Letters for July 31-August 6, 2008

Alligator Tears

I almost shed a tear ("Shark Huggers," Amy Guthrie, July 12). Those poor sharks and everybody hating them. They are so misunderstood. So what if they kill ten to 20 people a year? There are plenty of people to go around! What are the lives of people versus the most noble of bloodthirsty creatures in the ocean? Oh, yes. And without them, the whole "system would collapse," as college-boy, all-knowing, all-seeing marine biologist Samuel Gruber states. If we didn't have sharks, lawyers, and the IRS, our whole lives would be a living hell!

Jim Hammers

Fort Lauderdale

Send Reassurance. Now.

I was in Children's Services for years in varying capacities in Broward County ("To Hug a Porcupine," Deirdra Funcheon, June 26). I appreciate the intent of the foster care program, but in the overall picture, I often questioned why we didn't just return to the orphanages of the past. Sounds cruel? Well, when you're a firsthand witness to children being shuffled around like a deck of cards or being abused in a licensed home after being removed from their natural parents because of extreme neglect or abuse, it's an eye opener. The children lose the fragile trust they have in others and display so many ill behaviors that it's understandable that even the best foster or adoptive parents can no longer care for them.

Our ability to bond is our link to humanity. Bless Debbie and her husband and the many other wonderful nurturers who have ever been part of the system. My heart breaks for all the kids who are or who ever have been part of the system.

Penny Eischen

Fort Lauderdale

There are kids out there who can use loving, wonderful people like Debbie, and not all of them are going to threaten to kill you (we hope). My husband and I are not going to have biological children. We feel that there are too many children who need positive influences in foster care and could benefit from "having a safe place." I have always felt that I did not want to have my own children biologically when I could help make the system a little better. But reading this is discouraging; Michigan's foster system isn't much better, and it puts fear in my heart that something like this could fall upon us. To be a good, proper foster or adoptive parent is an act of selflessness. I just hope Debbie and Jorge's experience doesn't kill their drive to continue being a light of hope for children.

Name withheld by request

Westland, Michigan

Funcheon's Facts

Debbie is a saint for all she tried to do with these children. I'm sorry to say it, but they are twisted beyond repair. They may get to a point where they are no longer a danger to others, but that will only be after years more of therapy. It scares me that at 18, they can check themselves out. I don't understand why they wouldn't get a psych eval at 18, be diagnosed as sociopaths, and be committed. The boys also admitted to criminal behavior. If it comes down to pressing charges (for poisoning a parent, breaking a jaw, killing horses), I would do it just to keep them behind four walls. I don't know what they did at various military academies and such, but I'll bet that was criminal behavior as well.

It's time to press charges, honestly. If these boys get out, they will kill somebody. They are Mensa members, violent people with genius IQs. They can rack up dozens of bodies before anyone notices. They can bury people alive in the backyard and no one will know. Something needs to be done.

Name withheld by request

Margate

I enjoyed reading Deirdra Funcheon's article "Bust Me If You Can" (April 10, 2007). She presented an engaging piece with an accurate representation of the facts and a balanced point of view.

Lawrence W. Livoti

Fort Lauderdale

Corrections

In "Jack Don't Know Jack" (July 22), Coral Gables attorney Jack Thompson's role in an Alabama trial was incorrectly described. He represented the police officers' families. In "Trolling the Waters" (Night & Day, July 3), New Times should have described the Fort Lauderdale Gay Tea Cruise as a monthly, not an annual, event, and Nikki Adams and Deja are crossdressers, not "trannies."

Kudos

The Green Eyeshade Awards, which honor journalistic excellence in 11 Southern states, gave New Times Staff Writer Thomas Francis a first-place award in sports reporting for "Bad News Bulldogs," his story about a Special Olympics volleyball team. New Times theater critic Brandon K. Thorp was awarded second-place honors for general criticism.

 
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