Letters From the Issue of Thursday, February 1, 2007

Highway to Heil

Dangerous liaisons: What the hell is going on in this county? Are we living in Nazi Germany ("Boob's Tube," Paul Rubin, and "Doubting Thomas," Sarah Fenske, both January 25)?

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his chief deputy David Hendershott, and County Attorney Andrew Thomas are three people who are really dangerous, and anybody in their right mind should be really afraid of them.
Jim Cozzolino, Peoria

That's one voter down, a million or so to go: Great read on "Boob's Tube," the Saban vs. Arpaio case, and what really happened behind the scenes. I'm embarrassed to say that I voted for Joe two times. Never again.
Peggy Norris, Glendale

Taking out the trash: In my opinion, the prosecutors in the case detailed in "Doubting Thomas" have failed to do their jobs properly. Their jobs are to actually find the truth, not destroy a person's reputation for [the county attorney's] own gain. Anyone who sees it differently, in my opinion, is an anti-constitutional piece of garbage.
Ricky Gene Thompson, Cottonwood

For All Mankind

A plague upon U.: We were angered and saddened to read "A Cancer on ASU" (Megan Irwin, January 18). My Clayton is alive today because of Dr. Bob Pettit's research.

After receiving standard-of-care therapies for his anaplastic thyroid cancer, Clayton participated in a Phase I combretastatin clinical trial. Having visited ASU's Cancer Research Institute, sharing ice cream with and spending a bit of time with Dr. Pettit, we know his passion is to find cancer cures.

There are two sides to every story, but we're sure this driving passion to research and have the funding/facilities to do it well is misunderstood by businessman Michael Crow, ASU's president, and others at Arizona State University. Sadder than Dr. Pettit's plight is that of generations of cancer patients to come.
Rose Twigg, Westlake, Ohio

Bad medicine: Megan Irwin truly deserves the title (and accolade) of journalist. The world is full of reporters, but true journalists are a rare and vanishing breed.

Thank you for "A Cancer on ASU." Beautifully done. It makes my heart sink even further, however, knowing that many cancers have already been cured, but the cures have been subverted or crushed, like Bob Pettit's research. Pharmaceutical greed is more often than not behind this, but your report brings forth a truly heinous reason for it: a pissing contest between grown men, and cancer victims become victimized yet again.

Biodesign Institute director George Poste's gigantic ego surely doesn't allow for shame, I am sure. However, the man's face should appear on a wanted poster in every cancer clinic in the world; he is the nemesis of all that is held holy and hopeful in those places.

As for ASU President Michael Crow, what a lily-livered pansy he is, dusting this annoyance off his shoulders so easily. Obviously, the man cannot even spell integrity.

Where are the true leaders of this world? They are not on podiums receiving accolades from their government and corporations. They are in shit-hole labs such as Bob Pettit has been relegated to.

So what if Pettit was difficult to get along with? So what if he is a bit arrogant and overbearing? The man has dedicated his life to a dream that would benefit all mankind. That kind of dedication and integrity deserve some slack in the personality department sometimes.

God bless him, but mostly, God bless you for telling his story.
Bonnie Gallimore, Tucson

Anti mater: Thank you for your article re: the demise of my alma mater. I was so ashamed to be a Sun Devil alumnus after reading it. This is the example the administration is setting for students — treat those who you don't agree with heavy-handedly and, like a child, take away the things that matter to them.

It reminds me very much of our national leadership. I wish this were news to me, but I have been speaking lately to longtime tenured profs at ASU and have heard basically the same thing: Tenure means nothing; bring money (grants, publishing) in within two years or you're out. And, by the way, we're cutting your department in half, so make do.

I hope to see more articles like this written. I've always been a firm believer that if New Times doesn't report it, the people will never know about it. Keep up the good work!
Linda Nagy, Mesa

Wake-up call: Regarding the Cancer Research Institute, I wanted to thank you for putting this political mess out to the public. I have read your article only once, but will do so several more times because of the bulk of information in it. I was appalled; that was my first reaction. And even after sleeping on it, I think I still am.
Linsey Maeglin, Scottsdale

Patently untrue: I am writing regarding a sentence in the article "A Cancer on ASU." The sentence reads: "It is true that he's personally grossed millions of dollars over the course of his career as a result of patents."

It is a fact that Dr. Bob Pettit profited over the course of his career as a result of his many patents. However, he always lived on his professor's salary, and all the money he earned was paid to the Cancer Research Institute for laboratory supplies, researchers' salaries, and payments on the CRI's mortgage.

