Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Man?

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"Don didn't run me out [of office]," Phelps recalls. "What ran me out was the people who knew he was lying about me who didn't have the courage . . . [to] stand up for me."

Friends would come up to him in the grocery store to lament the attacks, but only one actually had the guts, Phelps says, to stand up to Sorchych. It was Phelps' dear friend, Geoffrey Platts, the noted poet and environmentalist who died late last year.

Cut Phelps Some Slack

By Geoffrey Platts

No, Don

You're wrong!

Dave Phelps

ain't "slippery;"

to say so . . .

is plain frippery.

As a man

and a friend,

why, he's there

to the end.

You've got it

all wrong!

Him I do defend.

He's honest,

honest as the

day is long.

Phelps helps

his fellow man . . .

does everything he can.

So be a good chap --

cut him some slack.

And get back on the track.

Dean Brewer is the last of a dying breed: a town official not in step with Don Sorchych and unwilling to step down.

When Brewer was elected to the council years ago, he was considered the most liberal member, the strongest environmentalist. Now he's been pushed to the right and finds himself fighting council actions he says rob property owners of their rights. This has not gone unnoticed in the Sonoran News, but Brewer is running for reelection in March anyway. There are just eight people running for seven seats, and Mayor Francia is unopposed. Laura Cox, a councilmember who has sometimes been at odds with Sorchych, isn't running again. She insists it has nothing to do with the Sonoran News, but Brewer says she's told him otherwise.

Word has it that Brewer considered running for mayor, but he wasn't that brave. As it is, Augherton is concerned Brewer will lose his seat, but Brewer doesn't seem too upset by the prospect. He's got a good job as an engineer at Honeywell and a Harley he'll have more time to ride. He just refuses to give in, as others have.

"I don't really care, as long as it doesn't affect my family and as long as he can't hurt me professionally. I'm going to oppose him until the day I die -- or he does, whichever comes first."

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at amy-silverman.com.