Greenes odyssey: Great story on Sam Greene's big adventure ("The Wheel World," Michele Laudig, July 5). The fact that he worked for 20 years with no luck (well, he made $200 from his writing) makes his recent success with American Body Shop so much more appealing. It's not exactly a rags-to-riches story (Greene made big money in Phoenix real estate), but it's got the same feel.
I like the fact that his show's "anti-reality." Like Greene, I hate reality shows, but this one has a different feel from even take-offs on reality shows. It's devilishly funny and wrong!
American Body Shop
The best part about Greene's odyssey was how he'd given up on ever making it as a writer, and then he gets the call from Comedy Central. How, at first, he thought somebody was playing a cruel joke on him, given that he'd literally just decided to stop aspiring to Hollywood. He must have had mixed emotions about that call at the time, though now he obviously doesn't.
The story of Greene's triumph gives hope. I can see from it that you should never give up on your dream.
Margaret Miller, Los Angeles
No mo faux: Damn, what a letdown. American Body Shop sucked. It's bad enough that every network on the planet is churning out a new reality series every 10 seconds, but now every network is scrambling to churn out faux reality shows. Good for Sam Greene; he got a development deal for another dumb show.
Name withheld by request
Return to the SS days: I'm sure what The Bird said is very unpopular with the majority of Valley citizens, but he couldn't be more right ("Redneck Touchdown," Stephen Lemons, July 5). The similarities between the so-called leaders of the anti-Mexican-immigration movement and neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members couldn't be more apparent.
And the defeat of the immigration compromise in Washington just played right into these racists' hands. As did Governor Janet Napolitano's save-her-skin political decision to side with the racists who are pushing bigoted measures at the state level.
Hell, Rusty Childress, a financial backbone of the local movement, is routinely hosting bigots and extremists at his weekly hate-gatherings at his Kia dealership, people like J.T. Ready, an avowed white supremacist. Have people forgotten what the Nazis were all about in Germany before and during World War II? Adolf Hitler was not a nice man, you dumb crackers! He literally incinerated much of an entire race of people. Yet there was jack-booted J.T. at the anti-immigrant rally getting large cheers from Childress' crowd.
And let me mention state Representative Russell Pearce; here's a guy who forwarded an e-mail from the neo-Nazi National Alliance, telling his followers to be sure and read its wisdom. Later, he said he didn't realize that the link was to a neo-Nazi group, but he was certainly espousing the very same ideas. And still is.
When racists like Pearce and Ready are the cornerstones of a movement, and that movement gets a big foothold in our state and nation, we are inviting a return to the days of the Nazi SS. If people in this community and state can't see what's going on, they're even dumber rednecks than The Bird says they are.
Francisco Martinez, Phoenix
Wrong again, Doug: I strongly commend Governor Janet Napolitano for her resolve in standing up for her convictions and taking action to seal our southern border. I am a Vietnam Vet who proudly served his country during 1962-66 in another unpopular war. I am completely anti-illegal (all illegals, not just Mexicans), which I guess makes me a racist, right-wing nut. Your label, not mine.
As for me, I do not believe in labeling people or ideas. I took my basic training in Alabama in 1962 and saw the ugly face of segregation first hand; I was even jailed in Montgomery for walking down the street with my best friend, who happened to be an Afro-American.
The time has come for us to recover our country and identity. I am strongly in favor of legal immigration, and I support those who take the trouble and time in line to enter the U.S. legally. I don't expect you to print this, as my views are the direct opposite of yours.
Douglas H. Gorman, via the Internet
Pond scum in ocean of life: As spewed by you: "They're partyin' in the trailer parks. Pass out the free Skoal and Old Milwaukee. The knuckledragger Know Nothings, wing-nut nativists, white supremacists, and toothless beaner-bashers won the day as hopes for a Congressional compromise on comprehensive immigration reform were trounced in the U.S. Senate."
For one, I do not live in a trailer park, I do not dip Skoal, nor do I drink Old Milwaukee or any other alcoholic beverage, for that matter. I do support legal immigration and am very proud of all American citizens for standing up to be counted in the fight to do away with a very bad federal bill. Such a shame that you take your liberties and your freedoms so lightly and all you can come up with is this drivel.
