Letters for February 12, 2004

Dubya is still a deceitful chump: Regarding your January 5 cover story by Sam Eifling, "Liar, Liar...," a quick note to inform you that I find your antipatriotic, antimoralistic, and antisocietal message immature and obscene. I laugh at your attempt at "journalism" and suggest growing up. I will shun all businesses that carry your publication and inform them of the same. Good-bye, and good riddance.

Mark Holland

Lake Worth

Dump the politics:

I am a neurosurgeon who has practiced at Broward General Medical Center for more than 20 years. Thank you so much for Bob Norman's courage in writing the truth about the North Broward Hospital District political machine ("Deliver Us," parts I and II, January 29 and February 5).

It took years for me to figure out that dedication, skill, hard work, and being the best meant very little at the district if you didn't have the right connections.

Amos Stoll

Via the Internet

And skewer the flimflammer! Thank you so much for Bob Norman's January 29 column, "Deliver Us." I am a midwife employed by SunLife and loved his article. All the SunLife employees want to do is deliver babies. Only one person changed at SunLife (the owner) and we lost the contract to a con man who cares only about money.

Karen Saver

Fort Lauderdale

New Jersey? Civilized? Ha! Although Trevor Aaronson's January 29 news article, "One-Way Street," makes it clear that the current system for handling DUI charged drivers is flawed, it also had some interesting oversights. He points out that an average of 7,000 DUI arrests are made in Broward County every year, yet fails to make any comparison to other areas so the reader can determine if this number is in line with other areas of a similar size/makeup.

Aaronson mentioned only one case in any detail -- that of Lighthouse Point resident Craig Tidey. He mentions that Tidey refused to take a sobriety test and was arrested. It is my understanding that all drivers must by law agree to take any sobriety test. In fact, looking at my Florida driver's license, I can clearly see that it states (right above where we sign our names), "Operation of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law." I recall being instructed when I originally was licensed to drive (although that was in New Jersey, which is a bit more civilized) that driving is a privilege and not a right (basically that the same civil rights we expect in other areas of life do not apply when operating a motor vehicle). Funny how Aaronson neglected to point out any of this in his article.

It appears Aaronson is not necessarily an advocate for those wrongly accused. If that is the case, I am curious -- how will he make your amends to the dead?

Bill Mennitt


Defense lawyers drunker than a potted skunk: I've just read "One-Way Street" and would like to comment on some matters.

Although a defense lawyer pledges to zealously represent his client to the best of his ability, charlatan tactics are often used at the expense of integrity. Integrity? Yes. Sometimes circuitous and insidious measures are taken to allow a guilty person to escape punishment. Why? Money. Sadly, every form of motivation begins and ends with money.

What do I mean specifically? A police officer conducts a traffic stop on a vehicle for inoperative taillights. The traffic stop is conducted at 2 a.m.. A perfectly legal stop. The defendant exhibits all the classic clues of an individual who is intoxicated -- i.e., flushed face, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, strong odor of alcohol on his breath. The defendant, following the shrewd advice given to him, refuses to agree to a blood test. He is arrested and transported to a breath testing facility. There, the defendant refuses even to speak on video, his reticence taken as a refusal.

Now the criminal aspect of the case. Many times the defendant is exonerated because (a) the officer could not testify to a driving pattern, (b) there are no roadside sobriety exercises to examine, and (c) there are no incriminating breath, urine, or blood results.

An arrestee refuses a breath/urine/blood test for one reason and one reason only: He has something to hide. Worse still is the defendant who provides blood or breath samples with two or three times the legal limit yet walks on some ridiculous technicality.

To quote a wise man, the defense lawyer's sole purpose in the court room is to cause confusion and galvanize doubt in the minds of jury members. Seldom is it the pursuit of truth. I say "seldom" because I believe there are some noble souls left who have maintained a modicum of integrity.

Joe Capuano


Is the Bible subjective? Someone tell Edie Rapp not to cringe, since Psalms is not part of the New Testament but the Old Testament ("Jews for Bejesus," Rebecca Meiser, January 29).

While her stepson has no right to have written of Edie's "conversion," it is also clear that Bruce is seen as the black sheep of this nonfamily. This matter is no place for an attorney, unless the real reason for the litigation is a platform from which Rabbi Barry Silver may attack another (contrary) faith.

If Edie were to learn one thing about Bruce's faith, it should be "forgiveness."

Susanne Browning

Pompano Beach

Eh, um, I mean, huh: As a Canadian who is not from Quebec and who found his way to South Florida long before the Québecois, I take exception to some of your observations in the Night & Day section of January 29 regarding Canada Fest 2004, but in a no-more-seriously vein than that in which the article was written ("Eh?").

A great number of those Americans living in that part of North America referred to as the United States are humorously entertained by the French/Canadian expression "Eh?," which, as I understand it, means the same as the American expression, "Huh?" You should enlighten those of your readers who don't know: There are other Canadians besides those from Quebec.

Don Galbraith


She hands it off to the Springs Guild: I am sending this letter in response to Michael Mills' January 29 article, "Art Is Where You Find It." It is of concern to me that Mr. Mills described "ArtServe's slapped-together group show" and "the apparent lack of attention to detail with which it has been put together" before adding, "Couldn't someone from ArtServe have made a quick call to confirm before printing the cards?" For the record, ArtServe was not responsible for any of these issues. To my knowledge, he never called or asked ArtServe staff for information on the arrangements for the current show. I am requesting a retraction correcting these issues.

Throughout the year, our gallery is used to produce individual, member-only exhibits, and at times, the gallery is leased to other organizations to allow them to showcase their members' artwork. When the gallery is leased to a member organization, a contract is established outlining responsibilities for intake, signage, tags, judging, awards, opening reception, program information, lighting and hanging, etc. ArtServe's member, the Coral Springs Artist Guild, is under contract and produced the current show in our gallery.

As executive director of ArtServe, I work hard to provide quality programs that support our mission. With the constant support of the board of directors and a dedicated professional staff, we provide resources, training, facilities, and programs that support emerging and established artists as well as cultural organizations. We are a nonprofit organization and are in no way in competition with local for-profit galleries. ArtServe is proud of and thankful for our facility and our partnership with both the Broward County Libraries Division and the Broward cultural division.

We welcome the press to our location and are willing to answer any questions, assist with introducing artists or judges, and provide accurate information to the media. One of our goals is to promote local artists. A media partnership is a wonderful venue to accomplish that goal.

Maureen Kohler

Executive Director, ArtServe

Fort Lauderdale

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