Give It Arrest
Tony Ortega's diatribe about Sheriff Joe Arpaio ("Mutiny at the County," April 25) is a first-class rendition of yellow journalism. Very typical of New Times: "El Flasho" took his pot shots (Flashes, April 18) and now it's Ortega.
Page after page of innuendoes, half-truths and outright lies. Without tent city, where would New Times suggest the inmates be housed? Since the article implies that Arpaio isn't doing his job, how come the jails are full? Frankly, who cares if some misguided retired person made an ass of himself in public and exposed himself?
The posse is one of the greatest deterrents to crime in our shopping malls. Since the posse has been patrolling the malls, there has not been one case of carjacking! The merchants along Van Buren are grateful that the whores and pimps are being harassed and forced to leave--something the Phoenix police have not succeeded in doing.
Joe Arpaio has put together an energetic team of real professionals, not political hacks. New Times maligned Tom Bearup, who is a very dedicated, hardworking professional and, yes, underpaid. I know each and every one of these men. I volunteer thousands of hours to the jail system; I know what it was like before and I like it better now. New Times owes Joe Arpaio and Tom Bearup an apology, but it won't--it takes real guts to do that!
John E. Ryon
With sadistic glee, in the name of deterrence, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has announced a new indignity or deprivation for the inmates of the county jails almost every week since he became sheriff ("Grave Misgivings, Paul Rubin, April 4). A few of these--such as the ban on tobacco--have some justification. Others, like the grave-digging duties and the ban on soft-core porn, have long standing, even though they are announced as "new" policies. The pink underwear is simply inane. Nevertheless, the overall effect of these policies has been horrific as the inmates have been systematically deprived of adequate medical care, decent housing, wholesome food and basic hygiene.
The silence of the leaders of the religious community has been frightening. Now they are protesting the sheriff's policies: Inmates are conducting funerals for the indigent. Pardon the cynicism, but could it be that inmates are trespassing on their lucrative turf? It is difficult to believe that they are motivated by respect for the dead since their callousness to the evils perpetrated on the living is so evident.
One ponders how easily the Nazis bought the cooperation of the Christian establishment with the institution of the church tax. They might have saved themselves the effort if they had only allowed the churches a share of the funerary concession from their mechanized death camps.
Missed His Cue
I realize that New Times considers every word Marshall W. Mason writes to be sacrosanct, but someone should point out the silly blunder he made in his review of A Raisin in the Sun ("Basic Black," April 18). Mason stated that the 1959 Broadway production "introduced" Sidney Poitier.
In truth, Poitier first appeared on Broadway in 1946; played a leading role in his first film in 1950; and, in 1958, starred in one of his best-known films, The Defiant Ones, for which he received an Academy Award nomination as best actor. The nomination was, in fact, announced less than three weeks before A Raisin in the Sun opened.
Shui, It Isn't So
I have been studying feng shui and its principles, and I am associated with Master Pun Yin of New York City ("Qi Whiz--Feng Shui," Terry Greene, April 11). Her lineage, passed down from her father, Master Tin Sun, is respected and revered by many of the top executives and business owners in this country and internationally.
Based on my many conversations with Master Pun Yin, I think that a point needs to be made. Feng shui is not a superstition, religion or cult. It is a true, natural science steeped in tradition and ancient Chinese history. The only true way to perform feng shui is through the use of the lo-pan--an instrument no master could function without. Using the lo-pan takes a minimum of eight years to master.
Because of its popularity and rise to conform with the Western ideal, much has been diluted and misinterpreted by the legions of self-proclaimed feng shui masters. It is true that many of the elements that are present in feng shui analysis are practical, logical and universal, but much more goes into an analysis. It is also true that many of us have the innate ability to feel qi whenever we enter a space. Some of us are more "tuned in" than others.
Just because one has studied the principles of feng shui and is intuitive does not make one a master. I would no more consider consulting with a client for feng shui than performing surgery. We must realize that feng shui is a discipline whose roots are embedded in the Chinese culture, and years of dedication and practice are the key elements to a project's success.
Waiting to Inhale
Once again we read about the dangerous emissions expected from Sumitomo-Sitix (Flashes, April 11). Why should we worry about inhaling a little hydrofluoric acid, silver nitrate or lead? Lighten up! Have we not been assured by our politicos and selected scientific "experts" that 99 percent of the maladies afflicting humanity are caused by secondhand smoke?
Where can I get an art grant for a flag display, a la the U.S. flag exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum ("Legionnaire's Disease," Michael Kiefer, April 4)? I love the shocked reaction of those who protested, so I have come up with an idea guaranteed to engender emotionally hysterical protesters who will make the American veterans look like supporters.
