Letters From the Issue of Thursday, October 6, 2005

Tearing Down the Walls

Corrupt, sickening creep: Finally, after John Dougherty's tireless reporting for the better part of five years, state and local authorities move in on Colorado City, Arizona! Never has anything been so eagerly awaited by right-thinking residents of Arizona and Utah ("Under Siege," September 22).

All I want to ask Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is, why did it take so long? All I want to ask Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is, why did you let him get away?



By him, I'm referring to Hildale, Utah, resident and Mormon fundamentalist Prophet Warren Jeffs, who, Dougherty proved in his last exhaustive article, is not only corrupt and a pedophile but is also a homosexual rapist. Of his own nephew!

How can even the faithful in the polygamist communities of Hildale and Colorado City continue to support him after this sickening detail? Granted it's only in a lawsuit, but why would the, uh, holy man's own kin lie about something like that? I'm sure the young man had to work up the courage to come forward. And, as Dougherty noted, it only happened after young Jeffs' brother killed himself (probably because his uncles had gang-raped him for all those years).

Now, isn't it just peachy that these cretins are moving their encampment to rural Texas? Wonder how long it will take the yahoos out there to catch on and actually mount what it has taken Arizona years to mount -- that is, criminal charges against a load of the polygamists for sex-with-a-minor and fraud charges. Did you get a look at that temple these backwoods Moonies are building in the Lone Star state? If I hadn't seen it in your pages, I wouldn't have believed it possible for them to move so fast on this Taj Mahal.

I love it that Jeffs is on the FBI's Most Wanted List. This is the Wild West, after all, so isn't it too bad that Goddard can't offer his $10,000 reward for Jeffs dead or alive? On second thought, why allow these cultists the privilege of martyring this homo creep? Better to see him rot in prison somewhere for all the abuses he's administered.
Terry Rockstadt, Salt Lake City

He was right: I'm a mainstream Mormon (the only real kind), and frankly I've thought John Dougherty has had a vendetta for us for a long time. He has never disassociated us from the polygamists whom we despise. He seems to think that we are somehow involved or complicit in their criminal activity.

But after reading that Prophet Warren Jeffs raped his own nephew, I've got to now give Dougherty kudos. We cannot allow this kind of thing to continue happening. As a former Utah resident, I only wonder why Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff hasn't done what he said he was going to do and bring Jeffs to justice. He had his chance, and then he let Jeffs get away. Now, Warren will be as hard to find as Osama, and with as many bodyguards protecting him.

As I said, I'm now a convert to Dougherty's campaign to put Jeffs behind bars and bring other pedophiles to justice in Colorado City and Hildale. I just hope authorities act before the community is moved to Texas lock, stock and barrel.
Lianne Pitzer, Las Vegas

Breaking the silence: I just finished reading your latest piece on the polygamy issue. In fact, I've read almost all the previous ones, and I just want to say that finally someone has the guts to expose this problem.

I was raised in Mohave County in the '50s, and it was the dirty little secret everyone knew but no one would address. And then Short Creek (now Colorado City and Hildale) was raided, all hell broke loose and the lid slammed tight on Pandora's box once again for half a century.

New Times has done a hell of a job investigating and reporting this issue. At last something is being done, thanks to your paper!
Carlos W. Noli, Glendale

A good start: I want to thank New Times for never giving up until something is done about a terrible problem. Finally, law enforcement is heeding John Dougherty's relentless reporting on corruption among the Mormon polygamists and taking legal steps. High time!

When will officials like Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard finally get Dougherty's message on corrupt old creep Joe Arpaio? How much cruelty and stupidity must Dougherty expose about Sheriff Joke's department before something is done?
Joe Dalton, via the Internet

No Calm After the Storm

Elitist bigotry: As a native Arizonan, I found Jimmy Magahern's article about the Katrina survivors staying here in Phoenix deeply disturbing and offensive ("Storm Troopers," September 22).

It was a classic example of elitist snobbery to completely discount all the good that has been done by the people of this state and focus on some perceived shortcoming in the relief effort.

The gist of this whole piece seems to be that, unless we, the white citizens of Arizona, keep giving money and other forms of support indefinitely, we will all be heaped into the "uncaring racists" bin. I noticed that, despite their huge population in this state, Latinos weren't even mentioned. As is typical of liberal ideology, only the white man could ever be considered an uncaring racist.

Did it ever occur to Mr. Philanthropy [Magahern] that not all white people are rich? That perhaps, just maybe, people gave all they were able to give at this time and that a failure to give more is not an example of racism but of financial expediency? Of course not! Stupid question!

