By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
A Body of Work
Creature of habit: Now I know why I keep picking up a copy of New Timesevery week. Super writing job on "Remains of the Day" by David Holthouse (June 29). Paul Rubin's piece was also excellent, as was Flashes. No, I didn't buy any CNI stock, either. Keep up the good work.
Robert C. Sullivan
No accountability: Just finished Paul Rubin's excellent article on Nancy Elliston ("Checks & Imbalances," June 15). To put it mildly, a couple of the quotes cited in the story absolutely blew me away, and raised my blood pressure to unhealthful levels. The first, from Elliston's attorney, Craig Mehrens, stated, "We're hoping to resolve this with as little loss of dignity to Nancy as possible." Dignity? Dignity?Who gives a crap about herdignity? She forfeited any claim to that when she started cleaning out these helpless people. A news flash, Craig: Nobody talks about the "dignity" of some kid who just held up a Circle K. Guess what? She's worse, coming at her victims from a position of trust. Mehrens obviously got an "A" in Delusion 101, which I'm certain is now a required course in law schools.
The second quote was also a beaut. Former court commissioner Ken Reeves states, "But the idea that you just rob Peter to pay Paul, or pay yourself, is just shocking." Shocking that a human being, given almost unlimited and loosely monitored access to another person's money, would abuse that trust? Reeves would probably be "shocked" that a kid in a candy store would try to scarf some jelly beans out of one of the jars when no adult is within miles of the store. Unfortunately, his shit-for-brains mentality is probably only too typical of the bureaucrats who run this county operation.
A small suggestion from a humble citizen: Create a court-appointed ombudsman service that must co-sign every check written from these fiduciary accounts. I'm certain they could stop by each company once a week or so to review and sign a bundle of checks. Then, rotate these ombudsmen among the different fiduciary companies every six months or so, just to keep everyone on the up and up. Finally, "lend" Nancy a jail cell for at least as long as the kid who sticks up a Circle K. Oh, no, wait a minute. I forgot. Some thieves are "more" equal than others.
The White Stuff
Extremism no virtue: After reading John Sheehan's racist letter of June 15, I knew the proverbial fur would fly on this page. What is rather humorous is how ignorant the extreme left and extreme right paint themselves in their own words.
For example, James Bailey's letter (July 6) asserts that all Republicans are white racists. From personal experience, Mr. Bailey, you are as wrong as wrong could be. I worked at the Republican National Committee in Washington, D.C., from 1983 through 1985. I personally worked with blacks, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, gays, lesbians, Koreans, unwed mothers, and yes, even white men. One of my co-workers was a black unwed mother, whose day job was working on the staff of, horror of horrors, Senator Jesse Helms. When people picked themselves off the floor and asked her how she could be a Republican and work for Jesse Helms, she would look them straight in the eye and say, "Because they pay better than Democrats!" Mr. Bailey, open your mind, put away the puka shell necklace, and come in out of the 1970s.
As far as A. Gene Kelso's racist letter (July 6) goes, all I have to say is, Mr. Kelso, learn some American history, quick. He spouts off about "white supremacy," then brings up two British scientists as his argument for his narrow views. What he fails to mention is this country has had great black American scientists like Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver. These men and others gave great knowledge to us as a country and the world even when they couldn't vote or eat in restaurants because of the ingrained racism of 19th-century and early 20th-century America. If these two men, and other minority American scientists, can give great gifts to a nation that has traditionally held them back, imagine what they could give society if we had supported them, like those British men you trot out to support your racism.
Left or right, an extremist is just that, an extremist, and should be given just enough pen and paper to let the rest of society see how ignorant he is.
Bitter medicine: As a Valley emergency-department clinician, I would like to comment on the article "Critical Connection" (Amanda Scioscia, June 29) and some of the points it makes outright and others it implies.
First, I must speak up for the benefit of your readers' understanding of the "workup" Miss Gricelda Zamora received, as quoted in your article by lawyer Ben Miranda. I can almost assure you that the test referred to is a "complete blood count," not a test for "blood clot levels." Also called a CBC, this is often used to screen for the presence and severity of many different infectious diseases, including appendicitis. Second, it is absolutely routine to perform a pregnancy test on any woman with any of a variety of complaints from depression, nausea, weight gain, abdominal pain and others if she is between the ages of 10 and 60, whether she is a schoolkid, prostitute or nun. Ask any woman who has been pregnant about the changes that happen when there's a bun in the oven. Pregnancy is often the simplest way to explain certain symptoms, and one of the most embarrassing and catastrophic things to miss. It's got nothing to do with being Hispanic -- everybody does the wild thing, and will deceive their parents, their doctors and even themselves about the possibility of being pregnant.