Cuz the Democrats are still learning: I was impressed by Eric Alan Barton's April 1 story, "Prelude to a Butt Whippin'." That took a lot of work. I appreciate all the nice things he said about me, and I look forward to living up to his expectations.
Sid Dinerstein, Chairman
Palm Beach County Republican Party
Truth is stranger than our newspaper: Obviously, the Scum-Sentinel practices business and political incest by being so "involved" with the Broward Alliance ("Axis of Influence," Bob Norman, March 25). As Norman correctly noted, there is no need for Broward's daily fish wrapper to be "on the same page from a priorities standpoint" as local elected officials. After all, how then, can the newspaper fairly scrutinize these local political whores? (Answer: They can't.)
The Dracula-like photo of Sentinel Vice President Howard Greenberg was perfect -- as he and the other self-serving Broward Alliance schmucks continue to suck the financial blood out of local cities' tax coffers. The Scum-Sentinel should divest itself of this self-serving group of business and political hacks.
This reminds me of the Fox News Channel bedding down with the Republican Party! Out-fucking-rageous! The Sentinel continues to have the credibility of Col. Oliver North on a bad day of testimony at the Iran-Contra hearings. I'm currently placing the paper at the bottom of my bird's cage!
Stay-at-home victims: The residents of Melaleuca Gardens read "Axis of Influence" with great interest. You see, the Axis of Influence is trying to scare us out of our homes because of the airport expansion. The Friends of the Airport and the Broward Alliance are one and the same. Generations of families live in this neighborhood. After us, who is next? We hope you will continue to follow the story and publish the truth, as we certainly can not count on the Sun-Sentinel!
Via the Internet
Because your state treats Mexicans like garbage: In regard to Eric Alan Barton's March 25 story, "West Palm Madness," wah, wah, wah -- let me call a wahbulance! All the way across the Sonoran Desert like real American pioneers, eh? So they are entitled to a basketball court because they are illegal? So transparent! They are Mexicans! They have a right to be in Mexico! They have no right, morally, spiritually, or politically, to be here! Your bleeding-heart article will be included in the literature of the death of the nation, which I am sure you are interested in accomplishing, because as you know, we can save the whole world! Right?
S. C. Nelson
Valley Village, California
Like Ozzy's skull: After reading Audra Schroeder's story "Reign in Fake Blood" (March 25), I have a question: Why does everyone bash Slipknot so much? You can't blame them -- blame MTV and stupid stations like WZTA-FM (94.9) for playing crap all day. How else are kids supposed to have any real heavy-metal outlet in South Florida? At least Ozzy Osbourne is trying to bring metal back into the mainstream, when no one else could.
I wanna see this Bleeding Through band mentioned in Schroeder's story. She sounds like she knows what she might be talking about. Maybe.
We are a tabloid after all, Andy: I have to admit that I don't usually read New Times, as I live in the Kansas City metro area and read Pitch, but I found Trevor Aaronson's March 18 story ("Father Gomorrah") on the Internet and was intrigued.
My only complaint is that the headline plays in to the anti-Catholic mantra of the day. Yes, I am Catholic. I think it is a shame that it has taken this long for the Catholic sex-abuse scandal to come out. I think these priests should be defrocked and charged criminally. I can even admit that the church is out of touch with most of its modern members.
So, you ask, what is my bitch with your story? Laziness. You took the easy way out with that headline. Shock value may be an important part of mainstream newspapers, but I have come to expect more from Pitch and its sister papers. The priest in your story has, I believe, every right to love, live with, and marry whomever he chooses, but why resort to the poorly veiled connection with the Roman Catholic Church?
The question of celibacy, gay or straight, is not the reason the church is under fire, but it's easy to climb on board and make anything Catholic evil and perverse. Anything to sell papers, huh?
The scalpel or the sword: My heart started to pound as I read Janessa Wasserman's recollection of what Dr. William Shure had said to her about C-sections in Celeste Fraser Delgado's March 18 story, "Cuts You Up." He said the same thing to my husband as I recovered from a surprise cesarean, and we were both sick with worry about our premature son. I thought surely he must've misheard the doctor. I thought there was no way that the doctor was telling us that surgery was his preferred method of assisting babies into the world!
The entire article was validating and inspiring. Thank you for telling the truth about birth.
Discover us, Bill Keller: I read with personal interest Bob Norman's article "Cardiac Cronies" in the March 18 issue of New Times. I commend him for bringing this shameful travesty to the attention of the general public. Those of us in the medical community have been too aware of it for a long time.
As a fellow physician, I am embarrassed by the greed of the subjects of the article. They make the rest of us look very bad, especially at a time when the public already questions its trust in our noble profession. Most of us work extremely hard to earn but a small fraction of these individuals' lucrative, tax-supported salaries.
As a taxpaying citizen of Broward County for the past 23 years, I am irate at the politics and bureaucracy that allow this unnecessary waste of public money to continue.
Since we appear to be impotent to stop the process, perhaps we can shame the perpetrators by exposing them to a wider audience. I suggest that you find a national forum for this excellent investigative work. One of the many television news magazines (20/20, 48 Hours, etc.) may be interested, or perhaps a widely read and reputable publication like the Wall Street Journal? I believe the subject has a universal appeal. A great article.
C. Roberto Palma, M.D.
Discover us, Joe Scott: My name can't be used for fear of being fired. The NBHD is running a huge business with slave-wage-paid employees, while the doctors, commissioners, lawyers, land developers, fall guys, and the governor get rich.
We have seen this happen before with clothes manufacturers. I'm tired of hearing, "Attention all employees... there will be java with Joe [Scott, CEO of Broward General] today, and all are invited to have java with Joe." So what is he telling us? Nothing! I'd like to hear, "All the employees are getting a 15 percent raise for all their hard work and commitment." But we know that will never happen. All of the money has to go to the rich to make them richer.
Name withheld by request
Via the Internet
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We're eternally grateful for your babble: Congratulations to New Times for its willingness to publish letters to the editor, whether they be critical or in praise of your publication. Too many of our newspapers, despite their calls for letters to the editor, do not print their letters or print but one (maybe!). They load up with professional opinion pieces that reflect but one side of an adversarial situation and refuse to publish letters to the contrary. Do continue your open forum for public debate.
Leo Shatin, Ph.D
New Times columnist Bob Norman has been named a finalist in the 2003 Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards for his series about lies and mismanagement at the Pompano Beach water department. The prize ranks Norman's series among the top five in the nation in a weekly newspaper. The winner in the category was Julie Jargon, a writer for Westword, our sister paper in Denver.