Letters from the issue of Thursday, May 15, 2008
HEAR IT FOR THE BAND
They're Digital Summer!: Digital Summer is an amazing band that has so much talent and deserves this type of recognition and much more ("Sticker Shock," Benjamin Leatherman, May 8).
The band members work really well together and have what it takes to make it. I play their CD in my car all the time, and all my friends ask, "Who are they?" These guys rock!
Becky Patton, Peoria
Jason, you're kidding, right?: I'm in a local band, and I can tell you that Digital Summer is made up of a bunch of pretty-boy phonies. Why is it that New Times always picks the bands that everybody really likes to feature prominently in its pages, instead of bands that nobody seems to like but are artistically great?
It's easy to draw crowds of loyal supporters, but it's hard to labor with few supporters and people telling you to "keep your day job." (I mean, like my music career allows me to work at a day job!) When even your parents don't like your music (and want to kick you out of your room at their house) you know that you must be something right.
New Times is supposed to be an alternative paper, so why does it give a cover story to a band that is supported by countless thousands of people in the Phoenix area? This is intellectually dishonest. Discover something new — a band that nobody likes yet!
Jason Drew, Phoenix
A band that could go national: Anybody who hasn't gone to a Digital Summer show is missing something special!
This is a band that could go national, and it's right here in the Valley.
I've questioned almost every one of New Times' choices of bands for the newspaper's cover in the past, but not this time. New Times, you finally got it right!
Sue Matthews, Phoenix
See, Jason, they're not phonies: Thanks for featuring a band that really knows how to rock, for a change. Digital Summer's shows are drawing several hundred people each now. Can it be long before they become red hot nationally?
What I like about Digital Summer is that they are honest hard rock. They aren't phonies who try to do street hip-hop when they have no idea what that's about. They write songs about what they know, and a lot of it's relationship stuff that we all can relate to.
Richard Poe, Phoenix
Last name says it all: Digital Summer [band members] are a bunch of poseurs. Their music is totally soulless, and their fans are all idiots. Fuck 'em.
James Envy, Tempe
As good as their CD: Digital summer is the shit. Bottom line: The first time I realized that they were the band to represent Arizona's rock scene was when they played the Homeless for the Holidays acoustic set. Any band that can play acoustic and sound just as good as their CD has talent.
Dante M.F. White, Peoria
You keep hurting us, too: Just goes to show that you don't need talent to be on the cover of New Times. Great job, New Times! Another shitty band with a gimmick. You disappoint me more and more.
Name withheld by request
COOLIDGE AND THE GANG
How about an economic exception?: Closing down the Arizona Training Program at Coolidge is such a sad situation ("Home Invasion," Megan Irwin, May 1).
New Times told such a poignant story of how this facility has been home to these 129 people for so long. Who wouldn't be suffering at the loss of one's lifetime home?!
Dire economic times are truly to blame for the situation. It makes no sense, I guess, to keep this place open at taxpayer expense. But it's also sub-human to make these already-burdened folks suffer separation anxiety from Coolidge.
It's true that so many residents over the years should never have been put in a so-called "institution" in the first place, but since the state allowed that to happen, shouldn't an economic exception be made?
Maylene Woodbury, via the Internet
Shine a light: As the parent of a special-needs child, Megan Irwin's article was right on.
The experts who beat their chests about closing down this type of place always forget to mention that, when it happens, a lot of these people [don't] have families to take them in. A large percentage of them make up the homeless population that we have today, and some (worse yet) wind up in the prison system.
By the way, the term mentally retarded is offensive to special-needs people. Many of these people have physical problems, but their brains are as sharp as yours or mine.
BLACK AND WHITE
Last name says it all: I see that New Times' editors had Sarah Fenske write another article on the Wilkerson case ("Free Bryant Wilkerson," May 1) to kiss some black ass after [New Times executive] Michael Lacey offended black people with his remark ("Lacey Responds," April 17).
You can't possibly kiss enough black ass that black people won't turn on you in a heartbeat. Just ask Bill Clinton.
