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Genuine Parody
tt
Thank you for reviewing my novel The Missionary Journal of Rulon Moak [“Paperback Writers,” May 31, City Weekly].

It was nice of Geoff Griffin to say that it was a “great satirical concept” and a “wonderful idea” and “about a series of hilarious … misadventures,” but then he spoilt it all by condemning the writing style as “more like an English writer with several books under his belt (which Severy is), than a 19-year-old Utahn.”

In fact, the writing style is a deliberate parody of a peculiarly Utahn “churchspeak,” the unfortunate consequence of a surfeit of Bible study and was culled from years of reading student essays.

Does Griffin really think that a sentence like, “The authoritative power of the engine was the catalyst that molded my shoulders and back against the well-padded seat, as the gas pedal conceded to the enticement of his foot” is the way a published writer of children’s and teen fiction would have phrased it?
tRichard Severy
t
Provo

Immigration Fears Driven by Racism
tt
Vicki Martin’s knee-jerk reactions to immigration [“No Amnesty, Please,” Letters, June 14, City Weekly] clearly exhibit the problems with the immigration debate. I’d like to correct some of her flawed arguments.

First, the influx of illegal immigrants conveniently coincided with the ratification of NAFTA, which essentially eliminated hundreds of thousands of farming jobs in Mexico. Ignoring our actions and their effects on Mexico’s economy is narrow-minded at best. Additionally, the reduction in wages comes as a result of free-trade agreements and market-driven policies'not due to a flood of illegal immigrants.

While I don’t advocate for an open-border policy, the time-consuming and costly immigration practices currently in place help drive illegal immigration. When a family’s well-being is at stake, crossing a border illegally is hardly a concern.

nn

Assuming Martin’s numbers are correct'that 20 million illegal immigrants exist in our country'how does she propose filling the vacated jobs should all 20 million be forced out? According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s statistics bureau, the unemployment rate for May 2007 was 4.5 percent, or 7 million people. This would leave 13 million jobs vacant with nobody to fill them.

nn

Even if these 20 million immigrants are being paid minimum wage and wiring home $20 billion each year, nothing is mentioned about the remaining $170 billion they must be spending within our borders. Even illegal immigrants pay sales tax.

The U.S. Constitution does not mention immigration except for the 14th Amendment, which specifies that no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Rarely are mentioned the immigrants crossing the U.S.-Canada border because, let’s be honest, they are primarily white and speak English. These fears are driven, not by concerns for economic and national security well being, but racism and xenophobia.
tBoyd Petrie
t
|Salt Lake City

Brew-ha-ha
tt
I’m writing in reference to Ted Scheffler’s article “Brew-phoria” [“Summer Guide,” June 7, City Weekly].

I find it bewildering to note that Scheffler failed to include a particularly prominent Salt Lake City brewpub, Red Rock Brewing Company in his column about neighborhood breweries. Does Red Rock not have enough distinction for Scheffler to include it? Or is it something else?

At the most recent Great American Beer Festival, Red Rock won a bronze medal for its Belgian-style ale. At the latest World Beer Cup, both Red Rock’s Roggen Rock and Nut Brown Ale won silver medals. At this year’s North American Brewers Association’s Mountain Brewers Beerfest, Red Rock won a gold medal for its Dunkel, a silver medal for its Belgian Wit and bronze medals for its Zwickel and Belgian Triple, respectively. Red Rock even won “National Brewpub of the Year” in 2000 from BrewPub magazine.

With such accolades, one would think that Red Rock would make it into Scheffler’s article. But it didn’t. Why is that? I think a real disservice has been done to City Weekly readers by Scheffler’s failure to include Red Rock.
tJoe Denhalter
t
Red Rock Brewing Company employee
t
Salt Lake City

Keeping Comments, Gas Prices Down
tt
The “miss” you assigned to Questar Gas [“Gasbags,” Hits & Misses, June 14, City Weekly] belongs to you. For a publication that regularly doubts the accuracy of our local daily papers, you sure swallowed The Salt Lake Tribune’s version of reality hook, line and sinker. The Trib misrepresented a Public Service Commission request. Now CW has joined the Trib. Check the facts.

Seeking to improve its processes, the PSC'not Questar Gas'asked interested parties for a list of issues that should be considered. Several parties, state agencies included, asked for clarification of how individual customers can formally intervene in rate cases and suggested individuals be held to some standards.

The Tribune knew that Questar wasn’t the only party to list these concerns. Yet the newspaper’s headline writers, reporters, editorial writers and columnists implied the process was initiated by Questar, and the concern is ours alone. A quick fact check by CW would have revealed these errors.

We have always supported a transparent ratemaking process that includes public input. By any measure, our organization, efficiency, people and rates are among the best'if not the best'in our industry. We’ll continue looking for ways to streamline the processes that affect our customers in an effort to continue providing the lowest rates in the lower 48. When are we getting our “hit” for that?
tChad Jones
t
Questar Gas spokesman
t
Salt Lake City

No Early-Morning Beer Runs
tt
Life in Salt Lake City: Up at 6 a.m. to get ready for the day. Shower. Shave. Take the car to Smith’s to buy a couple of six packs of Mexican beer for dinner at a neighbor’s tonight.

My cart contained some nectarines, milk and a six-pack each of Tecate and Corona. At the check stand at 6:45 a.m., the checker says, “I can’t sell you that [pointing to the beer] for 15 minutes.

“I guess it’s cheaper this way,” I say, leaving with my $7.32 worth of fruit and milk. I stop at the Two Creek Coffee House for a latté. One of my friends is working on his computer. He, a writer and journalist, is always willing to call a spade a spade. I tell him the story, and he says, “Yeah, that happened to me. You feel like a junkie.” He nailed it, and I thanked him for his insight.

I have lived here for 34 years. How stupid of me, I thought, this still is Utah.
tLouis Borgenicht
t
Salt Lake City

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