Breaking Point

Hip-hopped up: I just had to write and make a point about your article "Robot Wars" (Jimmy Magahern, January 9). Breakin' isn't hip-hop. The scene isn't hip-hop, never was. Sorry, just not the case. The electronic dance music culture is where it's at now been for a while, too. Sure, the [Furious Styles Crew's Sixth Anniversary B-Boy] Summit may have focused on and looked like hip-hop, but the majority of breakers in this world and in the U.S. are in the electronic music scene. Sure, similar peeps and like you mentioned, how they all get along so well. Well, it's not the hip-hop scene! It's the rave scene that got it that friendly. Ever hear of PLUR?

The music isn't hip-hop, either. You are not going to find those dudes buying CDs from the hip-hop section of a music store. Nope. Dance music, yes. The dance is break-dancing, the music is BREAKS! Short for break beats, a type of music in the electronic music scene. Afrika Bambaataa and all those old names you mentioned were early risers in the electronic music scene. Check out your Detroit then Chicago house music history. Arizona isn't too up on it as in the east (Chicago, Boston, Columbus, New York, Washington, D.C.). You wanna see dancers who might not be 30-second stints or acrobatic, try checking Club Freedom.

No harm. I still dug your article. Just the dancing is not from or into hip-hop it's electronic breaks!

Dane Campbell

Sun Devilry

Something to crow about: An interesting insight into the salaries here at ASU ("Raising Arizona State," Amy Silverman, January 2). I work deep in the bowels of one of the more distinguished facilities here at Crow Enterprises, Inc. just FYI.

I think we got a 5 percent raise (or 4 percent, I forget) last year; seeing how some made 10 to 25 percent (and Crow, whose own salary increase over that he had at Columbia, I am sure, is more impressive still) makes me feel so happy. After all, it's not just any school that can bootstrap its own staff such that it can wrangle that kind of money in a deficit year and manage to try to get the office re-carpeted, while some buildings on campus can't even be used for education due to their current condition.

As the State Press said, "Live with it." Double the cost of their educations, double the students per class, shuffle the deck and let the faculty fall out and downhill, toward greener pastures. Too many people here at the Michael Crow Institute of Technology anyway.

Name withheld by request

Budget cuts like a knife: When I read this article, my only response was, "I am appalled." I only wish there could have been some contrast to the inequities that our staff and some faculty get. I am a staff member, and my raise last year was $1,450, somewhere around 2 percent. My benefit costs increased close to 4 percent. Many staff people and some faculty are well below the midrange of their grades. I guess the administration did not feel it was important for those people to be brought up to the same standard they held for themselves. I have had to endure shrinking budgets because of cutbacks but see spending left and right for pet projects. What is wrong with this picture? That same $250,000 could have gone a long way for those people needing it the most. Makes you wonder who is looking out for the little guy.

Name withheld by request

ASU jeer leader: Thank you, thank you, thank you! This should be on the front page of every newspaper in this state.

As an ASU employee and alum, I am thoroughly disgusted over my administration's lack of ethics and concern for the faculty, staff and students they are supposed to be representing.

Name withheld by request

To hull and back: Damn, you're good. But don't you mean "Razing" Arizona State? You captured some good points, and it's something everyone here needed to hear. Although I can attest to the fact that many of the people whose salaries you mentioned do a magnificent job, it seems that others have taken note of the way ASU wants to ring in the new year: shifting the burden from the taxpayers to the students.

In an October letter to Randall Gnant and Jim Wiers, the outgoing Speaker of the House and president of the Senate, respectively, Governor Jane Hull said she didn't want to cut the university's budget more than 5 percent because she didn't want it to directly affect the students. Wake up and smell the propane, Jane! It's affecting us! Now we'll have to pay an extra $1,000 in tuition. At the same time, Hull said she was only cutting the Arizona Board of Regents' budget by 2 percent because she still wanted to make Arizona's schools appealing. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Now our beloved Dr. Crow, ASU's so-called savior, is at the mast of this great ship bound for who knows where. This great ship, coincidentally losing its "Hull," is not receiving much support from the state. The "Changing Directions" initiative headlines its proposal by saying it wants to "increase the affordability of higher education" and "improve the quality of the educational experience." Oh, really?

So make us pay for Dr. Crow's new office, let us help pay for the executives' raises, let us pay $1,000 more a year, quit watering the grass and let's see where ASU's retention rate goes. I threw "quit watering the grass" in there for comedic relief, but that's true, too.

How ironic that we're Sun Devils? The sun has obviously quit shining on us, and we're in a hell of a situation.

Name withheld by request


Tech no logical: I note that the New Times reported that some environmentalists are less than pleased with our governor-elect's appointment of Steve Owens as director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality ("Shades of Green," Spiked, December 19). The criticism appears to center around the nature of his political background, and whether he had "big business" clients in his law practice. You display no interest in his actual environmental expertise, and in fact, you recommend instead Chris Cummiskey, who, though a fine person, is a total unknown in the environmental community.

What you seem to accept uncritically is the notion that an attorney, any attorney, should head a technical agency. All attorneys believe, of course, that they are the smartest people on this earth, and therefore are qualified to do any conceivable job. This must have been Janet Napolitano's thinking (that, and political reward), given her background as Attorney General. But is an attorney, seeing all problems through the eyes of someone trained in adversarial proceedings, the best person to head an agency that has to address technical issues? Think about it.

Name withheld by request

Bush whacker: Governor Janet Napolitano is probably as good as we will be able to get in Arizona. On local/state environmental issues, she is very good in comparison to Matt Salmon. However, Napolitano doesn't publicly acknowledge the looming disaster of global climate change, even though Arizona is being hit especially hard by the drought in the American West.

But Salmon essentially follows George II's war against science and the rest of the world. George II even has used his muscle to replace the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change when it produced a report that George II didn't like.

After the release in June of the Bush administration's Global Climate Change Report, which said that global climate change was human-caused and that there would be "very likely . . . less snow . . . and the permanent disappearance of Rocky Mountain meadows," there was an uproar from administration officials and coal/oil lobbyists. So the report was altered to include additional sections on the uncertainties of climate science. (Yes, in the short term, climate is unpredictable and uncertain.) Then the EPA issued its annual report, which excluded, for the first time in years, any discussion of CO2 and climate change, explaining that CO2 does not directly threaten the environment.

There is evidence that global climate change will especially cause drought and adversely affect people living closer to the equator, such as Mexico and Central America "their situation will be desperate and manifestly unjust" (from Statement of 100 Nobel Laureates at Nobel Prize Centennial). This is another reason for the huge flow of immigrants perhaps even a much larger flow in the future if "business as usual" continues.

The U.S. has become the major barrier to doing anything about global climate change. TEP and SRP are even building two more coal plants.

Roland James

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