Letters to the Editor

Letters for May 10, 2001

 Give kids a chance: I am currently a guardian ad litem in Palm Beach County. My heart goes out to Mr. Reisfeld as I, too, have experienced negative actions for "speaking out" ("Guardian Gone," Wyatt Olson, April 26). The Department of Children and Families, the courts, and the attorneys are overburdened, and the children fall through the cracks every day. Tenacity and aggressiveness are often unwelcome but very much needed to get things done for the children. I often think about giving up my role as a guardian because it is frustrating and sad. I work full-time and am a parent, and as you probably know, being a guardian takes up a lot of time. Things MUST change or more and more children will end up being pushed around in the system. These children deserve a chance to be placed in permanent homes and loved. They deserve an education and a future. Kudos to Irv!

Gina L. Gourley
via the Internet

Bureaucratic boneheads made her quit: Thank you for your truthful and detailed article in New Times about the guardian ad litem program. I resigned [as a GAL] in 1999 because I lost respect for the program and the system.

The straw that broke this camel's back was the following: I spent several hours observing a hostile, disturbed five-year-old in school and wrote a detailed report, which was backed up by several teachers' letters, begging for immediate and long-term psychiatric evaluation and care. The judge had obviously not even glanced at my report when he asked me to verbally describe the behavior. After I described some quite horrific attacks on other children that I had witnessed and suggested that this was a future Columbine kid, he said, "Well, boys will be boys," and moved on to other matters.

What your article does not mention is the number of guardians who were lost because of the rule that you may not drive your guardian kids in your car. This took away the wonderful satisfaction of birthday outings, et cetera. I was once reprimanded because I drove a kid for an urgent blood test. I picked up the kid at school and had her back in an hour. The caregiver asked me to do this because she had finally escaped welfare and was afraid to leave work. Without the results of this test, this epileptic child could not have gone to a scheduled appointment with a neurologist the next day. (The doctor was tops in his field and donating his time. I wanted the child to get benefit from his care.) I became convinced that I could help my case families more if I were not a guardian and have kept contact with them.

There must be hundreds of similar stories. Do another article. Expose this terrible waste of volunteer talent and caring.

Ruth Resnikoff
Coconut Creek

He has "pro" written all over 'im: Regarding your series on backyard wrestling ("Backyard Bloodbath," Bob Norman, April 5 and 12): Why would it be such a problem to have a wrestling organization for teenagers? I mean, I've heard of ninth graders who wrestle professionally. There is nothing wrong with that. But I disagree with backyard wrestling. Those guys will kill each other before they ever come close to their "dream."

I would love to wrestle professionally! I want to sooo bad! But there is nowhere I can go to do that. That is why you have backyard wrestling. We teenagers can't go anywhere to get "training"; there is no organization we can join. Instead, if we want to wrestle, all we have is our own back yard. Naturally this has devastating effects on a person's body, but WE WANT TO WRESTLE. This is not a sport they have in high school.

So what can we do?? I don't know, but I don't participate in backyard wrestling. I just wish there was a way I could wrestle, other than doing it on my trampoline. There is no other way of doing this. I would love to wrestle professionally; I would bleed a lot in my matches but not to the lengths of those guys in your story (which by the way, was a great story). I'm not crazy or even stupid. I believe I have fairly good knowledge about the sports-entertainment industry.

Rex Casey
via the Internet

Hard-core talk: My friends and I were very impressed with your article on backyard wrestling. We have never read New Times before, but the picture of John Ulloa on the cover was a shock to us, so we scooped up a few copies of it and showed everyone. You understand what backyard wrestling is all about and weren't as quick to judge and bash it as professional wrestlers, politicians, and parents.

Casey "SpYdEr" Vas and Jason "Dirtbag" Cravero
via the Internet

P.S. If you would like to see our Web page, HcW (Hard Core Wrestling), the address is: www.acmecity.com/games/scorcher/668.

Leave the violence to him: Your article on backyard wrestling was quite intense. I am in a backyard federation in Washington Township, New Jersey. We have come a long way from the beginning, and we are one of the most-talked-about things going around town. We are called THW -- True Hardcore Wrestling.

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