Letters

A Civil Reaction
Paul Demko's article about poor Sandi Shattuck's frustration with the Broward County Criminal Court ("These Are the Times That Try Victims' Souls," November 26) just goes to show that crime victims should not look to the criminal justice system for relief.

Ms. Shattuck should simply sue Theron "Six Shot" Thomas in civil court for monetary damages. The shooter can't get a taxpayer-funded lawyer in that forum, and he automatically loses by default if he doesn't show up. Then Sandi could get a judgment against Thomas that she can enforce for 20 long years. She can have Sheriff Ken Jenne attach all of Trigger Thomas' property that is not homestead exempt and is not required for his lawful employment. (Crack dealing doesn't count.) She can pick it up and auction it off.

The judgment will cling stubbornly onto his credit report for ten years, also. If he won't pay the judgment, she can take his color television, his boat, his furniture, his computer, even the gun that he used to shoot at her with -- lock, stock, and barrel. Why, I'll bet that the civil court judge will even be happy to guide her through the process in his own court. Some judges really do love justice.

If Thomas comes to civil court to fight her, she'll be able to hand the state the evidence that she adduces from the guy's own mouth. Wouldn't that be sweet?

Terry Seale
Fort Lauderdale

C. Randall's No Comment: More Complicated Than It Might Seem
I read the recent story written by Michael Freedman about the situation at the Boca Raton News ("The Little Paper That Couldn't," November 26). While it appeared that much of what he wrote was accurate, I was disappointed that he misrepresented the limited conversation he and I had.

His piece states that I "... refused to talk with New Times about the possible conflict." That is not an accurate reflection of what actually transpired. Mr. Freedman called me and said he had "a few questions" about conditions at this newspaper. My response was, "I am not at liberty to discuss anything with you." The conversation was terminated amicably.

At no time was the issue of "conflict of interest" mentioned, and I would appreciate your setting the record straight in that regard.

C. Randall Murray
Editorial Page Editor, Boca Raton News
Boca Raton

Michael Freedman responds: I called C. Randall Murray when the editor of the Boca Raton News, Robert E. Diehl, refused to name the members of the newspaper's editorial board. I specifically asked Murray about the possible sale of the newspaper. He declined to answer. I also specifically asked him about the newspaper's editorial stance in relation to Boca Raton's business community. Within the Boca Raton News, as at any publication that publishes editorials, the nature of this relationship poses a potential conflict of interest. Murray declined to comment and deferred further questions back to Diehl.

Splitting Geographical Hairs
How about a little geography lesson for staff writer Jay Cheshes? In his piece on the Bahamas ("The Other Side of Paradise," November 19), he committed the following errors:

1.a."... the most important [marijuana and cocaine] transshipment point in the Caribbean..."

b."New Providence... the most populous of the 700 Bahamian islands littering the Caribbean 50 miles off the coast of Florida."

c."... largest casino in the Caribbean."
Note: Not one of the Bahamian islands is in the Caribbean Sea. They're actually located in the North Atlantic. The island nearest the Caribbean is Great Inagua, which is some 60 miles north of the Windward Passage. That passage between Cuba and Haiti is an access to the Caribbean. The Caribbean Sea is bordered by the Lesser and Greater Antilles, Central and South America.

2.Potter's Cay is not "... just outside Nassau," but is, in fact, basically downtown. Many of the supports for the bridge linking downtown with Paradise Island are on the cay.

3.At the risk of splitting hairs, Andros Island is west and southwest of New Providence. Describing it as being "south" is sort of like saying New Jersey is south of Manhattan.

Gene Cate
Fort Lauderdale

Jay Cheshes responds: While it would be incorrect to say that the Bahamas is in the Caribbean Sea, it would not be incorrect to refer to the country as being part of what numerous sources refer to as the "Caribbean region." Collier's Encyclopedia reports that the Bahamas is part of what is known as the "Caribbean Commonwealth," a group of former British colonies. That same encyclopedia refers to the Bahamas as being part of the West Indies, which the encyclopedia refers to as being synonymous with the Caribbean. The Bahamas are part of CARICOM, or the Caribbean Community, the Caribbean equivalent of the European Union. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, in drug-trafficking reports on its Website, lumps the Bahamas together with all of the other islands stretching off the coast of Florida towards Latin America as the Caribbean. Finally the U.S. Department of State, in documents on its Website, refers to the Bahamas as being part of the "Caribbean basin.

 
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