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Letters for September 22-28, 2005

United We Fall

I cried salty tears: I just wanted to thank Wyatt Olson for his excellent article "The Bad-Hands People" (September 15). I work for a personal-injury attorney here in Fort Lauderdale, and I deal with our clients daily who have cried and cried out of frustration with United Auto Insurance, which is supposed to be there for them, because that is what they have paid their premiums for.

Because of United Auto's not paying their medical bills, whatever settlement they do receive, if any, is eaten up by medical bills. I am sick and tired of this company taking advantage of people who already are living day to day. After accidents happen, United Auto makes our clients go for medical exams, making them run around, and for what? For nothing -- because they don't pay their personal-injury protection anyway. It's such a waste.



Our clients are also being turned away from doctor's offices. It's just so unfair that United Auto is getting away with this. I get close to some of my clients here, and it hurts me to see them go through what they have to go through. I hope one day soon something is done about this company cheating people out of their money.

Wendy Hensley

Fort Lauderdale

Call it business as usual: This issue is very popular -- everyone knows that United Automobile Insurance never pays. The insurance commissioner knows that. Anyway, this company continues to sell insurance in Florida. Is this fraud or not?

R.A. Garfunkel

Via the Internet

Let 'Em Be

Hold on, cowboy. Who's gettin' spoofed here? You would not be such an asshole about this if it was you or your family suffering during this [Hurricane Katrina] tragedy ("FEMArena," Wyatt Olson, September 15). There is nothing funny about the devastation that those residents are going through.

Frank J. Fiero

Coral Springs

Weep Not for DeFede

The finger that pushed the record button: Jim DeFede has admitted to committing a crime ("The Agony of DeFede," Chuck Strouse, September 15). As an objective reporter, rather than feel sorry for him for losing his job, you should be questioning the twisted logic that is allowing him to avoid criminal prosecution. Just because Arthur Teele is dead, how does that alter right from wrong?

Over 100,000 people in the Gulf Coast are jobless through absolutely no fault of their own. If you want to feel sorry for anyone, feel sorry for them.

Paul M. Freier

Via the Internet

I'll Get My T 'n' A Elsewhere

Get a life, P.J.: Please do not publish any more stories like "Strip Stake" (P.J. Tobia, September 8). It might have been funny if it weren't so clearly an excuse for the writer to get off on strippers. I really hope you didn't pay for his meals. If I wanted to know more about lonely horny guys ogling fake boobs, I'd check out Maxim, not New Times. Honestly, it just made me feel sorry for the pathetic bastard who wrote it. I hope he has a day job.

Jennifer Cannen


We'll Tell You What It Means

New Orleans, where the poetry comes easy: What does it mean to miss New Orleans? That is something so many of us native New Orleanians are now experiencing ("What It Means to Miss New Orleans," John Nova Lomax, September 8). We, the proud, the displaced, the people who made the South our home, no matter the odds against us. We now know what it means to miss New Orleans.

We are numb and dismayed. We are locked onto every national television station, remotes in hand, feeling the nausea that overcomes us. We are homeless. We are evacuated. We are the truly lucky ones.

We fled with a few days' worth of clothes and some of our pets. We brought the dog, but the cats would not come out. So we left them, knowing we would be back in a few days. We left knowing that we had vacation days that we could use. We were not Bonnie, who works in a hotel on Canal Street, who had to stay until it was too late to leave. Where is she now? We are not Katie and Jane, who stayed in a three-story house, who by God's hands were rescued by air by the National Guard almost a week after the waters rose.

We are not the ones who had to experience hell in the Superdome or fight for food and water at a convention center turned concentrated center of chaos and death. We are not the nurses who stayed in hospitals to care for the sick. We are not the poor with no other family and friends other than those New Orleanians next door. Where did they go? We are not the released prisoners who ran looting the streets of the town that we love, forever giving New Orleans a bad name. We are the ones who got away in time. We are the lucky ones with nothing but time.

We did not see the waters rise; we weren't strangled by the stench. We wake up every morning hoping it is a bad dream. Only it isn't. It is a bad reality. A real, bad reality. And we miss New Orleans.

Betty Aasgaard-DeSchinckel

Las Vegas


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