Letters From the Issue of Thursday, August 3, 2006
Fryer power: I simply can't get over an institution like Stacy's soul food closing ("The Last Meal," The Bird, July 27). I've eaten there once a week for at least five years. I will truly miss the place.
And while I'm on the subject, why is it that new owners automatically think that the places inside the buildings they've bought simply have to go? Is Stacy's not good enough for the new owner? Is Stacy Phipps not slick enough for the new guy? Because there was nothing slick about Stacy's. You went there for a plate of the best Southern cooking in the Phoenix area. Anywhere, for that matter.
Why is it that true culinary artists are only rewarded if their names are Vincent or something? Stacy may have fried chicken and catfish grease on his apron, but he is every bit the artist that Vincent or any of the other Gucci chefs in this city are.
Thousands of loyal customers just pray that Stacy will open a soul food place nearby. Stacy, please don't go to Chandler! I know he was looking at a spot on Washington Street near downtown, just behind Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe (which, by the way, doesn't even come close in quality to Stacy's, which actually cooks soul food with minimal grease and salt, making it, therefore, healthier. Notice I didn't say healthy it is soul food, after all).
Stacy told me that the new owner plans to put in an upscale soul food place, one with a salad bar to cater to the health-conscious. Come on! Upscale soul food? Folks who eat soul food ain't concerned about getting a nice, fresh salad; they want some damn collard greens and string beans with corn bread!
Lawrence Potts, Phoenix
The transformer: I read your article concerning the rapid transformation of Ann Marie Tate from a highly educated and trained Army officer to a born-again peace activist ("War & Peacenik," Paul Rubin, July 20). All that kept ringing in my head was: "What type of scam is this whiner running?"
I believe there are true hawks and true doves, and we need both pro-peace and pro-military voices in our national debate. But after receiving a $100,000-plus college education at West Point, holding multiple military jobs around the globe, then leaving a civilian job to accept a position in a military linguistics program, I don't see "peacenik" anywhere in this person's background.
And isn't it amazing that after not getting her dream job in Hawaii, but rather one on the front line of a war zone in the Middle East, Tate all of a sudden wants to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony and weave potholders around a campfire while singing old Peter, Paul and Mary songs?
Sending this self-serving liar to a war zone would hurt the security and safety of the soldiers around her, but she owes Uncle Sam for her extensive education and misrepresentations in her career with the military. Hopefully, she will get a real conscience and start paying back the U.S. taxpayers with her next paycheck.
Mike Fritz, Phoenix
We need more like her: A year ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Ann Marie Tate, the subject of your "War & Peacenik" article. At the time, she was the co-director of the AZ Department of Peace Campaign.
Ann Marie is a stunning individual who I know will continue to serve this country well. We need more people like her at the national level to help decide which wars are worth our children's blood.
Judith A. Ingalls, M.D., Carefree
Not a soldier: Major Ann Marie Tate isn't a soldier; she is a coward in a West Point uniform. Saying she would go, suffer and probably die, but not kill are words of a fake who almost tricked everyone into thinking she is a soldier.
She should be stripped of rank and pension. Then she should be jailed for reneging on her oath.
Dan Biesheuvel, via the Internet
Maybe she thought it was the KISS Army: I don't know how this happened, but somewhere along the line Major Ann Marie Tate never caught on to the idea that the bottom line in the military is: "Killeth thine enemy before he killeth you."
How can one go all the way through West Point and make it all the way up to Major before figuring out that being part of the big, green killing machine is not for her? It boggles the imagination. Even if one's primary job in the military is turning a wrench, or pushing a pencil, she must be ready, able, and willing to fight to the death when called upon.
This means all branches of service, all specialties, and all components be they active duty, National Guard, or reserve. No matter how much you abhor killing, there are those out there who want to kill us Americans (look back at 9/11 and Pearl Harbor if there is any doubt). No amount of standing around in a circle holding hands and singing "Kum Ba Yah" and "Give Peace a Chance" is going to change that.
Having someone like Major Tate in charge is a liability, not an asset. ("I will go to war, but I won't fire." Give me a break, lady!) This isn't to say her service hasn't been beneficial to the Army in other ways, and she deserves credit for that much.
She has come clean about being incapable of full-fledged combat, so the Army should do the right thing and let her go! The Army should give her an honorable discharge, and adopt new techniques to filter out the non-killer wimps who will only put others at risk in combat.
William W. Summers, Glendale
Standing up for what's right: I have to applaud Ann Marie Tate for standing up for what she knows is right, which (speaking from experience) is extremely hard to do in the military.
Name withheld by request
Too many snakes in the garden: It comes as no surprise to me that the Havasupai are in the situation they're in ("No Power for the Powerless," John Dougherty, July 20).
The Havasupai live deep in the Grand Canyon out of sight and out of mind. Their reservation was once a beautiful place, a garden of Eden! Too bad U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs policies have seldom responded appropriately to the needs of Native Americans.
Barry Childers, via the Internet
Conspiracy theorist: It's truly barbaric that the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs would be party to the Havasupai's losing electricity for much of the sweltering summer. Could this be another Bush administration debacle? What you say is true: If the Indians had an ounce of political power, this situation would have been solved long ago.
