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Letters for September 8-14, 2005

Friendly Skies

From the Golden Triangle to folks at home: Bob Norman mentions the company Air America Transport, in his September 1 story, "Finding Jairo." That's very interesting. Air America was the name of an airline secretly controlled by the CIA for covert operations in Southeast Asia during the Indochina wars. It was heavily involved in drug smuggling from the Golden Triangle.

I wonder if it's the same company or just a coincidence. Ah, not really. It can't be just a coincidence.

Marc Luzietti

Fort Lauderdale

Toxins from Down Under

About those Aussie shade trees...: Regarding the September 1 Tailpipe item "Aussie Shade": I suggest the City of Parkland check out what happened on Sanibel and Captiva islands and to Cape Florida on Key Biscayne before they take Sara Lapidus' word that the Australian pines aren't coming down in a hurricane.

The only thing she really wants to protect is her home behind the pines because they are the only buffer between her neighborhood and 441. Hopefully, when the Australian pines do come down, they don't kill anyone. What the Australian pines don't do now, and won't do later, is provide a food source for our wildlife. What they do now is produce toxins (allelopathic trees) that kill the native plants that feed our ever-diminishing South Florida wildlife.

Written by a Parkland resident fighting to preserve Florida wildlife by protecting and preserving habitat.

Stuart H. Krantz


Skip the Seagull Poop

Take this burger and shove it: Yo, Tailpipe, I don't know what all the excitement is about how great Le Tub's burgers are ("A Hollywood Horror Story," August 25). For the same ten bucks, you could go to Houston's. You'll get a much nicer ambience, no seagulls shitting on your burger or head, and a management and wait staff that actually are sober and care about your business. They also happen to have a much better burger as well.

Those ungrateful people over at Le Tub should be thankful they are busy in an industry in which most of their competitors are doing two-for-ones all summer long. I bet those other restaurants would love the kids and SUVs that the Le Tub staff seems to hate. I've lived in Hollywood more than 25 years, and after my experience there and reading the editorials about how "unhappy" and "inconvenienced" that restaurant has become since the GQ article, I'd never go back there. Le Tub's staff and smug attitude belong in "Le Toilet." Me, the kids, and our SUV are headed to Houston's.

Anthony Fellows


People Vanish

The Monroe County connection? I found the Gary Weaver stories written by Bob Norman riveting ("Finding Gary," August 4, 11, 18, and 25 ). I too have a son who is missing. Tom, 41, disappeared from his Florida Keys home on July 24, 1995. If you wish to read about the case, please go to and scroll down to Monroe County, Florida. Also on that website is the story of a young woman who disappeared from the Keys in 1981. It's possible these two cases are related. Norman should be commended for his investigative work.

Rose Stump

Tiro, Ohio

More mysterious circumstances: I read Bob Norman's four-part series about the disappearance of Gary Weaver and was struck by the similarities to a crisis in my own family. My cousin's cousin disappeared under mysterious circumstances around the same time, in the early 1980s. He was involved in the drug trade.

We got word he was involved in a plane crash in the Bahamas. The plane was apparently way overloaded with cocaine, overshot the runway, and crashed. He was supposed to be in the hospital with a shattered arm. His mother, on hearing about it, took a flight there to meet him. When she arrived at the hospital, he wasn't there, and no one had ever heard of him. One person came forward and said, yes, he had been there and was removed in the middle of the night. No one has seen him since.

John Branch

Florida City

Learn from the Pros

Repair that wall: After graduating from Florida International University's School of Journalism in 1994, I spent several years working for daily newspapers, where I realized I was much better prepared than my peers because I had been taught by professors with actual newspaper experience ("Adios, Ink-Stained Vets," June 2).

Many young reporters, I learned, had been taught by academics who had never set foot in a newsroom. These reporters knew all about academic theory in journalism -- whatever that means -- but they had no clue how to write a story on a tight deadline and make it sing.

Now I realize my professors had taught me a craft that has become obsolete. In today's newsrooms, it is no longer acceptable to be a government watchdog. It is no longer acceptable to write hard-hitting stories that might anger a few corporate bigwigs. "The wall" that has traditionally separated the newsroom from the advertising department, ensuring unbiased and uninfluenced journalism, has been demolished.

H.C. Miller


Stratton Kudos

New Times Broward-Palm Beach Staff Writer Jeff Stratton's article about a murdered gay activist, "Gay in Jamaica" (June 24, 2004), has been selected as third-place award winner by the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. Judges for the group's Excellence in Feature Writing Award cited Stratton for "helping set the new standard for covering lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues."

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