Letters

Letters from the week of June 19, 2003

Kick Asbestos

The joke's on us: Again and again, as I read all the stories of abuse, neglect and total lack of regard for human life and dignity, I am disgusted at the condition of our society ("Outlaw Dumping," Robert Nelson, June 12). This is just another example of our complete disregard for the plight of others. These men, convicted for minor crimes, may have a death sentence. A death that is slow, painful and could have been prevented.

What is wrong with law enforcement in our state? What is wrong with the people living here that we are so blind to the evils that happen in our corrections system, from Joe Arpaio's jails, the worst, to our prisons that use prisoners abominably? Are we blind? Do we simply ignore things?

I have to ask how many unconvicted mentally ill men and women have to be abused and murdered by our overzealous police, jail guards, prison guards and the people who are in charge of supposedly making sure these evils do not happen. These people and agencies in charge are making prisoners eat food rejected by homeless people, that allow men to be exposed to deadly health threats and then lie about it.

Wake up, Arizona! We are the national joke. Our jails are compared by the rest of our nation to those in Third World nations.

We need a change -- one that ensures everyone's rights. Not just the rights of the ones with money. We are giving up our own souls by ignoring the plight of our less fortunate.

Name withheld by request

Grim reaper: It just seems more and more in Phoenix that if you aren't rich, a sheriff or a politician, your life just isn't relevant to the image (and it's a façade) of this city. We do reap what we sow -- eventually.

Marie Hanna
Phoenix Brother's keeper: I read your article with interest as my brother, Richard Northrup, is an inmate at Fort Grant. He had complained about the asbestos work that they had to do. The prison just moved my brother, who is a Level I prisoner, up to Willcox, which is a maximum-security prison. I feel this was done to shut him up. No one will answer my questions at the prison as to why this was done. So that tells me there was only one reason, and that was to shut Rick up. I thank you for doing this story. This needs to be brought out. The prison system treats inmates as if they were animals. They do have rights, too.

Rebecca Rolando
Hayden, Colorado

Bar None

Visualize World Peace Through Law: The cancellation of the Arizona State Bar's World Peace Through Law section's presentation, Conflicts in the Middle East and the Relevance of Law, by the State Bar at the 2003 State Bar Convention is an outrage (Spiked, June 12). It is unethical and hinders free speech for the State Bar of Arizona to submit to pressure from "unnamed" sources and give an ultimatum to the World Peace Through Law section. The World Peace Through Law section has a 15-year history of presenting well-balanced, even if controversial, panels. It seems very ironic that part of the panels' discussion would have certainly covered the strength of the Jewish lobby in Washington and its effect on United States policymaking. Unfortunately, it appears that the strength of this lobby reaches all the way to the State Bar of Arizona.

Deniz Arik, ASU Law Student
Phoenix

Gonzo Journalism

Covering the bases: Regarding your "food fit for a Muppet" ("Going, Going, Gonzo," Carey Sweet, June 5): First, you should research how to get to Gilbert fast, if time is an issue for you. (The 101 wasn't very smart; the 60 would have been better.) Secondly, anywhere you go you'll spend more than $100 for a foursome, excluding the tip, of course. Third, no shit the draw is Gonzo. Every other person is wearing or brought Diamondbacks memorabilia to be signed, and let's not forget about the ladies and, yes, some men, looking for Gonzo or other sports heroes autographing the board! And for the home run, it's a new environment for the caged Gilbert clientele to let loose, and so far, they've been back again and again!

For writers like you, to take out your frustrations on getting out of town for all-American food and then having to write your report about it, I feel sorry that you've been spun out! You're out!

Jill Gutchewsky
Gilbert

Small Fry Cook

He's scary good: Rio "call me chef" Bowerman is scary ("Rio Bravo," Speakeasy, Robrt L. Pela, June 5). He sounds like a pretentious little snot. He's the perfect example of what's wrong with kids today -- they don't know how to just be kids.

Cooking at seven or eight months old? Inviting guests over for dinner as a toddler? Yeah, right. If he gets a show on the Food Network, I'll never watch that channel again.

My 11-year-old only knows how to cook scrambled eggs, but at least he acts like a normal kid!

Andrea Sweet
Avondale

Judging Robert

Sexual healing: I take issue with Robert Nelson's recent column ("Judgment Day," June 5) concerning Bishop O'Brien. No, it has nothing to do with what is happening to the church, nor O'Brien. Instead, my issue with the column has to do with something Robert Nelson wrote. To be specific, the very last line of that column.

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