Letters

No More Sheriff Nice Guy
I am going to run for sheriff of Maricopa County in the next election and put a stop to Joe Arpaio's "country-club jail" system ("Say It Ain't Joe," Jeremy Voas, June 12). I am much better qualified to be the sheriff than Arpaio, and I think the people will agree at the time of voting.

I will provide my resume at the time of interview with one of New Times' reporters. I will also tell New Times how I'd save the taxpayers money and change the present jail system.

It's time the people of this county had crime cleaned up, and I can do it for them. Joe Arpaio is a politician and not a tough sheriff, and he needs to be voted out once and for all.

David B. Herriman
Phoenix

Dr. Yes
I can add something to Barry Graham's column about ComCare, because I'm a ComCare client and have been for years ("Scream Dement," June 12). Because of where I live, I've been through the bureaucratic turf changes, several case workers and at least six physicians. Fortunately, my present physician is an intelligent, informed, caring psychiatrist. My case workers have all been excellent. The doctor and the case workers are remarkably dedicated, doing commendable work while toiling within the framework of the administrative monster that is ComCare.

My experiences weren't always good, but neither were they as horrible as those written about in Graham's column. First of all, I'm not a schizophrenic, so my medical and social needs are not so great as those unfortunates who were so vividly described by the writer. Also, I'm rather well-informed and realistic about my condition, because of my having a health-care background that required a solid scientific education.

I've had confrontations with rude ComCare receptionists who, had they worked for me, would have been fired in a minute. I've been subjected to sadistic, attempted bullying by arrogant physicians who seemed more mentally ill--and potentially more dangerous--than any patient I've ever observed in a ComCare waiting room. Because I'm fortunate enough and articulate enough to present my observations about such abuses in well-documented incident reports, I think I've established some credibility with the ComCare staff, the "good guys" who have some respect for my intelligence and objectivity. My heart aches, however, for those whose illnesses prevent them from organizing their thoughts to rightfully complain about pompous doctors, sneering pharmacists whose pharmacies make a bundle from ComCare, and incompetent administrators who sometimes make things worse instead of better.

As a ComCare client, I have found that a good evaluation of the people I'm dealing with is to ask myself, "If my financial situation were better, and I once again had good private medical insurance and could choose my own health-care providers, would I go to this ComCare psychiatrist if he were in private practice? Would I put up with this receptionist? This administrative office?" I can answer "yes" to the first two questions, because my last couple of years with ComCare have been very positive, with my doctor and my case workers doing wonderfully well within the system. This is in no way a challenge to or a questioning of Barry Graham's observations. They're just mine.

Name withheld

Treble Shooting
Nice, comprehensive article by Michael Kiefer featuring the Phoenix Symphony ("Is Anybody Listening?", June 5). Now, in answer to his query, and speaking only for myself, I offer the two reasons I can't be found at Symphony Hall.

First, like the players themselves, I, too, am a living oxymoron: a working musician. For the past 26 years, I've been fortunate enough to support myself by playing piano five or six nights per week, with a few Sunday brunches for good measure. I would savor a concert by the Phoenix Symphony; unfortunately, when it's playing, I seem to be as well. How about a late-Sunday-afternoon concert or two for culture-hungry stiffs like myself?

Second, I'd like to see the Arizona Republic favor the Phoenix Symphony with more preperformance coverage. By the time I read about a concert I'd like to attend on one of those times that I can, it's usually being reviewed in retrospect, leaving me a day late and the Phoenix Symphony a dollar short.

Anyway, just a couple of suggestions. Best of luck, Phoenix Symphony, and congratulations to its new maestro.

Kate Lincoln Heyn
Scottsdale

Juvenile Justice
I am writing concerning the Amber Bass story ("Hard Life, Hard Death," May 29). The story was well-written and poignant. I commend Paul Rubin for writing in such a way that readers were able to visualize and feel what happened to this poor child. I and others who read it were absolutely stunned by this story and the cruelty which was described. Not all writers are able to capture the essence of the subjects they are writing about, but Rubin accomplished this in his story.

I have lived in the Phoenix area for a long time, but I do not remember hearing about this case. Thanks for telling the public Amber Bass' story. I was outraged by the way the case was handled (or mishandled).

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