Letters for November 18-24, 2004 | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Letters for November 18-24, 2004

Ruth Retold

They promise: I just finished Rick Kennedy's article on Glades Central ("The Book of Ruth," November 11) and wanted to let you know that if you continue writing as well as you did in this story, then you have a wonderful career ahead of you. Your story captured the spirit of a town, a school, and a young man named Ruth. Both of you have promising careers ahead of you.

Kerry Slagle

Kansas City, Missouri

Ruth delivers: What a great article by Rick Kennedy. Of all the stories to choose from on the Glades Central football team, he had the wisdom to pick this one. Boy, am I rooting for this kid. What an inspiration he is.

Jeri Dube

Via the Internet

Stranglehold of Corruption

Uggh, I'm choking! Thanks so much to Bob Norman for writing these excellent and critical articles -- "Our Mayor, the Lobbyist, Part 4" (November 11) and "Vote, Interrupted" (November 4). If only the major papers would syndicate his columns! If our society is to make it through this terrible stranglehold of corruption, it will be due to people like Norman. Thank you for the truthful, in-depth, excellent reporting. Norman has professional integrity -- a rare quality these days.

Marie Estelle Spike

Via the Internet

Rodstrom Rambles

So how can he legislate? After reading the November 4 Tailpipe on John Rodstrom ("J-Rod Strikes Out"), I find myself adrift. That he wouldn't discuss his work could mean it was something he'd been worried about.

That he travels a lot may mean that he'll be a part-time representative. Maybe it was a mistake to elect him.

Hillary Schiff

Fort Lauderdale

Bring Back

The act of the disappearing ballots: I found Bob Norman's "Vote, Interrupted," quite interesting, particularly because -- after the general election -- employees in Brenda Snipes' elections office reported finding boxes of absentee ballots. I do not know whether they were the missing ballots that were allegedly mailed or whether they were completed ballots sent in for the election. News reports here did not make that distinction, unfortunately. I can tell you that Secretary of State Glenda Hood ordered Snipes to forward the ballots to Tallahassee, and who knows where they are now.

I was surprised by the revelations about GOP operative Art Kennedy and elections worker Mary Hall; I was not aware of any of this. I find it interesting that Kennedy works for Alcee Hastings. He is a Democrat. Why would he hire a Rethuglican? Curious, curious. (He was a judge at one time but was impeached for taking bribes.)

But that is the incestuous state of politics in Florida. I've lived in 18 states in my lifetime, and I've never seen anything like the top-to-bottom corruption rampant in Florida. I still want to know what happened to those absentee ballots that were sent to Tallahassee.

Sharon Andrews

Fort Lauderdale

Walk the Walk

Get off the sideline: The Florida Department of Transportation has announced that it will host a Delray Beach "Civic Awareness Meeting" in January to finalize its decision on the A1A widening project.

At this point, almost everything that can be said about bicycle lanes on A1A has been said, but not enough has been said about the need for sidewalk linkage ("Pain in the Bike Lane," Jeff Stratton, October 14).

Boca Raton and Highland Beach have complete sidewalk linkage on the west side of A1A; however, in the most populous urban area of Delray Beach, there are two sidewalk gaps. The first is between Casuarina and the Sandoway House; and the second is between the Marriott and the northern end of the beach. The plan submitted by Delray Beach to FDOT slightly alters, but preserves, these two sidewalk gaps.

What is amazing is that beachfront property owners for the past four years have been permitted to violate city law, under which they should be required to build sidewalks when they either develop or redevelop their properties. The only legal way to avoid building sidewalks is to have requested and received a sidewalk deferral from the City Commission. This was not done for any of the mansions built in the past four years in the 400 through 600 blocks of North Ocean Boulevard.

Why shouldn't wealthy people be subject to the same rules as the rest of us? Do they enjoy special, secret privileges that the rest of us don't?

The city has an obligation and a responsibility to tell these homeowners that they must build sidewalks -- just like everybody else.

If the city and FDOT can't work together to fill in the two sidewalk gaps on the west side, then FDOT may have no choice but to build a sidewalk on the east side of A1A -- as it originally proposed. I believe that's a bad choice. Citizens of Delray Beach should insist that we have sidewalk linkage on the west side of A1A.

Our city will never be truly pedestrian-friendly without this vital sidewalk linkage.

Jim Smith

Delray Beach

The Screwup

Not the mistake: Rick Kennedy's October 7 story, "Mutiny on the Atlantica," refers to the country of Ukraine as "the Ukraine" several times. I am writing to ask that you update your records. Using the article with the name of the country "Ukraine" is not accurate. It comes from the former name of Ukraine (while part of the USSR), "The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic."

Just as you would not refer to countries such as Germany, England, or Canada with an article, it's not accurate to use the article with Ukraine.

Eric Pawlyshyn

Via the Internet