When Piety Stinks
Something fishy about Gil Fernandez's repentance: Congratulations on a well-researched and well-written article ("Muscles, Murder, & a Messiah, Part 2," Trevor Aaronson, January 12). Judge Imperato's question is important and still needs to be answered for the families of the victims: Why won't this defendant provide closure for these family members, if God is now truly guiding his life?
The only ones who get smashed up in this now are the victims' families. Everyone was a different person back then, cops and attorneys and witnesses alike. The families of those victims loved them deeply and felt their loss as intensely in 1990 as they did in 1983, and they still struggle with the hard, hard loss today when they read the article and see the defendant alive and, to them, without remorse.
Kind of makes you wonder about the whole repentant deal. The article did capture exactly what happened many years and many prosecutions ago.
Douglas Molloy, Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney
Southwest Florida Division, MDFL
Supersize the supervisor: Excellent column on a problem that is actually international in scope ("Gypsies, Cops, and Thieves," Bob Norman, January 5). What bothers me most as a retired police commander is the lack of proper supervision in these Florida police departments. No officer or detective should be in charge of an investigation without at least one supervisor knowing at all times what is going on.
Additionally, right here in Fort Lauderdale is the James Randi Educational Foundation, which has a $1 million offer for anyone who can prove anything paranormal. Should the state not also have some sort of licensing procedure that demands some semblance of proof of just what these bloodsuckers do before issuing a right to do it? Please reach out to Randi to maybe expand on what your column entailed, or better yet, have your editor allow Randi a column to educate the public, especially the elderly, on how to handle these shysters. Keep up the timely investigations.
Riviera Beach needs redevelopment, stupid: You should come and visit Riviera Beach if you question whether we need redevelopment ("2005's Egregious Dozen," December 29). Your "'splaining" statements were probably put together by someone who had been "drinkin'" or who simply was not interested in facts. The lunch at Carmine's was for the annual mayor's "take the department heads to lunch at Christmas time," which was paid for out of my discretionary account; the total was $850. The plane ticket was erroneously ordered by a staff member without my authority. The trip was never taken, since I was called to trial and the cost was paid once it was brought to my attention. The staff member admitted that it was her error and that it had never occurred before. I don't know what type of store Chico's is, but I am sure they don't have my size, since I am a former offensive guard. I have former college teammates who coach for the Dolphins, know several former players, and have clients who often provide me with tickets to the games. Besides, I am a Cowboys fan.
Not that the facts matter, but I figured there may be someone at your local rag who would be interested in the facts.
Mayor Michael Brown
The Real Scoop, Again
He wasn't nice to the students: The reason James Johnson was terminated had nothing to do with his religious view but rather the way he talked to students ("Proselytizing 101," Trevor Aaronson, December 1). I was in his class the second summer session at Central Campus. He ostracized me for being military and supporting the war. Once he learned that I was volunteering to go over, he failed me on my test. I filed a complaint with the dean explaining this, and other students supported me. That alone does not merit termination, but the fact that he belittled students in class, yelled at some, and hurled insults does. He did this three times to me, which led to a meeting with the vice president of Human Resources at BCC. At this meeting, I sat with seven other students and told him what was being said in the class. Students were telling me that even after I left the class, he would bring up my name and tell them things that I never said. He was combative in class and didn't like getting questions from students. This is the real reason for his termination.
There's no diminishing Bigoney's genius: Thanks for the enlightening article on an architect I knew about and admired from a distance ("The House That Bill Built," Jeff Stratton, December 22). Have never been in one of his houses, but from my architect father, I knew of Bill Bigoney's work in Broward, as I did of Alfred Browning Parker's in Dade. Wish I had one of these [houses], as my father agreed with their principles but rarely got to go in that direction. The PBeachers of his era preferred Bermuda, some Deco, and retreaded Mediterranean.
It's a very inspiring story, with the success of his son, despite the family tragedy and resulting blindness. Good job!
West Palm Beach
Can we be just a little more effusive? What a great article, "Spreading the Plame" (Bob Norman, December 1). God, it is just fabulous! I have sent it to everybody I can possibly think of, including Arianna Huffington. Man, it is just the best. My praise doesn't go high enough. I loved it, loved it, loved it.
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