Letters for September 27-October 3, 2007

Gas Station Hustler

You actually believed he had a back problem? Upon reading your blurb on Michael Gurney ("Singapore, U.S.A.," Tailpipe, September 20), I had to wonder if you are new to the city. Do you really believe his story about allegedly working 12-hour days, seven days a week, yet not being able to see a doctor? Boy, are you gullible. That is the signature hustle story. Don't ever get gas at an inner-city gas station, because you will be hustled to death.

Apparently, you buy whatever anyone tells you without applying a grain of scrutiny. I guess you believe that every guy who is arrested is totally innocent. I suppose you would believe when some guy hits you up at the gas station with a BS story about how he ran out of gas but his car is a mile away. Or the crack lady who claims she needs diapers for her baby.

This guy's story is filled with inconsistencies. You say he works hard but not where he works. What job does he have? You're telling us a guy who works that many hours doesn't have a steady job? Or that a 25-year-old has such bad back problems? Premature baby? Another one on the way? You are aware that drug usage is the primary cause of premature babies?

Plain and simply, if a guy honestly were working that many hours, he surely would have the money to see a doctor. If a guy works 80 hours a week and claims to not be able to afford a simple doctor or clinic visit, he is burning his money somewhere. Anyone with a sense of discernment knows that drugs are almost always the reason. I don't buy this guy's story for a second. I am surprised that a professional journalist would buy it hook, line, and sinker.

Kurt Kelly

Delray Beach

Lessons From Bubba

The lifesaver never landed: Even the incompetent Judge Lazarus couldn't save the criminal, Keith Wasserstrom, from being found guilty — because he was guilty ("Judge and Jury," Bob Norman, September 6). Wasserstrom's pleas about doing God's work was nauseating to read about — it sounded like the Islamo/Fascist call to kill innocent "infidels" in the name of Allah! Hopefully, his cellmate, Bubba, will help him find that ol'-time religion — in prison! Next up, the ever-clever Mayor Mara, who has her paws all over this and many other giveaways in Hollywood.

Harvey Slavin


Con Us Not

Fine print in many forms: Bob Norman's "Pure Fraud" (September 6) is an excellent exposé of how con women and con men exert influence on the gullible. In this case, the victim was sucked in via her superstitious fears. Often, the defrauders work their influences via the victim's greed, anxieties, or ignorance.

Sorry to say, too many advertisements and sales gurus attain their goals via these channels. They also use perceptual trickery. Witness the many adverts where the cautions to consumers are buried within tiny, almost-unreadable print. And in broadcast media, these warnings are delivered in rapid, incomprehensible spoken words.

Many are the sales wiles played upon consumers — too many to elucidate in this brief letter. I thank Norman for his exposé of fraud. This is a warning to us all.

Leo Shatin

Boca Raton

Gouging Constituents

More than one way to skin a citizen: Our hero Bob Norman did it again ("Storming the Castle," August 22). It is long overdue for someone to shine a light on the arrogance, lawlessness, and dictatorial practices of so-called code enforcement officials and their cronies. They practice nothing short of conspiracy to commit municipal extortion. Settling on 10 cents on the dollar for these bogus liens is a mighty way to replenish a looted treasury. Small wonder democracy is being viewed as another form of dictatorship. We are being dictated to by public servants who in most cases sound and look as if they had trouble getting through high school.

Enforce laws that never were? How convenient for Judge Henning not to return Norman's call. On the other hand, one should expect no different in a case in which the plaintiff (City of Hallandale Beach) and Henning draw paychecks from the same entity. Now that the Berlin Wall has come down, we are up against a mightier one right here at home.

Name withheld by request


Send Us Something Tasty

It looks like a regional problema: Job well done on your review of Cantina Laredo on PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens ("Mexi-Can't," Gail Shepherd, August 8). As a foodie from Atlanta (great restaurant town), it really bums me out to read a review that forgets to be the point of view of the guests. Maybe this audience is a different demographic from the Palm Beach Post, which should be serving everyone.

As a newlywed 30-something with a little disposable income, there is no food scene here in the Gardens, which probably should have taken notes from its neighbor to the south in Weston and kept out the overabundance of Chili's and Friday's. I'm a new resident of Palm Beach Gardens. My neighbors tell me that 20-plus restaurants have opened in the past two years. But there is no good food up here (except for Bizarre Two in Jupiter). Please review more restaurants in this area at your earliest convenience. Maybe your writing can shift the low expectations of this community.

Name withheld by request

Palm Beach Gardens

More Blue Blues

Why won't they come? I have been surprised at this [lack of African-American support for blues shows] for years. I was on the board for the South Florida Blues Society for four years and served as treasurer, and I always wondered how to attract more blacks to our local blues shows. I hope your article begins a discourse on this matter.

Dennis Murphy


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