Not a militia, revolutionary group
First off, we'd like to thank Paul Po

Not a militia, revolutionary group

First off, we’d like to thank Paul Pogue for the article (Cover, “Urban Adventurers,” June 9-16). All in all, we feel he did a good job. But we’d like to clarify a few points. We don’t explore and rappel to prepare for a coming war or apocalypse. The thrill of exploration and the sites we see are what fuels our curiosity.

Also, the bios for Rook and Neocitizen are swapped, no big deal.

As the article stated, we don’t vandalize, steal or break into sites. We don’t want people to get the idea that we have anything in common with militias or revolutionary groups.

We’d also like to applaud your restraint from using the new media buzz word “terrorism.” It’s a nice change. We have NOTHING in common with anti-USA elements.

If the country ever needs a stealthy group to watch over our fair city of Indianapolis, you know who to call. (Yes, that’s a joke, we don’t ever want guns or violence involved in Urban Exploration.)
The Agents

Take heed

Once again, fabulous writing (Cover, “Blood Sport,” June 2-9)! Your dog fighting article is an important step in helping the city expose more dog fighting rings. I also hope that the average citizen takes heed and doesn’t leave their pet unattended in a yard where it can be stolen. The thought of them ending up as bait makes me ill.

One of my recent fosters, Coach, was a PB mix and was the funniest and most loving dog I have ever had. He did have great jaw strength, but he was as gentle as a baby in personality. My life was forever changed by having him in it. Since he was a stray, if he had ended up in the wrong hands … like those of a dog fighter, his story would have a much different ending. I just can’t fathom that knowing his soul like I do. Thank goodness ARPO found him first.

Christine Jeschke
Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership

Rush = substance

As an avid fan of the band Rush, I must say I am disappointed with Steve Hammer’s review of the group’s recent show in Indianapolis (Sound, “Rush to Motionlessness,” June 9-16). Hammer gave the show a lukewarm review because the three band members “didn’t move more than a few centimeters all night.” I think Hammer misses the point. Rush is about substance, not style. Those of us who follow the band closely do so for the musicianship, not to see silly on-stage antics. Each of the three members of Rush are highly respected musicians and widely regarded as among the best in the business at their respective instruments — highlighted by drummer Neil Peart — who Hammer didn’t even mention! This is why the band has survived 30 years and why people like me go to Rush concerts. Moreover, the band’s live show is highly technical, which requires instrument and background parts to be triggered via foot pedals. This requires the guys to stay near one location throughout the show. If Hammer is looking for a cheesy no-talent band who run around like fools, I suggest he check out Poison. Meanwhile, those of us who appreciate brilliant musicianship will continue going to Rush concerts.

Silas Brown

Thank you

I’d like to thank Federal Judge Phyllis Hamilton for trumping the Bush Administration’s efforts to interfere with the private relationship between doctors and patients. You see, liberal activist judges are, in large part, responsible for leading the movements for civil rights, for homosexual rights and (in this recent example) women’s reproductive rights. I hope there’s a place for Judge Hamilton on the United States Supreme Court someday. In fact, I wonder if there’s any way she can be inserted now, in favor of Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas.

Andy Ray

Prosecutor’s budget

I was present for the recent June 9, 2004, meeting of the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee of our City-County Council. First, this committee’s lack of understanding or appreciation of the various players of the county criminal justice system was appalling. Ironically, the members made it clear that many of them know nothing of the system they are charged with protecting and preserving. As a citizen and taxpayer, I do not expect the members to understand each and every intricacy of the departments whose budgets they control. However, I do expect them to seek out the people who do know the facts and can give accurate budget information. Proposal NO. 302, which sliced $300,000 from the Marion County prosecutor budget, was presented to this council with no input or approval from Prosecutor Carl Brizzi. It is unfortunate and alarming that something as essential as public safety could so easily be politicized. The end result being an arbitrary cut to the Republican Marion County prosecutor’s funds and an arbitrary increase to the public defender’s budget.

I will be the first to support increasing the funding of all justice agencies in a combined effort to improve the system. However, when there is a budget crisis, there must be strict accountability for monies distributed and a responsible frugality for all newly requested funds. During this crisis, the public defender requested $500,000 in additional funds for the representation of indigent persons to bring his office in compliance with “constitutional” levels of defense. The caseload limits for public defenders of both adult and juvenile offenders are arbitrarily set by the Indiana Public Defender Council and not out of any kind of constitutional necessity. Believe it or not, the accused is entitled only to an adequate defense and not the public defender’s pledge to “vigorously pursue equal justice.”

Of course, the poorest of the poor are entitled to a lawyer to defend their liberty. However, it was the public defender’s refusal to accept additional clients until his demands were met and hiring additional personnel outside his budget that created this council’s emergency. His version of hostage-style politics is irresponsible and perhaps irreparable given the financial state of our city. Imagine the day, if Prosecutor Brizzi decided that around Thanksgiving of this year he would stop filing criminal cases because his representation of the citizens of the State of Indiana was being compromised by his lack of funding. No one wants to pay to right the wrongs perpetrated on victims until they themselves are victimized. Cutting the prosecutor’s budget is insuring a lower quality of life for all citizens of Indianapolis and I urge our mayor to see through the political rhetoric and vote down these destructive policies.

Mark Fryman

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