You listenin', Broward State Attorney Satz? Bob Norman's "For Sale: Keys to the City" (June 1) might have been called "A Mayor Unmasked." Norman's exhaustive research on the dealings of the mayor of Deerfield Beach has brought citizens an undeniable conclusion of corruption and collusion in their city. A formalized investigation by proper authorities will no doubt transpire as a result of Norman's fine work.
Good governance starts at home: It is apparent that very few at City Hall have any clue as to how to conduct themselves in a professional manner. The management team of Deerfield Beach has made a mockery of things and should be embarrassed. Shame on you, Mayor Al Capellini. You too, Larry Deetjen.
I cannot in good faith describe the managing of the town as "good governance." Sadly for the residents of Deerfield Beach, we have allowed the era of Capellini and Deetjen to squander many golden opportunities for civic improvement. Instead of building the town's infrastructure, we continue to address issues like racial epithets and pollution of Crystal Lake. And now possible sexual harassment by our mayor.
The mayor needs to own up to his mistakes in this matter and face whatever sanctions are deemed appropriate. Had Mayor Capellini worked for IBM, he would have been tossed out the door.
Stripes and bars in their future? These two crooks ought to be in jail. They are working for themselves, not for the residents of Deerfield Beach. Keep up the excellent work. It's good to see old-fashioned journalism again.
Shania Stands Alone
Faith's gotta get to know the world: I read your Live Wire article about Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Where do you get that impression of Shania Twain ("Tim and Faith Remain Unshaken," Mark Keresman, June 1)?
How can Faith be Shania's "successor" when she doesn't even have the album sales to back that up and she has not headlined her own tour, let alone two world tours?
Sayville, New York
Let the Kids Be Heard
Love the face you have: Kudos to Nicole's parents ("See Dick Be Jane," Julia Reischel, May 18). I too am a parent, and I am the transsexual in the family. All I can say is, when I grew up in the '50s and '60s, there was very little known about this birth defect. My parents knew I had a problem but chose to ignore it. I spent the first 35 years of my life in hell. I tried so hard to be a "man." It didn't work, I hated myself, and because of that, I was a nasty person to others. This was due to anger directed inside looking in the mirror and hating everything I saw.
One day, I couldn't live that way any longer. I sought help and found it. Well, today I am a most happy person, loving the woman I see in the mirror, knowing my outside conforms to my inside. I think it is wonderful when parents start really listening to their children and trying to understand the pain their child is in. No, it isn't easy. But instead of a child who is unhappy and who could become suicidal, you get a child who is happy and becomes a productive member of society.
Name withheld by request
Via the Internet
The straight and narrow gets awfully crooked: I am a heterosexual male crossdresser. I read your article and had to reply. No, I am not a transsexual. I am completely comfortable in either gender presentation and have no intention of ever putting either one "back in the closet." The pain finally overcame the fear five years ago, after 58 years of being a prisoner in a closet, being the jailer of that prisoner, and coming too close to ending my life. My violent anger is gone, life is infinitely better, and I am, for the first time in my life, a whole person. Transgender covers a wide area of "identity." The psychology and psychiatry world is only recently beginning to understand the truth about gender identity. They are only recently beginning to realize that we need to be helped to understand who we are, not "set back on the straight and narrow." I hope Nicole and her parents are successful "fighting the system." I believe they are doing the right thing with her. God bless them.
Vernon Hills, Illinois
Here's to the passables: Nicole's story is very much like mine. I am a 19-year-old transsexual. I dealt with a lot of the same problems as Nicole but maybe not quite as severely, because I always tried to cover my feelings with games of pretend. I knew I did not want to push stuff on my religious parents too much. I only hung out with girls, modified my clothes, tried to have long hair, etc.
I think it is wonderful that her parents are allowing her to deal with her feelings and live them out. I think it's important to a transsexual's sanity later in life. I was discouraged and dealt with a lot of feelings of guilt and depression. But my bravery came through. At age 15, I ran away to Boston to live with a girl friend who lived with her parents, and they let me live as a girl. At 17, I was on female hormones, and the early start has allowed me to become a lovely, passable young lady.
Uh, never mind: I am appalled at the article. You make it front page news? What kind of ridicule and abuse did you intend to put this poor kid through? The Broward County School system has had plenty of transgender kids walk through its doors. It has not been the intent of the parents of these children to make school any more difficult than it would be for any other child. I cannot believe the parents of this poor child would agree to allow you to print this article or exploit their child in this way.
Have you not heard of hate crimes? Have you not heard of gay/lesbian/transgender bashing? And here, you publicly point this 5-year-old out! If you were socially intelligent and respectful of God, then you would know that this is a 5-year-old little girl, because that is what she wants to be, and that is how God made her.
Editor's note: Calm down, lady. Our subject wasn't identified. "Nicole" is a pseudonym.
We still love their liberty fries: Note to Dish writer Gail Shepherd: You're writing a food review; opinions on the French are uninformed and useless. Write about the food, service, and ambience ("Club Med," May 4). You perhaps have too much space to fill.
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When you write a review on a Mexican or Cuban place, what negative things will you dare say about those cultures? You dare not! Must be politically correct. It's popular to bash some but not others popular and cowardly.
We are lucky to have any French restaurants in this backwater swamp. The comment about France's no longer being the culinary capital of the planet sounds like you are nursing an inferiority complex. In my opinion, it still is; after all, who else can serve foie gras that well?