Letters to the Editor

Letters for April 6, 2000

 A Reader Puts Slavin to Shame

Having read Mr. Slavin's letter to the editor in the March 30 issue of New Times, I must take exception to his assertion that Paul Demko's article "That's Condotainment!" (March 2) was "overly long and boring" and intended to "mollify… nasty old geezers."

Overly long? Please. "That's Condotainment!" wasn't exactly War and Peace. It was maybe four to five thousand words. Perhaps that's too challenging for some people (the kind of people for whom USA Today is possibly too intellectually taxing), but others of us enjoy reading articles that delve into their subject and cover it in some depth rather than offering us bite-sized info chunks and handy-dandy graphs and icons.

Boring? I wonder if perhaps Mr. Slavin found the article so boring that he didn't read all of it. How else to explain his misapprehension that the story was designed purely to appeal to the "early birds"? In fact Paul Demko approached his subject with tongue firmly in cheek. The result was a well-written, delightfully sardonic -- though not mean-spirited -- piece about South Florida condo-style "entertainment." If Mr. Demko was not exactly declaring all-out war on the "geezers," he certainly was not writing a story designed to "mollify" them.

As a young (under 30) geezer, I'm sick of local publications that concern themselves only with thinly disguised advertisements for "hot" nightclubs, restaurants, et cetera. Please continue to provide me -- and others like me -- with "overly long, boring" articles about the unusual and disenfranchised people and doings here in South Florida. We'll keep snapping them up.

Ericka Barker
Boca Raton

Political Appointee Has a Problem With Local Media
As is quite common with local media folks, a perfect example of "Lazy Reporter Syndrome" is illustrated in a recent Undercurrents column in your publication (February 24). The story has so many inaccuracies that I don't quite know where to begin.

First, the $27 million Integrated Justice Information System (IJIS) was initiated and managed by the Broward County Commission. [Then-Broward County Clerk of the Courts] Bob Lockwood, to his credit, publicly stated that the county could not install this system for the money allocated ($15 million), and in a time frame necessary to meet Y2K requirements. Suffice it to say he was correct on both counts and the county was wrong.

Second, I was hired to protect the clerk's interests and to ensure he met Y2K requirements for the justice system computers and maintained existing functionality. This was done! Third, I was paid considerably less than $100,000 for my computer project work. Further, you might check out the status of the individual in charge of the county IJIS project -- he no longer works for the county. Why? Also, Commissioner Lori Parrish is rumored to have her eye on running for county clerk in November. Could she have a slight bias?

Finally, I have lived in Broward for over 40 years, have worked in the community in a myriad of charitable and civic projects, and have established a rather positive reputation. My career with Southern Bell, coupled with my prior work with the clerk's office, has uniquely qualified me for my present position. I believe, if you have any journalistic integrity, you should render an apology to both Governor Bush and me, which I would accept most wholeheartedly.

Ed Kennedy
Broward County Clerk of Courts
Fort Lauderdale

Editor's Note: Kennedy was paid $86,448 for consulting work with the Clerk's Office ($18,333 of that for telephone work). Parrish made the statement about Kennedy's lack of computer experience long before she considered running for the office. The column did state the computer system was purchased by the clerk of the courts, and we regret the error. We will not apologize to Governor Bush.

 
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