A Mountain by Any Other Name...

Letters from the week of April 24, 2003

Peaks and Valleys

A mountain out of a molehill: I just wanted to thank you for this insightful piece ("Squaw Peeved," Robert Nelson, April 17). My fiancé and I thought we were the only ones to see through the ridiculous posturing of our faux Democrat of a governor. I would never think to negate Lori Piestewa's contribution to the armed forces, but being in the wrong place at the wrong time does not substantiate renaming a molehill like Squaw Peak.

Janet Napolitano needs to get busy looking into the failing state budget, or rising unemployment, or possibly resolving that little upstate education funding issue mentioned in last week's New Times.

Jacqueline Porter
Scottsdale

Conduct unbecoming a governor: It would be fair to say that renaming Squaw Peak to Piestewa Peak would be nothing more than an injustice to the fallen soldier's name and the unity of the two tribes involved. Although it is wonderful that both Hopi and Navajo tribes have come together to mend the hearts of friends and family, Governor Napolitano has no right as a politician to rewrite history here in Phoenix. One must learn to think before they speak, especially on national television.

More so, it is so incredibly "unbecoming" of an elected official to publicly bounce weight around and ask someone to resign his position because she didn't like what he had to say pertaining the allowance of state and federal rules. Stand by your guns, Tim Norton!

Let us all be given the opportunity to calm down, freeze the emotional jolt of the war and get back to business. There are other items on the agenda far more pressing in this state that need to be taken care of.

In conclusion, Ms. Piestewa had no ties to Phoenix. She was able to venture in her community of Tuba City and see the San Francisco peaks some 60 miles away. Why not rename something in her honor there, beneficial to those who knew her? She will be forever in our hearts and history books nationwide. We appreciate what she did for her country, as so many before her have done. Too many people give lip service to what they think is best, yet their efforts are few and far between when it comes to making a difference. Why not concentrate or redirect ideas of providing services on the reservations -- i.e., substance-abuse programs, adequate medical care and schooling, trade apprentice programs and resources. The list goes on ad infinitum.

Governor Napolitano and former governor Hull made history by becoming back-to-back female officials in this great state. Hopefully, in the year 2006, history will not repeat itself.

Please withhold my name as I work for the state.

Name withheld by request

Then who's the Cheshire cat?: Governor Napolitano must have been channeling the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland when she demanded the resignation of the chairman of the Arizona Board of Geographic and Historic Names because he refused to consider her renaming of Squaw Peak. "Off with his head," screamed Arizona's self-proclaimed Red Queen. She ran over Tim Norton like an out-of-control Bulldog Diesel freightliner! "All ways are my ways," proclaimed the Red Queen.

Governor Napolitano is a former U.S. attorney and former attorney general for Arizona. One would assume that she would have both respect for and knowledge of how the black-and-white Arizona Revised Statutes are to be enforced. Her actions establish her as a card-carrying member of Arizona's cheat-elite politicians. There is a cadre of elected officials who do not believe statutes apply to them once they are elected to office.

In the past, such political thuggery has been all too common in Maricopa County. The skullduggery of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, County Attorney Rick Romley and former governor Fife Symington has been documented far too many times. The ham-fisted tactics of Governor Napolitano in the Squaw Peak renaming controversy clearly shows that the "good old boys" in elected office cannot hold a candle to our current governor.

Napolitano might be able to bulldoze local officials with her political thuggery. Hopefully our federal officials will be immune to her political pandering and will apply the laws as they are written. Our society is based on the theory that no one is above the law. Napolitano's mewling and screaming puts that concept in jeopardy.

Name withheld by request

The sword is mightier than the pen: I understand the New Times publication is a form of entertainment and many of the stories are feeble attempts to shed light on issues facing people of Arizona and the local area. You put a piece in the publication written by Robert Nelson blasting the idea to change the name of Squaw Peak to a war fatality, namely Lori Piestewa. This yahoo needs to learn to keep a train of thought. His rambling article relays nothing other than his tunnel vision and personal opinion on an issue that should be left to citizens with a sincere concern.

As a Native American, I am personally offended by such attitude which has underlying tones of prejudiced thinking. Heroes come in many different forms, but very few have come from within the power of the pen. Sorry, Mr. Nelson, for your lack of reason and sympathy. If Mr. Nelson considers himself a writer, maybe the former Iraqi news agency would have hired him. Mr. Nelson seems to fit in the same mold as the former Minister of Information of Iraq who is now wearing a target on his back. With a couple more insensitive articles, Mr. Nelson may be wearing a target as well.

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