Flacks and Figures
I read with amusement the article concerning the efforts of Nelson Robb Duval & DeMenna on behalf of its client Sitix of Phoenix ("Public Theatre," Tony Ortega, July 25). What a hearty recommendation New Times has provided for the firm's talents and services! These actions are exactly what should be expected from any PR firm worth its salt. In fact, if local officials had not used their "canned" materials, I would have been surprised. Press releases and prompt points are fodder for all public officials called upon to speak on several subjects daily. Are they puppets? No, simply politicians.
It is my impression that the Arizona Republic has reporters who could be considered pro or con. What concerns me is the lack of reporting involving the practices of those opposed to Sumitomo's presence. Why has it not been reported that those opposed have circulated many fliers with out-and-out lies regarding chemical usage and pollution figures? Why has it not been reported that Sumitomo executives have received hundreds of racist letters and faxes and phone calls, imploring them to "kill their own yellow babies"?
I am of the opinion that the opponents to the construction of the Sitix of Phoenix plant cannot be trusted. While they are quick to point out missteps and mistakes on the part of Sitix, they will rationalize or simply dismiss any questions concerning their tactics, "facts" and motivations. Hmmm, maybe they could use a good PR firm.
Fantastic job! Thanks for telling the truth about smilin' Skip Rimsza and Sumitomo. It's comforting to know that at least one newspaper in the Valley, in addition to Cave Creek's Sonoran News, will tell the truth.
A belated "thank you" to Terry Greene Sterling for the article about the Carver-Phoenix Union Colored High School Museum and Cultural Center ("Old-School Ways," May 30). I have shared it with a lot of friends across the country. I did enjoy reading it, and hearing from so many who had a chance to see the article.
Tommie L. Williams Sr.
In response to the letter from D.W.A. about the Maricopa County jails and the rights of prisoners (July 25), I think he/she would hum a different tune if he/she had a loved one in jail. The abuses cited by the study done on Maricopa County jails are, indeed, very real. Plus, the people who go to visit their loved ones are not treated much better.
As for Joe Arpaio, he is just another in a long list of politicians who are truly an embarrassment to Arizona. I'm sure people all over the nation are laughing at the citizens of Arizona and thinking that we must be a bunch of country rubes who will believe any promise-you-anything bigmouth who comes along. I pray that there will be someone qualified who will run against Arpaio in the coming election so that those of us who are tired of his egotistical theatrics and abuse of the system he is supposed to promote will have a chance to boot him out of there.
I think as a special treat for all of us, New Times should print a special issue with all of its Arpaio stories. It would give those readers who really haven't followed Sheriff Joe a chance to see why the rest of us are so angry.
Loss of Earning
To add to Dewey Webb's story "Lobe, American Style" (July 25), similar situations do occur at the other theatre chains in the Valley. A friend of mine was threatened with dismissal when he forgot to remove his simple stud earring. This same friend was denied a promotion, and thus also a wage increase, to the supervisor position because of this, and because the length of his hair was unacceptable (just below his collar).
Another fellow employee was just threatened with loss of hours, suspension or possible dismissal if he did not cut his hair, which was at collar length--even though it was shorter than all current female employees.
Managers who previously worked at the theatre where I work would actually write down "earring," "hair too long" or "nose pierced" on the applications as a red flag not to call these males for interviews. Or they would just tell the hiring manager not to call these specific males.
Not only is this discrimination based on sex, it is a criminal offense under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits "discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits and other aspects of employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin." The same notification hangs in the break room with the AMC employee dress code that violates these males' rights.
Though it has been recently reworded, my favorite rule used to be "facial hair must be grown on your own time."
What decade is Dan Harkins living in?
Dan Harkins' comment about how "earrings are more for women" makes him look ridiculous. It reminded me of something my grandfather would have said, and he's been dead for more than ten years. Get with the times, Dan.
Nothing but Net
In response to John Whalen's article "On Lion Controversy" (July 25), from the sound of it, the FBI thought it had a real terrorist when it arrested Jose Saavedra for allegedly threatening the life of wildlife hater California State Senator Tim Leslie. Maybe not.
This fits the m.o. of the FBI when it comes to groups/people who threaten the corporate/U.S. government status quo dating back to the Nixon/Hoover years of CoIntelPro (domestic counterintelligence program), which targeted the anti-Vietnam war movement, American Indian Movement, black power movement and many more groups which sought to address issues of peace and justice. What CoIntelPro revealed was that the U.S. government in the form of the FBI was illegally fabricating evidence against targeted groups, infiltrating and promoting acts of violence among mostly nonviolent groups.
What makes anybody with a historical view of the feds think they have changed? The present-day targets are the antivivisection/animal-rights movement, the Muslim/Arab movement and antigovernment movements. I can't wait to see whom the FBI blames for the TWA Flight 800 disaster.
David C. Brainerd
The idiotic charges filed against the poor hacker from El Paso make even less sense if you know anything about the alleged target. California State Senator Tim Leslie is a publicity-seeking backbench Republican with a rural district, but he has set his sights on statewide office.
The mountain-lion initiative--rejected by the voters of California--was little more than an effort to curry favor with the NRA moneybags and neomilitia types who populate the remote rural California hinterlands that sent this paranoid individual to Sacramento.
Leslie's stand on the Internet crime was nothing more than a cynical headline grab--no more, no less.
Jose Saavedra's statement that he is looking for an Internet service provider that can protect his personal information is a bit disingenuous, considering that Primenet never had his personal information on file--the zumaoPRIMENET.COM ACCOUNT WAS SIGNED UP FOR WITH FALSE INFORMATION. SAAVEDRA WAS ARRESTED BECAUSE, AFTER THE ACCOUNT WAS SUSPENDED, HE CALLED IN ON PRIMENET'S 800 NUMBER--WHICH RECORDS THE CALLER'S TELEPHONE NUMBER--IN ORDER TO COMPLAIN.
