You are here: home   Issues   Water Warrior   Requiem for Arizona
Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

Requiem for Arizona

Document Actions

Better access to mental health care in Arizona is an admirable goal, but it will do little to mitigate the madness of 6.5 million people trying to hustle a living in a nearly waterless state (HCN, 2/20/12, "Extreme Arizona"). I grew up in Arizona in the 1950s, when it was a much more livable place. There were fewer than a million people and copper, cotton, cattle and citrus played a large role in the state's economy. Though not environmentally benign activities by any means, they were more tangible than what drives Arizona today: real estate, retirement and recreation, which have just about destroyed the place.

Back then, the state wasn't broke. The most notorious killer it had spawned was Winnie Ruth Judd, "the trunk murderess." Her occasional escapes from and returns to the lightly guarded Arizona State Hospital added to the national perception that Arizona was a bit quirky, but not mean-spirited -- certainly not extreme.

It is no secret that Arizona's politicians are narrow-minded and incompetent. But when the highest aspirations of most people in the state are to live in an undemanding climate, engage in ersatz amusements and pay no taxes, enlightened people are not going to flock to state government. As Arizona marks its centennial, the most fitting gesture would be to drape the Capitol in black crepe. That is, of course, if it's all right with the new landlord.

John Woodruff
Grand Junction, Colorado

Mike & Lorri Benefield
Mike & Lorri Benefield Subscriber
Apr 04, 2012 04:56 PM
My family helped settle the Arizona Territory of the 1870's. My grandmother had wild stories to tell about miners, cowboys and opportunists looking to make a fast buck. The main difference back in those days was that they kept the lunatics in the asylums and out of the State House.

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  5. The future of the Sacramento Delta hangs in the balance | But few Californians seem to grasp what is at stak...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  3. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  4. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
  5. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone