Justifiable Battery
Your recent article "Under the Knife," by Leigh Silverman (March 12), was a partial, nonobjective piece of crap. Nowhere in her article did she interview anyone involved in "assaults" on medical-care workers, who were not employed by these medical-care institutions, to find out just what makes them so angry at these "health-care professionals." Maybe I can shed some light on how they feel.

I have never been "intoxicated, disfranchised, a gang member or the addict seeking narcotics" when I have used or visited a medical institution. However, I have come close to committing assaults on so-called medical professionals for other reasons that your article and its interviewees conveniently failed to mention. And that is the ever-growing and intolerable medical indifference being perpetrated by these so-called places of healing.

The reason that a "janitor doubled as a part-time security officer" at Maryvale Hospital 22 years ago is because 22 years ago, the health-care industry hadn't been taken over by a bunch of large, greedy insurance corporations whose bottom line is to satisfy their stockholders first and care about their patients second. Twenty-two years ago, a patient actually was treated by the medical industry as though it cared, not as someone who the medical industry could do as little as possible for, while charging as much as it could get away with. What we really need is a new law making it a felony for a doctor, nurse or any other medical "professional" to make a medical decision for a patient based on the directive of an insurance company or any other corporate or government interest. Maybe then patients will regain the respect for the medical industry that we once had in this country, and so-called "medical professionals" will stop getting their asses kicked by righteously indignant patients.

Put this letter, along with an insurance lobbyist, in Drew's mouth (the hospital guard dog featured in the article) and let him chew on that!

William Arthur

Charm School
Your expatiation of the past 30 years of Sun City/Sun City West is to be commended for its objective reporting by Michael Kiefer ("Sun City Disease," March 5). Referencing his statement concerning Mrs. Justice--". . . the most experienced board member, and ARGUABLY (my screaming to emphasize my comment), one of the brightest . . ." I can see that she has made a positive impression on Mr. Kiefer, as she has to numerous sources.

However, after 13 years on various educational boards, wouldn't any parent realize that this "most experienced" member would know how the Dysart Unified School District #89 budget operates and how to interpret it? That is her elected responsibility--to understand, make educated accountable decisions for the teachers and, most important, the students within the Dysart School District, who have suffered from this lack of accountability from the two remaining board members (after this last election), as well as Dr. de la Garza's ineptness.

The record shows clearly that these noted representatives are not the professionals they would like this community to believe. If you accept the job, then do it as professionals. If you can't hack it, move on--and let those who have clearly shown their concern do their elected job. The goal here is the most quality education attainable, with the resources that have been allotted, for these students in the Dysart district.

Dick Daniels
Sun City West

Gentle Ben
I write in response to Chris Farnsworth's piece ("Jailhouse Blues," March 5) in which a state inmate charges that Corrections Sergeant Ben Sanders made sexual advances to him. As a former corrections officer and subordinate of Sergeant Sanders, I found these allegations to be extremely disturbing and highly improbable. During the five or more years that I had worked with Ben Sanders at Perryville, he had always appeared to be exceedingly loyal, decent and right-minded. In addition he had seemed to me a very gentle man and often overly sensitive. Nevertheless, I had also noticed that frequently Ben exhibited a droll or quirky sense of humor with regard to both staff and inmates. In my opinion, this reflected an eccentric side to his personality.

Thus, I am suggesting that perhaps Ben Sanders' alleged words and actions toward this inmate which were supposedly interpreted as sexual misconduct may have been in reality merely the sergeant being facetious in an unconventional way. Moreover, I feel that any inmate's account concerning a Department of Corrections employee should be taken with a grain of salt. It is regrettable that an honorable and a dedicated public servant is maligned in this fashion before the real facts are known.

John Keogh

Officers Down
I am so appalled by Barry Graham's column on the Scottsdale Police Department ("To Serve and Humiliate," March 5). These are people who are supposed to protect us? What a joke! I've never really had much faith in our police, but this situation makes my view of every cop, good or bad, even worse.

Reading the article, I was so scared and felt bad for Bonnie Johnson. No one deserves this type of treatment. I'm surprised this story isn't the top story of the evening news. Instead, the news gives us feeble stories of how much rainfall we've had or what celebrity couple is getting a divorce. Thanks to Barry Graham for giving us the real news of what's happening in our state.

Maggie Courtney

Upper Crusties
I take great umbrage at Max Martin's recent letter to the editor (March 12). He postulates that the reason the average citizen looks down on the Tempe panhandlers ("Meet the Crusties," David Holthouse, March 5) is that we wish we were able to choose the wonderfully "free" way of life that they have. I see nothing liberating about being free to sleep in my own urine. I see nothing empowering about being so hungry that I have to beg passersby for a bit to eat. I see nothing desirable about craving heroin so deeply that I spend all of my waking hours and energies in a desperate search for the drug.

What we really have is a group of kids so tightly bound by addictions and bad decisions that they have really lost the freedom to choose anything at all. Where is the joy in that?

Matthew P. Cox

Max Martin interested me with his racist, bigot remark, "The reason all of these so-called crusties are white is because the other ethnic groups have something called a work ethic." Agreed, white history is not a proud one, but the fact is a majority of the white population is a working one, too. I'm white and working about 50 hours a week myself.

I encourage anyone reading this to read wisely. Life isn't the same as what's behind your closed doors. Look out your windows because there are a lot more things, people and ideas that go far deeper than any bigot or an average herd of sheep have to offer.

Jesse C. Roche


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