A Mountain by Any Other Name...

Letters from the week of April 24, 2003

Ervin Tsosie
Via e-mail

The ploy's the thing: I haven't lived in the Valley since going off to college in 1968, but I try to keep up with the news there. I would like to believe that your governor is well-intentioned, but in reality this is a political ploy by her that will do more to divide the community than to solve the controversy regarding the name "squaw," which was even simmering when I was a teenager.

As an engineer, I operate by the motto that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," and I think that is the best thing to do regarding Squaw Peak. Just leave the name as it is and has been for as long as even my grandparents could have remembered! Anyway, many thanks for the informative article. I look forward to each edition of New Times on the Internet each week.

Tom Hamlyn
Katy, Texas

Fatal distraction: I read your column and agree with you on this matter. However, I would like to point out that on that day of the infamous ambush, Jessica Lynch was driving. I wonder if Lori Piestewa was sitting next to her, seeing as they were best buds, and at one point Ms. Piestewa told her: Turn left here.

I wonder when they make the movie about rescued POW Ms. Lynch that it would come out. This would not make Ms. Piestewa a hero by any means.

I e-mailed the governor this info and told her to think twice about her actions before it comes back to bite her in the butt.

Rosie Coyote
Sunnyslope

Lori, we hardly knew ye: The only thing in your column that made any sense at all was saying Joe Arpaio was a politically powerful punk. I say let's name Squaw Peak Piestewa Peak. She was killed in the line of duty. Were you over there fighting? Were you putting your life on the line?

Josette Umbertino
Via e-mail

Government Inaction

Sin city: An excellent story by John Dougherty ("The Wages of Sin," April 10). I read the first one ("Bound by Fear: Polygamy in Arizona," March 13); Dougherty gave the public good information on a huge public rip-off, and it appears the "do-nothing governor" has blessed it. But remember the previous redhead governor? Also one who did not rock the boat, let alone make waves. It is no wonder the state is in the red.

Mac McKeever
Pine

Money squanderers: I find it appalling that the Mormon community fails to adhere to the United States Constitution within its close-knit communities. I feel that all involved in this corruptive circle in Colorado City should be barred from public office indefinitely. While other districts in the state are struggling to pay for educational necessities, we have this Mormon community squandering money left and right. They even bought a private plane with state funds, leaving me to wonder how just wasting money in idiotic ways benefits their students.

State educational funds should be spent on public-run schools, not on private schools, school board members, unnecessary school employees, unnecessary school facilities and things of this nature. I find taking money away from these children's education in the critical years where we develop into independent human beings to be completely unjustifiable by any man or any religion. Studies show that the less education one possesses, the more religious one is. If the Mormon Church is as divine as they claim, why don't they educate their followers and not commit human-rights violations? I'm not trying to put down anybody for their personal beliefs, but when these beliefs give fruit to misery, corruption, abuse and reprisal for pursuing knowledge, then I draw the line and say stop! This must come to an end, and I hope the State of Arizona intervenes in this deplorable situation.

Zotero Amavizca
Phoenix

Rules of engagement: Don't you know by now governments get tough only with those who can't get tough right back? All avid David Koresh's crew had were a few guns. This outfit is reported to have rocket launchers and other heavy-duty hardware; they'd at least match, if not outgun, any SWAT team brigades that went in after them. The killing wouldn't be as one-sided as it was at Waco and Ruby Ridge. This cult is bigger, better financed and probably a lot better armed than the Branch Davidians; so the SWAT heroes won't be quite so anxious to buck this one. And the President and the Guv won't dare send in regular or reserve military forces; to do so would be political suicide. Especially when the body count would be a lot less one-sided.

Marc Ridenour
Via e-mail

Male fraud: In response to "The Wages of Sin," I am wondering why the polygamous society in Arizona has not been put to an end. These bishops are brainwashing our youth, leaving underage females thinking that the only choice is to marry an extremely older man, sometimes their own stepfather or even second cousin. She is expected to accept the fact of being one of sometimes three or more wives. This leaves young males thinking that this is the correct way of life. Why hasn't the Colorado City School District been busted by the government for religious discrimination, polygamy, and the misuse of educational public funding with all of the evidence New Times has gathered? There is something horribly wrong with this picture. As a state, we need to put an end to this illegal form of Mormonism and its grossly sexist lifestyles.

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