Mother's Day in Court
Wow! The intricacies of spin never cease to amaze me, no matter from which side, as John Dougherty's "Sugar Mommy" article (July 10) regarding the governor's trial so brilliantly illustrates. My main comment: Do not speak for the governor's dead mother.

As a mom, I can assure Dougherty, my son would never be "duping" me out of a fortune. I would be arranging for him to have what he needed, legally. I would be ensuring that I could give him what he needed when he needed it. And, I'd make damn sure I lived past the six-months-after-bankruptcy deadline.

Quit bashing the governor for having a good mom. No wonder John Dougherty got bopped. He was trying to irritate. He is on a vendetta. How's his mom?

Brenda Savage
via Internet

No Kidding
Thanks for the article titled "Nice Land" (Tony Ortega, July 10). I would like to clarify one important point if I may. The paragraph stating that "The Haneses had battled with [Kelly] Helton for custody of Zenith for years" is misleading. The Haneses were not involved in a custody case. The consent form that Zenith's mother, Kelly Helton, signed (pictured on the Haneses' Web site) was a consent to adoption.

As adoptive parents, the Haneses had custody of their grandchild until the adoption was dismissed without a hearing more than two years later. There are some links on the Haneses' Web site pointing to articles which discuss the differences between "custody" and "adoption." As a layperson in these matters, I found this information to be very educational and useful in understanding a case such as this one.

Laura Valentino
via Internet

Grandparents frequently find themselves raising children again because their grown children do not put the interests of their children first. Most parents do, but there is a large number that gets involved with drugs, puts "significant" others first or simply doesn't want to be bothered raising children.

The children live with the grandparents and bond with them. The grandparents fully support the children, often on a limited income because they are retired. Some have health problems. Some don't have their grandchildren legally. By that I mean they don't have guardianship. So they go into hiding because they don't want the system to take the child/children.

I am neither defending or condemning what the Haneses did relative to their granddaughter, Zenith Helton, but there is a human side to this story that goes beyond the legal side.

Janelle Osborn
via Internet

I appreciate New Times' coverage of the Hanes-Helton case, but would like to point out another perspective. Many were outraged with the Baby Richard case when that child was forced to return to his natural parents. What is so different about the Hanes case? Was the baby not given up voluntarily for adoption? Didn't the mother change her mind two years later? What about Zenith Helton's rights to live with those she has known as "mom and dad"?

Grandparents who take in and raise their children's children are often treated as criminals when the natural parents want the children back. But when the case involves a child adopted by strangers, many side with the adoptive parents.

This is not a matter of deciding to whom Zenith Helton belongs, but, rather, a matter of who was there for her and who loved, bonded with and cared for her in those crucial early stages. It is a matter of uprooting a child once again and taking her from those who have loved her and those whom she loves.

Terry Hubbard
via Internet

Cut and Print
I'm used to seeing an incredible amount of garbage passing as news in New Times' Flashes section, but this time it has gone too far (July 10). How dare The Flash criticize our beloved film critic, Bob Fenster? Doesn't he know genius when he sees it?

What Brooks Atkinson was to Broadway, what Edmund Wilson was to literature, Bob Fenster is to the cinema of our day. Only he has the acumen to detect the true classics, the masterpieces that will live through the ages: Showgirls, Hudson Hawk, Mars Attacks!, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fenster calls them as he sees them, and he sees them right.

I speak for many when I say that I support Fenster 100 percent in his dislike of the downbeat dramatic films most critics praise. Valley audiences know what they're doing when they rely on his magnificently written critiques. Lots of laughs and none of this depressing serious stuff--that's the Valley, a place of our time, and Bob Fenster is the critic of our time. Long may he reign!

Phil I. Stine

Bias Fear
My cousin, an employee of Motorola Space and Systems Technology Group, tells me that Motorola has a group of white women and men that dresses like Aunt Jemima and pickaninnies every Halloween at Motorola ("Is Motorola Harboring Diversity or Disrespect?", Amy Silverman, June 19). To date, I was told there have been three racial incidents of this kind! To read that Motorola, the largest federal government contractor in Arizona, is mocking the ancestry of African Americans is very painful.

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