Clean Elections' Candidate Publication Is Just Too MuchI received the Primary Election Candidate Statement publication from Clean Elections ("Comeback Trail," Currents, July 31). It was sent, according to the disclaimer on Page 3, to each household in Arizona that contains a registered voter.
It is extremely useful to know the statements from the candidates. This publication, of about 100 pages, includes candidates for the state Senate and House for all legislative districts throughout Arizona. The maps that are included to show the reader in which district their home is are not detailed at all, and the address information on the cover does not disclose that information, either.
Am I the only person who wonders why the publication is so outsized and so vague? Do the members of Clean Elections have some contact with the printing firm (not identified anywhere that I can see) who got the contract for this huge print run? With today's budget problems, the costs of printing and mailing so much volume that so few will utilize fully is wasteful and environmentally unwise. The computer system that identifies the households with a registered voter should also be able to identify the district and include that in the mailing-label data, and it would not be a huge task to program much smaller, better-aimed publications for each of these households. Even county-specific publications would reduce the expense charged to public funds for this task.
We'll Take All Ideas Into Consideration, but We Will Not Rename Them the 'PETEYS'TAMMIES shammies!
The Tucson Area Music Awards are a great concept and an exciting way to involve the Tucson music community, both performers and listeners alike. They therefore deserve a much more intelligent and fair way to reward the winners and make the annual TAMMIES party more meaningful.
First, this year, there were at least two category winners that were not in the genre of the categories they won. This is not to slight the two winners who obviously deserve an award. This is a matter of getting the awards right. It would make the whole judging process seem more just and thought-out. (Editor's Note: We here at the Weekly--and the approximately 1,500 readers who voted in the TAMMIES final round--obviously disagree. As for the judging process, our readers are the ultimate judges.)
Secondly, to make the big annual event meaningful, why not have the winners--the performers that actually got the votes and are most loved--perform at the party? Announce the winners in August, and then have a big party in September with the winners performing! This would both reward the winners and the voters.
We have a great musical community in Tucson. The Weekly, as the main source for musical information, previews and reviews in Tucson, should do a more intelligent job of presenting its big annual event.
Claim: 'Weekly' Should Not Cover So Many Older, Non-Relevant BandsI've noticed a disturbing trend in the Live section recently and feel the strong need to comment on it: Three out of four recent editions feature performances of groups whose relevancy was more than 20 years ago.
It's difficult to discern whether this was intentional, so as to appeal to the older, often more affluent demographic, or maybe a case of the reviewer not wishing to spend time in the sweaty-hot clubs downtown, where the real music news is happening, in lieu of a reserved seat in an air-conditioned theater.
This summer is seeing some of the best groups in independent music today come through our little town, and the Weekly seems to be missing all of them. Even the Arizona Daily Star was at the My Education/El Ten Eleven show back in early July, and I have serious doubts that any of the Weekly staff writers were at the Thao With the Get Down/Stay Down show at Solar Culture, or at the Wolf Parade show recently at the Rialto.
Blurbs, phone interviews and rips from press kits, such as in the article on the Octopus Project ("Sound and Texture," Aug. 7), may be appropriate for the band-profile section, but that says nothing of where the music's really happening: in the venues. These places are having a hard enough time competing with all of this ridiculous construction (have you tried to walk to the Hotel Congress recently?), and I'm fairly certain that they don't need this same sort of phoning-it-in attitude to help push more potential business out to the suburbs.
I hope to see this trend reversed in the next few editions, as there are some fabulous bands coming in August and September.
Claim: DiGiovanna Is More Interesting Than Most Films He ReviewsThis is in defense of film reviewer James DiGiovanna. The letter written by Tim Eiben ("A Plea for Black-and-White Reviews in a Gray World," Mailbag, Aug. 14) was offensive to anyone with a functioning brain. The number of films I have seen that were reviewed by DiGiovanna is exactly zero. I rarely watch any films, but this does not stop me from reading DiGiovanna's review each week. The writing is original, hilarious and, yes, clever. His review of the air-guitar movie ("Imaginary Rock Gods," June 7, 2007) was classic, so well-written that I was almost moved to go see it.
DiGiovanna's reviews are probably way more entertaining than the actual films. If I wanted to read a review that just says whether a movie sucks or not, as Eiben suggests, I would read a review by that second-string scrub Bob Grimm. Yawn.
Tucson Originals: Fox Was Kicked Out Because His Company No Longer Fit CriteriaWhile we were happy that your recent article about Sam Fox and Fox Restaurant Concepts ("Like a Fox," Yum! July 24) celebrated Mr. Fox as an important and successful part of the Tucson community, we feel that our local organization, the Tucson Originals, was misrepresented.
In the article, you quote Sam by telephone: "It's like, 'These guys have become too successful, let's kick them out.'" We're glad that he is successful and wish him the best, but Fox Restaurant Concepts no longer fits the criteria for membership in the Tucson Originals. The bylaws state that restaurants must be locally owned and locally operated, and FRC is no longer either. With his corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Mr. Fox owns and operates 25 restaurants in four states.
Our own successes do not violate these two simple criteria: Janos Wilder is a James Beard Award winner; Acacia, Feast, Janos, Pastiche, Red Sky and VinTabla are winners of the Wine Spectator Award; our chefs have been lauded by your own fine publication as well as Arizona Highways, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Food and Wine Magazine.
Our concern is that we were portrayed as unreasonable, jealous or petty in our decision to discontinue FRC's membership. Our organization was created so that small, independent restaurants could band together and have a voice in a market dominated by chains. We congratulate Mr. Fox on his success, and we hope that he and you can congratulate us on our own successes and in achieving the individuality, the camaraderie and the voice that are important to us.
Todd Hanley, president, and the membership of the Tucson Originals