Letters for December 26, 2002
She knows apartheid, and this is no apartheid: I am curious as to whether Bob Norman's article regarding the City of Plantation is supposed to be factual or opinion ("Down on the Plantation," December 12 and 19)? If it is supposed to be factual, it seems to me, a lot of his facts have been twisted.
I am getting very tired of every issue being turned into racism. I wonder why Norman chose the predominantly white area where he lives rather than Park East. Can I construe this to mean he didn't want any black neighbors? Sure can, but is that necessarily the truth? Of course not.
Aren't politics in general full of nepotism and cronyism? Does that mean it has to be a race issue? Was Miriam Oliphant not criticized for canning an elderly, long-term poll worker for her mother? Was that nepotism or racism? How many white-owned small businesses did he interview to see if they ever had problems with code enforcement or the city? Norman will probably be hard-pressed to find one that has not had some type of problem with the city.
Yes, I had a business for a few years in Plantation, and as a matter of fact, it was in the same shopping center as Webby's. It's funny how I have an entirely different take on Webby's than Norman. You say it has "long been the place where local politicians hold fundraisers and city officials eat lunch." What the heck is long time? The restaurant has only been there about seven years. Other than police officers and regular city employees, the only "City Hall" type I ever saw go in there on a regular basis was former councilman Lee Hillier, and he didn't stay very long, did he? Kind of ironic considering he was the biggest champion of the Park East residents.
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Webby's is definitely full of good ol' boys, but quite honestly, what does that have to do with Plantation as a whole? Do you think if I went in Troy's Bar on Sunrise Boulevard that I wouldn't hear the same exact conversations, only in reverse? Do you think I would see another white person in there?
As far as the new Boogie Nights is concerned, that Holiday Inn has been home to umpteen bars/nightclubs. It's hardly a special exemption to let another open there. It was just a couple of years ago that the council squashed the idea of a billiard bar in the Fountains. That's definitely a white neighborhood, but they stopped it.
Then there's the issue of the Community Center on Palm Tree Road. Except for an occasional coat of paint, it is the same old community center built sooooo many years ago. And how about the Plantation Park area? Other than the county park and a ballfield on Fig Tree, please show me where anything has been done to improve the recreation facilities. These are two predominantly white areas that have seen virtually no improvements in many years. Yet if the same thing occurs in Park East, it's a race issue. Give it a break.
Norman for president -- hell, why not emperor? Bob Norman's December 12 article on racism is unbelievable!
I am not blind; therefore, the racism-revealing aspect that his column exposes does not surprise me. But his courage in telling these things point-blank -- knowing that he would antagonize a bunch of powerful individuals in our society. That is something that you do not see often in our "free" press.
Bob, you are an inspiration to those who struggle for social justice and equality under the law. I take off my hat in reverence to you. I also commend your publishers for their full support to your freedom of expression. This is America. It should not be such a big thing to write as one pleases, but I know better. It is a big thing.
We need more journalists like you. And not just journalists; we need a lot more people like you. Period.
He's hangin' with us: I really enjoyed the latest issue of New Times, the graffiti issue ("Tagged," Rebekah Gleaves, December 12). It made me want to go vandalize some shit really bad. I do a lot of graffiti... but I guess you have to be caught to make the papers or something. I don't plan on getting caught -- not any time soon, at least -- but I would like to get my flicks (pictures) in the paper along with some comments. I write "PENZ"... Me and my crew consist of PENZ, ROSC, TONE, DEAD, SESM, ADICT, TIME, and many others, but basically that's who I chill with. I really enjoyed that issue very much, and it touched many of my friends. We literally hung the paper up on our walls in our bedrooms.
For the ink: I want to thank Eric Barton for the wonderful November 28 article on blood donations that appeared in New Times ("Blood Trade"). One of my areas of responsibility is supervision of our blood-donor recruitment program for all the Memorial Hospitals and the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.
I am constantly amazed that potential donors are unaware their blood is sold by organizations that are not hospital-based. As a public health-care system, we never turn away anyone in need of health care, including blood transfusions. Yet if we don't have the direct donations from our community, we are forced to turn to these other blood banks and purchase the needed supply.
One of our hospitals is a state-designated trauma hospital. A trauma case can require 40 or more pints of transfused blood! We have even had to cancel surgeries on occasion due to lack of blood donations. So, thank you for your efforts in creating an awareness of this need and encouraging people who do donate blood to do it the right way!
Jerilyn O'Neil Grimm,
Director, Community Relations
Memorial Healthcare System
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