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How many wives is too many wives?

Unsafe at Home

He's Gross, man: I am shocked, appalled and disgusted by John Grossman's treatment of his invalid wife ("Paralyzed in Paradise," Amy Silverman, May 1). As a domestic-abuse survivor myself, I believe Heather's story 100 percent. When you have no self-esteem, you are too afraid to tell anyone about how bad you get treated. Not only is it embarrassing, but the fear of retaliation from your abuser makes you fear for your life. Please explain to me why Mr. Grossman keeps a video monitoring system on his wife. Oh, I'm sure he'll say it's so he can make sure she's okay, but we all know that's not the case here. Rick Romley needs to have his head examined. If the prior police reports aren't enough to get this man arrested and put behind bars for the rest of his life, I don't know what is. Why, Mr. Romley, are the children so deathly afraid of this man? And can you tell me why they went through 50 nurses in a four-year period? Sound normal to you? Not to me. Unfortunately, what's happening here is one word: money. Because of Mr. Grossman's financial status, he can get away with murder, essentially. Do we need to wait until Heather is found decapitated and floating in a ditch somewhere before we act? Mr. Grossman is an insecure little boy who can only feel better about himself by berating his wife and those around him. I think that Mr. Grossman should move out of the country. This story is going to get a lot of people angry, and he should probably look over his shoulder.

Name withheld by request

Patients Be Damned

Stuck with the bill: I was totally appalled by this story ("Rent a Patient," Paul Rubin, April 24). I am a Blue Cross/Blue Shield customer. We have to depend on them to pay our bills, and they pay so little that we still end up owing hundreds of dollars. They never send us checks -- always to the medical center or the hospitals. So to see our insurance company penalize us for them being so stupid, I was really furious.

Judy Coerber
Phoenix

Wives Aplenty

So who's the Don?: John Dougherty's multi-part exposé on Arizona's polygamous communities opened my eyes ("Polygamists Probed," May 1). I was aware of some of the shenanigans of these groups, but I learned a great deal more about them, thanks to New Times.

Is a Mormon Mafia running the state? They are conditioned since early childhood to obey without question, and to lead, for the most part, exemplary lives in the community. Boys invariably join the scouts, and girls learn to be model housewives. Every detail in their lives is governed by someone in the LDS hierarchy. Eventually, while the women are busy with the mass production of babies, the men gravitate toward government at all levels. Some returned missionaries end up in federal agency billets, such as the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc., inasmuch as their patriotism and ability to follow orders are never questioned; many men, though, end up in local, county and state government, being assured of bloc voting power from their very supporting religionists. That explains Mecham, the Flakes, the Freestones, etc.

New Times could provide a valuable service by identifying the Mormons who rule Arizona, at all levels, to show how and why the governor is unable to take legal action against the freeloading polygamist cults in the Arizona Strip. Sure, they claim not to be alike in their practice, but there must be certain sympathy between the mainstream LDS and the breakaway faction, to the detriment of Arizona.

I look forward to your identification of the Mormons who rule over our state.

Name withheld by request

The obvious remedy?: As usual, John Dougherty has produced a masterwork of investigative journalism. It is great to see that at least one reporter in Arizona has the courage to speak the truth about this lawless polygamy cult.

The solution to the problem is so obvious nobody seems to be able to see it. CPS and law enforcement need to be in the polygamous communities, not coming in from outside. If there were a CPS office and police substation in Colorado City, they could observe the activities of the polygamists without being challenged by FLDS thugs whenever they enter town. At the same time, kids who want to escape that lifestyle would have a place to go for help.

I heard one girl describe her efforts to leave Colorado City. She packed a bag and actually got as far as Hurricane, Utah. She went into JB's restaurant and there her trip came to an end. She had never spoken to an "outsider." She didn't know how to ask for help. She ended up simply going back to Colorado City because it was the only life she knew. Clearly what is needed is to bring the functions of normal government to them, not in the form of a raid, but as a continuous presence.

 

Jim Ashurst
Henderson, Nevada

Gut check: If you are going to print the rantings of a bigot, the least you could do is require that his name be shown ("Righteous bothers," Letters, April 17). I use the masculine gender because that makes it easier for me to say that it is too bad that this coward did not meet my granddad who was a Mormon pioneer who settled in the upper Gila River valley in 1895. My grandfather would have first explained to this craven caitiff that as a devout member of his faith, he condemned polygamy and those who practiced it, particularly those who professed belief in the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but who had either been precluded from membership in the Church or had been excommunicated therefrom. My grandfather would have asked this pusillanimous poltroon to say to him what he was afraid to attach his name to. My granddad would then have delivered to this gutless wonder a physical lesson that would not soon be forgotten and might cause him to think twice before attacking that and those of which he is obviously ignorant. My granddad is long dead, but if this spineless snake is so inclined, I would be pleased to deliver my granddad's message for him.

