War in Deerfield
Don't assume the worst about Deerfield High: I think Bob Norman's article really didn't help much ("Dead End," February 15). Yeah, it informed people what is going on between Haitians and African-Americans, but you also have to see it from another point of view. It's not only at Deerfield Beach High School or even just in Deerfield. It's everywhere around us. You see, you didn't even take the chance to interview the kids at the school. We don't want the reputation as a bad school. Hell, we're better than Ely High. We came from a D to a C, then after one school year a C-plus.
In my opinion, this war probably began over an incident between two Deerfield High students. One was Haitian and one was American. They could've bumped into each other, and one probably took it another way, when the other student took it a different way. Like today in our school, we had an American versus Haitian fight today. Right after that fight, we read this article. Crazy, ain't it? Yesterday, our teacher was telling us about this article, and the next day, there's a fight, and next thing you know, everybody is reading this article.
Name withheld by request
The school has good kids too: I taught for three years at Deerfield Beach High School. While the job had its difficult moments, I did find that most of the students were ordinary, decent kids and totally unlike the thugs portrayed in this article.
Via the Internet
Babies "R" Gone
Look for the union label: I wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your article on Renee Bettis ("Maternity Heave," Ashley Harrell, February 15). I'm sure the reactions will range from "the corporation can do what it likes" to "she wants to have it all" to "she was treated unfairly." To me, the article underscores the need for a union in the workplace. Without the benefit of a contract that would spell out working conditions, an employee is literally at the mercy of the corporation. In this country, we seem to value democracy and a balance of power, in our government, but in the workplace, we seem to be content to be treated as indentured servants.
Inns and Outs
It's not too late in Hollywood: As an inn operator quoted in "Heartbreak Hotel" (February 8), I find it heartbreaking to see the small "mom and pop" inns and motels that once dominated the landscape of our coastal region disappearing at an alarming rate only to be replaced by a fence of high-rise, costly condos. But there are still opportunities to save what's left of this dying breed. Encouraging city, county, and state elected officials to embrace responsible, human-scale development on our barrier islands and inland can serve as a catalyst to smarter growth and the ultimate preservation of these small businesses. Beyond that, equitable taxation, reasonable insurance rates, creative incentives for well-maintained and operated facilities, and business assistance for these threatened lodgings will help create new investment and a renewed interest in creating successful alternatives to huge chain hotels squeezing in on their survival. Thomas Francis' well-researched article deserves to be followed up with solutions that could help all of the small businesses that have served South Florida so well survive. And while there can never be "windfall profits" on the horizon, as Francis' creative liberties in writing quoted, there is a chance to turn a reasonable profit for those interested in a fun, rewarding, and exciting hospitality business.
DeSoto Oceanview Inn and DeSoto Ocean Spray
Anna Nicole in Heaven
Editor's note: The afternoon Anna Nicole Smith was found dead at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, New Times sent a team of reporters to Hollywood Regional Hospital and to the casino to describe the pandemonium. The resulting piece of reportage, describing the media circus and the scene at the hotel, caused an immediate reaction from out-of-town readers. Here's a sampling:
Watch that language: When someone has just passed away, you don't call them a bimbo. Didn't your mother teach you anything? Without some reverence for life and death, we have no soul as a people. Wait until after the funeral to call her names. Jerk.
Give the woman a break: More trash from another crappy news rag taking advantage of an unfortunate person's death. Your Anna Nicole article gives her no dignity in death and puts you in far worse company than she may have been in life. This is trashier than anything she may have done, and it's a crappy effort to get a reaction. Last I checked, she wasn't a convicted felon or a killer or any other piece of human vermin that I'm sure you would more likely jump to glorify in death than her. Shame on you.
We had her all wrong: This article was extremely rude and disrespectful. While this sad young woman had lots of problems, she was a human being. You will not get far in life or journalism writing this kind of trash.
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How novel our coverage was: How can you even consider this news? This piece is absolute garbage and hearsay. American news is propaganda at best, but this piece was very uninformative and more like reading a bloody novel. If you are going to report the news, then report it. I don't care why a Hooters waitress was late for work.
Name withheld by request