Turtle Dreck

Letters from the week of January 23, 2003

Ruffled Feathers

A man after our own heart: I had to twice check the date on the front page while reading about the supposed effort by Arizona Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill to circumvent laws prohibiting the removal of desert tortoises from their natural habitat ("Super Bowl V," Rubén Oman, January 16).

Are you sure that this isn't an early April 1 gag? It reads like a script for a comedy – animal-loving cheerleaders, photographs of copulating tortoises, people skulking around empty fields at night, an entire football team losing its "heart" over amphibians? If Bidwill, et al., are convicted, maybe one of the punishments would be to change the team name to the Arizona Desert Tortoises – at least we would expect a good ground game.

Bradford Kirkman-Liff
Tempe

And then there's this guy: I just read your article about the five baby desert tortoises and their subsequent disappearance. To which, I am not one bit surprised, because this would not be the first time an indigenous species was forcefully removed from its native land for the sake of "progress"; it actually started in 1492.

But then I find it very ironic that, now, those that "invaded" first are the ones being forced to accommodate "foreigners" from south of the border. Also, being forced to speak their language and provide them with taxpayer-supported (free) health care. Talk about your poetic justice.

I know I strayed from the initial subject matter, but I feel it's all tied together, and if it hasn't been obvious enough up to now, yes, I am a Native American who is not on government assistance and an employed homeowner.

Mike Brown
Mesa

Sports illustrative: Either that was the greatest job of investigative sports journalism or the greatest sports spoof I've read in my 63 years on the planet. (I can't be sure I'm not writing Dan Jenkins who's operating under a pseudonym.) I've copied the article in its entirety for posterity. Nice writing!

Jeff Gollin
Holmdel, New Jersey

Standing Pat

Religious fervor: I beg to differ with your opinion and column about Father Pat Colleary ("Beat It!," Robert Nelson, January 16). My family, including children, has known him since 1990 when he came to OLPH in Glendale as our pastor. Neither I nor 99 percent of the people of OLPH Glendale or OLPH Scottsdale believe any of this crap about Kennedy or the Lecheler lady. Yes, he broke his vow of celibacy (which that same 99 percent don't believe in), but he also supports that daughter and has a relationship with her (as reported by the news media). Different from the mother of that child who in 1996 said they had a "relationship," but in 2002 says he raped her, incidentally the same period of time that the Kennedys came out with their accusations. Which just by chance was when the whole Catholic Church came under fire. Could it possibly be they were both looking for a little monetary benefit out of this? Well, it backfired. And this Roy lady is a crazy loon. If you check the "media" reports, the woman has not had contact with the daughter since she turned 21, because she went to her "father" instead of the crazy mother. I never had any respect for Sheriff Joe, but I did respect Rick Romley until his handling of this case. A dear friend of mine spent a month in jail for nothing other than Romley trying to get him to plead guilty to something he didn't do, just to get to the bishop. If you notice, the next day the "other priest" who was and is guilty pleaded down in return for what he knows about the bishop. I truly believe most of the media would sell their mother for a story.

I am stating here that anyone who really knows Father Pat believes in his innocence and will stick by him, even though we will probably never see him again; because of people like you, his life has been threatened.

Hopefully, wherever he goes and whatever he does, the media will leave him the hell alone. Reporters don't just report the facts, they make them up to suit the purpose of being the "first read" or for the money that it brings in for their organization.

I really hope that you are never in the situation where you have been accused of something and expect one of your own to back you.

Richard Anglin
Via e-mail

If You Live in Arizona . . .

. . . You might be a redneck: Your redneck column is absolutely hysterical ("Country Comfort," Spiked, January 16). I left Arizona in 1980 but have family there and am always amused by the goings-on in Arizona. The state that elected Ev Mecham and Sheriff Joe is truly a test market for the fringe element.

Arizonans are hardy souls, but all that desert takes its toll on reality.

Jeff R.
Via e-mail

 
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