As if that weren't bad enough, Magahern actually had the gall to self-righteously claim that white people generally consider the evacuees from New Orleans to be looters and thugs based on the actions of a few bad apples. And, in the same article, he characterizes Arizonans as gun-toting, redneck racists because of comments made by a few people at a gun show.

Note to Jimmy: If you're going to try to make a case that bigotry and stereotyping is bad, try to at least keep your own bigotry in check until you've finished the article, lest you destroy your own credibility.
Rob Sanders, Phoenix

If the donated shoe fits: A quote by Valley media personality, David Leibowitz, in the recent Jimmy Magahern article "Storm Troopers" was annoying in its inaccuracy.

Of the recent influx of Katrina refugees into Phoenix, Leibowitz professed: "We've had . . . people come out of the woodwork to say we're welcoming criminals. You kind of feel like you kicked over a rock and out comes bigotry."

Not necessarily. Such accurate discussion of the looting and raping hooligans is just descriptive analysis of what happens in society when disaster strikes, order is lost and chaos reigns.
Scott Hume, Phoenix

Lose everything, get famous: What I loved about Jimmy Magahern's article on the Katrina flood victims hitting Phoenix was the concept of the refugee as rock star. Isn't it interesting how, in America, because of the mass-media concentration on certain news (or even gossip) stories, such people can qualify as celebrities?

I remember when guest-house occupant Kato Kaelin was made into a celeb (he even had a spot on an L.A. radio station for a while) after the O.J. Simpson trial. But never before have I seen the victims of a disaster turned into such media icons. I guess we've been moving toward this for some time in this country with people glued to CNN and Fox News during every horrific event.
Lynne Kennedy, Phoenix

Chain Reaction

Lunch for a living: Are you kidding? Did Stephen Lemons actually eat at White Chocolate Grill ("Chain Gang," Cafe, September 15)? I have eaten there several times and have never had a bad meal. I consider myself a regular and have recommended this restaurant to many.

I'm saying this as someone who has more than 20 years of management and operations experience in the food and beverage industry, which includes a three-star restaurant in Chicago. I now independently consult for such restaurants in terms of food and standards.

I wonder if your reviewer even tasted the food at WCG. I have had the filet Cobb almost every time I have dined there and most recently the blue cheese crusted filet. I have also had the banana cream pie. The only pie I could think of that could be better would be one from Pie in the Sky in north Scottsdale.

WGC is on par with some of the not-so-chain restaurants. The food is fresh. The service is very good (the wait staff isn't at all smug or aloof). Is your complaint that it's tucked away in the large strip mall off the 101 and not hidden away somewhere off Camelback, in Old Town, or at some resort?

I find your grouping of people who might frequent WCG offensive: "desperate housewives" or "yuppies." I am neither desperate nor a housewife. I happen to be a young retiree at 37 -- that is, fortunate enough to lunch at these places while you write these ridiculous reviews.
Stephanie Greene, Scottsdale

And they're out: Applause, applause! I want to commend you on your candor in "Chain Gang." Who do they think they are at White Chocolate Grill? A poor imitation (rip-off) of Houston's menu and design with the back bar of Ocean Club?

Imitation is supposed to be flattering, not shattering.

I believe all restaurants deserve the three-strikes-and-you're-out rule. Never before have I gone to any restaurant three times and each time it got worse. WCG has set a new standard. Yuck!
Molly Savolskis, Scottsdale

No way to treat a lady: I pick up New Times almost exclusively to read your reviews of local restaurants. However, the latest one is unbelievable.

I do agree with you about most of the chains. But is it necessary to be so disrespectful of our first ladies? What is that reference to Barbara Bush all about? It was totally unnecessary!

This is supposed to be a restaurant review -- not political commentary. No matter which party you are affiliated with, there is no call for such tripe. Shame on you!
Bev Tall, Phoenix

Rake 'em over the white chocolate coals: Way to bite the head off a baby chain!

Unfortunately, I ate at White Chocolate Grill recently. Wish I had read Stephen Lemons' review first! He's right, it sucks eggs. Actually it sucks something worse.

Worst part were the desserts. Made me want to visit the vomitorium Lemons talked about. One of the servers said the banana cream pie had won an award somewhere. Whatever. Still tasted like a third-grader made it.

I work in the restaurant biz here and read Lemons' reviews all the time. My co-workers and I look forward to his piece each week to see who he's going to verbally butt-fuck. I love it, because when a new place like White Chocolate Grill comes around, every other paper gives the joint a BJ.

I can't tell you where I work, but I wish I could. I wish he would come and fuck with our uppity chef, like he did with William Bradley at Vu ("The Vu From Vu," Cafe, September 8). Please don't use my name. I'd never get a restaurant job in this town again.
Name withheld by request


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