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Letters for July 25, 2002

This sparrow is the key to everything! In regard to Mike Clary's July 11 feature story, "For the Birds," the Cape Sable seaside sparrow in the Everglades is like a canary in a coal mine; if we lose the sparrow, Everglades restoration is sure to fail. The sparrow is the indicator of the health of the Everglades as well as the proof that previous management of the system has harmed the environment.

The true issue holding up Everglades restoration is the failure to implement the Modified Water Deliveries Project. As part of this project, a couple of dozen homes in the 8.5-square-mile area must be purchased. This solution resulted from a compromise between state and federal agencies. Unfortunately, the Miccosukee Tribe and the few residents living there are fighting this well-negotiated compromise.

The article fails to acknowledge the importance of the Mod Waters compromise to the broader issue of getting the water right for the Everglades. Until the compromise is implemented, Everglades restoration is at a stalemate. By blaming the sparrow for delays, Dexter Lehtinen is diverting attention from the true cause of the problems holding up restoration. The National Parks Conservation Association would like to see everyone, including Lehtinen, agree to the hard-fought compromise.

The Cape Sable seaside sparrow is not the criminal.

John Adornato III

National Parks Conservation Association

via the Internet

He just has it out for us: Why does Jeff Stratton exhibit such a hard-on in his July 11 Bandwidth? I've had enough! Does he really consider himself a journalist? He seems more like a fiction writer to me. His articles regarding the Poor House are so full of half-truths and misinformation that I cannot keep silent anymore.

We'll start with Hashbrown. Why is it not mentioned that DJ Boogie Waters has been, and still is, spinning at the Poor House every Tuesday and Wednesday for over a year? How about the fact that Bob Pignone offered to help Duncan Cameron financially when there was a death in his family outside the United States? Or that bassist Jay Spencer and drummer Rick Kanner still frequent the bar? Unfortunately, Duncan had a bad experience one Sunday night and leapt before he looked. Hashbrown is good people; it is one of my favorite local bands.

As far as Sunday nights go, that is a financial/safety issue. Why do people tend to play the race card so easily? I guess it makes a good story. I have personally been grabbed and harassed on my way to the Poor House on Sundays. So have many of my girlfriends. People have been shot, stabbed, and beaten. What does that have to do with race? Pignone is concerned about his employees and his business -- period. Regarding Motel Mel: There was no mention of the fact that he was paid $200 for the double-booking incident. And what club hasn't asked a band to turn its volume down? When I do, it's either because guests have asked or the musicians have asked whether they're too loud. Call me crazy, but I like to hear my guests' orders!

The Poor House is one of the very few venues left for local music of all flavors. The fact that we don't rebook bands that don't draw or that we can't afford to pay what certain bands ask doesn't make us a bad establishment or evil people. I have been in this business for 12 years in South Florida. Bob and Jay Hemple are some of the best people I've worked for. I've seen them go above and beyond for people. I've also seen people take advantage of their trust. Nobody's perfect.

Oh yeah: When I arrived to work on July 10, Stan Street was sitting at the bar with his girlfriend and Bob. He didn't look too concerned about Bob being possessed by the devil. Especially, I guess, when the devil is buying!

Cat Petrio

Bartender, the Poor House

Fort Lauderdale

Bob has it out for him: So Bob Pignone will pay us $100 to play the Poor House? Fine. Actually, it is a compliment to get 50 bucks more than one of my favorite local bands, the Regulators. OK, all joking aside. Judging from Bob's comment, it seems like he doesn't know why I was banned from the Poor House. The last gigs I played there were booked by his partner, Jay Hemple. Jay personally told me I was banned because he was afraid that if I tripped and fell, I would sue him. When I explained to Jay why I said that, he wouldn't listen. I even offered to sign a release. Presently, I cannot even walk in the door.

Also, Jeff didn't mention in his column that one of the "antagonists/former band members" is a personal friend of Jay's.

On the night I was leaving the parking lot, I was punched through the open window of my truck, and my driver's-side mirror was broken. A week later, someone threw a curbstone through the windshield.

And before any reader jumps to conclusions, Jeff Stratton approached us about the story, not vice versa. Thank you for your time.

Stephen "Slip" Mahoney

(of Slip and the Spinouts)

via the Internet

They lo-o-ove one another: I would like to comment on Dan Sweeney's June 20 article on the Beer, Babes and B.S. show about how the Monsters of the Mid-Day are Howard Stern rip-offs ("Hop on Down"). A person making this vague assumption about any radio show with an "attitude" is either a snob with high morals or a Howard Stern superfan who has his head so far up Howard's ass, they look like conjoined twins.

If you want to say that the Monsters are a Stern rip-off because they are on radio, have a television show, are syndicated, have fans, have detractors, make the news, are funny, get good ratings, and are successful, then (to the ignorant), yes, they rip him off big time.

You can better compare the talk-show host (not disc jockey) Russ Rollins to Ed Sullivan for the variety of people he has on his show. You can also compare him to good ol' P.T. Barnum, whose famous line was "There's a sucker born every minute," because of some of the radio bits he's done. It works, though, because he makes people interested and knows how to hype a product.

If you don't overanalyze every little thing and look at the show as a whole, it has entertainment for everyone to enjoy. The show is, believe it or not, a catalyst for bringing people together from all walks of life, be they truck drivers or computer programmers. It lets people get to know one another through one common interest. If you disregard all the trashing on the show, you can understand that the Monsters do, deep down, care about and consider each other close friends. They make the listeners feel like close friends too. I guarantee you, the same people who laugh at and boo Dirty Jim at concerts are the same ones who cried with him when he talked about getting separated from his wife during one of their shows a few weeks ago.

In conclusion, I am sure that if you ask P.T. Sullivan (Russ Rollins) whether Howard helped Real Radio (WTKS-FM 104.1) to become the dominant station in Orlando, whether it be in a "professional" interview or just a basic fan question, he would say, without a second thought, that yes, Howard Stern was one of the many factors that helped make the station what it is today. I am a Monster fan; I will admit that Howard helped speed the careers of the Monsters. Even if Howard never made it to 104.1, it might have taken a little bit longer for them to dominate the current market they're in; regardless, the Monsters would still have made it to the dominant position they are in today! Ten years from now, people are going to call other radio programs that use the "group concept" Monsters rip-offs. It will be a fact of life.

Matthew Pape

via the Internet


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