Snakes Alive
I was dismayed by Dewey Webb's article about rattlesnakes ("Rattle Royale," July 4). I am not a wild-eyed animal activist. I've never burned any laboratories, but I do have a feeling for animals. From the tone of Webb's article, it seems this writer condones cruelty, vivisection, just unbelievable ugliness of people toward animals.

I don't really understand that. Why Webb and New Times would do a feature about people who torture animals is really beyond me. I know there'll be letters from other folks about this. I'm just an individual. I don't belong to any group, but I think impressionable, young teens or college kids who are just forming some sense of morality reading this unfortunate--and not at all amusing--article will get the sense that because rattlesnakes can hurt people or other animals, they deserve to be tortured and killed frivolously. I don't agree with that.

I'm sorry the writer chose to adopt the tone he did. I don't know whether he sees the connection, but cruelty to animals leads to cruelty to people and just degrades human beings. God bless Webb, and I hope he grows up.

Rick Sorgen

Con Job
In reference to the "Simply Stunning" article about Maricopa County jails (Amy Silverman, July 11), my basic feelings are, "Who cares?"

People are tired of hearing about criminals and their rights. What about the victims and their rights? Do victims get "free" medical, dental and psychiatric care? No! Do victims get "free" food, clothing, shelter and entertainment? No!

Victims don't get crap. Maybe these criminals should think twice before breaking the law. If they didn't break the law, they wouldn't have to worry about the conditions and treatment in jail. Leave Sheriff Joe Arpaio alone and let him do his job.


Writer Wrongs
Steven McKay comes across as a whiny, misdirected soul who is drowning in the shallow waters of his inferior value system ("A Cinematic Affair," Amy Silverman, July 11). McKay's obsession with avoiding a moral justice appears to be a self-serving distraction from his obvious inability to form a meaningful relationship with a woman.

McKay is asking the court to believe that his eight-year relationship with Jean Caperonis never progressed from the minimal expectations and promises associated with a one-night stand. McKay apparently is taking the position that his own lack of values should entitle him to long-term sexual benefits and companionship without any long-term commitment or responsibility.

The next time McKay gets the urge to shack up with a woman, he might consider filling the void with another dog. In McKay's case, a dog has a clear advantage over a woman: If it becomes "unwanted," it can readily be disposed of at the city pound and it can more appropriately be termed a "bitch" if it makes a mess in his "rambling ranch house."

Tarey Helm

Someone needs to tell Mr. Sleeping With the Enemy (a.k.a. Steven McKay) that he needs therapy or medication or both. No doubt Jean Caperonis already has.

Jami Freeman

Unfortunately, relationships such as that of Jean Caperonis and Steven McKay are based on the premise that the woman trades her sexual charms for the security of the man's bank account. When either one no longer has a "bargaining chip," the relationship fails.

As for trying to legally force Caperonis into submission, well, that's just plain old bullying. Caperonis' lengthy companionship had value to McKay, and not just in the sexual sense. Instead of just "cutting her loose," a reasonable, even generous financial settlement would have been the right thing to do. But that would have meant pushing aside his ego. Perhaps a screenplay about "fair play" after "foreplay" would be in order.

Steve Cross

Elective Service
My hope is that Marc Ramirez's article will bring attention to how much our culturally diversified students need the arts ("Multicultural Stew," July 11)! It is also hoped that having the electives complement the academic subjects will be taken more seriously and that they are intrinsically inseparable. Elective teachers and subjects bring reality to students, as well as survival skills in a changing and more challenging world.

I do not and have never supported gangs or gang activities. But they do show educators and parents how much we've missed the boat! Elective teachers need to be encouraged and trained to be better equipped to handle today's youth rather than see them lost to gangs and life's fast lane.

Not only do we Xicanos need to know our past, but so do the myriad other cultures. But where or when are they being taught this? Hopefully, we can now form a constructive and positive direction when it comes to making our youth feel better about themselves. So, how will we all respond to this call?

Ric Orozco

Welcome to the Doghouse
I'm miffed at M. V. Moorhead. His critique of Welcome to the Dollhouse left nothing to the imagination ("Nerd Mentality," July 11). I am disappointed that I virtually wasted the $3.50 price of admission and a 60-mile round trip to Tempe.

I realize that if I want to be totally surprised by a film, I shouldn't read a review before I go. However, I think critics can give a synopsis without spoiling the whole movie with a blow-by-blow account. I will never forgive the critic (I don't think it was Moorhead) who blabbed about how Thelma & Louise ended before I saw that movie! Get a clue. Sometimes less would be more.

Patricia Victour

Docket Science
Bruce Thompson, in his letter to the editor (July 11), states that Governor Fife Symington is entitled to a trial before any political action is taken. Symington's millions have bought lawyers who have successfully delayed his cases for five years, and his millions will probably keep the cases unresolved for ten more years.

In the meantime, the governor oversees contracts involving billions of dollars in taxpayers' money. Were he a corporation president, would the board of directors allow him to preside over billions of dollars until the legal process took its course?

David Lerner


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