Good Sports, Bad Religion

Women With Balls

Playing defense: I am an offensive lineman for the Arizona Caliente Women's Football Team. I recently read the article about the Arizona Nighthawks and their struggles to be a successful football organization "Ladies Who Crunch," Lisa Kennedy, October 10). I was truly enamored by 90 percent of the story -- right up until I read the part about the alleged racism players received from the Caliente team.

This is my first year with the Caliente football team, and I can attest there is no racism on our team. Our coach, Gerry Turley, was awarded Coach of the Year for the WAFL 2001-2002 season. I'm sure you are aware that a head coach does not receive this kind of honorable award if he/she has racism issues.

Currently, there are six African Americans, eight Latino Americans, two Native Americans and one Japanese player. We have people from all walks of life, from rich to poor, and including all colors; therefore, I would say our team is extremely diversified. I am not attempting to suggest you conjured these allegations; however, I wanted to merely inform you of the melting pot within our team, and that racism is a far stretch from the core of the Caliente.

As I said before, I enjoyed 90 percent of your article. Any positive publicity to promote women's athletics (especially football) is greatly appreciated -- regardless what organization it is.

I am proud to be a part of the Arizona Caliente and look forward to the day women's football can stand side by side with the WNBA in stature.

Amy "A-Bomb" Arnold
Via e-mail

Church Chat

Grilling Salmon: God forbid if Matt Salmon becomes governor of this state! Your article "Cover-up" (John Dougherty, October 3) regarding the Attorney General's Office only gave more support for these Mormon white male fanatics in Arizona. May I remind you that Matt Salmon is Mormon and LDS (Latter-Day Saint) and believes in the regime of Colorado City? Matt Salmon and the Mormon Church believe that women are basically baby factories and have no voice regarding how they are treated.

The only thing your article did was acknowledge the efforts to investigate these horrific criminal acts against women by the Attorney General's Office.

Although the Attorney General has not brought any cases this far to the courts of Arizona, the downside of this article is that these unfortunate women will never see their day in court because Matt Salmon (if he is elected governor) and his constituents will ensure that these Colorado City criminal acts are buried forever.

Jennifer Burke

Mormon madness: Your article on the Mormons in northern Arizona was outstanding. If what you've reported is true, and I believe it is, Napolitano should be arrested for neglect of duty. No, better yet, she should be arrested for aiding and abetting the whole thing. How incredibly sad it was to read about these hideous men who abuse and torture women of all ages and ruin their lives forever. How can this be happening in this day and age? This isn't Afghanistan, for chrissake!

The only thing I found hard to believe, even for Napolitano, was her motive for sitting still. Can she really be afraid of bad publicity when such an atrocity is going on? How could she not be a hero for putting an end to this? There must be something more to it. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I do know the "legitimate" Mormons have a strong influence in this Valley and state, and usually things of this nature can be explained in terms of money somehow. I'd love to see a follow-up on this down the road.

Larry Eglinton

Talking tough: The article by writer John Dougherty about the polygamous cult using Mormonism to justify kidnappings, rape and beatings of women held captive was truly horrifying.

Why Janet Napolitano has failed to react decisively to this confirms my opinion of her and other "enforcement" officials; they only get tough when those they get tough with can't get tough right back. The fact this cult has very likely stockpiled military weapons, including rocket launchers, probably is giving SWAT teams (FBI, ATF, DPS, etc.) nightmares.

They are very brave when they go after people who aren't as heavily armed as they are, but wet their pants when the people they might get sicced on like two-legged attack dogs can and very likely will be ready and able to shoot right back.

They learned that lesson the hard way at Waco and used that lesson learned at Ruby Ridge when FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi gunned down Vicky Weaver while she was holding her baby in her arms, rather than risk getting shot while trying to shoot Randy Weaver or Jevin Harris.  

No, Janet Napolitano (kinda rhymes with Reno', doesn't it?) is like the other gutless wonders; they only get tough when the ones they get tough with probably can't get tough right back.

This cult has antitank weapons, so sending in the flametracks like they did at Waco won't be a safe exercise for the gutless goons.

What then, Janet? An Arc Light airstrike with B-52s?

Marc V. Ridenour
Show Low

Different definition: Your article is a fine article exposing something should be fixed, but your use of the term "Mormon" on the cover creates the image that they are Mormons, which they are not. You say in the second paragraph that they belong to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the FLDS, not the (LDS). As a reporter, I will assume you knew that. But as a member of the LDS church, I am appalled, along with the general population of the LDS. Collectively, we are all against this. I can speak for us as a collective population because of everything I have learned in my 26 years in church and my training and time (26 months) as a missionary in Argentina.