IF SAAVEDRA IS INNOCENT, HE SHOULD OFFER SOME EXPLANATION FOR WHY HE WAS CALLING ABOUT AN ACCOUNT THAT DIDN'T HAVE ANY VALID USER INFORMATION ASSOCIATED WITH IT. HE MAY HAVE BEEN SHARING THE ACCOUNT WITH SOMEONE ELSE WHO ACTUALLY POSTED THE MESSAGES, BUT HIS TELEPHONE CALL INDICATES THAT HE DID HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT.
JIM LIPPARD, PRIMENET
AS AN EARLY PRIMENET SUBSCRIBER, I'VE SEEN PLENTY OF BONEHEADED BEHAVIOR BY OTHER PRIMENET SUBSCRIBERS, BUT I MUST SAY THAT WHEN I READ ABOUT THE CASE OF YOUNG JOSE SAAVEDRA ON PRIMENET.GENERAL, I WAS APPALLED THAT THE FBI COULD POSSIBLY JUSTIFY A MULTISTATE WITCH HUNT TO CRUCIFY ONE PERSON FOR SUCH A WEAK CASE.
THE MOST AMAZING THING JIM LIPPARD DETAILED FOR PRIMENET SUBSCRIBERS ABOUT THE EXTENT OF PRIMENET'S INVOLVEMENT IN THE INVESTIGATION, WHICH DIDN'T EVEN MAKE IT INTO NEW TIMES' STORY, IS THAT SAAVEDRA'S ACCOUNT AT PRIMENET WAS OBTAINED THROUGH FRAUDULENT MEANS. WHEN THE FBI SUBPOENAED PRIMENET'S RECORDS, IT INITIALLY CAME UP EMPTY.
PRIMENET TRACED THE CALLS MADE TO ZUMA'S ACCOUNT. ONCE IT HAD A PHONE NUMBER, PRIMENET HANDED IT OVER TO THE FBI.
THE ZUMA CASE ILLUSTRATES THAT A GOOD HEADLINE IS MORE IMPORTANT TO MODERN LAW ENFORCEMENT THAN GOOD JUDGMENT.
NORMALLY I LEND NO CREDIBILITY TO ANONYMOUS LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, BUT SINCE I HAVE A CHILD WHO WAS DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THE WADE HUTCHINS CHILD-MOLESTATION CASE ("ONCE MORE WITH FEELING," Paul Rubin, JUNE 20), I DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE SIGNING MY OWN NAME.
THIS CASE HAS GENERATED ENORMOUS PUBLICITY, SOME OF WHICH HAS BEEN EXAGGERATED AND TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT. SOME HAS BEEN HELPFUL IN IMPLEMENTING CHANGE WITHIN THE PARADISE VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, SUCH AS POLICY REGARDING CHILD MOLESTATION BEING WRITTEN AND PASSED BY THE SCHOOL BOARD. TRAINING HAS ALSO BEEN WRITTEN AND IMPLEMENTED. ALL TEACHERS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS ARE REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE IN TRAINING. THE DISTRICT HAS MADE A COMMITMENT TO CONTINUE UPDATING POLICY AND TRAINING. SADLY, ONLY A HANDFUL OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS WITHIN ARIZONA HAS ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE.
BEFORE SENTENCING WADE HUTCHINS, JUDGE SUSAN BOLTON FELT COMPELLED TO SPEAK. A PART OF WHAT SHE SAID WAS, "WHAT I FOUND DIFFICULT ABOUT THIS CASE WAS THAT I HAVE BEEN UNDER THE IMPRESSION BEFORE THIS CASE THAT FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS THERE HAD BEEN SIGNIFICANT EDUCATION IN THE COMMUNITY, IN THE SCHOOLS, IN THE PLACES WHERE CHILDREN GO FOR RECREATION AND IN THE POLICE DEPARTMENTS TO ALERT THOSE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN THE POSITION OF CARING FOR CHILDREN OR INVESTIGATING COMPLAINTS ABOUT CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN OF THE FACT THAT TRUSTED ADULTS COMMIT CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN."
WE WILL DO ALL THE CHILDREN INVOLVED A GRAVE INJUSTICE IF WE DO NOT WAKE UP. WE NEED TO REQUIRE ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN OUR STATE TO HAVE WRITTEN POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND TRAINING REGARDING CHILD MOLESTATION AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT. IF WE NEGLECT TO DO SO, WE ARE SUSTAINING A CLIMATE THAT ALLOWS INDIVIDUALS TO CONTINUE TO HURT AND ABUSE OUR MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE--OUR CHILDREN!
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EZ-N-RAMPS SHOULD BE GIVEN BY CHANNEL 10, IN ADDITION TO WHATEVER OTHER PENALTIES THE STATION GETS, A BIG, BIG SCHEDULE OF FREE COMMERCIALS ("FANGS A LOT," MARC RAMIREZ, JULY 18). A MISTAKE IS ONE THING, BUT THERE'S NO EXCUSE FOR REPEATING IT THE WAY CHANNEL 10 DID.
Where's the Beef?
Please tell me New Times didn't blow a personal beef between police officers into a story that was much too long ("Copping an Attitude," Paul Rubin, July 18). Do us all a favor and continue doing great, hard-hitting stories about things we care about. Or, better yet, have the reporter tell us why we should care in the first place. That not all the guys on the other side of the "thin blue line" do not get along is not exactly page-one material.