Letters for March 13-19, 2008
You can't keep a good reggae-pop performer down: Incredible... the coincidence is just unbelievable ("Man-Child in the Promised Land," Jonathan Cunningham, March 6)! I am in Amman, and in the past few days I found a new radio station. It played "Beautiful Girls" and "Take You There," and I found the beat super danceable and the voice warm. Then I read Cunningham's piece, and I can see this young man moving, singing, and dancing. The description is very visual. I could almost hear Kingston talking about his life and his mother laughing. Thank you for this beautifully written article.
Name withheld by request
What Else Is New?
Come join the 19th century: Actually, we've already had a gay vice president — my great great great uncle (not sure how many greats) William Rufus Devane King of Alabama, James Buchanan's "roommate" for 18 years ("The Talk of the Green Iguana," Bob Norman, February 28). And Buchanan was our first gay president.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Editor's Note: President Buchanan (1857-61) is often referred to as America's only "bachelor" president. His longtime roommate William King, who became his vice president, was also a bachelor.
Just follow the paparazzi boys: Who gives a darn whether your governor is gay or not? Don't the United States, Florida, and this newspaper have more pressing issues to explore and write about? I guess not. Or least not in the estimation of this article's author, his editor, and this paper. If this is the best you can do with your "news" section, why not just turn it over to E-Hollywood? Hey, did you see what Paris and Britney did yesterday?
Name withheld by request
Maplewood, New Jersey
He Done It
Gimme no lame psychology about dysfunctional families: I just want to set the record straight ("Accidental Hit Man," Tamara Lush, February 28). Paul Brandreth did not come from a violent background. Yes, he came from a hard one. Both his parents tried their damndest in the upbringing of both their boys. Paul was always a wanna-be tough guy. He had a lot, I mean a lot of problems, none of which came from his parents. There were drugs, more drugs, and only drugs, which he had been battling for many, many years. In seven years of knowing Paul, I'd prayed he would see the light someday. Paul, just do me one favor if you are ever able to read this: Stop blaming your family. For you and only you put yourself where you are today. God bless you.
Name withheld by request
Via the internet
Smokelessness Is the Point
Ixnay the hanging extension cords: Deirdra Funcheon did a great job clearing up some of the misconceptions about modern electric vehicles ("Are We There Yet?" February 21, 2008). I wish Kyle T. Webster, the cover illustrator, had done as good a job. Electric cars do not have fiery exhaust or belching smoke. That's kind of the whole point. And the whole extension cord hanging out the back is just foolish. And, for the record, "the world's fleet" is around 600 million cars, not 60 million. Got to watch those pesky little zeros.
And while you're at it, slow down: Innumerable people must think an electric car can't go farther than its extension cord! Actually, electric delivery trucks were used early in the 20th century while an internal combustion engine was being perfected. San Francisco has electric trolley buses, as do other cities. But your "buzz" is right. Few will change to electric hybrids even if gas were quite expensive. One motorist said he'd pay anything to get to work.
It's time we return to the 55mph speed limit. Feverish racing everywhere saves only a few seconds for a typical commute. Why? Two professional drivers were given identical autos and told to drive the same route California-to-New York. One was told to throw all caution to the wind and get through as fast as possible, never mind rules, with reimbursement for any speeding tickets. The other was told to observe all rules and safety practices. So which got to New York first? Sure enough, the speeder. But the telling fact was that he only arrived three- and-a-half hours before the careful driver! Pro-rate that for a typical commute, and only seconds would be saved for all the effort and risks.
Got governmental regulations?: Enjoyed your article on the Waltrep/Monterra development ("Ol' Man Wiley Had a Farm," Bob Norman, February 7, 2008). There is a very large point that you have missed — that Monterra is a Community Development District. What this means is that it is a special purpose government entity. It has significant taxing authority and is a government pretty much unto itself. It does however have associated with it several important governmental regulations and constraints.
Where Are You?
J Man needs a Bat searchlight: At a recent library confrontation at the Broward Community College Library, between a loud, irate school kid and an adult using a computer, it just proved again what a godsend this jammer toy may be ("Jammer Man," Michael J. Mooney, January 17). Before it was over, the girl was yelling at everyone at the top of her lungs, the librarian ran and hid, and the BCC school security was called to intervene. It shows how intimidating these kids are with the cell phones and how normal people cannot enjoy their tax dollars at work, while they study or do research. I for one would love to extricate anyone on a cell phone while I do my studying. What a concept!
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