Undercurrents

They called themselves names like Shai and Kel and Shia and Chen. These weren't their real names. They were Zendik names.

Maybe you ran into these strangeoids hawking newsprint zines or audiotapes along Himmarshie or at the Las Olas Riverfront. Twentysomething societal dropouts with an eerie glint in their eyes, they spoke of this polluted world, of slaving for the man, of dying for an escape. Well, they apparently found one and slipped quietly out of this area.

The Zendiks seemed driven, focused not so much on recruiting you as on getting you to buy their wares. But if you seemed to be a lost soul -- meaning one of them -- maybe they invited you to visit their utopian retreat up the coast near Vero Beach. Why didn't you take them up on the offer? By now you'll have missed your chance at full Zendikism.

The members of the Zendik Farm have left the state of Florida. After more than three decades spent migrating across the country, from California to Texas to Florida, the Zendiks say they've finally found a home -- near Asheville, North Carolina. Founded in 1969 by a beatnik poet, philosopher, musician, and bookie who calls himself Wulf Zendik, the group follows a set of ecological principles known as "Ecolibrium." They call themselves eco-terrorists, and four years ago Wulf Zendik told CNN they were prepared to kill for the environment. And we thought they seemed like such nice kids.

After seven long years of courtroom brawling, perennial pain in the Broward school board's rear Andy Greene finally seemed on the verge of financial vindication.

His overwhelming obsession to make the school board pay for discrediting him right before an election was over. But some things refuse to die.

A panel of appeals court judges ruled that the former teacher's privacy had been invaded when his 1992 bid for a school board seat was derailed by school officials who leaked his psychiatric records to a Miami Herald reporter only days before the election.

Greene's victory, though, turned out to be not much of a victory at all, monetarily speaking. Because of state caps on awards against quasi-governmental agencies like the school board, the judges found Greene was entitled to only $100,000 in damages, less than an eighth of the $850,000 a jury awarded him two years ago.

The money is barely enough to pay off one of his three lawyers and is certainly not enough to keep Greene quiet. "It's a victory but it's not," he said the day after the verdict. "This isn't over by a long shot." The unemployed teacher whose life has become consumed by court cases says, of course, he won't rest until he gets every last cent that's coming to him, even if it means calling in Court TV and personally taking his case all the way to the governor's office! "You'd think they'd want to pay me off so we can all move on with our lives," he laments. "They have millions in insurance, but if they're going to be obstinate and nasty, we'll just have to go to the legislature." And they thought they were busy last session.

-- as told to Tom Walsh

Got a tip? Call 954-233-1581, fax 954-233-1571, or e-mail undercurrents@newtimesbpb.com.

 
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