New Times needs to be a little bit more careful when it tries to be smug. In March 14's Flashes, it took a snide swipe at Tom Fitzpatrick for misspelling H. Norman Schwarzkopf's name in a column. On the same page, however, staff writer Michael Kiefer misspelled the name of Scott O'Grady, the American pilot shot down over Bosnia. Note to Kiefer and/or copydesk: There's an "O."
I am a senior at Shadow Mountain High School, and I just finished reading Michael Kiefer's article "Killing Time at Shadow Mountain High" (March 14). I would like to compliment Kiefer on his research. Out of the dozens of articles I've read about these killings, Kiefer's provided the most information.
Although there were a few sections that made me unhappy. Danny Richardson was a very close friend of mine, and I am still close to Paul Richardson and Pat McCarville. I also knew Ryan Winn from school. In Kiefer's article, he said, "The 'good' boys were not as good as they were painted, nor the 'bad' boys so bad." This comment made me angry because people need to remember one thing: My friends were not the teens carrying the weapons, and they were not the ones to commit assaults and to kill. So I'm sorry, but these "bad" boys are as bad as people say.
Kiefer also wrote about what he calls a "jock" problem, basically saying that because my friends were athletes, they were asking for trouble. He simply stereotyped my friends because they played sports. True, many athletes have a cocky attitude, but Kiefer didn't know these boys. He didn't know their personalities or their attitudes toward life. Once again I would like to correct him. This is not a "jock" problem; this is a "teenage boy" problem. When these criminals chose to use their weapons, they crossed a line.
The final section I would like to comment on appeared in the last paragraphs. As Kiefer wrote about my school's basketball team, he used phrases like "the Shadow Mountain High School basketball team bullies past a lesser opponent," and "players' parents in the stands bleating as if the game were mortal combat to decide the fate of the universe." These comments may have been added for dramatic effect, but they were clearly unnecessary.
Of course, our basketball team played hard, which the other team did as well. But it didn't "bully" anyone. And after having such a tragic year, this game was a pleasant time for my community to try to feel normal again. By no means did the fans feel that this was "mortal combat" or "the fate of the universe." The parents of my friends and the parents of my community have had to face a frightening reality, while the students at my school have to grow up much too fast. So if we decide to escape our reality for a few hours by attending a basketball game, I don't think there should be a problem with that.
Once again I'd like to commend Kiefer on his information, and for the most part, a very well-written article. But, in future articles, Kiefer should rethink his opinions and be careful of the hurtful comments he might make.
Badge of Dishonor
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has gone beyond the bounds of human decency. It's not enough that he has built "concentration camps" for minorities and undesirable whites, plus what can only be termed as a "vigilante posse" consisting of gun-carrying rednecks looking for some action in the ghettos and the barrios. Now he wants inmates to bury the fruits of his labors (Flashes, March 21) to save a buck ($60,000, which is the approximate cost for two inmates in state prison for one year). What's next--the firing squads and the gas chambers?
I'm an incapacitated senior citizen, but you can bet your life that I'll be at the polls on Election Day. God help us all if we sit by and allow this man to carry out his own agenda for his "final solution."
A primary cause of these troubled times is the socioeconomic disparity in the structure of everyday society. The greater part of the cause, the majority, must bear the burden of the greater part of the solution. What a great country it would be if everyone just played fair!
Bent Out of Shape
I couldn't agree more with M. V. Moorhead's review of Bent, Martin Sherman's play about persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany ("Persecution Complex," March 7). It was a great production, and my partner and I enjoyed it thoroughly. However, I would like to point out that there was another triangle used by the Nazis. It was a black triangle, and it was for lesbians.
If one thinks little is known about homosexual males in the camps, try to find out about the lesbians. I think most of them were imprisoned at a camp called Ravensbruk, but I'm not even sure about that. Many lesbians wear pink triangles because they are unaware that we had our very own triangle! Weren't we lucky?
Just thought I'd set the record straight (so to speak), so when members of the right wing start their purge, they'll get it right.
Regarding John Dougherty's article "The Case Against Fife" (March 21): One of the basic standards of the CPA profession is Ethics Rule 101, which, to maintain the public's trust, requires a CPA who is a member of the American Institute of CPAs to be "independent in the performance of professional services." There are also "Rulings" issued to expand on the Rules.
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One of these says that a CPA is no longer independent of a client when fees for that client remain unpaid for more than one year. Another goes on to say that a CPA can't issue an audit opinion or review report on a client's financial statements when the CPA is not independent of that client.
So to remain independent of Governor Fife Symington, Coopers & Lybrand probably had no choice but to write off the old fees. This effectively meant that C&L was giving free services to a government official. That can be construed in several ways, the worst of which could still violate CPA ethics rules.