The dark side of life by the sea: Your recent coverage of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea ("Baring False Witness," and "Cuckoo for Coconuts," December 21, Bob Norman) has been a welcome addition to those of us who just want what is fair and just. If you dare to question or disagree, you are "branded" by innuendo, threats, and even SLAPP suits ["strategic lawsuits against public participation," a tactic to stop alleged harassment]. I speak of this from my own experience, as I am currently a recipient of a SLAPP suit along with an alternate from our planning and zoning board. I know our local paper has been confiscated around town and now fear the same fate might befall New Times!
Please keep up with this ever-evolving, deeply woven web that seems to keep unraveling.
You get it only from us: Thanks to Bob Norman for being the best-informed and fairest reporter in Broward County. He investigates and reports the facts concerning important matters and does so fairly and without fear of offending special interests. In too many cases, this is not done, especially by the Sun-Sentinel, which is apparently concerned that it may offend the politicians and their developer friends and financial supporters.
Norman lets the "chips fall where they may," which is rare in reporting in South Florida.
Leave Out the Saccharine
Who said senior citizens want their news adulterated? Thank you for enabling this senior's transit into the popular culture of the 21st Century. Your articles, ads, and responsive letters are eye-openers for us elders (at least, this elder). I enjoy your investigative reports: sharply critical, sometimes slanted, but always informative.
You emphasize sexuality, which, with "power" and with "fairy dust money," is a major motive for action. Other news media include popular culture as marginalia. You give it to us in undistilled, high-power form ("Trial by Fire," Jeff Stratton, January 18). Occasionally, it gives me discomfort, but the gain far outweighs the discomfort. Keep it up!
He knows jai alai like you know the wall of your cave: Although I would like to thank Angela Jackson for her kind words, I must let that Neanderthal Marc Smilen of Dania Beach know that I have visited and wagered at both Dania and Miami Jai Alai for more than 40 years (Letters, January 18)!
In fact, my wife at the time and I held season seats at Miami Jai Alai for two years when the main attractions there were players such as Joey, Asis, Solazabel, Alberdi, Uriarte, and Remon. Since moving to Broward county more than ten years ago, I have visited and wagered my money at Dania Jai-Alai more than 50 times.
Where's Your Magnifying Glass?
Next time, read the backs of the pictures: The Warhol screenprints are copies, not originals ("Fame Became Her and Us," Michael Mills, January 11). In fact, it was noted that some of them Andy signed on the back saying "not by Andy Warhol."
The IQ of Nose Blowing
Who are you callin' "egocentric": Jeff Stratton's "Jaco Incorporated" (November 30) was so compelling that I had to reread it and the succeeding readers' responses. I'll start with Mary Pastorius (since nobody else criticized her in the letters) and her attitude toward Felix and Julius Pastorius. Rather than merely running the father's estate, these guys actually have the nerve to play similar music in the same area where their father started. They have monster chops that enable them to perform the same kind of fusion their father helped (along with visionaries like John McLaughlin and Herbie Hancock) usher into the mainstream. What has she done musically other than sing in a rock band?
I've managed to catch these guys only twice so far, and they are completely bad-ass! So what if they use their father's name to promote themselves from time to time? Likewise, their name is Way of the Groove, not the Pastorius Brothers (a far less egocentric name than Queen Mary, doncha think?). JPI should make it a priority to promote Way of the Groove.
As for Bobbing Bob, let's just say that his snide "I was there before you, therefore you are nothing" attitude is cringe-inducing. If Bobbing Bob, Queen Mary, and John Pastorius find Robert Rutherford to be "a nuisance," then how can JPI be "100 percent for" the Jaco Pastorius park? I guess their egos (egos that revolve around another human being's accomplishments, mind you) can't handle the fact that someone else who "knows just enough to blow his nose" came up with a truly wonderful idea.
William Douglas Herring
Editor's note: The writer, whose stage name is Death Metal Douglas, plays bass for the band Radar O'Reilly.