My point is that you calling them "Mormons" puts myself and 11 million people as their supporters and associates. In your title, it creates more hatred and misconceptions against my religion. Though that may mean little to you, it means loads to myself. I have no idea of your knowledge of my beliefs, but damage (if any) is already done.

Ryan Galbasini
Via e-mail

Spike Strikes

D'backer: The Spike is absolutely right ("A Fan for All Seasons," Spiked, October 10)! I am not a big sports fan, but I have been following the D'backs with more and more interest over the years. I watch many of the games on TV and go to the BOB a few times each year. I only wished I could have been at the BOB when the D'backs got pounded 19-1 by the Dodgers. As it was, I watched the whole thing on TV and was terribly disappointed to see the stands emptying throughout the debacle. Those of us who hung on got to see a marvelous appearance on the mound by Mark Grace.

Sure, it's easy to be a fan when the D'backs are kicking everyone's ass, but a real fan supports the team even when they are getting their ass kicked. Maybe the abundance of fair weather in Arizona has infiltrated every other aspect of life, so that most folks only know how to be fair-weather fans.

Wally Ruth

Stargazing sissies: Puh-lease, Spike. You're talking about a city of people who, until the D'backs won the World Series, still wore jerseys from other teams to the park. You're talking about a throng of freaks who would cheer for Sammy and Mac to beat their own pitchers. You're talking about about a bunch of weakass sissies who would rather have their view of the stars while drinking their imports than a better scientific chance of Schilling winning a game. Watching those bandwagoners fill that stadium during the postseason makes me wretch more than watching them leave a game early.

We are few.
Melanie Fuller
Via e-mail

Loaded Issue

Buddha with a bullet: I really enjoyed your article "Gun Nut" (Spiked, October 3). I, too, recently (four years ago) discovered the joys of blowing up fruit, boxes and other "trash" with a large caliber weapon. When time allows, I attend the Church of Ben Avery with Reverends Smith & Wesson as often as I can. The whole experience is like Zen to me. I go there to think and to "get centered." Thanks for a good article.

Laura Larry' Brown
Via e-mail

Urban cowboy: This is a reply to the article about The Spike's gun fetish. As wonderous and humorous as this article was (I couldn't stop snickering at the frilly pink dress), I couldn't help but notice one thing -- that guns are a taboo in Arizona. This would be truly confusing to me.

As you may not have yet noticed, I'm not an Arizona native. Actually, I was brought up on the mean streets of a middle-class suburban town in New Jersey. Now, the real reason this confused me is that, while the article stated that guns are a faux pas everywhere else in the country, the feeling of Arizonans about guns is completely different.

When I first moved out here, I was kind of expecting cactus and cowboys. Well, I've seen both. I was also expecting a .357 on each denim-clad hip. This was not the case. But perhaps you may want to let others know that everyone else, at least in the northeast, is kinda scared to come down here because they feel that the gun-totin' cowpokes are going to blow them away for having a Hoboken accent. I know I sure did . . . and look how I turned out. Ha!  

Aaron M. Fishler

Best Bets

Lazy like a fox: It's tragic! Love your news, but I'm afraid that as far as entertainment goes, my favorite Valley pub is out of touch with this city ("Best of Phoenix," September 26). Until next year, try to encourage your staff to hit the streets, explore! This issue is full of the tried; there's no breakout, break-in surprises here. New Times was lazy this year. Love ya!

James Hansen

High praise: On behalf of the Fighter Combat International team, thank you so very much for the Best of Phoenix Award. Very clever! Funny thing is, people do use their refunds here. Great issue!

Trish Jasinski

Movie rebuff: Did anyone at the New Times actually go to Madstone before saying it was the "Best Indie Movie House?" If you had, you would know that, other than painting the place green inside, they've done nothing to enhance the indie experience.

If you actually go to indie movies, you still have to go to a Harkins theater, which have better seats (Madstone's still say AMC on the arms and have been sitting there for years without improvements), better sound and better eats. Yes, you can get a glass of wine, but you're sipping it in a cafeteria-style "lounge."

Additionally, of Madstone's six screens, they are only showing two films that aren't playing anywhere else -- at most! They are either showing general-run movies or things that Harkins showed months ago. I've seen three movies at Madstone (including one in wide release!) since they opened and also saw films at Harkins the same week. The difference is obvious.

So, before you give Madstone this designation in the future, please go there, and then go to one of the three Harkins theaters that shows indie movies.

