Letters July 15-21, 2004

For the Love of Dogs

Not the bad rep:I just read Sam Eifling's July 8 article on the Pembroke Pines gentleman who had the issue with the pool guy ("`Burb Dogs"). It always saddens me to hear of any pit bull mishap, as I have been involved with the breed for well over a decade. I have had to move to Broward County due to the ridiculous laws put in place in Miami-Dade since 1989. I'm glad that in 1990, the state passed a bill not allowing what is known as "breed specific laws," meaning you cannot outlaw a breed. (Miami-Dade was grandfathered in.)

I don't think that that pool guy should have been in that house at that time. Did he not know that dogs lived there? Did he not call out to see if the dogs would come out before entering? In this day and age, everyone is looking for a quick buck, and the pool guy is no exception. I do think Leon Edouard should be a little more responsible with his dogs; the last thing any pit bull owner needs is unhappy neighbors. As a dog owner, one has great responsibility -- as a pit bull owner, the responsibility is much greater. Not because they are vicious but because the stigma far outweighs the dog.

Are pit bulls aggressive toward people? No, not by nature. Can they be taught to be? Sure, any breed can be taught. Are they protective? You bet! So I think it's more a lack of discipline on Edouard's part.

As a resident of Pembroke Pines, I too have pit bulls, and I'm afraid that because of incidents like these, I will be forced to sell my home and relocate. I will not give up this breed. Ask any pit owner and you will get the same response. These dogs are not for everyone. I can't stress that enough. Along with ownership comes all of the stigma. Those of us who know and love the breed are in it for life.

Pete Rodriguez

Pembroke PinesDogged: I have a 3-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier and would like to see if you can show the flip side to a pit bull. People only get the impression that the dog is bad, even though you mentioned the owner was basically a criminal; they still only remember the breed and teeth and blood. My dog wouldn't hurt a fly.

Shane Kutner Sunrise

Mayor Lois Strikes Back

She's nicer than you think she is:I am writing in response to a recent column that appeared in New Times entitled "Off with His Head" (Tailpipe, July 8). Many of the statements are misleading. On behalf of West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, I would like to state the following:

Mayor Frankel never made any remarks concerning Rodney Mayo at a May 27 commission meeting. The mayor's dialogue with Mr. Mayo came in the fifth-floor conference room at City Hall. When the mayor was introduced to Mr. Mayo, she stated that she was offended by the continuous insulting e-mails and letters he had sent over the past year. She further said that his anger at the under-21 ban (from city bars) should be directed at the City Commission and not her, because she did not promote or vote for the ban. Mr. Mayo then went on to blame Mayor Frankel for the demise of his restaurant and other businesses. Mayor Frankel told him to look in the mirror and take personal responsibility and that one of the reasons his restaurant failed is because the food sucked. He then went on a verbal rampage, accusing the mayor of telling him to get out of town.

The mayor then received Mayo's defamatory e-mail accusing her of targeting his business with inspections. New Times called Mayor Frankel after receiving the same e-mail. Mayor Frankel told the reporter that she wanted every business to succeed, including Mr. Mayo's. He was creating a scenario of persecution. The mayor explained that she has so many things to deal with that she really doesn't spend time thinking about doing evil things to Mayo. Mayor Frankel then recalls that she lamented: "Most of the time when I get rude or offensive e-mails, I just ignore them like trash, and in retrospect, I should have ignored Mayo's insults instead of getting into a situation with him at the meeting where I told him he served cold hamburgers, etc. I have never called Mr. Mayo or anyone else trash."

The mayor is not now, nor has she ever been, Nancy Graham's puppet. It is categorically a lie to say that Graham is using the mayor to ruin businesses so that the mayor and Graham's friends can buy property cheap. In fact, land values downtown have never been greater. The mayor moved to West Palm Beach out of law school in 1974. She has never lived or worked in Broward County, other then to stay at her parents' home for a month in the spring of 1974 to study for the bar exam.

Since the mayor was elected, the city has pledged to spend close to $100 million to bring downtown back to life. A traffic engineer has been hired to handle issues relating to road construction so that the impact on downtown businesses is minimized.

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