Letters from the issue of Thursday, March 20, 2008

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The Arizona Medical Board does review and randomly drug-screen these physicians between two to five years after the incident occurs. Why should a physician have to be screened for more than five years, especially because the screenings are on their dime the entire time?

I'm not condoning drugged-up physicians' actions and certainly would not want to be operated on by a physician with a relapse in his past. It just seems unfair to target one of the only state agencies taking their role in protecting the public seriously, when this is such a complex issue.
Name withheld by request

The drugs are right there: An estimated 90,000 staph-infection deaths, an estimated 90,000 malpractice deaths, and tens of thousands of people who suffer disabilities because of physicians. Many more because of insurance companies not providing what's needed.

And doctors are not regulated, reviewed or monitored until they're busted, and then only for five years. I think this proves [that the Arizona Medical Board] can't be trusted.
Name withheld by request


Abuse and kill us, okay, but stop costing us money already: I'm angry that Sheriff Joe Arpaio condones this Honduras thing, and that County Attorney Andrew Thomas, whose office is supposed to monitor what the Sheriff's Office is doing, just looks the other way ("Evil Weed," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, March 6). Thomas has been looking the other way when it comes to Joe since he assumed office.

Thomas has made a fool of himself in so many ways. Let's not get into the illegal immigration thing his office spends time pursuing (because I'm in favor of what he's doing there); let's talk about his outrageous blunders regarding old Joe.

Thomas has backed him in every way possible as Joe costs us [$43 million-plus] in payouts because of jail lawsuits. I don't care that much about lawbreakers who died, but I do care that Joe's supposed inhumane policies are costing me as a taxpayer.

My point is that Thomas' malfeasance in Joe's regard didn't start with [fired special prosecutor] Dennis Wilenchik and the New Times case ("Blowback," Stephen Lemons, February 21, and "Head on a Skewer," Paul Rubin, in this issue).

Thomas needs to stop catering to Joe, who most thinking people believe is a bozo, or he may have to forget politics in this state. Because I think Joe is going down on this Honduras thing, and if Thomas isn't careful, he will go down with him.
Dent Travis, Phoenix

As county attorneys go, maybe Thomas will: Hopefully, the County Democratic Party will do something for the county attorney primary winner. Four years ago, it didn't help Don Harris, the nominee. And prominent Democrats like Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon endorsed Andy Thomas.

When I was the uncontested Democratic nominee in 1992, I got no help — except the formation of a "Democrats for Romley" Committee that included liberals who should have known better.

In hindsight, Romley was much better and fairer than Thomas, although I stand by my criticism of him over the phony AzScam sting and the belated release of four innocent alleged murderers of the Buddhist priests in the West Valley.
Gary Klahr, via the Internet

Police Academy 8: The Fleecing: So if I'm to understand this, Nickel Bag has done it to me again? He has put his grubby meat-hooks in my pocket, taken my tax dollars and given it to Jabba [Chief Deputy David Hendershott] to run amok with down south.

I'm sure [Hendershott and the other deputies traveling to Honduras] are teaching the finer side of police work, like how to make sure nobody makes it out alive after a weekend in the clink. Ah, elected "officials." Where would we be without them?
Tony Alexander, via the Internet


Hobson's choice: I took the time to read the comments (about "Arrested Development," Megan Irwin, February 28) and was taken aback by one ("Why should I have to pay for their care?" Letters, March 13). First off, Drew's parents had to stay at or below the poverty level for 18 years to have the Medicaid money needed to pay for the average of $100,000 year in medical expenses.

No insurance would touch our family even if we could find a company that would take us on. That meant my three sons and we two parents had to forgo medical care and a normal life all that time until my son became "a family unto himself," in Social Security terms. It doesn't matter what the expenses are in relation to the family income, only that the diagnosis be severe enough for the family to be at poverty level.

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