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Letters From the Issue of Thursday, August 2, 2007

HOPE FOR THE 'SLOPE

See what happens when you listen to your parents?: I must admit that when I started reading your Sunnyslope story, I was in a state of disbelief ("Sunnyslopetopia," Robrt L. Pela, July 26). How could this sleazy neighborhood be the subject of what looked to be a highly positive cover story in New Times?

But then, I had to admit, I hadn't really spent much time in the neighborhood. A lifelong resident of the Phoenix area, I had been warned by my parents never to go to Sunnyslope, and I had probably only driven through it a time or two. To my parents, it was a den of iniquity, somewhere where you could score dope, see hookers all over the place, and maybe even get killed. It used to be one of the most crime-ridden areas in the city.

So, I read your story (mostly because I've been looking for an area where I could afford to buy a house), and then I drove up through Sunnyslope that afternoon. I see what you mean abut the vistas. It is beautiful in places, though still with some of the squalor you wrote about. Anyhow, thanks for turning me on to an emerging part of the city that I knew little or nothing about.

I hope I can afford to live there now that it's on the rise.
M.J. Riley, Phoenix

NAME SHAME

Down with anonymity — and Pela: No matter if I'm at home or visiting another city, whenever I pick up a newspaper or magazine, I first read Letters to the Editor. They set the tone of the populace or, perhaps, just those who like to vent.

But under "Wack Attack" (July 19), of the eight letters submitted, only one letter-writer signed her name. The other seven were submitted by "Name Withheld by Request," which makes me wonder of what they're ashamed or hiding and why they use the cloak of anonymity.

If you have an opinion, say it and claim it as your own. Further, the readers were complaining that New Times columnist Stephen Lemons uses prejudicial words regarding the subjects of his writing, then proceed to use prejudicial words to attack him personally — including about his weight, dietary habits, and personal grooming.

The lyric that comes to mind is: "Good authors now, who once used better words, now only use four-letter words."

Regarding your last Stage section, as a person who's been in theater for the past 60 years (professional and community), I really don't care to read any more of Robrt L. Pela's diatribes. His hatchet jobs, wherein he no doubt strives to be au courant and witty, become snide personal attacks and dismal. Dorothy Parker he's not, or even acid-wit John Simon.

The review of Footloose typifies this (Stage, July 19). As for "Xana-don't!" (also July 19), I, too, regret the staging of movie musicals on Broadway instead of new works waiting for their chance. However, to cast Xanadu into Pela's miasma is to denigrate its effect on those of us who have actually seen it. His comments about the show were written by listening to a recording of the production?

I, and many others, left that theater smiling, with the songs and some terrific one-liners still echoing in our brains. Robrt, you're a nice man. Stop trying so hard to be Robert Benchley and give us fair, honest opinions of shows you've seen.
Steve Schemmel, Phoenix

Calling all cowards: The one thing that set Betty Ruth Jones' letter apart from the others in your July 19 issue is that she signed her name. Most people would've been ashamed to sign their names to such racist drivel, but, apparently, Jones lacks the brain cells, much less the education, to understand that she endorsed Nazism in this country.

As for the letters from the others, they weren't much better. The authors had the good sense to write anonymously about their views, because any red-blooded American Latino would have taken serious issue with them. That is, if they were working side by side with any of us, we would've kicked their redneck asses in the parking lot after work.

But they knew this, and that's why they hid in the bushes like the pussies they are.

I have to wonder if Rusty Childress employs any Mexican-Americans or sells any of his shitty, little Kias to to us. How the hell could he hold his meetings, and include neo-Nazis like J.T. Ready if he does ("Rusty's World," The Bird, July 12)? Only because these Latinos don't read New Times, I guess.

But back to the letters. I loved the one labeled "You heard it right, Snuffy." Ha, that headline really put this idiot in his place. He, like the other letter-writers in this section, proved Stephen Lemons' point. They revealed themselves as the most hateful of racists. The "Snuffy" in the letter in question was such a stuck-up jerk that he made me sick to my stomach. He wrote, "If I were an illegal, I'd start packing up the old '81 Corolla for a road trip south. Real soon."

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