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Letters

Reeling
Movie reviewer M. V. Moorhead was close, but not precisely correct, in describing LaJetee as a half-hour film "told entirely in still photographs" ("Uneven Dozen," January 11).

There is a scene in which a woman blinks.
Thomas J. Baker
Payson

Fife Imitates Art
I just finished reading "Young Fife: The Lost First Decade" (Peter Gilstrap, January 11) about South Phoenix residents who remember a kid named Eddie growing up in the neighborhood 40 or 50 years ago who apparently bore a resemblance to Arizona's governor. The article wasn't intriguing, it wasn't informative, it wasn't shocking, it wasn't depressing, it wasn't mysterious, it wasn't irreverent, it wasn't inspiring, it wasn't satirical, it wasn't amusing, it wasn't controversial, it wasn't even preposterous.

It wasn't anything but plain, dumb stupid. Just like the way I feel right now for having ground it out to the bitter end, expecting, at least, a lame punch line (the absence of which, in retrospect, I could have anticipated). I am writing to express my profound embarrassment for both Peter Gilstrap and myself.

Stephen W. Baum
Phoenix

They already made a movie of Fife's life: It'scalled The Jerk.
Julie Combs
Phoenix

Go Figure
The January 11 letter written by Loyd Eskildson of Scottsdale did not have too sound of a story. Using Eskildson's figures, it is understandable that people are angry that their tax dollars for education are not going far. However, Eskildson does not mention that, from 1980 to 1989, there was unprecedented immigration. People from many parts of the world are coming to the U.S., specifically Arizona. Because of this, myriad programs, like English As a Second Language, have been created. These types of programs definitely cost more than the one-size-fits-all education.

During the above time period, computer technology has changed incredibly. Schools have responded by adding computer classes, as well as improving their existing business classes. This is very expensive, as is the staff required.

Private schools have quite a bit of an advantage over public schools: They can be selective in who attends. This eliminates money needed for the ESL programs. The people who attend private schools often have wealthy parents who can afford to donate their time, money and expertise when needed.

I hope this sheds some light on the other side of the story from someone who has experienced what school is like these days. Public school isn't doing all that bad. Increase the money.

B.J. Cordova, student
North High School
Phoenix

Turkey Hash
The issues brought up by Marc Ramirez ("No Fowl, Some Harm," December 21) were not "petty cavil about a local 'saint' Nick" (Nick Ligidakis of Nick's Cuisine of Southern Europe and Nick's on Central), as Glenn Michaels of Phoenix wrote (Letters, January 4). It took courage for those residents interviewed by Ramirez to come forward and defend our proud but overworked and undercompensated, overextended families.

The story's photo of a neighborhood leader and parent, Alice Mendoza, failed to mention that the dinner pictured was for her family of seven (sans half of a half-baked turkey--three pounds): not even close to the FDA minimum required amount of food per serving. Yet the referrals from Human Services Department's Cathy Maiden were processed by Garfield caseworkers, and recipients were assured by phone the day before that a meal would be delivered for Thanksgiving.

The self-reliance and make-do philosophy exhibited in Garfield neighborhood provide an excellent opportunity for those who wish to serve the needs of others not to repeat last year's mistakes. Promise made, promise delivered. Then we can all bask in the warmth, and know another family is full.

Praise to staff writer Marc Ramirez. Perhaps next Thanksgiving, those with good intentions will stick to realistic numbers. And the coming Media Love Fest with Saint Nick's Feast won't "butterball" beyond promises made. Praise Nick, too--it is a real saintly feat to actually feed 32,000!

Kim Moody, president
Garfield Neighborhood Organization
Phoenix

The city of Phoenix would benefit greatly by having more entrepreneurs like Nick Ligidakis and fewer negative articles like the piece by Marc Ramirez. If the goal of this article was to discourage other business owners from instituting programs that give back to our community, then Ramirez has done a great job. Thanks.

Part of the reason more businesses do not create programs like Nick's is because they fear they will become targets of negative publicity and backlash. Like many businesses and/or programs that experience astronomical growth, this one does need help. Why not put all of that great New Times investigative reporting to good use by coming up with suggestions, models and resources forbusiness people who are committed to helping their community?

As one of the thousands of volunteers over the years, I assure that Nick is not seeking publicity. In an all-too-cynical world, it may be hard for some to believe that this effort comes from the heart. Furthermore, what relevance does his financial history and relationship with the immigration agency have to do with serving turkey dinners?

In an era when government programs are shrinking, more communities will be looking toward the business community for creative programs and assistance; in the future, we would hope for responsible journalism that does not bite the hands of those feeding, clothing and assisting the needy.

Jan Bryan
Business for Social Responsibility,
Arizona Network
Phoenix

X Mex
I reread Howard Seftel's fantasy-restaurant-week review ("Holiday on Rice," December 28) just to make sure. Not one Mexican restaurant among his favorite Valley 21! How to account for this absence? Maybe Seftel just doesn't like Mexican food. Fair enough. Unfortunately for the Seftels of this world, whose eating fantasies don't include green chile burros, cooking Mexican food is what we're really good at here on the border.

Curtis F. Beckman
Phoenix

With a Wet Noodle
I agree with most of New Times' special section, Breach of Contract (December 28). Old Fife surely needs a public flogging for his sins against this beautiful state. But before we lash his wrists to the nearest paloverde tree, we should invite other participants for a public thrashing. My list includes the state Legislature for always severely underfunding the programs that are in trouble. Other guests of honor would be all those top-management boys and girls who just stood by or even shook hands with those legislators who were setting up their programs for failure.

One more thing: Before we send out the invitations and uncoil the whips, I think we'd better count to see if we have enough paloverde trees. I hear those pro-growth friends of Fife have been real busy lately. Maybe Fife is smarter than we think.

Ralph Strong
Phoenix

Station Break
I was saddened and downright dismayed at another attempt to destroy the only independent music outlet in the Valley (Coda, David Holthouse, January 11). KUKQ-AM not only played music one cannot and will not hear anywhere else; it provided a great service for the local music scene.

Obviously, the owners of KUPD/KUKQ have decided that true cutting-edge music has no place here. One would think that Phoenix (which likes to consider itself progressive) would be happy to have an outlet for things new and exciting. Once again, money takes precedence over creativity and individuality.

What did the owners expect when they put the station on a bare-bones budget? I'll bet one will never hear Kongo Shock, Generiks or other great local bands on this "KUPD II." And exactly why are the owners retaining the call letters (and the rights thereof), anyway?

To all Q-balls: If we want good music in the Valley, we might just have to make our voice and economical influence known. If you don't have a Q bumper sticker, get one! Write letters! Call the station!

Jen Mooney
Jason Purvis
Tempe

Isn't anybody at New Times checking the consistency and believability of its writers? David Holthouse gives yet another political column on KUKQ and how holier-than-thou it is. KUKQ was a weak-signaled, unlistened-to, self-righteous AM station. Good riddance!

Holthouse should really try to see his sorry political views as the readers see them. Welcome to town, David. Now go home.

James Wienberg
Phoenix

Doesn't David Holthouse get it? Who, besides the whacked-out demo of slackers and sk8rs, listens to KUKQ? In business, something called "profit" is needed. By attracting a demo with little or no cash, that station won't be appealing to advertisers. Taken into account there's music on AM (which is where talk radio should be), that creates a critical marketing problem.

I would be brand-loyal to any station playing the harder stuff, but program directors play strictly to the masses, not offering anything outside mainstream alternative. Ithink what they forget is that their core demo grew up with Dead Kennedys and Circle Jerks. But Dead Kennedys and Circle Jerks don't play well to the masses, so we're stuck with Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

Scott Nosenko
Phoenix


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