joon mold, then became upset when it took seriously some of the real-life consequences of mental illness.
I don't have Moorhead's experience as a counselor in group homes, but I do have a stepdaughter who's been a resident of such facilities. I agree with Moorhead that mental illness is something far broader and more difficult than misunderstood nonconformity. I wonder, though, about his denial that it has any romantic aspect. The basis of Romanticism is that expression of emotion, to the extent of madness, is of value. And my stepdaughter and her friends in treatment are capable of great, if highly erratic, charm and insight.
Moorhead does not mention an aspect of Angel Baby that struck me immediately: how much more stable and consistent mental-health services are in Australia compared with Phoenix. Missing from the film is a funding agency (the ComCare Regional Behavioral Health Authority in Maricopa County) that sends out recent college graduates to tell treatment professionals to make use of libraries and recreation centers to care for crazy children and uses every trick in the book to discharge clients early and avoid paying for their treatment. More dead teenagers (and parents) are the inevitable outcome of ComCare's current policies. These policies are, in turn, the direct result of the "cost-cutting measures" imposed by the criminals who run the state of Arizona.
My compliments to New Times for Tony Ortega's article about Channel 15 and Darya Folsom ("Chit Happens," April 3). Her leaving is a great loss to our community. I personally feel that what KNXV-TV did to her was unprofessional and really quite stupid. Sure, she is an attractive news anchor, but Darya Folsom seems to bring life to the stories. She is a talented person, and this viewer will miss her greatly!
I am a former employee, and the "old News 15" was anything but a "utopian" environment. It was more like an inmate work program for those of us not in good graces with then-news director Susan Sullivan. I was a member of the production department, and it was always a case of us versus them. By not being a part of the newsroom, we were deemed second-class citizens.
Production used its people mercilessly. So it's really no wonder people left in droves, and are still leaving. It's a spirit-breaking company. Sure, to be fair, the station did do some good work and pushed the convention of news reporting in some areas, but just because something is different or over the top does not necessarily mean it's good. The truth be told, it was a sham then and it's a sham now.
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Music for Music's Sake
Rock 'n' roll in the Valley has always been about rebellion. From the very beginning, rock artists lay themselves on the line, displaying the pain, emotion and triumphant power that come from living on society's margins, and all for a little applause, a little recognition.
I am grateful that I will never know the psychic hell the late Doug Hopkins went through to create his art. I will never have the courage and conviction that it must take for people like Peter Gunnstrap, David Hockhouse and Selena Dominic to get up each day, confront their thinning hair in the mirror and continue to "rock to live, live to rock."
David Holthouse responds: And remember, Derek, I'm not just a member of the New Times music section's hair club for men--I'm also the editor.