The name game begins anew

Fish-wrapper calls for feds to retire ‘Squaw Peak’

When the daily ran a lengthy article last week on the five year memorial commemorating Lori Piestewa, it was clear this revival regarding the name of Phoenix’s popular mountain, would not be far behind. Piestewa, the first American Indian woman to die in combat, lost her life in 2003 while serving in the armed forces in Iraq.

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names now enters the picture with an April 10, 2008 vote which, if passed, would authorize the name be used on maps and other federal publication.

This interesting historical revisionism is included in today‘s front page article: Five years ago, Gov. Janet Napolitano and others successfully convinced a state panel to waive its own five-year waiting period to adopt the name Piestewa Peak.

Did we read that correctly?

That “convincing” was accomplished by the disreputable, ham-handed tactics of Gov. Janet Napolitano and her then henchman-in-chief, Mario Diaz. Diaz had served as her campaign manager and deputy chief of staff, and was no stranger to strong arm tactics. He attempted to pressure the chairman of state geographic names board to bypass the established five-year waiting period required when landmarks are posthumously named.

When brute force didn’t work, Diaz resorted to back-door intimidation tactics and coercement by buttonholing the man’s employer. Finally, the hapless chairman was removed from his leadership role and the name change was ramrodded through.

If this is “convincing,” dictionaries need to be revised.

Meanwhile, most of us continue to take our weekend hikes on Squaw Peak.

4 Responses to The name game begins anew

  1. Villanova says:

    The (italicized) sentence, which is included from today’s front page says it all. Such blatant rewriting of history is why the paper is held in such low regard and accounts for the downward spiral in readership. These events occurred only five years ago and they are already trying to spin them as though we have no collective memories.

    This is actually appalling behavior from the state’s largest newspaper–and shows, without a shred of doubt, their agenda for what it is. It is impossible to rely upon anything they write and portray as news.

  2. Real Analysis says:

    Renaming a local landmark for someone who got lost in the desert and died from a severe lack of leadership, surrounded by people of another country – that’s quintessential Arizona.

  3. Gimlet says:

    Agreed, RA. But how politically correct is that?

    I for one will never call that mountain anything but Squaw Peak. I grew up here and it is part of MY history.

    Glad to see that Seeing Red called the paper out on it’s “convincing” of the board. What a crock!

  4. Real Analysis says:

    Agreed, Gimlet – I guess it almost looks like an endorsement at that. I, too, grew up here and hiked Squaw Peak long before the fracas of the last few years – and I am also appalled at the (L)AZ(Y) Republic’s behavior (in this and most other things). Nor was I impressed with the waiver of the mandatory five-year waiting period.

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