Letters From the Issue of Thursday, September 6, 2007


But shes a contributor: It was sad to read about young Virginia Gutierrez being deported to Mexico ("No, Virginia," The Bird, August 30). She's obviously someone we want to keep here — an honor student — yet there doesn't appear to be deportation leeway with the law when it comes to students from Mexico who have been living here in Arizona and going to school for many years. This is where Rusty Childress and his friends come in and say, "But she's illegal!" My reply is that Virginia is getting a degree and will be contributing to our economy in the U.S. with a good job when she completes college.
Gwynne Hamilton, Phoenix




Its called murder, people!: I was amazed and absolutely appalled by the article on Jana Van Voorhis ("Death Wish," Paul Rubin, August 23). I have to ask, where is our government and the mental health care system to help individuals in her state of mind? When I say state of mind, I mean depressed, delusional, and incapable. You have a company marketing themselves as Final Exit? Assisted suicide? You have got to be kidding me! It's called murder, people! Final Exit is preying on people with limited mental capacity, yet allowing them to make a decision on whether they live or die! Jana lived her entire life mentally ill. Did they not check her medical history? My heart goes out to her family for such a tragic loss for a very loved woman. Final Exit needs to make theirs!
Linda C. Campbell, Tempe


Golly, Marty, were blushing: I want to first say that I thoroughly enjoyed your recent article showcasing Berkana Townhomes ("Location, Location, Location," Robrt L. Pela, August 23). Actually, I couldn't care less about that particular property. I am simply excited to learn that you will be writing a regular column, Surreal Estate, about Phoenix architecture and land use.

After being a regular Westword reader during my two decades in Denver, I naturally started reading New Times when I moved here two years ago. Michele Laudig's Cafe column has helped me discover dozens of restaurants and neighborhoods in that time. Though I don't frequent dive bars, I am also thoroughly entertained by C.M. Redding's column, Booze Pig. Oh, and that comprehensive article last month about the Sunnyslope neighborhood ("Sunnyslopetopia," Robrt L. Pela, July 26) opened my eyes to yet another corner of the Valley.

Thanks again for enriching my Phoenix experience. Keep up the great work!
Martin Marlow, Phoenix

Try taking Martys approach — read Cafe: I loved your article on the "uninspired architecture" of Phoenix. I also have lived here my whole life, 30 years, and I have always been proud of the growth of the city. However, the growth is absolutely unattractive. It seems that Phoenix needs to hire some professional city planners to make it a better looking city in 20 years. Another topic you might want to look at, if you haven't already, is the malls that are popping up all over the Valley. It seems like the exact stores at each mall: Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Red Robin, Applebee's, Olive Garden, etc. It is hard to find a non-chain restaurant to eat at in Phoenix.
Chris Arenson, Phoenix

Bombs away!: Thank you so much for your new column! Talk about a fertile source of inspiration. Good old kitschy Phoenix! I really must turn you on to my absolute least favorite piece of architecture in town. If Disney's Imagineers were on crack, they couldn't have done worse than the monstrosity on the northwest corner of Central and Palm Lane. Someone with good taste should call in an air strike on this locale. Chateaux on Central? Gimme a break!
Michael McNally, Phoenix

Yes, you are a snob: I just read your piece and loved it. My wife and I are new here. We moved one year ago from the Pacific Northwest. The majority of my family is from Portland, Seattle, and Spokane — all very cool towns for diverse architecture.

So . . . what a town (Phoenix)! I try hard. Real hard! I want to like this place, but my God, it's so ugly. I really have tried to be open-minded but, man, I swear I do not get the style here. It's either this Tuscan overstuffed look or just plain ugly. So, yes, I have accepted after a year that I am a snob. My wife and I are on a three-year plan here, then it's . . . get the hell back to the Northwest. Before I go, I want to write and publish a book on Phoenix's "tacky architecture." There is so much!

I hate to sound like such a bummer, but when I read your story, I had to respond. It's like someone gets it!
Justin Smiley, Phoenix


Troubling, isnt it?: I had to grimace as I read Sarah Fenske's expos of Laura Pastor's campaign for Phoenix City Council representing District 7. ("Daddy's Little Girl", August 23). As a resident of District 7, I was pretty sure that Ms. Pastor was not qualified to assume our City Council seat, especially when compared with the other three candidates, but I wasn't aware of the depth of skullduggery attached to her quest for this seat.