For beginners, we need to decide on the exact category to use. Presently, I've narrowed the choices to the following: a) Gay-pride flags, b) Japanese flags, c) Afro-American flags, d) Mexican flags, e) Israeli flags.
An allied exhibit, if the latter choice is made, will be a Star of David in a urine-filled bell jar. That should bring all the liberals out of the woodwork! Then we'll see where all the art-for-art's-sake bleeders, who decry the current protests, actually live!
I was amused at Elizabeth Hoffman's letter stating that "government funding for the arts is essential to the support of emerging artists . . ." and other good things. I would be interested in hearing an explanation of how this country managed to have art 100 years ago when there was no National Endowment for the Arts. Would Hoffman argue that the art we have today is in any way superior to what was produced 100 years ago, without government support? (If the flag "exhibit" currently at Phoenix Art Museum is any example, her argument would truly be side-splitting to hear.)
Also, I understand that Phoenicians were against using their taxes for a baseball stadium, but were overruled by the politicians. This issue seems ready-made for New Times. Has it done an investigation of the politicians who overruled the public on support for the baseball stadium? It would be interesting to learn whether any of them will profit from their decision.
Brandt W. Pryor
Editor's note: New Times has published many in-depth articles on the stadium-finance issue, including: "Letting the Diamondbacks Slide" (April 4, 1996); "Stadium Standoff" (June 8, 1995); "Jerry-rigged" (June 22, 1995); "The House That You Built" (September 21, 1995); and "City Complicity" (September 28, 1995).
Bravo for the Elizabeth Hoffmans of this world! Regarding her letter (April 11) about the flag exhibit and funding for the arts, as she says, the arts chronicle our times. It is time our creative artists become first-rate citizens (like athletes, e.g.), but some of our leaders cannot see the importance of the arts and of freedom of expression.
I very much admire how New Times gets to the bottom of the old-boy syndrome politically, but why doesn't it cover classical music instead of that junk? New Times does an excellent job on art, theatre and film. Let's not slide back into what Hoffman called an archaic abyss where arts, culture and freedom of expression are no longer valued.
Tales From the Scrip
Lovely! Tell all of our youngsters in Phoenix where and how to get their drugs. True, I'm sure that if kids want to find out the information contained in Dewey Webb's "Drugstore Caballero" (April 4), they will, but why make it that much easier? Why give ideas to kids that they may never have considered before?
Yes, if the public isn't kept informed of the problem, we won't ever be able to solve the problem, but the writer could have left out the "how to" portion of this article.
Many people benefit from a nonregulated pharmaceutical industry in Mexico. While I believe there should be limits placed on how much one individual may take from across the border for his personal consumption, the Mexico option should not be closed down entirely.
As we know all too well, health care in this country is very expensive and many of our citizens do not have health insurance. Furthermore, medication of any kind is expensive, especially given that in order to obtain a prescription for an ailment, one must shell out about $80 to see a doctor for two minutes to get a prescription.
In Mexico, the total cost for medication is a few dollars, with no doctor's fee attached. Until our health-care system is as sophisticated as those already in practice in countries such as Germany, Denmark and England, I cannot blame poorer Americans for going to Mexico in order to cure themselves without paying an arm and a leg.
I don't pretend to know much about high fashion, but I hope Dick Kovacic nails Lillie Rubin to the wall ("Formal Complaint, Michael Kiefer, April 4). There isn't a major department store in the Valley that doesn't allow women in men's dressing rooms. Wives and girlfriends come and go as if it's their birthright, and the department stores do nothing to stop it.
To those stores and to those ladies: I'm sure you won't mind if I go into the ladies' dressing room with my wife next time she goes shopping. Further, no regard to men's modesty is ever a consideration at the stores. Odds are that next time I buy underwear, it will be from a woman. I think I'll apply for a job in the lingerie department. I'll be happy to ask the ladies their cup sizes.
As an American citizen, I was outraged to hear about yet another "art" display concerning the desecration of an American symbol--"Old Crispy: The American Chicken, Fried and Otherwise" (Screed, April 11).
Colonel Harland Sanders was a moral, decent American with strong family values. What would he say if he were alive? He is a symbol of hardworking Americans who fought for our right to eat fried fowl. To all you un-American, ungodly, vegetarian artists out there, go to a Third World country. See how it feels. As a nation, we have gone too far!
The article "Miner Regulations" (April 18) incorrectly reported the size of mines to be regulated under a proposed reclamation law. Mines with five or more contiguous acres of disturbed land will be regulated.
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