Give New Times the key to the public treasury: I want to commend Chuck Strouse and Susan Eastman for their insightful November 6 article ("Bring Us the Ballpark") about the myopia of Broward County leaders. The Marlins are the one team in South Florida that can bring tourists and locals together for 81 days a year during our so-called "off-season."
We should not be condemning Miami for at least trying to provide the Marlins a new home but rather focus on Strouse and Eastman's funding idea for a Broward ballpark. Raising the bed tax on tourists would help to build not only the ballpark but also could help to fund other tourist-related projects and amenities. Why not raise these taxes 2 percent or more to provide an additional resource for non-ballpark-related projects?
Have you been to Houston lately? These taxes run 17 percent, the nation's highest. I say 7 percent is more than a fair sum. The Fort Lauderdale/Lockhart Stadium on city-owned land is currently being underutilized and sits at the midway point for all of South Florida. A nearby Tri-Rail station could boost ridership and provide a means for all South Floridians to find the way to a new ballpark. The Marlins' World Series victory remains in the hearts and minds of all South Floridians. Let's combine this synergy and take your ideas out of the print and into the minds of Broward County's leaders. This is the right thing to do, and all Marlins fans would appreciate some action before it's too late. At least Miami is willing to try... Are we?
Thank you, Marlins and New Times.
Was the Marlins kingpin listening? Chuck Strouse and Susan Eastman hit the nail right on the head. Excellent job. Long ago, I told Marlins President David Samson some of the things in the story.
Via the Internet
Play the Pro and everybody pays: The ballpark can't work in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm. The park needs to stay near Pro Player. This location works for Palm Beach and Broward counties as well as Miami and Miami Beach. The "problem" is the commute to the stadium. Universal Studios should build an amusement park near Pro Player and include a retractable-roof stadium. The Metrorail and/or Tri-Rail could bring people to Universal (Islands of Adventure) all year 'round. Universal could outdo Disney World with a great South Florida attraction. Families could either go to the theme park or attend a baseball game. Everyone would be happy. The counties could help pay for a Metrorail extension, which would solve the commute problem. Universal would gets its name on the new stadium and pay for the structure.
How to talk turkey with these turkeys: Thank you for Bob Norman's November 6 article titled "Bad Operation," about the North Broward Hospital District's $100 million taxpayer rip-off. I am outraged at the situation. Could you please tell me what would be the most effective way for a Fort Lauderdale resident/homeowner/taxpayer/voter such as myself to put a stop to this scam?
That would have been great information to put in the article. I would greatly appreciate your input on how I can do my part to stop this deal.
Bob Norman replies: The best place to start is to write a letter to district CEO Wil Trower, demanding that he either resign or put a stop to the medical office building deal that will pay a few well-connected developers $170 million over 55 years to construct a $30 million project. Address your letter to his attention at the North Broward Hospital District, 303 SE 17th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317.
Another way to be heard is to attend the next NBHD board meeting and demand that commissioners take another look at the deal. It will be held in the second-floor auditorium at Broward General Hospital at 9 a.m. Wednesday, November 19. Get there a little early, sign in to speak, and you will be given three minutes to give the board hell.
Was he pushed, or did he jump? I'd like to thank Susan Eastman for writing the story about Ray Golden ("Death and Doubts," October 30). As a black man living in the United States, I have been most troubled by these hanging incidents that are happening almost on a daily basis in this country. Concerning your story, I am curious as to whether a chair or any other piece of furniture was found on the scene by the police. It stands to reason that Mr. Golden would need something to stand on to hang himself. The other possibility is that he climbed the tree, sat on a branch, put the noose around his neck, jumped off, and snapped his neck in the process. Can you tell me, according to the investigation, which of those two propositions took place?
Editor's note: In the police scenario, Golden climbed the tree.
The buyout that keeps on giving: Thanks to Wyatt Olson for his update on the Big Cypress mineral rights buyout ("Buyout Revisited," October 16). Starting an investigation by the inspector general of the Department of Interior is good public policy and will hopefully provide clarity on the methodology and assumptions used in the estimate modeling. The results should provide answers so that Congress can appropriate the correct amount of money. The political questions Olson raised may be beyond the scope of the IG inquiry, but hopefully they will be addressed. Keep watching this issue.
Florida Biodiversity Project
Via the Internet
She has even more to say: In regard to "Georgia Got a Gun," October 9, and "Georgia in the Pines," October 16, by Bob Norman -- as well as two follow-up letters from her friends Kim Christensen and Renee Lerch:
Kristi Krueger cannot keep her story straight unless she's reading it from a TV teleprompter. A lie detector test administered by an impartial party, such as a polygrapher recommended by Bob Norman, would give Krueger's friends a rude awakening: Krueger is a liar. Shame on her! I would bet my twins' lives that Krueger would fail the polygraph on the substantive material facts. I have never ever been at Publix grocery store with Krueger; there was no arm-grabbing battery attack in the school hallway. I'd bet my life on it. I am that sure!
As for Lerch, if she was at the trial every day, she of all people watched with her own eyes Krueger's inconsistent testimony and the impeachment of countless state's witnesses. She is an actual eyewitness to the fact that Krueger could not substantiate any germane material facts as to aggravated stalking.
The jury rejected Krueger's testimony: They did not believe I was a threat. Nor did the fact that Krueger hired an armed policeman to guard her daug-hter's birthday party sway the jury. They heard too many lies from her.
Wake up, ladies! Your friend Kristi has been taking you for a blind-faith ride! I feel sorry for Kristi's husband, Todd; he's been taken on the most deceptive "ride" of all.
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I will prevail at misdemeanor trial number two just as I did at felony trial number one because I have the truth on my side, and Rene and Kim cannot change that. This time, I will be prosecuting Kristi Krueger's lies, and a second jury will again concur that these are trumped-up, jazzed-up, embellished stalking scenarios.
My children are innocent victims in this mess -- I do not enjoy being on the front page of a news magazine holding a shotgun and a tiara. That's obscene and repugnant publicity, and it's tainting my jury pool for trial number two. The last thing in the world I want is publicity as an alleged stalker.