Brent F. Moody
Phoenix

Frankly incensed: I'm writing now to say thanks for your series on the polygamist colonies in Colorado City and elsewhere. I've read everything in the series so far with a growing morbid fascination. As a normal father and husband, I confess I'm sickened by the widespread child abuse, incest and rape of young girls you've reported. As a taxpayer, I'm incensed at the way these perverted scumbags rip off the state education system to subsidize their sick and illegal lifestyle. I tend to be a tolerant person, but frankly I don't think there's any place in the U.S. for a cult like the FLDS. Your excellent articles have inspired me to get in touch with the governor and the state attorney general to badger them to do something about the Colorado City cult. I feel like you're doing a real public service in bringing the activities of these sickos out into the sunlight. I was also impressed with the depth of your research. My compliments on an excellent series. I look forward to the next articles you're writing. I hope they provoke the state authorities into acting.

S.C. Ringgenberg
Via e-mail

Time to get tough: It gets extremely tiring listening to the incompetent authorities in Arizona saying, "We can't do anything about abuse in Colorado City because victims won't talk." No, not if you don't want them to. Ever hear of polygraphs, subpoenas, blood tests, DNA tests, plea bargains and witness protection? This is a wealthy crime organization committing crimes with the collusion, it would seem, of Arizona authorities. I guess the same excuse could be used with drug cartels and the Mafia. Heck, why try to solve any crimes?

Funny how this newspaper and activists can get information, but I guess if the governor, law enforcement and child protection in Arizona got serious about stopping the horrendous abuses in Colorado City, that would mean they would have to do a little work at it, instead of constantly throwing their hands up in the air.

The public is no longer accepting this pathetic excuse for their failure to actively pursue cases where children are victims. It makes you wonder what kind of political contributions this wealthy organization and its henchmen are making.

Lorna Craig
Perry Point, Maryland

Squaw Pique

Short memories: It was shocking that news reports of the Squaw Peak renaming controversy referred to Lori Piestewa as the first Native American woman killed in combat ("Squaw Peeved," Robert Nelson, April 17). Native tribes engaged in combat for centuries before Europeans arrived, but I guess that combat doesn't count since Columbus hadn't discovered it yet. Native Americans sided with the British against the Americans in both the Revolution and the War of 1812, when many Native American women were killed in combat. After the Civil War, in order to steal more land even faster, the American army intensified its attacks on Native Americans, making war on entire tribes instead of just small groups of renegades and terrorists. Sometimes, after destroying a Native American village, our troops would pursue those who fled. Our troops would kill men, women and babies while pursuing until everyone was dead. Thousands of women were slaughtered in this combat, but no mountain peaks are named for them. As a combat tactic, our troops arranged to have blankets and clothing that had been infected with smallpox delivered to Native American villages. This weapon of mass destruction killed enough women and men to make Saddam look like an altar boy. By 1890, the population of Native Americans had been reduced by millions. Today, some people view this episode as a war crime morally equivalent to the Holocaust. They wonder how it could have happened. But at the time, Americans just put truth and reality out of their minds. They said mindless things like, "Once a war starts, we shouldn't discuss morality." Or, they vacantly said, "I support our troops."

 

John Kromko
Tucson

Send a résumé, already: I would love to be a columnist for your paper, as I can see that it takes nothing more than foaming freely at the mouth and writing about topics I know absolutely nothing about. I am appalled that you would allow Robert Nelson to drag an honorable young Native American woman through his mire of vulgar banality. You obviously allow your columnists to write while under the influence of idiocy. I can see no other way of explaining why a moron like Robert Nelson is allowed even an inch of space in a newspaper. I understand keeping politicians in check. What I do not understand is why you would drag any woman through your muddled intelligence. Leave Native American women out of your mindless rantings and ravings.

Durinda Gouley
A Dine Woman
Utah

Lori on money, too?: To call Robert Nelson an ass for his racist, bigoted, politically motivated editorial would be disrespectful to burros everywhere. Being fair-minded, though, I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and consider that he might be undereducated instead, so here's a bit of education for him. Regardless of the original definition of the word "squaw," it has been used in a derogatory fashion by Euro-Americans for decades upon decades, thereby altering the original definition into something as totally unacceptable as the "N" word. As for his statement, "lacks the characteristics of courage, intelligence and vision needed to get a major landmark named after you," let's consider this: Andrew Jackson lacks the integrity and honesty to have his face on the $20 bill. He defied two Supreme Court orders by initiating actions that resulted in the complete or near elimination of hundreds of American Indian nations.

