Try living in the Windy City: I completely disagree with your assessment of Phoenix being America's "worst-designed" major city ("The Big Cheesy," Sarah Fenske, August 2). I lived in Chicago for nearly 35 years before coming out to Phoenix three years ago. There's no comparison between Phoenix and Chicago.
Phoenix's roads, on average, are in far better shape than Chicago's. The grid design that Phoenix has is far easier to navigate versus the mish-mash of roads twisting through Chicago. Phoenix, and for that matter, Arizona have no toll roads, and Illinois has loads of them.
Yes, Phoenix has some faults, but it sounds like you need to go live in Chicago for a while (and probably many other cities) to fully appreciate what we have here.
Phil Cacioppo, Phoenix
WHO'S TO BLAME?
Safety first, Deputy: Sarah Fenske was correct to call the Maricopa County sheriff's deputy involved in a fatal collision to task ("Immigrant Song," July 26). It's true that the illegal immigrant, who was throwing beer bottles out of his car and ran into the deputy's car was the one at fault for killing the mother of six, but the deputy should've known better than to engage with this guy. Arguably, if he hadn't, this terrible tragedy would've never occurred.
When the deputy made the U-turn and cut off another driver to get into the turn lane, he was putting others in harm's way. Why did he continue to chase this guy? If he hadn't, the Mexican dude would've never hit him again, thus knocking him into the mother's car and killing her.
As we could see from the police chase that killed the two TV photographers and their pilots, police chases often come to no good. Why endanger others, when all a driver is doing is throwing bottles out a window or, in the case of the chase that led to the fatal helicopter accident, fleeing in a stolen vehicle?
But the bigger point in all this is the mania to blame every tragedy on illegal immigration. Sure, illegal immigrants commit crimes, but most crimes are still committed by U.S. citizens. Fenske's point is correct that it's just not that simple. Bad people commit crimes, and they come in all races, creeds, and colors. It's time to get a grip and stop demonizing Mexicans for every problem.
K.C. Conner, Phoenix
Off with his badge: What Sarah Fenske wrote about was just another police chase gone bad. That sheriff's deputy had no business driving recklessly to try to apprehend that drunken Latino. The cop only did it, in my opinion, because he was pissed off. The police dispatcher had to tell him twice to stop yelling!
It's not surprising that a guy who works for Sheriff Joe Arpaio would be such a hothead, I guess, but aren't cops supposed to stay cool under such circumstances? That guy should lose his badge over this.
Kattie Taylor, Phoenix
Blurred distinctions: Your comments were shocking in their support for a coke-snorting, psychotic, murdering excuse for a life form and his denigration of anyone in a position of authority.
I realize you hippies are busy "fighting the man," but, most of the time, it's because "the man" was your dad. I field-tested this at my extremely hippie alma mater, Evergreen State College in Washington. Why are the ultra-hippies always from the upper class? In any case, you have some serious spoiled-brat issues if you can't see how evil your comments are.
First, why blur the distinction between illegal and legal immigrant? Do you ever see a distinction between someone who commits a crime and someone who doesn't?
You call Guadalupe Perez-Bojorquez a "Mexican national" who admits to being in this country illegally and then you say that Nanuma Lavulavu was also an immigrant as if they were in the same boat together. Was she here illegally? Was she a coke-snorting psychopath? These two people are so vastly different from each other that it's impossible, using logic, to relate the two. In fact, Perez-Bojorquez is so vastly different from almost all humans that his humanity is seriously in question.
As far as "sticking it to the man," how can you say something like this and sleep at night: "But I'm also convinced of this: Nanuma Lavulavu's death could have been prevented if only the sheriff's deputy who hit her was a better driver."
So it's the deputy's fault?! Oh, my God!
Do you have any evidence of Deputy Kinnett's negligence? Unless you are an expert on police department procedure and/or the tactics used in high-speed chases, you certainly can't call this evidence.
Oh, in case you'd like to call me racist: I'm Hispanic. My father is a legal immigrant from Brazil.
Manuel Vieira Gomes, Buena Park, California
Crime is colorblind: Okay, we hate criminals. They should pay for their crimes. But that crime has nothing to do with legal status. It deals with the fact that if you are a criminal, you will be evil's instrument.
Three days ago, two men invaded a home in a quiet neighborhood and killed a woman and her two daughters. When I read comments about it, I found people asking themselves whether the suspects were illegal aliens. Turns out two white men assaulted, raped, and killed the innocent white woman. These criminals were born here.
I am a medical doctor and legal resident in this country, a Peruvian national, so I know the best of two worlds. I agree that the illegal Mexican national and the legal sheriff's deputy should be punished.
As for the two helicopters that crashed, guess what? The suspect in that pursuit is a U.S. citizen. Remember, a criminal can be white, red, yellow, black, or green.
Napoleon Callirgos, via the Internet
Sorry, your math doesnt compute: Yeah, I know, controversy sells, but the problem with your approach is that people are dumb. They are swayed by liberal BS. The fact is, illegal aliens have committed one crime already. In a ridiculously large number of instances, they go on to commit more.