Nevertheless, Congressman Ed Pastor is so venerated here in District 7 that any candidate with the surname Pastor (whether related to the congressman or not) will be the hands-down winner. Even if Fenske's article (reporting the inexperience, nepotism, and malfeasance associated with Laura Pastor's campaign) was required reading for every voter in District 7, they would still vote for her — especially when they read the part about her actually being related to the congressman.

I feel sorry for the other District 7 candidates in their futile attempt to overcome the Pastor juggernaut. But my real lament in all of this is that Laura Pastor's city council seat will be just a stepping-stone to her daddy's congressional seat when he decides to retire.
Steve Sanders, Phoenix

Knocking out the lightweight: Congratulations on a well-written piece about Laura Pastor, her father, and their well-connected friends. I have followed the District 7 race very closely, reading and attending debates. The conclusion I have reached is that Laura Pastor is a political lightweight who has not exhibited any sign of leadership or vision for our district or for our city. Yet (surprise, surprise) she has raised far more money then the other distinguished (and better-qualified) candidates.

I recently received a recorded message phone call from Mayor Gordon asking that I support Laura Pastor. I cannot believe that an intelligent man like the mayor can seriously believe that Ms. Pastor is the best-qualified candidate for District 7 council representation. I can believe, however, that the mayor — and many other office-holders — believes that their support of Ms. Pastor will pay off sometime in the future with help from the congressman. What a shame!
Neil Schneider, Phoenix


Its not a restroom issue: Regarding columnist Stephen Lemons' continuing campaign of hate against a harmless minority ("Tranny Tweeter," The Bird, August 16), club owner Tom Anderson's refusal to cooperate with the Arizona Attorney General's investigation into charges of gender discrimination demonstrates he's aware the charges are serious and have merit.

The Arizona Transgender Alliance is confident this will send a message to the greater Arizona business community that they are not entitled to discriminate against the transgendered.

There was only one transsexual who used the larger women's restroom at Anderson's. It was only on one night. Every single incident that Anderson claims as a basis for banning the entire transgender community was done by one person on one night.

This case is not about the restroom issue. This case is about access to businesses. This is about securing the rights of a harmless, discriminated-against minority to walk into a business with the same rights as anyone else. If Anderson is allowed to discriminate, other bars owners may do this. Then restaurants may ban us. Then clothing stores may stop us at the door. Next, it will be our employers.
Erica Kay, Phoenix

Tranny therapy: Transgenders have no therapeutic support. Are they in therapy? Probably not. Are they prescribed female hormones? Probably not. Are they living life experiences as a woman, living as a woman at all times under supervision of a therapist? Probably not. They are just men with skirts on.

If they want to use the restroom, they must have a therapist's letter that the person is in transition to female and is living life as a woman. They also must be on hormone-replacement therapy.

Nothing says you have to allow males wearing feminine attire to use restrooms. Someone in transition to female, a transsexual, sheds a different light on this issue, but those who claim transgender have no foundation for their claims — nor does the ACLU.

I paid thousands of dollars on therapy, and thousands of dollars for my hormone-replacement treatment, and I live and work as female. I dress as female day and night. This is called lifetime experience, and it's a requirement for sexual-reassignment surgery.

And it should be a requirement to use the ladies' restroom.

Let these who claim transgender pay what I paid for my transition to female. Otherwise, they are nothing more than males who don feminine clothing for sport.
Phyllis Austin, Metairie, Louisiana


Have you ridden the bus, Robby?: I am writing in regard to the insane yet insulting letter from Robby Katz ("Bus Folly," August 16) about the article "Taken For A (Bus) Ride" (Sarah Fenske, August 9).

First of all, Katz must not read very well because the article clearly stated that there were no other contractors contacted to give quotes.

Secondly, he asked why doesn't New Times donate $3,200 to the mayor? That question and the statement that followed didn't even make sense. Is Katz on meth or what? I truly hope that most Phoenix voters are not as inept as he is.

And lastly, does he ride the bus or know anyone who does? Well, I have and know others who do. The bus system here is a joke. Buses are filthy, with small and cramped seats, and are never on time. There aren't enough routes, and in the Mesa-Tempe area, there isn't even a Sunday service.

I think the no-brainers in this issue are Mayor Phil Gordon, the Phoenix City Council and, of course, Robby Katz.
Jean Sipes, Mesa


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