Caught in the Same Wrong Net
I wish to thank New Times and Michael Freedman for printing the article on the troubles of net fisherman Everett Hobby ("Bait and Shackle," February 26). It so happens that the same officer who arrested Mr. Hobby arrested me on a cast net charge. He claimed my cast net exceeded the 500-foot limit voted on by the people of Florida. The amendment clearly stated that a net has to be measured "open mesh." My net was measured both opened and closed. As a result, I was arrested because my net's mesh area was doubled.
At that time I was and presently am in college full-time, making just enough a year to survive ($10,000). For seventeen days I had no means to make a living until I managed to procure a new net. I ended up going to court seven times, missing seven days of valuable fishing time that I desperately needed. Because the arresting officer never appeared in court, the case was dismissed. After the judge ordered my nets returned to me, I went to the Marine Patrol station in Jupiter, where Lt. Herb Hamilton (mentioned in the article) made me sign release papers so I could obtain my nets, telling me that if I threw my nets again, I would be arrested.
Though I have been the best citizen I could possibly be and the wrongful charges were dropped, I lost a month's worth of work, and my name is still on an arrest list despite my innocence.
Ravin' Harvey Slavin Goes After Name Witheld
What a gutless piece of garbage you are! I refer to the writer of the bullshit-laden letter to the editor appearing in New Times re-cently that praised the slime-ball tactics of Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti but was signed "Name Withheld by Request" (Letters, "Giulianti: Bringing the Glitz Back to Hollywood," February 12).
Giulianti and the other commission phonies must finally be defeated -- along with that Hillcrest condo group of go-along dolts that stupidly continues to vote for them! Mike Tamburro's letter ("Giulianti: Hypocritical, Divisive, and Just Plain Icky," February 12) blasting Giulianti and her brand of government was too kind!
A Slap in the Face of Justice
I'd like to thank New Times and, in particular, reporter Lucy Chabot for telling the story of my son, Jimmy Burgess, and our struggles with the unfeeling guardian and justice systems ("Home Alone," January 22). I have encountered many closed doors in my quest to get this story out.
I find Lucy to be very professional and to the point. Her personality makes one feel comfortable around her.
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I know you have a commitment to printing the truth, so I also wanted to take this opportunity to correct some information that was given to Ms. Chabot regarding the "slapping incident" that took place in 1992. I have not slapped, nor will I ever slap, my son. We have love in our home, not abuse. Three weeks after this alleged incident, I received a letter from the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS) concerning an anonymous call from some confused soul stating that I was in a restaurant and was seen slapping my son, pulling his hair, and hitting him with my fist.
I demanded a hearing with HRS authorities, who told me that they were going to keep me on file in their records as a confirmed abuser. Now I have to ask for a court hearing in order for me and witnesses to testify in front of a judge that I am not an abuser. To this day, HRS [now called the Department of Children and Families] has not given me the opportunity to clear my name.
Again, thanks for the dedication and time spent on this important story. I look forward to reading more in-depth reports in future issues of New Times.