Letters July 1-7. 2004

Help for Gay Islanders

From north of here: No one deserves the nonsense suffered by Brian Williamson or others in Jamaica as described in Jeff Stratton's June 24 story, "Gay in Jamaica." I practice immigration law with the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. If any Jamaican gay guy can get to the United States, I or any other immigration attorney can try to help him with a political asylum claim based on orientation. I've spoken with straight Jamaicans here, and most really don't care about orientation. Life here is hard, and a decision about residency is never certain.

Keep the articles coming. I spoke with Williamson via email before his death and feel badly.

David Maxey

Richmond, Virginia

An Unholy Alliance

A sacrosanct commish: After reading the June 24 Tailpipe, "Justice Grounded," it became apparent to this reader that, perhaps New Times has inadvertently joined forces with an unlikely partner, The Sun-Sentinel, to do a "hatchet job" on Broward Commissioner John Rodstrom. Back on May 24, 2003, in a "Thinly Veiled Holier Than Thou" article, the Sun-Sentinel called upon the collective ethical consciences of Broward County residents to condemn the actions of Commissioner Rodstrom, re: his possible conflict of interest as an employee of a brokerage firm (i.e. CitiGroup) that was an underwriter for a bond issue for the Miami International Airport.

In joining the Sentinel, Tailpipe may have hooked up with -- albeit unknowingly -- Randy Dunlap, the attack dog for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Hospitality and Lodging Association.

I have been following the Fort Lauderdale airport expansion for the last three years. I have sat through numerous meetings, and I can tell you that John Rodstrom was a beacon of opposition well before any Miami bond issues were on the docket. In my view, it is clear that the Sun-Sentinel and now, maybe, New Times does not intend to report in a fair and balanced manner anything related to the expansion.

Too bad for the residents of Dania Beach. We need all the help and support we can get to fight the suits. I am very disappointed in New Times.

Ed Summers

Dania Beach

Crown the Carones

They be gooooood: After reading July 17 Tailpipe article, "Tossing the Artist," we feel compelled to comment regarding the Carone family.

We have known the Carones for over 25 years, dating back to when their gallery was located on Las Olas Boulevard. As both artists and collectors, our dealings with the Carones included the representation of our work in their galleries and the procurement of art for our personal collections.

Through the years, the entire Carone family has been honest, forthright, and extremely competent in the field of fine art. Through hard work and perseverance, they built a reputation in the South Florida area that is second to none.

We will continue to regard the Carone family as experts in their field and personal friends.

Bill and Florence Gaterman

Via the Internet

More Baked Goods

The docs must be crazy: I could not believe my eyes when I picked up the June 10, 2004 issue of New Times. The cover states a young woman drank a bit and was put in the psych ward. I called my boyfriend into the room to see the cover. He asked if the article was written about me. I said I doubt it, since not too many people know about my story.

Very late on Sunday, June 6, 2004, I was committed to the Florida Medical Center in Lauderdale Lakes by the Sunrise police. To make a long story short, I was having a good night with friends and a few drinks. Unfortunately, I got into an argument with a friend and then decided to walk to a payphone to call for a ride. I was emotionally upset about the argument. The police showed up at the gas station, where I was using the phone. I tried to explain my situation, and then they threatened me. At that point, I was shocked and scared and started screaming for help. I made a sarcastic comment to the police. They were going to bring me to the police station but had no grounds for arrest. So they decided I needed to be hospitalized. I was Baker Acted and spent about 51 hours in the psych ward. I saw things that I never should have seen.

Just like Sarah Macdonald, I have never been arrested, I have never been medicated or deemed mentally incompetent, and I have never tried to hurt myself. I couldn't believe that a doctor who has spent years studying mental disorders, could not tell the difference between me and the others in the unit.

I could go on and on about the things I saw, the way I was treated, and the emotional "bruises" (I am too strong to be scarred). Luckily, I have insurance so I should not see a bill like Sarah Macdonald. But I still have compromised my time and well-being.

This article you wrote is obviously a big issue. Sarah Macdonald and I are not the only ones who have experienced this. Something needs to be changed.

Samantha Au


The Win Column

And we're not talking `bout the Marlins: New Times columnist Bob Norman was the big winner in last week's Association of Alternative Newsweeklies contest. His columns were rated best in the nation among alternative newspapers with greater than 50,000 circulation. Norman also placed third in political commentary, tied with Nat Hentoff of the Village Voice. Staff writer Trevor Aaronson picked up an honorable mention for his news story about a murder and a real estate deal.

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