Letters to the Editor

Letters for August 16, 2001

 A Bronx cheer for the coppers: A shout-out to Amy Roe for a flattering and well-written article on Lake Worth's anarchist scene ("Gimme an A," August 2). She made firsthand research a priority in her story, which is much appreciated. However, I challenge the mainstream view presented on the ills of stealing, since this viewpoint is not backed up by research or sources yet is presented as fact.

The photo adorning the first page of the article paints an inaccurate portrait of radical cheerleaders. We don't shave. Where are this woman's trademark hairy armpits? While I confirm my opposition to the obviously racist and oppressive police forces of Lake Worth, I expect backlash and repercussions from my local police as a result of their knowing I (proudly) call them "fucking pigs" behind their back. We have already experienced one arrest since the publication of this article.

Anyone who would like to help with bail money or court costs, please contact us c/o Villa de Vulva, 6 S. "B" St., Lake Worth, Florida 33460.

Melodie Malfa
Lake Worth

Mikhail Bakunin had hairy armpits, bud: I have just finished reading your article about the so-called "radical cheerleaders." After I was finished, I had to laugh! These girls, who have unshaven legs and armpits, are what people usually call "hicks." They are activists, yes, but anarchists, NO! Anarchy is not girls going to Taco Bell and singing songs about killing rapists! I commend the girls for standing up against rape and race issues, but to call themselves anarchists, no, no, no! Anarchy is a way of life, it's opposing organized government and fighting against everything that has to do with government! If you want to see true anarchy, I suggest you rent the movie SLC Punk. Also go to a search engine and search for the Anarchist's Cook Book. It might be hard to find, but do find it!

Chris Capezzale
via the Internet

Lay off Jerry! After reading Bob Norman's August 2 article, "Mall Rat," concerning Plantation city councilman Jerry Fadgen's dealings with the Vanella Plaza, I think it is necessary to offer a view of the issues at hand from a different perspective.

Fadgen's critics are apparently outraged that he would meet with city building manager Tom Hanrahan in reference to alleged code violations at the aforementioned plaza; they feel that this is indicative of a conflict of interest. The same critics apparently are upset with Fadgen's dual role as city councilman and personal representative of the Vanella business estate. To bolster this position, you cite section 112.313 of the Florida Statutes, which (to cite your article) "forbids public officials from forming contractual relationships with businesses that are regulated by their own governmental body, or that create "a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his or her private interests and the performance of his or her public duties.'" Most elected officials are aware (or should be aware) of this statute.

However, to understand the intention of the statute without understanding the proper way of dealing with the inevitable conflicts is myopic and impractical. Isn't it true that most elected officials in most municipalities have ties to businesses that are in some way affected by governmental oversight? If total abstinence from such relationships were required to prevent preclusion from serving as an elected official, it's safe to say that it would be difficult to field a quorum capable of making informed decisions. Are you suggesting that lawmakers felt that people from the private sector should not participate in governmental affairs?

There is a commonsense method that elected officials use when they are caught in a conflict. They abstain from voting. This is in fact what Fadgen did. He did not vote to reduce the original fines levied [by] the city; he abstained. The Plantation City Council voted to reduce the fine. As far as Hanrahan going to Fadgen with an issue concerning the city, doesn't it make sense to speak with a person who can give you a knowledgeable answer?

As far as outrage over Fadgen getting involved in negotiations to reduce the original levied fines, isn't that part of the reason we elect officials? The way I see it, council members are elected not only to fulfill legislative duties but also to serve as liaisons between governmental bodies and the electorate.

What if Fadgen had not sought to reduce the fines levied by the city against a man who was dying of cancer? More than likely the man's estate would not have been able to afford to pay the fines and pay for the upgrades to be in compliance with city codes, and at least ten small businesses operating in the mall would have been forced either to shut down business or relocate.

Fadgen's handling of the Vanella Plaza "issue" is a textbook example of good leadership.

Erich Overhultz
Plantation

the Benjamins, baby: The review you gave to our much-loved Benjamins rocked almost as much as they do (Short Cuts, Tom Bowker, July 5)! I'm so glad seeing my boys get the attention they deserve. Not everything that comes from Milwaukee sucks, as Jon, Dan, Ben, and Jay prove to everyone out there. Their hearts and talent are so evident, it's like being sucker-punched. It just creeps up on you. Please help spread the word about the Benjamins. We have all needed a band like them for so long, not this same crap we hear on the radio, infiltrating our brains.

Kimberly Muller
via the Internet

 
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