How many times have we all seen the text or dialogue of: "The suspect was Hispanic between the ages of 18-25"? If one goes with the estimates of 10 to 12 million illegal aliens in this country, most being Hispanic, then how many of these crimes are perpetrated by illegal alien Hispanics? Geez, do the math. You know what? Usually, it's just that simple!
Kirk Rundle, Gilbert
Name-calling never works: Sarah Fenske, you're an idiot! How can you attempt to turn this tragedy into something it wasn't! Your little illegal buddy was at fault; he was the criminal. He instigated all of it. The SOB should have been the one killed!
Steven Terrell Sr., via the Internet
IN DA CLUB
Blind to the reality?: I just had to offer a comment on "Men Behaving Badly" (Sarah Fenske, July 19) and on a couple of the letters in a subsequent issue, in which readers are appalled that men would want to be left alone in their own bar at a country club ("Ol' Boys' Club," July 26).
Are these women blind to the reality that there are far more female-only places in this country these days than male-only? As for letter-writer Carol Walker, she's obviously the kind of woman men at the Phoenix Country Club are trying to avoid. You know, the kind who has to have her ass kissed 24/7 or there'll be trouble.
Terry Scott, Phoenix
Woman sickened by women: I am a 49-year-old female, and I'm sickened at times by the actions of women in the name of "equal rights." Give me a break, ladies! Go form your own club and leave the men's club as it is. There is nothing wrong with men and women having their own separate places to socialize. Jeez, when will this stop?!
Sue Ashe, Mesa
Now that song is stuck in our heads, too: Excellent story by Robrt L. Pela on The 'Slope ("Sunnyslopetopia," July 26). At Nexus Publishing, we gave Sunnyslope three stars out of five in Where to Live in Phoenix & the Valley of the Sun. As Pela so thoroughly reported, there's a lot to love in Sunnyslope. The 'Slope's schools, character, natural beauty, convenience, and affordability all contributed to its ranking in our book.
Remember how the "Sunnyslope Song" by former City Councilwoman Edna McEwen Ellis goes? "On the sun-baked desert/Where you lose your ills/Throw away crutches and/Your doctor's pills/Let the sun shine in/Forget about those ills/You're now in Sunnyslope."
Scott C. Seckel, Phoenix
Its true; life without wine bars is nothing: Wow, I sure am glad I moved into Sunnyslope 11 years ago, before I realized that my neighbors were Hell's Angels running meth labs! But I'm glad I don't have to face the terrible and scary experience of "crossing over the canal" because, hey, I'm already here.
My own meth lab hasn't been doing so well. Perhaps because my neighbors (a retired postman, a remodeling contractor, an air-conditioning mechanic, a tile crew lead, a retired computer programmer and a just-starting-out lawyer) are just too busy to help me out. So I turned to the kids, but dammit, all of them are in school! What a useless bunch! Why do you need school when you can run meth labs?
Seriously, I'd like to request from the New Times a list of its excursions into working-class neighborhoods like Sunnyslope. Was a similar lack of connection demonstrated in those articles?
Can it be true that life without wine bars isn't worthy of recording anywhere but a police blotter? But please come back! We need another article to keep the crooked mortgage lenders, junk bond brokers and unscrupulous plastic surgeons from creeping in. Artists are welcome and artists with pretensions will be tolerated, but please stay inside your gates and curb your whippets.
Jill Ginsburg, Phoenix
She definitely knows the Sunnyslope song: I've never had the urge to write to someone at New Times or, I suppose, had the emotions to feel the need. However, after finishing up your story, I felt compelled.
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This morning, I went to work like I do every other workday and went to the corner store in the building across from us to get my morning jolt of caffeine. I saw a gentleman open the New Times dispenser, and I thought "I don't have anything to do at work today, so I'll grab myself a New Times." Then I saw the cover, and felt a little, warm fuzzy emerge deep within my gut.
When I was 5, I moved to Sixth Avenue and Hatcher and grew up there until I was 19, when my mother decided to move to Sun City West. Going to college and unable to afford my own place, I followed along. My boyfriend still sort-of worked in the neighborhood, so there were times we would drive through, and I missed it. But didn't miss the dingy houses, or the creepy pedestrians. There was a time when I drove by my old elementary school on Vogel but it had been demolished. It was gone. There was nothing there but a dirt lot, and I started to cry. They eventually built a new school, but it'll never be the same for those of us who went to the original Sunnyslope Elementary.
I know I'm just reminiscing, and it may seem silly, but I just wanted to show you that even those of us who don't live there still remember it and still love it. I lived on a street where one end looked nice, manicured, while the other had cars in the yard and overgrown brush. I was blocks away from two-story buildings nestled against the mountain and run-down shacks that were condemned. I'm so happy to hear they're working on the neighborhood.
Rebeka Johnson, Phoenix
Glad we can help: I've been trying to tell people that Sunnyslope is going to be the next big thing in the Valley. That its landscape and views would make it a great place to clean up and turn into a great community. It's one of the most affordable conveniently located neighborhoods left.
Jay Corum, Phoenix