TEARDOWN TOWN

Like 1984 all over again: To ASU President Michael Crow: Which is more sustainable, which is greener, which uses less energy? Renovating, reusing, and recycling existing buildings or tearing them down and building anew ("Greek Ruins," Robrt L. Pela, July 30)?

The ideas and ideals you're pushing have the same air of ignorance about them that our government's "Cash for Clunkers" program has — that "old" means "inefficient" and that "new" (plus debt) means "green."

What kind of Orwellian doublethink is this?
Andrew L. Ayers, Glendale

Let the frats renovate: It's a shame what Michael Crow is doing to ASU's fraternities. Greek life brings tradition, honor, and true bonds that nothing else in life can bring. Fraternities have been the greatest experience of my life, and I feel it's an outrage by Crow to try to shut them down and rebuild.

ASU's old architecture keeps it unique and is a main attraction. ASU should allow fraternities to feel confident that they will be able to stay for the long run and that money will be reinvested to fund renovations of the treasured landmarks.
Al Michaels, Tempe

KILL CRAZY

Harold Fish paid his debt to society: Shooting an unarmed man is never the right thing to do, especially in macho Arizona ("Right to Kill," Stephen Lemons, July 30). What would any of us have done under similar circumstances with an allegedly crazed younger guy coming at us? Who knows?

I think Harold Fish did the appropriate amount of jail time for what he did. What he did was wrong, and he paid for it. A jury decided his fate, and he got out of prison, fair and square. I think [Arizona Attorney General] Terry Goddard should leave well enough alone.

Why put an elderly guy, who's surely learned his lesson doing hard time, back in the slammer? Doesn't make sense.
John McGhee, Phoenix

A simple case of self-defense: In the case of Harold Fish's shooting Grant Kuenzli, I feel it was self-defense. I know that if I were in the woods by myself and had the potential to be attacked by a man and three dogs, I would have done the same thing.

If Grant would've had his dogs under control or had some sanity, this would've never happened. Also, Harold did not shoot the dogs. It sounds to me that he was just trying to avoid hurting the dogs or being attacked by the dogs.

What do you think would've happened if Harold hadn't shot Grant? Would Grant be on trial because he and his dogs attacked a man? You shouldn't have to fight for your life because someone else is an asshole.

In my opinion, Harold Fish should [stay] free. What is this world coming to when a man cannot defend the life that God gave him?
Travis Mangus, Surprise

Invoking Duke: John Wayne said it best [in Rio Bravo]: "Man gets shot who has a gun, there's room for reasonable doubt. Man gets shot without a gun, what else would you call it [but murder]?"
Kenneth Jaeger, Phoenix

Typically liberal: The gentleman had a gun that protected him from the victim's dogs. He didn't kill the dogs; he dispersed them. Then after he had clearly demonstrated he was armed, the victim charged him? My thought would have been, "He thinks he has something that trumps a pistol!"

This is a typical liberal article coming from one of the most left-wing rags in Phoenix.
G.T. Hildebrand, Phoenix

I'd expect to go to jail: The Bird makes a good point: Why the hell did Harold Fish need to shoot the guy three times over an incident involving dogs that were no longer a threat? And if they were a threat, why didn't he shoot the dogs, and not the man?

Like I've always said about myself, if I'd ever have a gun on me — or around — and I'd even perceive a threat, I would shoot somebody. And I would expect to go to jail if that person were unarmed.

Using the logic that Fish's advocates use, would it be kosher to shoot somebody in traffic because he gave you the finger and might use his car as a battering ram to kill you? There will be those in gun-nut-laden Arizona who will argue that even in such a traffic incident, it would be correct to shoot to kill. Sad.
Robert Porter, Phoenix

Victim did not call off the dogs: Many of you will remember the training that you received to get a concealed-weapon permit (this training content was dictated by the state of Arizona):

When threatened, a person can shout at the assailant to stop and drop his weapon. We were instructed not to give a warning shot or shoot to wound. If the assailant does not stop his threatening behavior, the correct procedure is to shoot twice at his torso to prevent bodily injury to yourself.

Kind of a tough policy, but those dogs were, effectively, weapons and, in this case, they were not called off by the man who was killed. Unfortunately, we do not have a videotape of the incident to prove exactly what happened.
Max Williams, Phoenix

Wouldn't pepper spray work, too?: Why do [people] choose to believe that the jury was wrong when it decided that Harold Fish's actions were not reasonable and justified under the law? The jury judged Fish's actions based on what he knew (or testified that he knew) about the victim at the time of the shooting.

Fish made a choice without knowing about the victim's background. The jury was asked to judge Fish's actions based on the circumstances knowable to Fish at the time of the shooting. They chose to not believe Fish acted reasonably and with justification under the law in the circumstances in which he acted.

Fish says that he was trained to not fire a warning shot, but he wasn't trained to use lethal force on an unarmed person. Also, why, if his training was key, did he violate it by firing a warning shot at snarling, charging dogs moving faster than a human? Why assume that a vicious dog would be deterred by the sound of a gunshot? Why take that risk? Nobody has ever been charged with homicide against a dog.