As far as the Wilkerson story goes, drop it. He caused the wreck by pulling in front of the SUV. Fenske only makes herself look stupid by mentioning stuff like following distance, and by reiterating that you're allowed to make U-turns at that location.
Wilkerson's fleeing the scene of a deadly accident wasn't just a felony and a pathetic, low-down thing to do, it was an indication of his guilt. When was the last time someone hit your car, causing damage, and you just floored it?
Steven White, Glendale
Steven White, are you listening?: Why is Andrew Thomas' office persisting in throwing the book at Bryant Wilkerson when it's clear that the drunk rich girl is the one who caused the accident?!
Could it be that Thomas needs the support of Laura Varker's family in his re-election bid? No chance any black people would ever vote for him anyway, so why not sell Wilkerson down the river, right? Keeps the rich crackers in this county happy.
At least the Yavapai County prosecutor's office is recommending that Varker be charged with something. Unlike Thomas' evil Republican drones. But she gets five misdemeanors, and the sober guy goes to prison 21 years?
Charge him with leaving the scene of an accident, which he shouldn't have done. And I'm not saying Varker should go to jail for 21 years either. But why can't Thomas' office be reasonable in sentencing both offenders?
Jane Williams, Phoenix
No common sense among prosecutors: Thanks to Sarah Fenske for exposing this travesty of justice. Once again, there is no common sense among the prosecutors who care only about a conviction, because they don't pick up the tab for the expenses involved — taxpayers do.
Our jails and prisons are overburdened. This man's life has been deeply affected. Keep on informing the public about the overzealous prosecution. Prosecutors no longer understand that "reasonable doubt" means "presumption of innocence."
What happens when someone abuses victim's rights laws? What are the penalties? The public has a right to know. They pay legal fees and all the costs. Sounds like the winner is the one who claims victim's rights first.
Name withheld by request
Why, oh, why?: Is there no justice in this nation anymore? If that had been me, I would have been behind bars so fast your head would spin. But no, one driver is black, one has rich parents. There is no justice.
Felicia Edwards' family members have suffered this past year trying to come to terms with her death. They've been waiting for justice, waiting and learning that there will probably be none.
Why? That's the question. We don't ask God why she was taken, just why there is no justice for her. Why is Laura Varker still running free? Why, I ask you?
Name withheld by request
Rethink your compassion: You had me agreeing with you until you began the pity party for the actual drunk drivers ("One Drink Wonder," Sarah Fenske, March 20). Boo-hoo.
My daughter, the designated driver, was the only person who had not been drinking in two vehicles when a drunk driver crossed the interstate median in Pueblo, Colorado, in 1994, traveled 1,000 meters and struck her head-on. She was the only one who died.
The other driver went to prison for six years, but nothing changes the fact that she is dead. I have an 18-year-old grandson who does not remember his mother. I miss her every day.
Save your compassion for miscarriages of justice — not for drunk drivers who haven't killed anyone. Yet.
Thomas Fife, via the Internet
A man who knows history: All the pure idiots defending the rat who called the cops and the insane cops themselves should be ashamed of yourselves.
You know nothing about DUI law, driving or the history of the country that gave you life. You all remind me of how the Nazis were able to rise to power in Germany.
You disgust me with your subservience, your licking of the boots of your masters. When they come for you (and if this state of affairs continues, they will) don't come crying to the rest of us.
Bill Mathis, via the Internet
Regrets? There are a few: There are many, many women who regret having had children. Like Sarah Fenske's mom ("Other Nature," May 8), they didn't realize they didn't have to get married and produce a family.
Some are bitter because they believe they played by the rules and got stuck with a husband and children who haven't lived up to their end of the bargain by providing grateful appreciation. Some because they gave up their plans of going to nursing school or opening their own greenhouse or whatever in order to do something they had been trained to believe was more important and more noble.
Some are just plain tired and depressed. They can be very resentful of women who chose not to marry and have children and whom they believe are all too carefree and disrespectful of the mom's conforming to the societal model.
It's sad and it's ugly, but it's an egg that can't be put back in the shell. No pun intended.
Gila Salado, Phoenix
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