Letters to the Editor

Letters for April 27, 2000

Another Jeopardy! Also-Ran Comes Clean

Your story brought back memories ("My Life in Jeopardy!" Ted B. Kissell, April 6). I also tried out last May in Miami and passed the test. They scheduled me for taping in early August, and my show aired October 19. I finished second, like Ted, and won a trip to Jamaica, which we took just last month.

One interesting anecdote: The defending champion was from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. We had a $1000 clue in a category in which all answers included the letters eau. The answer was: "This Wisconsin city…," and of course the correct question was: "What is Eau Claire?" I beat the champ to the buzzer, which must have caused immense embarrassment for him when he returned home (counting his money, of course).

Paul Sharman
Fort Lauderdale

Michael Putney? Ted Would Eat Putney For Breakfast

It just so happens I saw that episode of Jeopardy! and I remember the introduction: "a journalist from Miami." I was hoping to see Marilyn Mitzel or even Michael Putney. But Ted B. Kissell? I had no idea who he was and even wondered if he was a real journalist.

The article, which was full of humor, wit, and intelligence, was enjoyable and informative. Ted definitely is a journalist.

Jose E. Cabrera
via the Internet

A Few (Hundred) Choice Words From Captain Wally-Bob

Here's another article that seems to be bashing the dive industry and creating more tension between fishermen and divers ("A Fishy Bit of Environmentalism," Roger Williams, March 30). The livelihoods of dive-boat captains and their crews likewise depend upon our offshore natural resources.

Roger, your assessment of the benefactors of the proposed fishing ban is quite correct. Had you further researched this issue, you would have found the vast majority of dive-boat operators and dive-shop owners are opposed to such a ban. Our bookings this weekend are down. The reason: Lobster season ended last Friday. The players behind this proposal in actuality do not represent the Broward County dive industry, although claiming to. Let's look at the players:

• Walt DiMartini -- dive-boat operator; president, Greater Fort Lauderdale Dive Association. Walt's business has been going down the tubes for the past few years and is now limited to mostly student divers on the weekends. The proposed ban only encompasses Walt's student dive site (Port Everglades to Dania Pier).

Walt's trips for certified divers are north of Port Everglades or south of Dania Pier. I have personally lobstered and spearfished off his boat. Why this sudden about-face? His reason: Free publicity and an ego boost for being one of the founding fathers of "The Sanctuary" without affecting his best hunting grounds.

Rex Hardin -- formerPompano Beach commissioner. No involvement in the dive industry that I am aware of. As an elected city official being in favor of the fishing ban, he is against Pompano's fishing and diving industries. His reason: He's clueless.

Jack Jackson -- restaurateur. I've never heard of him until your article.

Carl Watson -- president, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Chamber of Commerce. LBTS has no fishing fleet -- or diving fleet for that matter. LBTS has the best and nearly the only beach dive site in Broward County. His reason: Tourist money for LBTS.

Neal Watson -- founder and promoter of Oceanfest, an annual multiday beach dive party and trade show held on the beach in LBTS. He has no dive-business interest in Broward or in the U.S. for that matter. His reasons: Money in his pocket generated through Oceanfest, and keeping his brother Carl in power to secure Oceanfest's future.

This ad hoc, self-appointed committee does not represent any environmental or ecological group and certainly does not represent the interests of Broward County's dive industry. In my opinion the purpose of asking for a countywide ban on fishing was to be able to make concessions once the word got out. Now they are asking for only half of the county. My gut feeling is that all the Watson Brothers really want is the first reef off LBTS. LBTS wants to become the beach diving capitol of the East Coast. They have no diving fleet, so beach diving is their only way to cash in.

Should we give them their little sanctuary in LBTS and feel lucky they didn't get the whole county? Perhaps. If all they wanted was the first reef off LBTS, that is what they should have asked for. As a matter of principle, I say give them nothing!

Captain Wally-Bob
D/VThe Diversity
via the Internet

 
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