Letters May 6-12, 2004

Save 'em from slaughter; end the travesty:

Save 'em from slaughter; end the travesty: Thank you for having the courage to expose what really goes on at the Hollywood Greyhound Track and at greyhound tracks in general ("Finished Line," April 29). Why this pathetic pastime continues to exist is beyond me. I am a volunteer with Friends of Greyhounds, the rescue group that you mentioned in your article. The founders, Jerry Deitch and Michelle Weaver, have dedicated their lives to saving these dogs (the commodity of tracks), who otherwise would end up being euthanized. Thank you for mentioning the good that they are doing through Friends of Greyhounds, as well as creating awareness around what happens to the other dogs who are not adopted.

I sincerely hope that you are right and that greyhound tracks will go the way of drive-in movie theaters. In the meantime, thousands of dogs are dying senseless deaths. As you know, there are more tracks in Florida than in any other state. When is the Florida Legislature going to wake up and shut these tracks down?

Somehow, despite their beginnings, these greyhounds are the sweetest, most gentle dogs on Earth; they just want to be loved by people.

Diane Schumacher

Via the Internet

At Timmy's house:First off, I enjoyed the blurb in Tailpipe (April 29) about my book, Politics 101, and actually agree with the observation that Naugle is a better politician than me.

Though I was elected twice as commissioner and with some heavy hitters as competitors, I was no match for slick Jim in the last mayoral race. As a matter of fact, Jim is about as good at politics as they come. The shame is, his leadership skills aren't even fractionally as good as his political instincts, and after all these decades with Jim on the commission, the City of Fort Lauderdale is experiencing its worst-ever financial conditions. As usual, Jim appears to be busy pointing fingers everywhere except at himself. Perhaps a little less attention paid to his friends' parking tickets in Rio Vista and a little more honest introspection would help.

Tim Smith

Fort Lauderdale

Hassling the hospital:I'm not a resident of Broward County. In fact, I don't even live in Florida. But I stumbled across your newspaper when reading about an unrelated topic and just wanted to say thanks. Thank you on behalf of taxpayers everywhere who rely on public servants to ensure that our money is spent for the common good and not for the good of a few political cronies.

I had the good fortune to read your thrilling series of exposés detailing the North Broward Hospital District's mishandling of funds and its political connections to Bush and others ("The Hyocritic Oath," April 29). As a future doctor, I was steamed by the outright corruption and fat-cat politics being flaunted by all those connected and found myself wondering just how frequently these things occur unnoticed. It is only because of the sheer dedication and countless months of hard work on your part that citizens will know the truth. It is your unrelenting determination to expose those who do wrong and abuse the public's trust that allows us all to reap the benefits that come with change.

In a word, sirs, thank you. You are truly journalists -- the ones who uncover the hidden facts and buried details and report them faithfully to the public to evaluate and to effect change.

You are the lifeblood of democracy in an era of increasing secrecy in all governmental activities.

Rajesh Shah

Via the Internet

Again and again and again:Regarding Sam Eifling's April 22 story on the new Seminole Hard Rock Casino ("Rock 'n' Nole"), it's only natural to have doubts about the new place. You bring out the fact that students use tuition money to go to poker dealer school for a job at the casino and can't make the grade and get hired. That's because the Seminole operations at all five of their casinos are top-shelf for the patrons. (People who don't get hired can go to the Calder Race Track poker room!)

As far as Eifling's casting doubt that a large hotel/casino can make it on 441: (1) "The Seminole Tribe cannot survive in the Everglades." (They did); (2) "The Seminoles cannot survive the U.S. Army." (They did -- never defeated!); (3) "The Seminoles cannot defeat former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth in the U.S. Supreme Court." (They did in 1979!); (4) "The Seminoles cannot succeed with a bingo hall on 441 -- only transmission shops succeed there." (They did); (5) The Seminoles cannot succeed with a casino in "Condo Land," a.k.a. Coconut Creek." (They did and had to expand three months after opening); (6) "The Seminoles cannot succeed with class II gaming." (The State of Florida and the Seminoles have been negotiating for two years on class III gaming via the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Seminoles haven't lost one battle or challenge yet!)

Stan Wertheimer

Hollywood

Sorry about that, chief:Thank you for the great article. I appreciate the comments ("How Sweet It Is," Michelle Sheldone, April 22). Also, just for your information, I am a retired captain of the sheriff's office.

Fred Mascaro, candidate for sheriff of Palm Beach County

Via the Internet

Unless there's prosecution:I'd like to thank Bob Norman for his article "Ooh, That Smell," (April 15). For once, we get the truth. I appreciate his accuracy. I am afraid we are in for four more nasty years in Hollywood. Thank you for your contribution.

Betty Priscak

Hollywood

Unless? Shit. Until! I read the article written by Bob Norman about the sewage situation in Hollywood and am aghast. This issue needs to be brought before the commission again and thought out in an honest and fair manner. I implore the city to follow the bidding process and pick Florida-N-Viro.

I agree with Norman that the situation calls for a criminal investigation, preferably by a statewide prosecutor or the feds. I am quite disappointed by the way this was handled and expect much more from our elected officials.

Kate Obloy

Via the Internet

FEC tracks would make it even better:I am disappointed in what I believe is a gross mischaracterization of the Tri-Rail system. ("Next Stop, Nowhere," April 15) From the outset of the article, Tri-Rail is placed in a negative light. Rather than writing about the abhorrent traffic conditions in South Florida, New Times chose to publish a story about public transportation and why it isn't working.

I don't work for Tri-Rail, nor have I been asked to write this piece, but I do ride Tri-Rail every day. Yes, there are delays as the construction of the second track continues, and, yes, it is along the I-95 corridor rather than U.S. 1, but it is a system that should be embraced rather than stomped upon.

I, more than anyone, will be pleased when Tri-Rail runs along the FEC tracks shortly (at least, I hope it happens shortly), as I live closer to the FEC tracks in Miami and work closer to the FEC tracks in West Palm Beach. Still, with more than 10,000 riders per day, that's 10,000 fewer drivers, 10,000 fewer chances for accidents, 10,000 fewer insurance claims, 10,000 fewer headaches on the road.

When you are considering publishing a critical piece, consider dealing with the pros and the cons. And most important, solutions. Abstract criticism solves nothing but creates more problems. Will professionals like me embrace Tri-Rail? Sure, but it will take time -- and the FEC tracks.

Gene Davis

Via the Internet

About the good congressman?Bob Norman's April 8 column, "Hammer Time," is a very important, well-written article. As a Floridian now, I have long been ashamed of Republican U.S. Rep Clay Shaw. He is such an idiot -- as are many other political persons in Florida, including our governor, who is shrewd and dishonest.

Joyce Wacks

Via the Internet

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