July 13 - July 19, 1995


We're Total Screw-Ups

In last week's Tucson Weekly, Jim Nintzel incorrectly identified Don Diamond's Rocking K development as being on the city's southwest side. It is, of course, on the city's southeast side. Funny thing--our compasses don't seem to work right ever since we began our extraterrestrial investigation.

Speaking of our "Watch The Skies" series, Nintzel also misidentified UFO researcher Bob Dean as a retired Army colonel ("Secrets And Saucers," Tucson Weekly, June 29). Dean actually retired a sergeant. Guess what else: Lots of other stories Dean told in that article might not have been true, either--for example, there might not be more than 100 alien races constantly buzzing our fair planet. Then again, maybe there are.

While we're on the subject of corrections, in Gregory McNamee's "Tangled Web" (July 6), Sen. James Exon was misidentified as a conservative Republican out to strengthen his re-election opportunities. He's actually a liberal Democrat retiring at the end of his term. As automatic weapons editor Emil Franzi helpfully points out, the issue of censorship on the Internet isn't a conservative vs. liberal issue--it's more of a battle between luddites like Exon and technos like Newt. Still, the point stands--the censorship bill passed by the Senate is unworkable and just plain dumb.

Also, Chuck Shepherd informs us that one of his News of the Weird pieces a few weeks back was incorrect. In his May 11 column, it was reported that astronaut Alan Shepard, at an event exclusively to sign copies of his new book, refused to autograph a photo of his 1961 Mercury capsule landing, requested by a man who helped pulI him up that day from the Atlantic Ocean. While the man, John Williams, may have played some role in the rescue, he was not one of the two men who pulled Shepard up.

As always, we regret the errors and will severely punish all those responsible.--Eds.

Burning Issue

To the Editor,
I just finished reading Jeff Smith's latest column "Blaze of Glory," (Tucson Weekly, July 6). Now, normally I tend to agree with most of what Jeff has to say, but here we find ourselves at distinctly different ends of the opinion spectrum. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now and assume that he just didn't think the issue all the way through. If this is the case, perhaps a follow-up column with a retraction is in order.

So, Jeff, you ask in your column "Does it harm you or the nation (to see the flag burned) emotionally, spiritually?" and then state, "Hell no." Wrong.

Tell me, what do you think the Vietnam veteran (or veteran of any war for that matter) who fought, killed and maybe even died to uphold what the flag stands for, feels about seeing the flag burned? I'm willing to bet he or she would be "emotionally harmed" in a big way. Ironically, those are exactly the people who also fought and died so you could write your column.

And I think the nation as a whole is harmed, not only in the eyes of the world, but also in those of the younger generation of Americans. Why should this country be respected by anyone else when we don't even believe in the sanctity of our own national symbols? A flag is just a piece of cloth, but what it stands for is much greater. When you desecrate the flag, you are desecrating what our fellow Americans fought and died to secure for us. That's some gratitude for you.

You go on to say that "if anything, witnessing a flag-burning is going to stir you to greater patriotism." Gee, maybe we should have mandatory flag burning meetings every morning in our public schools. Maybe before Congress starts its session or a judge convenes a court, we should burn an American flag. Maybe next time this country is forced to go to war, the officers leading the troops into the battle should burn an American flag to inspire the men and women under their command.

See the flaw in the logic here, Jeff? This country needs a lot of things and one of them is a little more respect for our national symbols as well as what they stand for.

One more thing, Jeff. Next time you're writing your column, try a little more thought and a little less rhetoric.
--Robert Baker


To the Editor,
In response to Dog & Pony Show's comments in the Big Noise section (TucsonWeekly, June 29), Mike Semple referred to me as not having a future. So far this year, my solo record Loud & Lonesome has been released by ESD. I have produced Mojo Nixon's latest release, Whereabouts Unknown. Blue Mountain's Dog Days on Roadrunner Records comes out July 25. Simon & The Bar Sinisters' Look At Me, I'm Cool comes out August 15 on Upstart Records. The Bottle Rockets' record, The Brooklyn Side, on ESD, which I produced last year, will be re-released on August 22 on Atlantic's new TAG label. I've also been working on two different songwriter records with Greg Trooper for Alliance Entertainment and Cheri Knight (from Blood Oranges), for ESD.

In addition to tour dates with my band, Roscoe's Gang, I am also touring with the YAYHOOS (Terry Anderson, Dan Baird, Keith Christoper and me).

Out of 26 albums that I have produced, I've only had a tough time with two of them; Dog & Pony Show was one of them. Mr. Semple is very charming. He is one of two people to show me the down side of charm. It seems that Michael Metzger was taken in by the charm. When I finished with Dog & Pony Show--and I did finish--I listened hard to those songs. They weren't love songs; they were love songs about smack and that made me sick. Don't be tricked by the Dog & Pony Show, or maybe it should be the Puppy and Phony Show. And please, don't worry about me. I'm doing fine.
--Eric Ambel
Vibemeister Music-BMI
New York, NY

Big Splash

To the Editor,
Regarding your call for alternative CAP water proposals ("Slots Solution," Tucson Weekly, July 6): Many years ago, and not so far away, I and other natives of this dry, forlorn desert used to do a thing called "canal skiing."

For those who have never tried this desert sport, here are the rules. You drive to an irrigation canal (or the CAP canal?) in your trusty jeep or truck. Put on your favorite water skis (or ski or boogie board), tie the rope to the back of the jeep or truck and zoom the canal.

The biggest problem: We used to always hit the end of the canal or wipe out on the banks. But hey, it was fun, fun, fun!

Let's turn the Central Arizona Project into a giant water skiing canal. We can include canal skiing as an Olympic sport and we can get our tax money back when they have the Olympics here in Tucson!
--Mary Elizabeth Schipke

That's Entertainment

To the Editor,
I just read your idea for floating gambling dens to pay off the CAP ("Slots Solution," Tucson Weekly, July 6). It is a great idea. Why not change the state law and add girls and boys for "rental." We could have the local gunslingers have shoot-outs at regular hours (with real bullets), big prizes for one-shot kills.

I suggest we build a local "park" for this. It would be a unique hit with natives and tourists. Candidates for mayor or the City Council could shoot each other with paint balls. Developers could have at each other with bulldozers, car dealers with old wrecks, drug dealers could fight it out with M-16s, with the winner collecting money and a free pass across the border. It is a winner--don't let the idea die.
--Stuart A. Hoenig

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July 13 - July 19, 1995

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