CRI was totally self-supportive through donors, grants, and patents. The Institute cost ASU nothing, brought ASU millions of dollars from Dr. Pettit's and his colleague's patents, and created a very favorable national and international reputation for the university.
Name withheld by request

The Hex Files

All in the family: Great story on the Cards ("The Curse," Robert Nelson, January 11)! The background/history on the team and its ties to Phoenix was right on. For 20 years, I've been wondering what each crummy season had in common. Seems like everything has changed at one time or another: front office, coaching, players. The one thing that hasn't changed are the cranky, eccentric, greedy owners.

Forget the Curse of Pottsville; the swearing should be directed at the Bidwills.
Tim Lank, via the Internet

All right, already, they suck!: In your article regarding the Arizona Cardinals, I kept seeing the word "curse." There is no such thing. The Cardinals are not cursed. They just suck.

Saying that the team has been cursed for the last several decades is actually giving an excuse as to why the team has not done well. In baseball, the Red Sox proved there is no curse in sports. Say it for what it really is: The Cardinals just flat out suck. The management sucks. The players suck. And once the Dallas Cowboys build their new stadium, then the Cardinals' new stadium will also suck.

Quit calling it a curse. There has never been any evidence pointing to any kind of curse, and simply mentioning some bad luck does not give a valid reason to say that the team is cursed. They suck!
Chriss Stott, via the Internet

We hope we're right, too: I'm a sports junkie and long-suffering Cardinals fan. My radio is usually dialed to sports talk, and I regularly devour all the local newspaper sports reports. We have a New Times rack in front of our store, and the Cardinal cover this week immediately caught my eye. I have to say that I'm surprised (although I shouldn't be, given your meticulous reporting) that New Times had the best analysis of the Cardinal situation that I've seen here in town.

I just hope you're right and the Cardinals can manage to win now despite the Bidwills' mismanagement.
Mike Banks, Samurai Comics, Phoenix

The fault, dear Bill, is not in your stars: Your recent article on the Cardinals was right on. I was a season ticketholder in St. Louis from day one until they went to Arizona. It was always about Bill Bidwill. He cared nothing for the game, the fans or the city. He was in only his own ego and his pocketbook. It's not a curse, it's a personality defect.
Mike Harcourt, Des Moines, Iowa

Well, they are possessed . . .: I was a long-suffering fan of the Cardinals in St. Louis, and I have to say that your story is the most comprehensive article I've ever read on the team and its sorry history.

I had never heard of the Pottsville Curse, but that would explain it. Ha! Because it's always been unbelievable how bad the team has always been. You had to think it was something supernatural.

But, seriously, your analysis of the Bidwill family was dead on. I never really knew the extent of their cheapness and incompetence, but now I do. It's almost a shame that they will wind up getting even more super-rich because of the new stadium in Arizona. They sure don't deserve it.

Thanks for finally setting the record straight.
Dale McClosky, St. Louis, Missouri

Don't Drink & Interview

As long as we cleared up that "Top Ramen" quote . . .: Thank you to music editor Niki D'Andrea for actually going out to concerts, and doing write-ups on 'em! For the most part, I enjoyed her recent column ("Hick Hop," Niki at Nite, December 21) about our business, Hillgrass Bluebilly Entertainment! But there are a few things I wanted to clear up!

I thought I was talking to D'Andrea that night on more of a one-on-one type situation. First and foremost, I hate Top Ramen and ravioli out of the can. I always have, so I don't know where that came from! Second, there wasn't any line-dancing at our concert. We do not condone "line dancing" at any of our events! Apparently, I made an offbeat comment about a Marquee security guard. I was drinking, and, uh, I should not have made the comment, but, oh well, the Top Ramen comment bothers me more.

All in all, I hope people can "read between the lines" and see what Ryan [Tackett] and I are truly about, and that is roots music, the best roots music you will ever find. We are the only boys in town bringing traditional roots music to the Valley; no hippie jam bands, no rockabilly, no "Clapton" blues, no bullshit!

Yes, we are willing to slit our own throats to provide Phoenix with good musical entertainment, and we have done just that. Finally, I'd like to shout out to the Dirty Foot Family, "We love you," and most important, thank you to my partner Ryan; without him, HBE would have turned stupid a loooong time ago. He is the one to be thanked for Hillgrass Bluebilly Entertainment; he is the brains, I'm the promoter!

In the future, I will try to keep my big mouth shut, but that doesn't always work! I'm not tough by any means, so if I say something you don't agree with, just come kick my ass, I'll probably deserve it.
Keith Mallette, Dirty Foot Daddys and Hillgrass Bluebilly Entertainment,

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