Letters to the Editor

Letters for August 23, 2001

 Where was this letter writer when Boulis was whacked? Staff writer Wyatt Olson's story about developer R. Donahue Peebles ("Peebles Power," August 16) was well written, but he left out some important facts:

After Miami Beach mayor Neisen Kasdin opposed Peebles's request for a zoning change for the high-rise Bath Club project, Peebles retaliated. During Kasdin's next election campaign, Peebles financed commercials on television attacking the mayor for an issue unrelated to the zoning change.

Though Hollywood's "Diamond on the Beach" high-rise hotel project involves public land and taxpayer money, Mr. Peebles made the unethical choice of continuing his partnership with Gus Boulis even though Boulis and companies he once owned had paid $2 million in fines and other fees to the federal government for lying about ownership of SunCruz casino boats.

John Lundin

Read 'em and leave: I began working as a marketer and nurse evaluator for the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation in March 1998. I was very impressed with the services provided until the program director, Dr. Neal Galloway, resigned. I continued working this past year for FINR and was continually told we are changing the program, getting more highly trained staff, et cetera. I was leery but hopeful things would turn around. I received a phone call Sunday, August 12, advising me to check out your story on the Internet ("Beaten, Burned, and Raped," Bob Norman, August 9). I did and resigned from FINR the following morning. There are still ethical people in the health care profession who care more about their patients than their paychecks.

Susan Alfred
via the Internet

And fire-breathing anarchists: I worry about the activists of Lake Worth. Amy Roe's objective in her piece "Gimme an A!" (August 2) seems to be to draw as much police and federal attention as possible to these dedicated, much-loved performers. An entire paragraph devoted to people bragging about how much they steal from local corporations? Ending the article with Melodie's statement that the police are "pigs"? Comparisons that link a group of hilarious, sharp-tongued CHEERLEADERS to the Unabomber? Add those offenses to naming the street that the women's home is located on, and oh boy. I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of enraged cops showed up on the girls' front steps to cart them away based on Roe's decision to choose only the most inflammatory asides, which were probably meant as private. Two phrases come to mind: misrepresentation of anarchists and journalistic irresponsibility.

While the article is fascinating, it seems aimed at subverting the positive elements of antiauthoritarian activism and radical cheerleading. Why does Ms. Roe, in the first couple of paragraphs, describe in such unneeded detail a "tall, thin, blond" radical cheerleader, when the woman she is describing actually represents the physical make-up of a tiny minority of the Southern Girls Convention? Does she assume the world is not ready for powerful, sexy, politically minded fat girls and butches? Why throw in that one of the Villa residents' rent is "paid for by parents"? Does this not conflict in Ms. Roe's mind with the larger makeup of anarchist financial realities, or is she simply attempting to play into stereotypes that activists are all young, white college dropouts from middle-class families? These clichés are easy to believe for those who don't wish to hear the voices of the many people of color, immigrants, poor folks, sex workers, and others who do similar work but aren't sought after by most media.

It's not surprising that anyone would try to create an uproar over simple, well-intentioned community activists -- take a look at the public's view of the Black Bloc. What is a little disturbing is that an intelligent woman such as Amy Roe would risk her credibility as a journalist just for one cover story at a local weekly paper.

Mary Christmas
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

We won't miss ya: Amy Roe's June 21 cover story, "Generation Exodus," brought out a lot of anger and racist comments from some white South Africans. I am Jamaican, black, and have Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean roots; to me it seems many South Africans are so comfortable with double standards that they don't see themselves as racists. Some still do not get the big picture. The civilized world will never forget apartheid and racism still exists, even here in the United States.

It seems whites refuse to see the truth that, while South Africa may be the country of their birth, it is not the country of their ancestral origin. White South Africans intentionally destroyed black African historic artifacts that prove blacks lived in S.A. hundreds of years before any white person appeared. And by my understanding, some of the early white settlers in S.A. were convicted criminals expelled from England to South Africa and Australia. Now some of their descendants are being expelled from S.A.

I think that white South Africans cannot blame the current black government for their woes. They should blame their white forefathers, who didn't share the country or treat the original inhabitants of S.A. as their equals. Their greed and inhumane ideas have led to a spiraling decline. What is happening in S.A. now is neither reverse discrimination nor reverse racism. It is reverse manifest destiny and reverse apartheid.

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