If the illegals want to march in the streets, let them go back to the country of origin and march away. They have every right to march in their own country to change the laws there that they dislike. The attempts to associate their so-called movement to the likes of the civil rights movement of the '50s and '60s is disgusting. The civil rights movement was a proud moment in our history that was fought for black American citizens. Nowhere in that did I find any mention of black illegal aliens.
If I were the editor of this paper, you would no longer be employed. To imply that all American citizens who opposed this traitorous bill are nothing more than pond scum in the ocean of life speaks volumes that you are the racist here. It was absolutely amazing to see American citizens come together for a cause that carries such importance.
Vocal? Yes, we are. Highly motivated? Absolutely. Minority? I don't think so!
I also agree that it was a breath of fresh air to see Janet Napolitano sign the legislation that will help to strengthen our southern border, as well as show the business community that we will no longer allow them to bring in cheap labor in the form of illegal aliens.
Marilyn Gover, North Little Rock, Arkansas
Enjoy your legacy, Janet: We were on our way to workable U.S. legislation aimed at fixing the immigration problem in a humane and practical way, and then the wing-nuts were allowed to yell it down. Too bad our leaders in Washington didn't have the balls to stand up to these wack-jobs and do what's right.
Then Governor Napolitano comes in in a blatant effort to curry political favor at the expense of any morality she might once have had and makes the situation much worse. If the Russell Pearce-Janet Napolitano bill becomes law, and it looks like it will, Napolitano will be responsible for destroying the economy of her state. What a legacy!
Ben Mancuso, Tucson
Bringing out the truth: I just wanted to say thank you for bringing the truth out in the open in "Death by Electrocutioner" (Paul Rubin, June 28). I am an ex-girlfriend of Keith Graff's and the mother of his daughter, who will never have the opportunity for Daddy to walk her down the aisle or dance with her at her wedding.
I couldn't believe that the police officers who killed Keith are still employed. But your article helped put a lot of closure on this sad event for me. There were so many things that you wrote that even I was unaware of. Thanks for bringing out how these cops were out to get Keith, not out to serve justice.
You made it possible for everyone to see what really happened that night, and that means the world to me and my daughter, Cheyenne A. Graff.
Amanda Williams, Phoenix
Judge, jury, and executioner: I just finished reading the article "Death by Electrocutioner." I have to say I am absolutely shaking with fury. I do not understand how Officers Charles Anderson and Carla Williams could have been cleared of any wrongdoing. I also do not understand how they can still be on the police force.
My ex-husband was not an angel by any means. But Keith did not deserve to be murdered. He was an immature, 24-year-old man who made some bad decisions. But now, he will never have the chance to right all his mistakes. My son and his other children will never have a chance to know their father. How will I explain his death to my son, and the fact that his murderers are walking around without any sort of punishment?
Someone needs to be held accountable for his death. There needs to be some sort of justice. Eighty-four seconds! That is an eternity. It is especially long when in agony. There is no doubt in my mind those two officers knew they were hurting him. There is no doubt in my mind that that was their intention.
I am sure if the police department stepped back and put his arrest and prison record aside they would see the same. Keith was and still is loved and mourned by many. I think we need to see officers Anderson and Williams both charged and convicted. Police officers are not, by any means, above the law. Their duty is to protect and serve; not to seek vengeance and murder.
When do police have the authority to become judge, jury, and executioner? How do we tell our children to respect and place our trust in our police officers when they seem to be the ones getting away with murder?
Kristin L. Moore, via the Internet
As corrupt as it gets: This "Death by Electrocutioner" story enrages me to no end. The Phoenix Police Department is just as corrupt as it gets. This was justified? A fucking joke!
Julian Arroyo, Surprise
One less sick person: One less tweaker is one less sick person on the street. Yes, tweakers are people, but the crimes they commit are, well, sick. They need help. If they die, they die. If they don't want help, then to hell with them.
They will rob, steal, and murder. Everyone knows that meth is a selfish drug. That's why they whore their own children. One less tweaker is fine with me.