Well, gee whiz, Robert honey! Is Jackson your idea of "courage, intelligence, and vision"? Frankly, I think renaming a mountain is only a first step. How about putting a new, non-criminal face on those $20 bills?

Valerie Ohle
Knoxville, Tennessee

Give it a whorl: Your comment about people needing to get over the naming of Squaw Peak is crude and insensitive. How can people get over it if you give a comment with no compassion? I feel that the column was based on your own political animosity toward Janet Napolitano. Learn to write every article with respect, maturity, dignity and sincerity. Your own words made you come off as a bigot, a racist and a chauvinistic pig. By writing what you did regarding Lori Piestewa, the term "squaw" and Squaw Peak in itself makes you very ignorant. Your words show no respect through Native eyes. The Hopi and other Native tribes all value everything that is nature, including Squaw Peak. By dissing Lori, you are disgracing a deceased Native woman. In the Native ways, that is one of the most disrespectful things to do. Lastly, I have to comment on the picture of Janet Napolitano with the Hopi Maiden Whorl. If you had respected the Hopis, you wouldn't have made Janet have this type of hair style. This hair style is sacred among the Hopi and it is only for the Hopi young maidens. Next time you write any articles about the Natives, learn to write without an ignorant heart.

Joanna Rekkas
Via e-mail

Combo Plate

Get off Target: I just finished reading your review of the new Mexican restaurant called Don Marco ("Blown Away," Carey Sweet, April 24). I love Mexican food, and growing up in the Valley, I love to find new things. I also read New Times just to read Carey Sweet's column. She has always given me some great insights to places I have wanted to try or have never heard of. Now in reading her article I was very curious about this new place because of what she wrote. One thing caught my attention, though -- when she described its location in Glendale, she wrote, "In a run-down strip mall." I as well as the owners of this fine place are very offended by this statement! Excuse me, Ms. Sweet! But I happen to have grown up in that area! My parents currently live there as well, for more than 25 years! My father works for the city of Scottsdale and my mother owns her own business! Where did you grow up? Beverly Hills? I currently live in central Phoenix. But I still, 'til this day, will drive out of my way to shop at that Target. That is not a run-down strip mall! When you wrote that, I had to call and ask them where they were located. When they told me next to that Target, well, that's when it hit me -- you are an anti-west-sider! You insulted them as well as me and anyone else who grew up in that great neighborhood. I bet you think south Phoenix is a scary place as well. My rant is over. Please think before you write, that's all. What you think is run-down is someone else's great neighborhood. I will, of course, keep reading your articles. But don't be such a snob! And do some pieces on places in south Phoenix! It's really quite charming!

 

Doreen Petrillo
Via e-mail

Jammin'

Less lard, please: Uhhhhhhhgh, ya ever get that "I ate too much Filiberto's sausage and steak and wonder why did I even order it" feeling? Look no further for a journalistic version of that same bloated sensation than Christopher O'Connor's Irish Medley of nonsense titled "Jam Land"(May 1).

From beginning to end, this reads more like a fluff piece thrown together by some neo-conservative hack from the New York Post than the usual edgy New Times quality readers are accustomed to. Journalistic integrity is traded in for phoned-in semantics with the usual high dose of hippie stereotypes. If you're writing about a "scene," one would think to give the reader a sense of the surroundings by possibly giving an idea what the appeal is to the audience. How about clarification why a local band as high profile as the Mojo Farmers was shut out of the New Times Music Awards Showcase? Nothing like that is found here.

The question remains, what audience was O'Connor writing to? Anybody part of the jam band scene will be turned off by the writer's smugness, and outsiders interested in some actual insight will be left dumfounded. No participant comes across particularly well here, either. Awkward quotes abound, whether it is the promoter's attempt to appear part of an overly professional outfit or a band member's name description simply being used as a prop. It's as if the writer was more interested in getting in a self-amusing quip than giving the reader anything of sustenance.

There is barely a coherent observation in the bunch. Take, for example, the line that starts off with some nonsensical "left-field woodchuck" reference and then goes straight into "there's actually a charming blandness to it all at this event." If you're left wondering what all this means, the ensuing text hardly qualifies as an answer, much less something that would constitute a music festival review. Apparently, brown acid was being ingested at the 4:20 Fest, and O'Connor's article stands as a monument for bum trippers everywhere.

Christopher J. Emge
Scottsdale


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