1984 Plus 12
I want to commend New Times on its March 7 issue. It was the best issue of New Times I've seen in ages. Every member of the Arizona press corps should read "Trial by Media" (Michael Lacey). Not only did it show the kind of deep research a complicated story deserves, it also showed how vapid and shallow most reporters go to get their stories. I eagerly anticipate the follow-up.
One must remember a cub reporter's aim is to get his/her name splashed onto the front page, and it's unfortunate that some reporters care more about the byline than the facts. Even more disturbing is that some reporters, and the rags for which they write, care more about the "party line" than the truth. The Arizona Republic, the chief purveyor of partisan press coverage, has nouse for facts when it comes to covering Governor Fife Symington, County Attorney Richard Romley, U.S. Representative J.D.Hayworth and their faction of the GOP.
The editors at the Republic, just like the Dobermans in George Orwell's Animal Farm, are concerned only with pleasing their pig masters. Their complete disdain for the intelligence of their readers can be seen in their constant, blatant public relations dance for the far right, and in the manner in which they exclude opposing opinion.
Attorney General Grant Woods has fallen out of favor with the radical wing of the Republican party, those who would rather hide the truth than deal with it. Though Woods is politician through and through, I'd rather have him trying to protect us than Symington trying to sell off the state to appease his creditors.
My one complaint about the March 7 edition: Screed's attack on the daily comics. Hey, Screedmo ... any paper that would run Ernie Pook's Comeek has no room to talk!
Lifeless in Hell
After reading Peter Gilstrap's column about comic strips (Screed, March 7), I don't have much to say to him or about him. I like Calvin and Hobbes, Dilbert and Fox Trot. To each his own ...
But I would like to offer an observation about Cathy that I want people to think about: She has no nose. Every other character in that strip, past or present, has had a nose right there on her face, but Cathy has never had one--not even a trace. It makes me crazy that even Cathy fans (Yuck! But I do read her) don't notice, and so I'll keep my interpretation about why this is true to myself, and let those who think this is important draw their own conclusions.
Regarding Gilstrap, one thought I admit to is that he actually can loathe a comic-strip character like Dilbert. Why? I can imagine what great company Gilstrap must be to spend time with. Geez. Why not join the human race? I have an interesting interpretation of Humpy and Rufus, too. But it'll cost Gilstrap $100 an hour, plus medication. On one level, though, it gets a chuckle. So he needn't trash his competitors. That's not the way to stand out, he must know.
Robert C. Barber Jr.
Thanks so much, New Times, for the truth about Sumitomo ("Plant Strife," Dave Plank, February 29). I am a homeowner who lives three quarters of a mile from Sumitomo. I have been lied to by the Phoenix City Council. I called Councilwoman Frances Barwood and Mayor Skip Rimsza's offices last month to inquire about Sumitomo, and they said that they never heard of it and asked me to spell it on the phone!
This is a blatant cover-up. I have since received letters from Rimsza's office and Sumitomo's public relations people stating that the plant is as hazardous as a dry-cleaning shop. Does a dry-cleaning shop have seven to ten smoke stacks that will be at least 70 feet high to emit hazardous pollutants into our already polluted air? Also, why don't they show these stacks in the sketches of the plant?
I have a neighbor who works for the City of Phoenix, and he said that everyone downtown knows that Sumitomo is a "scam" and a bad move. I just thank New Times for having the courage to print the truth while other newspapers are too scared! I wish there was more that could be done to expose this scandal so everyone would know the truth.
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I am stunned that Judge William Sargeant can so calmly state that he doesn't feel responsible for the death of MaryJo Lane ("What Do They Do With Judges Who Do Things Like This?", Paul Rubin, February 15). Maybe Mitchell Vanorsby wasn't "Mr.Homicide" when the judge first saw him, but he could have been had he chosen to pull the trigger those two times he was out there with a gun. It wasn't like he was arrested for shoplifting! The State of Arizona obviously needs a new judge in this case.
The member of Vanorsby's family into whose custody he was released should also be held on criminal charges. If this punk was incorrigible, then his bond should have been lifted. Maybe one beautiful, young girl would still be alive. I wonder how sorry Judge Sargeant would feel for the defendant if the dead girl had been his daughter. Judge Sargeant needs to be removed from the bench!