Fish had time to note the victim's expression and body language, time to listen to him make a homicidal declaration (supposedly), time to watch him walk forward "swinging his fists." He had time after that to aim for the chest and shoot three times. The victim was unarmed, and neither a warning shot nor a single shot with a pause to gauge effect would have been too risky, provided he kept his bead.

Why, if the victim was intent on killing the defendant, didn't the victim take the screwdriver from his pocket for use as a weapon? Maybe he didn't think of it as a weapon? Maybe he was trying to get close to Fish, but if so, why announce his intent to kill him verbally?

Why did Fish take a gun, choosing not to carry less-lethal weapons of self-defense in case of bodily threats that did not rise to the level of the threat of death? Didn't he cite his training, and didn't his training include the justification of lethal force under Arizona law? Fish had the money to buy a nice gun. Surely, he had the money for a can of pepper spray.
Emil Pulsifer, Phoenix

Thank you for your intelligent contribution to this debate, Steve: I just read your article regarding gun owners, and I'm sorry to inform you that [your writer's] an idiot. I would love to debate for hours, but my time is better spent elsewhere.

Maybe one day he or his family's lives will depend on a legally armed citizen — better yet, I hope [the writer] never needs one of us to help him. Until then, he should do us all a favor and move back to New York or California. I'm sure he's not from Arizona, probably not even an American.
Steve Schaedel, via the Internet

BACKWARD IN AZ

A smart-ass Mexican: The entire nation is already aware of what's going on in Arizona. Your state's backward antics are hilarious and entertaining to us. I seriously read Arizona news on a daily basis because it makes me laugh. I can't believe you guys are actually afraid of Joe Arpaio ("Wrecking Crew," The Bird, July 30).

He wouldn't last two minutes in a real city. I am Mexican, and I can't imagine why a Mexican would consider his life better by moving to AZ. You may as well just stay in Mexico, rather than having to work for peanuts for a bunch of trashy people with long, dirty hair, tattoos, and pit smell.

Come to Seattle. We have something called technology here. Let me explain that in Arizona talk: It be computerz n fancy doo-hickeys, y'all. We actually have green plants here and not a bunch of anal-retentive police who [wouldn't be] man enough to cut it in any civilized state.

Arpaio acts like Arizona is some paradise that needs to be protected from the Mexican invasion. Your state really cannot get much worse than it already is. Let's say all the Mexicans did get deported, then what would you have? You would have 5 million meth users, tweakers, police with the IQs of 4-year-olds, and other miscreants.

All of you would be so strung out on meth that you wouldn't be able to tend to your cactus gardens or do any of the other work that the Mexicans do. "Hey, Pa, there ain't no more tomaters to put on mah burgers since all them Mexicans been deeported. Ain't none of us smart enuff to pick them tomaters so we be hongry."

Basically, quit treating the Mexicans as unwanted guests and thank them for being the only people on Earth who actually want to be anywhere near your trashy selves. Oh, yeah, the Cardinals and the Diamondbacks suck.
Juan Granillo, Seattle

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2 comments
Natascha Tournay
Natascha Tournay

Gentle Person;

I have an idea for a story and I am hoping you'll might be interested. I heard on talk radio that 70% of Phoenix, Maricopa County, or possibly AZ states budget (I'm not sure which) goes goes for the 3 "C's" (Cops, Courts, and Corrections). That seems a bit bloated considering we're looking at closing parks and some school districts have yet to hire back all the teachers previously laid off.

What I propose is a story called "Cookie Fed Cops" but it trickles down to the Prosecutors, jails, and prisons also. The gist is: If you have a record or specifically a number from prison in Maricopa County you need not commit a crime. If the police get a bead on you you can be charged with just about anything and must work your way through the court system because you've been a bad actor in the past. Your offered a plea agreement and basically must sign it because the alternative for not taking it is to go to trial.

This effectively circumvents the justice system in three ways 1) You have a prosecutor sentencing you. 2) The "historical priors" are coupled with the implied threat of "prior acts" that allows to introduction of every case you've been charged with including those never prosecuted. This often leads a jury to the assumption that the state "gave you a break by withdrawing charges". At the very least a jury has to question if 'where there's smoke there must be fire'. 3) Finally, it allows everyone from Joe Aripo to Andrew Thomas to make inaccurate claims as to their effectiveness because most felons arrested will take a year or two even if innocent because its a lot better then 5-12 they will get if they fight the case.

I am a 3 time loser (100177). I got out after going back to kill my number in 2006. I'm 45 missed half my sons youth from repeated (and deserved) incarcerations. In total I've given the state a little more than 9 of the last 15 years on and off. When I got out in 2006 I had a grandbaby. Understandably my son and daughter in law felt it would be better if I wasn't around the baby "for the time being". I had friends who cringed because they didn't need the bulls**t either. I figured I was getting to old for jail and I better give real life a try this time. I cleaned up my act. I got a job. I started college. I had an honest hardworking gentleman friend, my own apartment in the Arcadia district, a pristine driving record, 2 1/2 cars, insurance, and no police contact for 3 years.

