ARIZONA, HOME OF THE OK QUARREL

HEY, WE'RE THE GRAND CANYON STATE. WE LIKE BIG SCHISMS.

@body:Feuding parties: Dr. Howard Limmer versus Dr. Paul Blumberg. Nature of feud: Moral. The osteopaths had split a pair of Suns season tickets since 1982. In 1986, Blumberg got a line on an upgraded pair, and convinced Limmer, to whom the old seats were officially registered, to give up his old tickets and move.

Recent history of hostilities: Come playoff time last season in the new America West Arena, Blumberg decided not to share. Status of feud: Settled in Superior Court. Neither back cracker would comment on who's sitting where this season, though.

Them's fightin' words: "Shazam!" @rule:
@body:Feuding parties: Charles Barkley versus Mike Mathis.
Nature of feud: Moral. Barkley is the National Basketball Association's biggest star. Mathis is the NBA's worst referee. Recent history of hostilities: Countless bad calls against Sir Charles and our brave boys. Status of feud: Resumes shortly.

Them's fightin' words: "Mike Mathis is just a bad official, and he's hurting our team," says Mr. Barkley. "I feel [NBA Vice President] Rod Thorn has to have some balls and go after him." @rule:

@body:Feuding parties: Navajo versus Hopi.
Nature of feud: Tribal. Recent history of hostilities: Way back in the 19th century, the meandering Navajos herded some of their sheep onto what had been considered Hopi land, located somewhere north of here. The more stable Hopis noticed this but let it slide. In the 1960s, the U.S. government decreed that almost two million acres were jointly owned. In the 1970s, the U.S. government decreed that the land would no longer be jointly owned. But some of the Navajos didn't want to move, so in the 1980s, the U.S. government tried to help the tribes settle their trouble. Status of feud: About 150 Navajo families still haven't moved. Them's fightin' words: "John Wayne."

@rule:
@body:Feuding parties: The Shoen family.
Nature of feud: Blood. L.S. Shoen, founder of the fabulously successful U-Haul company, in 1986 distributed his company stock to the 12 children he had sired by three women. Now split into two factions (outsiders L.S. and son Sam are trying to wrest control back from sons E.J. and Mark), the brood has been fighting over the fate of the $1.6 billion company essentially ever since.

Recent history of hostilities: In August 1990, Eva, wife of Sam, was shot to death in her Telluride, Colorado, home. Frank Marquis, a 38-year-old drifting loser and convicted rapist, was arrested for what police say was a bungled burglary. But not before the L.S. side of the feud could blame the other. In fact, Joe and Mark Shoen have sued their father for libel, saying he said they were somehow involved in the killing. Status of feud: Still descending into Haul. Them's fightin' words: "Save the trees," said Marquis after his arrest. "Build houses with straw." @rule:

@body:Feuding parties: J. Fife Symington III versus the Resolution Trust Corporation.

Nature of feud: Regulatory. The fun began a couple of years ago, when the RTC said in a leaked memo that Symington, Arizona's governor for just a few months more, was involved in "blatant self-dealing" as a board member of the failed Southwest Savings and Loan. Symington was on the doomed thrift's board from 1972 to 1984. In that time, according to a suit leveled in December 1991 by the RTC against Symington and several of his board chums, the board voted to invest in five Symington-related endeavors, including the ill-fated Esplanade, an oversize strip mall at 24th Street and Camelback.

The RTC, which alleges that Symington broke the law by failing to excuse himself from deal deliberations that directly benefited him (development fees, you know), now deems that board's decisions "reckless" and "impudent." (The evocative "blatant self-dealing" line was somehow dropped from the government's paperwork between memo-leaking and suit-filing time. Too bad.)

How reckless? How impudent? Well, Southwest failed in 1989, and its estimated cost to taxpayers currently stands at about $950 million. The Esplanade alone will cost taxpayers about $40 million, it is figured now.

Recent history of hostilities: Symington's defense so far is that federal law didn't much pertain to all that Southwest stuff. And even if it did, the statute of limitations has run out, ha-ha-ha.

Status of feud: In a press conference following the filing of the RTC's $197 million suit against him and his board buds, Symington said the action was "a Salem witch hunt," had "no merit," and called the RTC "reprehensible" and "government run amok" by "faceless bureaucrats who write grossly false memos." He also said the feds' "Gestapolike tactics" were "downright un-American."

Since then, the downright un-American Federal Bureau of Investigation and a federal grand jury have been peeking into Symington's developmental history.

Them's fightin' words: "Some people play golf for recreation," said Symington while blowing his stack at the press conference. "I'm going to go after the RTC for recreation."

@rule:
@body:Feuding parties: J. Fife Symington III versus Grant Woods.
Nature of feud: Political. Woods, Arizona's attorney general and hot-dog connoisseur, wants Symington's, um, job.

Recent history of hostilities: It's hard to believe that the two actually campaigned together in 1990. Since then, the two have tussled over the ENSCO dump, the million-dollar booty in fines paid by the perp of a massive toxic-waste bust at Lake Powell, Indian gaming, and mandatory sentencing for white-collar criminals like thrift directors (guess which one is against that), among other things.

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