As someone who sees more than a hundred movies a year at the theater -- and one who has tried to give Madstone a chance -- I believe even more than ever that Harkins offers more and better choices for independent films. And in much nicer theaters.

Susan Zeloznicki

Many tanks: Thank you, New Times, for recognizing one of the best-kept secrets in the southwest: Maricopa County's White Tank Mountain Regional Park.

I spend many Saturdays hiking this spectacular park. I am always awed by its beauty and serenity. With wonderful hiking trails, topnotch camping facilities and family-friendly events, it is truly a jewel in the desert.

I want to commend the staff of the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department for their commitment to creating and maintaining a desert wonderland in the midst of ever-encroaching development.

Those who utilize the White Tanks can rest assured that county leaders are also committed to the parks. Just last fall, the county acquired more than 3,000 acres of pristine desert land bordering the park, to ensure preservation of open space in our community.

Maricopa County owns and manages some of the most beautiful parks in the world, from the White Tanks in the west to Lake Pleasant in the north and the Usery Mountain Recreation Area in the east Valley. I encourage everyone to visit the parks often.

Thank you again, New Times, for recognizing the splendor of the White Tank Mountain Regional Park.

Max W. Wilson
Maricopa County Supervisor
District 4

Art Talk

Exhibitionist: Kudos to art critic Ed Lebow for his insightful review of the exhibition "Ambiguous Icons: Works in Low Resolution" at ASU ("Flash Back," September 19).

Artist/engineer Jim Campbell is one of the most gifted artists going in that odd hybrid called "art and technology" -- but he is barely on the radar screen of the art world. Lebow's essay helps to correct this astigmatism with his highly resolved treatment of the low-res panels featured in the exhibition. Equally important, Lebow provides the broader historical context needed to gauge the significance of the work. As long as New Times prints writing of Lebow's quality, I'll keep reading.

Dan Collins

Heart Talk

Of morals and money: The letters from Tee Combs and Lorraine Vance regarding Dr. Teodori were heartfelt, I'm sure, but misguided at best (Letters, October 10). While they claim a slam job was done on St Joseph's Hospital courtesy of Paul Rubin, they completely missed the big picture. Dr. Teodori felt that his patients were receiving sub-par care at this facility and simply made it known that this was unacceptable. What this meant to St. Joe's was that they would have to dig into the deep coffers of their profits and up-train and up-staff their critical care unit to meet his demands. This meant that a critical care nurse could no longer care for two and three patients at a time. This meant that St. Joe's would have to spend some of those profits. They refused (and called his bluff), and Teodori didn't blink. What Dr. Teodori did was walk away from an institution which had been awarded a multimillion-dollar contract by the state to do surgeries in their facility. This to me is the heart (no pun) of the matter.  

As the parent of a 5-year-old who endured two major heart surgeries (one at 12 days of age and one at 9 months), I am grateful that Dr. Teodori was our surgeon and that my son was in the care of professionals at Phoenix Children's Hospital. Ask St. Joe's what the attrition rate of nurses at their hospital is. Ask St. Joe's what the nurse-to-patient ratio is. Yes, Dr. Teodori is temperamental; yes, he is demanding; and he insists on the best care for his patients regardless of the cost. Walking away from that fat state contract at St. Joe's should be proof enough. I don't want my child cared for in a facility that cares more about the bottom line than the well-being of my child.

So the last word on Dr. Teodori is this: Bravo, Dr. Teodori, for having the moral fiber to care more about your patients than the money.

Tom Carlin

Pediatric perspective: I would like to compliment you on your recent article in New Times about pediatric cardiology, and about Dr. Teodori specifically. Having previously trained in pediatric cardiology, and having been a pediatrician in this community for the last 14 years, on the staff at both Phoenix Children's and St. Joseph's hospitals, I feel that I have a unique perspective in this area and was surprised and delighted to see what a comprehensive picture you were able to portray of both the warmth and expertise of Dr. Teodori, and of the status of pediatric heart care in the Phoenix area.

There is no question that Phoenix Children's Hospital, with its Children's Heart Center, has the equipment and the people to make it the best place for the care of these precious infants, children and teenagers. We are all praying for Dr. Teodori's continued recovery so he can take his rightful place as the captain of this Ship of Hope.

Thank you again for all of the work you have done over the past several months researching this article. It is such a pleasure to read accurate and comprehensive journalistic reporting.

Richard J. Leonard, M.D.
President of the Medical Staff of Phoenix Children's Hospital

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