Help them at all costs: It was a heartbreaking story about the Latino kids with autism. I can guess what the reaction to this story from redneck Arizonans will be, though: These kids are sub-human and don't deserve any help from us.
They will say that if there is a language problem, these families don't deserve benefits because they are here illegally, have undeserved green cards, or should've learned fluent English. The racist message is that anybody with brown skin doesn't deserve to be here and reap the benefits of our society.
There is no humanity in this line of thinking. (I use the word thinking loosely.) These are children, and all God-fearing people should want to help them at all costs. My heart goes out to these poor souls.
Jessica Moran, address withheld
System should shun them: While I sympathize with these children, I have no sympathy for the parents, who came here illegally and, thus, subjected their kids to a system that should shun them.
We have our own problems with autistic Americans. We simply can't afford to care for the whole world! Have you folks at New Times noticed that we're in a recession, that most of us are struggling to pay our bills? We don't need higher taxes because we have to take care of Mexico's autistic kids, too.
Please stop trying to force us to care about the plights of citizens from another country. They should go back to their own country and apply for benefits.
John Bolland, Mesa
Write stories about Americans: Cry, cry, cry! Who cares about these kids? We've got our own disabled and retarded children to care for in the United States. Please start writing stories about the problems of Americans!
Tim Summers, Mesa
Release records to Mexico: Autism is a horrible disorder, and I empathize with the victims and families. That's why I propose that illegals be given an opportunity to sign a release-of-medical-records form before they are promptly deported, thus facilitating continuity of care.
The healthcare provider listed on the form can then fax those records to health officials in Mexico. This is an appropriate level of care for anything less than a life-threatening emergency.
Spanish translators available: If kids are here and legal, almost all doctors' offices have a Spanish-speaking person to translate. You will get help and, yes, it sometimes takes time.
As for undocumented and illegal immigrants, you come here expecting the world handed to you and get surprised when you actually have to ask for it in English?
Seek help in below the border: Again we must cater to illegals? I understand their predicament, and autism is a terrible thing. But we have children here in our own country who are American citizens and can't get help.
Let the illegals go back where they came from and seek the help from their government.
Beyond the buffoonery: I commend Sarah Fenske for sticking with the SCA story. I live in an area where there are many Latinos, immigrant and native-born, and we have very good relations with all of them.
So it's not impossible to live in harmony.
I wanted to understand just what this illegal-campaign-contribution story of yours was all about, so I [read] your previous coverage. I was appalled that it's been going on for [so long] with no indictments or arrests.
The conflicts of interest [are] appalling. All the national news coverage about Arpaio is Tent City and the pink clothing he makes his inmates wear. [Also] the slightly humorous aspects of the sheriff mostly get covered. He's thought of as a buffoon, not a criminal. This has got to end.
The people of Arizona have become notorious for their hatred of Latinos, [for being] yahoos patrolling the border and probably killing undocumented immigrants, for making it illegal for anyone to place essential water in the desert under the ridiculous idea that it's trash and pollution, and for [citizens] legally packing guns on the streets.
I guess lawmakers there still think they're living in Tombstone in the 1800s.
I know there are many educated and sophisticated people in Arizona. Why are the criminal authorities getting away with [illegal activity]?
Please keep going and get to the bottom of all this corruption. God bless you and keep you safe.
Martha Hisington, Hemet, California
Stupid like a Fox: So MCSO Captain Joel Fox has come out and admitted that SCA stands for Sheriff's Command Association. Finally. Now, for what other purpose could these contributions have been except to get Joe Arpaio re-elected?!
Fox is a forked-tongued devil who fits in perfectly with Arpaio and [Chief Deputy] David Hendershott. But he's stupid to think his bosses will stand by him when the going gets tough. They will throw him to the dogs.
Antonio Ruiz, Phoenix
A HAPPY TAIL
Phoenix equals Soulville: I loved seeing Sarah Fenske's column on her dog, Buckley, and their long walks through Phoenix. It was a welcome departure from all the bad news — however important it may be — that permeates New Times.
The evolution of how Sarah came to love this place was fascinating. I've gone through the same transition, because this city can be a hard place to love — until you get to know it, discover its neighborhoods, and discover its beauty.
After years of hating Phoenix (I'm from Chicago), I wouldn't live anywhere else. My old hometown is more cosmopolitan, I guess, but it somehow lacks the soul of this desert oasis.
Beth Gilbert, Phoenix
Hilarious "zoomies": I loved the article about Buckley the border terrier! It described a border to a T!
I have owned and bred border terriers for 15 years, and they are a delight. You absolutely can't stay angry about anything with one of these. They get the "zoomies" (which is running in circles with their tail tucked under them) several times a day and make you laugh.
They live in the moment and love their "person" unconditionally!
Sandy Gillen, Columbia, Maryland
FEET TO THE FIRE
Horse sense-challenged: A lot about the Michael Marin story is puzzling, but the main thing is that he seems too smart to have tried to pull off such a stupid stunt.
Marin obviously wasn't living in the house he apparently set afire. How would he think that arson investigators would buy that he was [staying] there a lot when so few of his possessions were on the premises?
The whole thing seems a botched crime from the get-go. Keeping the scuba gear in the upstairs bedroom closet was especially incriminating. Why would anybody keep active scuba gear right beside his bed unless he was planning for a fire to take place?
Goes to show that people with book sense sometimes don't have horse sense. Or that smart doesn't always amount to wise.
Sara Koch, Phoenix
Sense of entitlement: Another Wall Street trader goes down. Or at least I hope he will. This is just another example of how these guys think they can get away with anything.
Steve Nelson, Phoenix
Lehman collapse started it all?: I just found and devoured your article. Excellent. I was particularly impressed by your discovery of the "missing" $950,000, which eliminates a great deal of the mystery behind his seemingly absurd purchase. Although you didn't use the word, this was clearly intended to help perpetrate a fraud (although since no one bought the house from Marin, no fraud has occurred).
I'm stunned that [he remained in jail so long]. I would think that one of his girlfriends or family members would provide a deed or some security to get him out of jail.
Michael certainly had reason to know that the raffle he structured was illegal under Arizona law.
[But] the incredible irony is that it may have been the collapse of Lehman Brothers, shortly after Marin's purchase of the house, that weakened the housing market and precipitated the subsequent events.
So many red flags in Marin's tale: Real scuba divers remove the regulator from the tank at the end of the dive, rinse it off, let it dry, and they store it detached from the tank. You never leave the regulator attached to the tank. Just another huge red flag.
The idea that a serious mountain climber is afraid he'll "break his neck" if he jumps 10 feet down is also nutty beyond belief.
I'll also suggest that his seven-figure prints are only worth seven figures if valued in yen.
Did the fumes get to Marin before the fire?: Quite a yarn Mr. Marin has spun. Gripping, tantalizing, a true page-turner: "I was moving in and carried the heavy scuba equipment through the garage upstairs to my bedroom closet." Oh, heck, sure you did. I think Mr. Marin inhaled too much smoke, long before the fire.