Letters From the Issue of Thursday, March 9, 2006

The Candidate

Throw the rascals out: I just saw your article, and I enjoyed your unique perspective ("Load of Crappioppoli," The Bird, Robrt L. Pela, March 2). I'm glad there is a paper in Phoenix that gives a different point of view and doesn't just march in lockstep with the party line.

By the way, I would have to disagree about my not having a chance to defeat Congressman Rick Renzi. A new poll shows that Congressman J.D. Hayworth is neck-and-neck in his district, which is overwhelmingly Republican. I believe there is going to be a major anti-Republican vote in November.
Mike Caccioppoli, Flagstaff Program Notes

The Love bloat: Great polygamy package in your recent issue. Isn't it just perfect that HBO is coming out with a show that so poorly reflects the reality of the fundamentalist Mormon church? First there's the piece about the upcoming TV show Big Love("Big Eeeewww!," The Bird, Robrt L. Pela, February 23), and then, in the same issue, there's John Dougherty's latest chapter on what's really going on in the world of polygamists ("Rogue Cops"), and you feel like you're on a bungee cord.

What I'm talking about is: You would probably believe the HBO show was as realistic as Deadwood if you didn't live in Arizona and know what's really going on up north along the Utah-Arizona border, thanks to Dougherty.

Don't misunderstand, I love HBO, and I'm sure the show will be entertaining. I've always liked a lot of the actors the show's using, especially Bill Paxton and Harry Dean Stanton. But the thought of relegating this to a soccer-mom drama (as if polygamists are somewhat normal) sickens me. As good as HBO shows are, I don't think I will be able to suspend disbelief with this new one.

Like The Bird said, the real-life polygamy stories that John Dougherty's been writing contain enough plot outlines for five seasons of Big Love.

Like a lot of voters in Arizona, I don't understand why something isn't done about this situation -- I mean, something more than just talk about getting grant money to post one lousy deputy up there in Colorado City, which our pathetic and toothless attorney general, Terry Goddard, is proposing.
Beth Stock, Phoenix

Sex and Colorado City: Thanks for putting money back in my pocket. I haven't subscribed to HBO since Sex and the City, and I saw an article in the New York Times about this new show that piqued my curiosity and made me think about reinstating my subscription.

Then I read your article on Big Love and changed my mind.

This is just another tool to make Mormonism look attractive and mainstream instead of like the destructive cult it really is. It's interesting that the mainstream Mormon church is so quick to provide information on its Web site claiming that polygamy is in no way a Mormon belief anymore.

Maybe not here on Earth, but it certainly remains a Mormon belief when it comes to the eternal afterlife. There, Mormons believe, males rule as gods of their own planet. Now that would be good material for TV!
Name withheld by request

Turn of phrase: The term "Polygamyland" that John Dougherty's coined for Colorado City ranks right up there with other media-coined phrases such as "Air Lift" (Berlin) and "Watergate" -- I love it!

Anyway, instead of waiting for a federal grant, Arizona should be obligated to immediately provide the funds to station one or more Mohave County sheriff's deputies in Colorado City. Hell, for that matter, just ask Joe Arpaio for assistance -- this is just the sort of publicity that this clown thrives on! He'd probably be willing to spring for half a dozen Maricopa County sheriff's deputies and throw in that .50-caliber machine gun he got a few years ago.

Off the subject (sort of), have you got anything coming up in the near future regarding the most dangerous sheriff in America?
Tom Hamlyn, Kherson, Ukraine

Artistic Endeavor

History lesson: There were several inaccuracies in The Bird's column regarding Art Detour ("Art Detoured," February 9). A little history will perhaps clear up some of the confusion.

Art Detour began in 1988, created as an opportunity for artists, including those without gallery representation, to showcase their work in their studios and provide a unique opportunity for the public to see how these artists worked.

A few years later, a monthly event began, in part because of the success of Art Detour, originally called Phoenix Arts After Hours on the second Wednesday of the month. This later moved to become First Friday. The focus of this event has traditionally been more on galleries than on studios.

Art Detour has always taken place in the spring, though only very recently on the same weekend as First Friday. Though it was always a popular event in its own right, in 2004 and 2005 Art Detour was moved to coincide with First Friday. The hope was that the audience that attends First Friday would stay for the rest of the weekend.

Instead, we saw people attending First Friday, but never venturing off the well-beaten paths of Roosevelt Street and Grand Avenue to explore the artists' studios and other spaces that were only open for this one weekend.

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