Letters to the Editor

Why is mental illness help so hard to get?

This is in regard to the Tucson shootings. In the six months before Feb. 20, 2008, my ex-husband went on a mental road trip. His mind was becoming more and more unstable and he was committing strange acts, which scared me enough to try and have him hospitalized for evaluation and treatment.

I was unable to do this, because as the police informed me, he was not physically threatening to himself or others. He did end up in the emergency room three times and was hospitalized three times. But, he was always released from the hospitals after 72 hours because he did not agree to stay longer for treatment. Of course he would not stay; he was having too much fun on his own.

Finally, he ended up committing nine felonies one morning, of arson and burglary. I tried many times to get him in control, but to no avail. He now resides in a state prison mental hospital, but it took one wild crime spree for this to occur.

I lost my home, my neighbor's home was destroyed inside, a 3,500-square-foot office building gutted inside, my family and myself terrorized.

This could have been prevented, but the rules had to be followed, whether right or wrong.

In jail he was finally diagnosed as extreme bi-polar with manic episodes and schizophrenia.

Does it take a major crime spree to receive aid for a mentally unstable person and the people they may be terrorizing?

Patti Hartel


Ticket had nothing to do with safety

A ticket for backing my car into a city lot parking space? Man, that's crazy.

Backing in makes it easier and safer when you are leaving. There doesn't seem to be a municipal code prohibiting this, so one has to rely on the only sign which is hidden behind an already parked car in the lot next to Smithfield's.

The evidence points to this not having to do with traffic safety, rather it is apparently a nice profit center for the city. If there is actually a valid reason why a person should not back into a parking space I would like to hear it.

Tom Howard


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