But if you're waiting for Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano to do something about this, don't hold your breath. She'll get to this problem as soon as she fixes the problem of underage girls getting raped by polygamists in Colorado City (see the "Polygamy in Arizona" series). In other words, that would be never.
As New Times has pointed out many times over, Janet has little interest in fixing anything unless she gets some political benefit. A little band of Indians can't do her much good, or much harm, so fuck 'em! About all Janet is staunchly on the record as supporting are educational programs for our kids. I mean, who's not for that?!
The Havasupai are just lucky that it doesn't get as hot where they are as it does in Phoenix during July and August, because they are in for a long stint without power, I'd predict.
Lori Cunningham, Phoenix
Caged heat: I find it interesting that Nicolas Cage was filming a movie on the Havasupai reservation, because he obviously had to be aware of the tribe's situation. Hollywood types like to hype themselves (think Angelina Jolie) for a "good cause," so why didn't he donate the generators his movie company had brought in, even if only temporarily, to help solve the Havasupai's power-outage problem?
Shame on him!
I also agree with your assessment of Governor Janet Napolitano. I thought she was a good choice initially, as she seemed strong in her convictions. Because of recent issues she has either eschewed, backpedaled on or simply ignored, I now feel less than supportive of her overall policies.
Overall, I was very impressed with John Dougherty's reporting. I will continue to look for his work. Thank you for not pulling your punches. It's what's needed to force change.
Paul J. Nordin, via the Internet
Unfit to print: I read your "No Power for the Powerless" column and can only muster words unfit for publication, even in New Times. I could launch into a long rant about the ineffective officials involved in this election year, but that won't solve much of anything. If it would help, I would backpack insulin and ice into the canyon myself.
Ian Derk, Tempe
Power to the people: It saddens me that the agencies involved hadn't the decency to fix the power problem in Supai in short order.
As have so many Arizonans, I have been to the beautiful waterfalls on the Havasupai reservation many times. If not for humanitarian reasons, you would think that Arizona tourism officials would labor long and hard to fix this problem because of all the tourism dollars the state is losing.
But you're dreaming if you think Janet Napolitano is going to come down from her throne and do anything for a little band of Indians who probably don't even vote. But I vote, and I have voted for Janet in the past. Not this time around.
Tom Owens, Phoenix
"Illegal" is not a sick bird: I am impelled to respond to The Bird's droppings soiling your fine publication ("No Huevos," June 29). Bird, you are correct in regard to the Grassfire organization's misuse of the word "invasion." A more suitable word is "infestation." Look it up, birdbrain. Webster's reads: "To overrun in large numbers so as to be harmful or unpleasant."
Exactly! We are being overrun, in large numbers. They (the criminal Mexican infesters) are harmful to our country, and it's very unpleasant.
Woodpecker-head, don't you go anywhere? Anywhere at all? Just look around you at any red light, any grocery store, any theater, anywhere! Everywhere we are infested. We Anglos are the minority. If you say you haven't noticed, then you are a liar.
Do you listen to the radio, dodo? Notice the number of Mexican stations? Not only are they cluttering our airwaves and imposing their bass-ackward language on us, but their Mexican stations all come in loud and clear. Which is more than can be said for some Arizona favorites: KEZ, KNIX and KUPD.
My daughter received a flier inviting her to a recent community/police meeting to discuss the current rapist/murderers still loose on our city ("Fear Factor," Paul Rubin, July 27). Can you believe this bilingual flier was printed in Mexican and had the English translation at the bottom? What the fuck is going on?! Can you tell us, featherman? Your readers want to know: How and when did the safety and welfare of the fucking illegal Mexicans become more important than that of the rightful, true citizens of the United States?
We are still the United States of America, right? Isn't English this country's "official" language? Don't all immigrants need to learn English? Oh, wait, these are illegal immigrants. For illegal immigrants, we go out of our way to make sure they get all they need to screw us! Why are we catering to these fucking criminals?
D. Batterman, Phoenix
A life-altering experience: As a Hurricane Katrina evacuee and a lifelong New Orleanian, I felt obligated to comment on your article about my fellow evacuees ("Desert Storm," Katy Reckdahl, July 13). It amuses me when outsiders try to assess evacuees' situations without really knowing the magnitude of what happened.
A large portion of New Orleans was composed of people living in poverty, some of whom tried to make better lives for themselves while others lived welfare check to welfare check and took advantage of the system. I'm sure many of these people are trying to milk the system here in Arizona just like they did back home, but there is one difference: To these people, Phoenix isn't home.
I escaped Katrina relatively unscathed. My husband and I managed to evacuate safely the night before, so I cannot imagine what it was like for the people who were trapped in the Superdome or stuck on their rooftops for days because they did not have a way out of the city. These experiences are life-altering, and many of these victims are probably in need of counseling to help them cope with what they went through.
I'm not trying to make excuses for the lazy ones out there who refuse to get jobs, but I sympathize with those who are trying to make it in a new city in which they did not choose to live. We didn't want to flee our beloved city; we had no choice but to leave.
Christy Lorio, Scottsdale
Editor's note: As a sidebar to the "Desert Storm" cover story illustrates, the author of our articles on the Katrina evacuees living in Phoenix was herself a Katrina survivor. In fact, Katy Reckdahl has since returned to New Orleans with her young son to write about her city in ruin.
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