The Beaten Path
I was amazed at the ugliness of the people who run The Open Door Shelter for battered women, but mostly I was shocked to discover that someone has the nerve to call a battered woman "scum" ("Shelter Skelter," Amy Silverman, October 26). That statement was a clear indication of pure stupidity. I am a former abused wife, and I, for one, can tell you that getting out of that kind of relationship is close to impossible. Ittakes a lot for a woman to ask for help, and even more to stay away from her abuser. If Audrey Rounding had taken my child home, I would have had her arrested for kidnaping.

There are many good and kind people out there who understand what it is like to be abused. These people realize that the woman is not at fault. They realize that circumstances sometimes dictate that a woman, mother and wife will take abuse just to stay alive.

I would like to see Rounding one month after living with my ex-husband; maybe then she would sing a different tune regarding the abused women who pass through the shelter. I thank God that I had a good shelter to go to when I decided to leave. It saved my life.

Cynthia Richards

The management of The Open Door Shelter, replete with back stabbings, ego trips and financial shenanigans, has created a sad situation indeed. It is tragic that this potentially invaluable organization was (is?) being run without supervision, good leadership, proper financial regulation or basic common sense. Perhaps the courts can step in and settle their hash, because adult women who still use phrases such as "cooties" and "yucky-poo" are obviously incapable of settling things on their own.

Among this group of people who seem to have forgotten the goal of The Open Door Shelter is to help battered women, not further individual power plays or bank accounts, it was Audrey Rounding who compelled me to write. How could a woman like that be allowed to run a battered-women's shelter? I'm sure she's home right now, wearing one of her "gorgeous, gorgeous sweaters," crying into her fancy gold coffee cup because no one appreciated all she did for those women she calls "scum."

To quote Rounding: "The good ones are helped by their families." Let's see if I have this right ... any woman who is lucky enough to find help somewhere else is good, but any woman who actually needs the services of the shelter is scum? God help the battered women who have no families to help them and find themselves at the shelter's doorstep.

Rounding goes on to say, "I'm sitting there killing myself, for what? For five bucks an hour?" I have a suggestion: Ask the thousands of people who volunteer their time, money, labor and hearts free, and perhaps Rounding will figure it out.

Funny, when I pictured Rounding helping herself to bags of donated items from the shelter's thrift store, the word "scum" came to my mind, too.

Susan Talmadge

Ballroom Blitz
I am disappointed that New Times would run an attack on Electric Ballroom weeks after the October 6 column regarding our club (Letters, November 2). Allowing the accusation of a drunken staff is irresponsible. Drinking on the job is cause for immediate dismissal at the Ballroom. It is also illegal under Arizona liquor laws.

Terry Garvin's band, Zen Lunatics, is a good band with almost no draw. The Ballroom hosts 1,000 people. Zen Lunatics headlined the night in question (April 18), drew only 42 guests (had no paid admissions) and was still paid largely because of our embarrassment over birthday cake that ended up on the stage floor. Apologies abounded, as did a bonus for the inconvenience. A suspension was awarded to the one off-duty staff member present.

I am happy to hear that my "parking-lot gestapo" is doing its job. The Tempe Police Department has made a no-loitering policy part of our security agreement. That includes drinking in a parked car. Sorry, Mr.Garvin, raises will be going out to the parking-lot staff.

As for our "delightful" bouncers keeping Garvin from leaving through a door marked "Exit," the doors he is not supposed to leave through are marked "Fire Exit." Fire Exit doors are just that ... "fire exits." Mr. Garvin is more than welcome to use an "exit" anytime.

I would like to thank Ray Anthony of Gibson's for his letter. Ray is a class act, as are all the people at Gibson's. It is refreshing to see someone with a cosmopolitan attitude who doesn't feel he has to put down his "competition."

Finally, this crap about Nita's Hideaway and Long Wong's has to stop. This whole issue is a result of the criticism we had of the Best of Phoenix Readers' Poll not having enough categories for music. There should have been places in the Readers' Poll for other clubs and venues. I am sure that Gibson's, Minder Binder's, Nita's and Long Wong's were all wringing their hands in anticipatory glee over that coveted Best Metal Club title. Our problem is with New Times, not Nita's or Long Wong's.

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