Letters for November 17-23, 2005
All About the Ben
It comes with the territory: The opinion essay about me by Bob Norman was interesting and amusing ("All About the Benjamin," November 10). There is an old saying, "A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest." Any resemblance to any actual living being described in this story is merely a coincidence. In my 17 years of public service, I have had many monikers. I like this one the best "The Benjamin."
New York has "The Donald" and I guess now Broward has "The Benjamin." As the incoming Mayor, I assume this type of distortion of facts by some press comes with the territory. Bob Norman, thank you for your vote of confidence. By the way, I totally disagree with your colorful interpretation of "the record," and I am intrigued by your strong support for putting the Supervisor of Elections Office in an abandoned warehouse that the county only leases and will need to invest at least $6 million in renovations over the already $3.2 million spent to buy out a lease on property the county will never own. If you believe that's a good deal, then you should run for public office yourself. Best regards from "The Benjamin."
Editor's note: No, the headline on Bob Norman's column wasn't seeking to immortalize another celeb with a single name but to play off of Puff Daddy's lyric about headlong materialism ("It's all about the benjamins, baby..."). Sorry, Ben, the "Benjamin" isn't Graber; it's the hundred-dollar bill.
Boulis left his mark: I enjoyed your article on Gus Boulis ("The Bad Bet," Trevor Aaronson, November 10). I work and live on Hollywood Beach and print a quarterly humor paper, called Cahoots. We've taken a lot of shots at Boulis and the city over the years.
I'm surprised you didn't mention the botched hotel project which ended up costing taxpayers millions in lost revenue for the "casino" property. Gus was a bad man, and the city was in bed with him. Keep up the good work.
You Could See Her Coming
FPL wore blinders: Regarding "Category Two Much " (October 27): The debacle that has occurred in South Florida with a minor hurricane was predicted by many, including this writer. When Katrina swiped us, it looked like we were not prepared, and it proved to be so.... The important thing in all of this is accountability. If we don't pursue a good quality control program in the ensuing months, we will endure this fiasco countless times. FPL should respond to why there was a power failure in some areas rather than others and by the way, it was windy for all of us! If we pursue a constructive quality control program, future damage will assuredly be minimal. As I write this, I am nine days without power.... Next time, FPL, give us all a break and do the job right.
Muddying a sweetheart's good name: I just saw the front page of your October 27 issue. How could you put a picture of an excellent mother, and perfect wife, with the B word on it? The Flintstones are an example of family life, something that we are losing little by little. Please think about those who are eight and can read, looking at your front page. We need to return to being humans who affect our community with positive information.
No Boo-Hoos for Mr. Roberts
He was the kingpin: I just wanted to tell Mr. Eric Barton I enjoyed his story on Michael Roberts "He Dunnit (No He Dunnit!)," (October 20). I was on the task force back in the 80's chasing him and Avon Pinder. I was assigned to the task force from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and had been a case agent after Roberts for years. The story brought back a lot of memories, and Avon Pinder was right. It was Roberts who was the kingpin, but the F.B.I. wouldn't believe it. The FBI was new to drug investigations back then, and it was easy for them to believe anything an informant would tell them. Roberts was one of the biggest smugglers in South Florida back then, and I can't believe he is still alive, doing it some more.
Jack didn't have it so bad: Thanks for the review of Capote by Robert Wilonsky, "Writes and Wrongs" (October 20). I'm dying to see the movie. I've read a few books about Truman Capote, and I'm now reading Gerald Clarke's bio, certainly the best of all and one of the best literary bios I've ever read. I just wanted to point this out: You mention the incredible patience (I'm not quoting) Jack Dunphy had when dealing with T.C. Well, Jack Dunphy never had a job after he met T.C. in 1948 or '49. He traveled the world with T.C., who paid for every single expense. For more than 20 years Dunphy lived absolutely off of Truman, as a grownup and spoiled kept-boy. During all that time, Dunphy just sulked and worked for years on his own novels, which were published thanks to T.C.'s intervention with publisher friends. T.C. was extremely nice and generous to Dunphy (and to his family), even if it was only because he provided a stable dick at home. That's all. I love your reviews.
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