Letters From the Issue of Thursday, September 20, 2007


Tough love was needed: The nightmarish details of this trip are astounding ("Eurotrashed," Megan Irwin, September 13). However, the students and the adults who hold "Mamma D" blameless are fools.

This woman recklessly abandoned her role as the adult in charge; being popular meant more to her than being responsible. How dare she turn her back on what these kids were doing? She not only endangered them, she mocked whatever standards their parents may have held them to.


Phoenix Summit Challenge

Being a parent requires that children are loved "hard" — i.e., disciplined and held accountable. Angie DiMaggio did not do this. She allowed and encouraged young adults to act in ways that compromised them and their ability to navigate foreign countries safely. Shame on DiMaggio and shame on those parents who think she is not culpable for the violence that occurred to the student who was left in her charge.
Faith Risolo, via the Internet


Its about telling the truth, Jimbo: After reading your article about the "Sun Devils," I was wondering why you chose the beginning of the football season to do a scathing article about new head coach Dennis Erickson ("Into the Fire," John Dougherty, September 6). But then I remembered your article about the financial mismanagement of the D-Backs that was published during the middle of their successful playoff and World Series run in 2001 ("Winning at Any Cost," John Dougherty, November 1, 2001).

Business as usual at New Times.

I was just wondering what your editorial policy is regarding major sports in the Valley. Even the positive article about Diana Taurasi and the Mercury ("Mercury Rising," Niki D'Andrea, August 30) spent a lot of time talking about the small crowds, the financial trouble of the league, the possibility that many of the best players will leave permanently for Europe and, of course, the sexual orientation of the players and fans.

Do you have distaste for major sports, in general?

I was also wondering why you don't have a regular weekly sports column. Someone picking up your paper on a Friday night looking for something to do might like something more than a little blurb in Night & Day — after you've just done a five-page expos about Amar Stoudemire's mom ("Amar's Burden," John Dougherty, March 30, 2006).
Jim Walls, El Mirage

Uh, whats ideology got to do with it?: The biased, one-sided "reporting" of this left-wing rag never ceases to amaze me. The only reason I came across this article was because the link was posted on www.devilsdigest.com. After reading the whole thing, I was amazed at the amount of space wasted mainly on one subject: the Miami infractions.

Dennis Erickson, Lisa Love, and Michael Crow aren't trying to forget about Erickson's past; they're trying to put it behind them to become a better program.

Brandon Falkner is dead because Loren Wade shot him. That's it! Stop shifting the blame around. If anybody failed anybody, the jury at the trial failed us. Wade should have been convicted of murder one and be facing the death penalty. (Oops, too conservative for you, huh?)

Fair and balanced reporting doesn't exist at New Times (never has). This liberal, anti-ASU rag belongs in the crap-hole down south (yes, I mean Tucson). Better yet, the ASU School of Journalism should hold up New Times as an example of what not to be.
Drew Hayes, Tempe

Too chilly for us down there: Nice liberal, commie write-up. Surprised you didn't blame all of ex-Atlanta Falcons quarterback Mike Vick's problems on Dennis Erickson. Guess what, when this team is winning with D.E. , there will be 72,000 fans out to support ASU.

When you have the second-highest enrollment in the country, you are bound to have some bad apples. And high-profile athletes who don't receive preferential treatment would be against the norm anywhere in this country.

Dennis Erickson wins. Period. Considering that pretty much all of the athletic department is funded by the football program, which needs to get back to an elite level, how about you move to Tucson?
Jason Lewis, Peoria

Squealing like little bitches: Jeez, this article is bound to make the little ASU homers squeal like the little bitches they are! All they care about is whether the ASU football team wins, which is pretty much what John Dougherty said with this story. Except that he was referring to the administration. Otherwise, why would it hire a scumbag like Dennis Erickson?

As long as the Sun Devils win football games, murder, rape, whatever is great. Anybody complaining should remember that the New Times article is right from the NCAA report and the headlines. Sports Illustrated covers and an NCAA investigation don't lie. Erickson is a loser personally, even if he does win a few more games than former coach Dirk Koetter. But even the jury's out on that.
Tom Gavin, Phoenix

Not here it hasnt: Thank God we don't dwell on the past, huh? Hmm, what is the quickest way to try to make ASU look bad? Oh, let's go ahead and point our fingers at Dennis Erickson and at ASU's past again.

It's not like ASU has a spotless record, and neither does Erickson. But let's pretend for a second that this hasn't already been talked about. Let's pretend this is actually new news. It's obvious you're running out of things to knock ASU for.

How about you don't rip on Erickson and ASU unless something actually happens? That's a novel thought.

Saying that ASU is offending Falkner's image by hiring Erickson is the most ridiculous journalism I've ever seen.
Matt Feller, via the Internet

Scandals R ASU: I lived in the Phoenix area for 16 years, and ASU has been plagued by scandals since the '80s. The reputation of the school is well-earned. Wonder if it has a course on the "Phoenix Lights"?
Chris Long, via the Internet


This city excels at shameful conduct, Rob: I would like to take the time to register my support of Carla Olson in her fight versus the City of Phoenix, attempt to introduce some extra relevant information, and express my absolute dismay at the shameful conduct of the city's Parks Department ("Take a Hike," Sarah Fenske, August 30).

The Phoenix Summit Challenge has been nothing but an absolute hit by bringing the city's outdoor community together. Activities for all ages help to raise awareness of the outdoors and the environment. It is a boon to the city by way of the funds that are raised and brought directly back into Parks Department coffers.

I would like to wonder in a very out-loud way: Just what is the problem here? This looks like nothing less than a petty pissing match instigated by a newly appointed city deputy parks director who can't come up with an original idea and is pulling the rug out from under this hard-working young lady. Whatever ends up happening, Kathi Reichert will be depriving the city of a well-run event.

There are a few other things I'd like to bring up here. Kathi Reichert was directed to work this out by the parks board. Why have they not removed her from the equation if she is incapable of following instructions and working to serve the best interests of her employers, who happen to be taxpayers?

There are also several employees of the Parks Department who know the truth of the situation but cannot seem to find the integrity or wherewithal to help get this sorted out. Perhaps most important, the idea for the Summit Challenge comes directly from an REI program in which employees are provided with gear and other assistance to help them with a personally challenging activity or event. The ranger who jointly pitched this idea with Olson was, at one time, an REI employee.

Lastly, if the Parks Department had any idea — I mean 1/1000th of an inkling — of what it took to put on the Summit Challenge by way of blood, sweat, tears, and sanity — it would run and hide under a big rock. What this boils down to is outright thievery and bully tactics could end up sending a wonderful event into a nosedive.
Rob Stimson, via the Internet


Jana deserved better: I'd been friends with Jana Van Voorhis for 35 years. It was on a Saturday when I saw her obituary, and I just lost it. I knew she'd really gone off the deep end since her mother passed away, and I suspected it was suicide.

To read "Death Wish" (Paul Rubin, August 23) and find out that two monsters helped her end her life appalled me. I hope that justice is done for Jana. The creeps who assisted her death must be senile. Anyone who has ever been around Jana could tell she wasn't all there. But she really was a sweet soul and didn't deserve to die like this.
Jeannette Carter, Chandler


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