James Black, Phoenix
Dumber than ever: We live in a idiotic community that's more focused on hating tweakers than in the rise in police brutality not just regionally but nationally.
I wasn't aware that running from the police was a crime one should die for. This guy was a former soldier, for Christ's sake! But I guess he's just a tweaker now that the police killed him.
Guess I forgot how stupid Arizonans are. Just look at the issues that hit the ballots. People here are dumber than ever. Give yourselves a hand.
Nick Andrews, Phoenix
Deadly 1:24: Eighty-four seconds! Superb series. Paul Rubin clearly showed evidence in the first story that Tasers have a useful role in police work. The problem in the specific case where Keith Graff died is poor judgment and arrogance by the officers. One thing to note: Officer Anderson would have run out of bullets in that time if he had been using a gun.
Name withheld by request
Above the Constitution: I deeply enjoyed your artful presentation of the tragic death of this young man. As you detailed the police internal affairs interview and the softball questions pitched therein it made me think of an issue I've always wanted to see exposed: the super-constitutional rights afforded police when they're suspected of being in trouble.
James Rathburn, Hackensack, New Jersey
This time, youve gone too far: This is a letter in response to the recent New Times where a naked woman was on the cover being groped/cupped by another woman ("Ladies Night," Niki D'Andrea, June 28). This is the poorest, most distasteful and incredibly demeaning-to-women cover I've seen from this publication!
The objectification of women is not only proliferated within your publication by the sex and porn advertisements, but now is brought to the forefront of the magazine. The audacity of your publication (which is on every street corner), given that families, children and just people who don't care for smut will have to walk by and be subjected to such blatant exploitation of women!
New Times has really gone over the top this time. And I know this is sometimes the way you like to do things be edgy, provocative, seemingly forward-thinking. But I tell you, this is not. This is a day and age when women are being murdered, raped, and abused. Having images like this sprawled out in plain view does not add to a woman's worth, but takes away from it.
Here's hoping you never engage in such a demeaning and disrespectful act again. Because, if you do, I and a lot of my colleagues and friends will never touch another New Times article or attend another of your parties.
Name withheld by request
Newcomers guide: I really enjoyed the "Ladies Night" article, and want to thank Niki D'Andrea for writing it. Sorry if it didn't appeal to the masses (a.k.a. the non-lesbian female and bisexual female communities), but I thought it was funny and provided some good insight into the bar scene.
I've lived here for about six months and really haven't been out much, but now I have an idea of where to go.
Name withheld by request
Sad action: I like hot, girl-on-girl action as much as the next person, but this is sad. My Friday night was way more interesting than the one described in this article: I got hammered-ass drunk, saw some titties, and lit a guitar on fire. My only regret is that my friends and I didn't think to put out the fire with squirt-guns, which would've really sent things over the top.
Name withheld by request
Gimme lesbian antics: I found the "Ladies Night" article much more interesting than that crap about cops and Tasers. Public safety? Who cares?! Give me more lesbian antics!
Name withheld by request
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Are they really puke-worthy?: I have serious concerns about the direction of your paper's music section. More specifically, I don't understand why Niki D'Andrea is allowed to continually fill this section with stories that have nothing to do with music.
While I can reluctantly tolerate her forays into music journalism (Niki's Pick, Locals Only, and Live Wire), it's the Niki at Nite articles that make me want to puke. It seems that if she isn't telling us she's a lesbian, she's name-dropping her friends. Does she want me to think she's cool because her friends have wacky nicknames? I'm not jealous. I had friends with nicknames in third grade.
These meaningless rants about what she does in her free time mean nothing to me. This writing was fine when it was in the Night & Day section, but there should be no place for it in the music section. I don't care about Chihuahua races ("Doggy Style," May 17) or semi-pro wrestling ("Slam-o-Rama," April 17), or the non-music venues visited on Mill Avenue on a Saturday night ("Milling Around," April 4).
I've held my tongue for quite a while, but this week's "Ladies Night" issue has sent me over the edge. Not only is it hard for me to believe that you allowed this to be a feature, but that you ran it in the music section.
Dave Merenda, Phoenix