All that changed officially 12/03/2008 when I was charged with Possession and Paraphernalia. The court appearances, TASC and Pretrial service appointments required each meant at least a half day missed work and I wasn't convicted or even tried yet.

As if that wasn't bad enough I was stopped no less then 6 times for "routine traffic stops" all by Phoenix Police (specifically Squaw Peak) from mid January to mid February alone even though I drive mostly in East and N.W Phoenix. Each of these stops required at least one court appearance to go along with the court ordered TASK, PreTrial Services, and Superior Court appearances required for the 12/03/2008 case mentioned previously. None were for moving violations or defective equipement. Many were in fact ridiculous. I received one ticket because my insurance agent printed my insurance card upside down--seriously. That one alone took two trips to court and a drivers license suspension while I waited for my agent to send 'official' documentation of my policy. I had/have a pristine driving record no accidents DWI/Drugs, or speeding tickets. Of the 8 charges I received only two stuck; a ticket for no license because I didn't physically have it in my possession and with me at the time of the stop, and one ticket for suspended plates which coincidentally was the smoking gun on officer veracity in the 12/03/2008 case.

Since I refuse to figuratively bend over and take it. I've read and googled and read and read till the case citations scrambled my brain but I ultimatly won the first time--sorta. Commissioner Budrows court "mistakenly" noted case events as 'Withdrawn by the State' instead of the reality which is I motioned to dismiss because of the cops repeated failed to appear after being ordered to do so by the court. Because of the mistake the state was allowed to refile. The refiling resulted in thier 'mistakenly' misspelled my name so the post office sent the notification of a second filing back and a bench warrant was issued. That cost me an overnight and a friends public humiliation when her house was surrounded even though I had called to reschedule the original court date after a friend gave me a heads up and there was a MINUTE ENTRY on file acknowledging same.

All tolled I've lost numerous friends, coworkers, school alumni and teachers hard earned respect. I've lost a gentleman friend in part because he was tired of the crap. I've lost a job. I've had my apartment burglarized. I ultimately lost the apartment, and yes went on to pay the default judgment which was reduced thanks to the kindness of both the Tony and Mr Finley who were witnessing my downfall. I've had two friends houses surrounded--one because of a $15 parking ticket. I've had police visit a third friends house touting charges never filed. I've spent one overnight (2 days) because of "clerical error". I had my car towed "mistakenly" because of "clerical error" only to be released after fighting for 2 days at no charge. I've spent 5 days in max with no working water and on lock down only to be released when the state failed to press charges--no surprise since 'the case' never happened. The kicker; I should have been released in 2 days (48 hours), not 5 days later and I get out only to find my tires and rims ($2000 Mazaties no less) had been looted and my car was sitting on blocks, my roommate was forced to ask me to move--and rightly so, because she cares for her elderly mother who doesn't need the 'excitement'. In short I've actually lost everything, I was eating at church soup kitchens (very good actually) and slept by the Tempe Town Lake because I had nowhere to go.

I am looking at turning my self in; yet again, for another 'clerical error': an FTA in the 12/03/2008 refiled case that resulted from the 5 days spent in MCSO custody over the case that was never filed. I have repeated tried to resolve this with Ms Badrow's court yelp she has my case again; however, I have been told repeatedly by her clerks I must self surrender. I will have the last $600 of the $1800 bond she's required me to post if I want my freedom while I fight the refiling of the 12/03/2008 case by 09/15/2009. I could go on and on but this letter is convoluted enough and I have to admit sounds far fetched. I swear I can offer documentation on every word I've written and the fact that the cop repeatedly failed to show should speak for itself. I realize I may be setting myself up for a conviction by going public but I also have a real problem with the McDonalds style fast food justice being handed down by commissioners masquerading as judges; prosecutors prescribing time; and cookie fed cops collecting salaries on my and my friends back. I hate the wasted potential of our youth that results from the lack of teachers and activities that results from the bloated budget required when a system needlessly sponges taxes better spent elsewhere. I hate the ease with which young adults are charged then chaperoned through EDC Drug Court by overworked Public Pretenders for lame cases that wouldn't even merit a ticket in another hardball state like TX much less a second look in a liberal state like CA.

I have friends with similar stories and the documentation. We don't want fame, money, or help with our cases. We just want Victor Voter to know why his kid couldn't go swimming full season this year.

In short Persecution masquerading as Prosecution benefits no one and hardly serves the ends of justice.

Thank you, I'll step off my soapbox now..smile

Natascha 'Tascha' Tournaytascha.tournay@yahoo.com

Howlin' Coyote
Howlin' Coyote

Hey Juan Granillo Mojado! Do you still take a siesta, even in Seattle? And how well do your serape and huarache sandals go over? Just wondering.

 
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