Letters for March 20-26, 2003

Watered-down Praise

Next up, a dragon:Congratulations to Bob Norman, slayer of Griffins. New Times exposed the corrupt underbelly of Pompano Beach politics ("Don't Drink the Water," March 13). Enjoy your triumph.

Ed Foley

Pompano Beach

Trouble celebrates an anniversary: The article Bob Norman wrote on the City of Pompano's water and the facts as he has them are right on the mark. The only thing missing was the fact that the falsification of records, the non-reporting of incidents, the skirting (or outright breaking) of the law, and the deception to the public has been going on in Pompano for a lot longer than just the last couple of years. I know this to be a fact. I was an operator at the water plant in Pompano for close to nine years. Reading Norman's article made me realize that I made the right choice in trying to bring things to light, and I am amazed that the same things are still going on.

James (Jim) Quarto

via the Internet

Recognize Bob? Hell, we kick 'im around every day.:Great piece on the water plant. Bob Norman's efforts are going to make a large transition take place at City Hall. It's been eight years of spin, smoke, and mirrors. The people are in Norman's debt, and we hope his peers will recognize his work as a fine piece of investigative reporting.

Joe Ryan

via the Internet

The mayor is really a good egg...it's those other bureaucrats:As an idealist myself, I have to say that I find Chuck Strouse's righteousness in his March 6 column, "Steal from the Kiddies, Spoil the Rich," somewhat endearing. I also believe that Mr. Strouse has touched upon one of the most important issues facing east Hollywood today -- the critical overcrowding of Hollywood Central Elementary School (HCES). But after that he loses me.

Sure there might be a handful of families with children who will move into one of the new developments in downtown Hollywood. But Commissioner Beam Furr is right; families with children are not the typical target market for this type of development. So, as usual, New Times only gets it half right. The real ticking time bomb is not new development but the dozens and dozens of children who are popping up in the existing housing stock in east Hollywood every day. I live in east Hollywood and many of my friends and neighbors are having children, some are even moving on to number two and three. If you think we have a problem with overcrowding at HCES now, just wait three to five years when these tots are school age.

Strouse's indignation toward Mayor Giulianti is also misplaced. Is it convenient to say that she has no jurisdiction in this matter? Sure. But it also happens to be true. No one at City Hall has any authority in school-related issues. The mayor, like Mr. Strouse, is actually very concerned about Hollywood's children. In the recent State of the City address, Mayor Giulianti devoted about one third of her speech to the issue of education. She also made it one of the city's priorities and called upon the business community to help her tackle the problem. Strouse's passion is understandable. Inflammatory headlines might sell papers, but they won't help a single child in Hollywood. On the other hand, real dialogue just might. Mayor Giulianti has asked the community for help with this problem. My advice to Mr. Strouse is this -- eat a little humble pie, check your righteousness at the door, and go see the mayor about what you can do together to start to solve this very important problem.

C'mon Chuck, you can do it. The kiddies are counting on you.

Cynthia B. Miller

Hollywood

Lookin' for Korten: While Tristram Korten's article about free-dive champions Pipin Ferreras and Audrey Mestre had tragic overtones, I did enjoy reading it ("Death in the Depths," March 6). The photography on the first couple of pages was remarkable.

Being an avid auto-racing fan, I understand the risks these professionals take, and I'm aware that some may view them as crazy. But many people are so caught up in their little urban lives they cannot comprehend being so passionate about something that you would risk your life for it. Thanks to Tristram Korten for bringing something interesting into my life. I'll look for any other articles he writes.

Jerry Higgins SunriseTake this, Barton:I recently read Eric Barton's March 6 article regarding mixed martial arts ("The Fight Club"). Though not nearly as bad as most I've seen, I must point something out regarding this phrase: "No longer can fighters gouge eyes, butt heads or break fingers -- much to the disappointment of spectators." Eye gouging and small joint manipulation were never allowed in MMA bouts. If you care to properly research the rules, may I suggest: www.ufc.tv

I would also like to point out that in the 10 years this sport has been active in the United States, there has never been one fatality, nor one permanent injury. The sport of MMA is safer than boxing, football, hockey, NASCAR, and many other sports. Last year alone, there were nine deaths in boxing and eight in football. Of course, we all know of one in NASCAR.

With MMA now sanctioned by the Florida Athletic Commission, and both Hook 'n' Shoot (March 28 at the War Memorial in Fort Lauderdale) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (April 25, 2003 at American Airlines Arena in Miami) coming to South Florida, I am sure press will be had. I just hope that journalists are more responsible in their fact-gathering before publishing their stories.

Eric Hoffman

Fort Lauderdale

And this:I am a member of American Top Team. Although I am not a pro fighter, I attend the school frequently and have been training there for approximately three years. I'm a 44-year-old father of two boys and am employed by the local fire department. I love to see no-holds-barred competition get publicity from the media. The problem is that most writers seem to try to make NHB competition something it is not. The hype of limbs snapping and blood spurting is creative writing. Mixed martial arts has been around for many, many years all around the world and is as accepted in other countries like football is here.

I think the article could have been more positive and mentioned the new facility. It should have described the numerous types of martial arts that will be taught there to kids and adults. The people at American Top Team are some of the most professional men you could ever meet. Dan Lambert is a successful businessman and has an unparalleled love for the sport. I hope when the new facility opens, you will come and see it and do a follow-up story.

Tim Werner

Boca Raton

Stratton is a horse's a__:A correction to Jeff Stratton's March 6 Bandwidth: Mary Karlzen was a "Davie girl" (originally out of the Chicago area, now living in Wisconsin).

And Stratton just blew off the Goods, and the struggle they went through to get on a major label. (Were you around when they put out the rock opera "5 Ways To Be Signed"?)

Please make a notation in regard to Mary's affiliation with Miami. It is true that she played a lot in Miami and the surrounding area, but her residence (and where she recorded her first solo release) was in Davie!

Les "Earthdog" Miller

Pompano Beach

A North Dade institution goes global: I just read Jeff Stratton's February 6 Bandwidth column on my store and wanted to thank him. One of my customers told me about it. I wish I had a chance to talk to him.

We won't be closing the rock side of the store but absorbing it into the main room; the cost of keeping it open -- $1500 a month -- is too much on top of the $2400 we pay for the main room. Then there's the jazz warehouse. And with the gross profit of three dollars on a CD by 50 Cent or Sea & Cake, the landlord is making a killing for too little. But it's all right. We are kicking ass on eBay! $6000 last month and we kept it all with expenses running $400. But that's another story.

Bob Perry Blue Note Records North Miami BeachHis show is finito:Why must Bob Norman waste good reading space by repeatedly writing about that useless piece of crap, Rick Sanchez ("Slick Rick," January 9)

He patted himself on the head so many times, he patted himself right out of South Florida! No loss! Let's move on. Isn't there some other useless TV reporter you can rag on? How about Jackie Johnson, the a.m. weather gal also of WSVN-TV (Channel 7) fame? Now, that's a hunk!

Fred Kraut

Margate

Just his namesake, folks. Honestly.:I agree with Bob Norman -- MSNBC is a network looking for a way to work. So far, it has had little success.

Robert Norman

via the Internet

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