G. Herbert Walker may walk again: I must compliment the tenor of the argument in November 16's Undercurrents. You were right on when you pointed out W's inability to judge talent, his lack of presidential standing in the way that he has "delegated" the handling of this situation, and his reversal in his "We trust the people" rhetoric. We now are getting a clear picture of what a Bush II presidency will be like. He will be a figurehead. And that is not the scary part. The scary part is that, if the guy the people voted for is not at the reins, then who is? It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine a second term for Bush I.
Nattering nabob redux: You know, it's really hard to tell from Undercurrents whether you are Bush or Gore supporters. I know you try your damnedest to keep a journalistic, unbiased eye on things Bushie and hope that a day passes when your outlook is not distorted by rose-colored makeup, but this article stands out like a chad in the soup. Is there ever a time when you consider the facts of the case and leave character assassination to the less fortunate in manufacturing jobs?
via the Internet
Another satisfied customer: I picked up New Times because of Emma Trelles' cover story featuring the Entrada Motel ("Welcome to the Entrada," November 16). Whenever I travel up that stretch of U.S. 1 in Hollywood, I wonder what goes on in these cheap motels in an area where seaminess hovers in the air.
I imagine there are many stories that may be told about the area's past and present denizens, but Ms. Trelles' well-written piece beautifully captures the story of the Entrada and its patrons in poignant and compelling detail.
Thank you for your insight into lives I otherwise may have never taken the time to find out about and for letting me know that fine writing exists in South Florida. I am also grateful to the New Times for demonstrating that there are newspapers that print honest, well-written articles.
Movin' on in: Just wanted to let you know that you really got into the "soul" of the Entrada. You did an excellent story. It almost makes me want to stay there. Keep up the good work.
New Times missed the boat: Jane Musgrave's "City Displaced" (November 2) did not treat the importance and benefits of CityPlace fairly, i.e., there was too great an emphasis on low-income people being forced to move. And there was a lack of emphasis on the fact that, in the long haul, thousands of jobs for low- and middle-income residents of Palm Beach County may be created. I look at the CityPlace picture from an entirely different perspective.
One of the biggest complaints about the modern shopping plaza, mall, and galleria has been that they are located out in the "boonies" and are hard to reach for those of low and moderate incomes who, for whatever reason, don't have automobiles. There have been many articles on the plight of these autoless people. We have all read about the long, arduous bus rides of many people who work in outlying malls. These articles describe a legitimate plight. For example Sawgrass Mills, which has about 4000 employees, is served by only three bus lines. This is a legitimate problem, one that should be addressed.
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Well folks, somebody has heeded the call. The result: CityPlace is in the heart of West Palm Beach, where there is more than adequate bus service; there's even Tri-Rail. Now the thousands of jobs that are available at CityPlace will be available to those of low and moderate incomes who must depend on public transportation. I do believe that putting CityPlace in downtown West Palm Beach was a nifty idea, if for no other reason than its accessibility.
This aspect of CityPlace is hardly mentioned in the article. Rather the emphasis is on the fact that there will be some residential displacement, which means the neighborhood will be changing for the better. Property values will increase and, when all the construction is finished, what was once a rundown, "borderline" neighborhood, will be the retail center of a revived downtown West Palm Beach. And to be perfectly candid, it means that the unsavory element that resided in this area will be forced to live elsewhere.
No, it's not a pleasant experience to be forced to move from one home so that it can be demolished and replaced by a large public works project. Nobody likes to be shoved out of the way of progress. I know this from personal experience. My home in the Williamsburgh section of Brooklyn was demolished to make way for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. On the other hand, we have to balance the good and the bad. We must weigh the benefits against the losses. In other words, is the public going to come out ahead on the deal? In my humble opinion, no matter how you slice it, the public (including those of low and moderate incomes) will surely benefit. Yes, there will have to be relocation, and it should be conducted as efficiently and as humanely as possible. However, let's not forget that this time they've built a modern shopping facility with ready access. All in all CityPlace will be a boon to West Palm Beach and a benefit and a blessing to low- and moderate-income residents.