Letters for the issue of Sept 09, 2004 | New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Letters for the issue of Sept 09, 2004

Everglades Paved Over?

In search of the truth: Re: Eric Alan Barton's "Bitter Sugar: (August 26), "We could never figure out where he was," says Gaston Cantens, the Fanjuls' new lobbyist for public relations, explaining why the richest farmers in the United States couldn't come to help a Mexican worker with 17 years' employment whose arm was ripped off by sugar-processing machinery.

We know where the former state representative from Miami, Mr. Cantens, is, and we know why he is where he is. Rep. Cantens, in the 2003 legislative session, was the driving force on behalf of the state's largest developers and landowners for a measure that provoked the biggest outcry against the Republican majority and Jeb Bush's tenure in Tallahassee. The measure was passed into law by Gov. Bush because it was his idea.The new law ensures that large landowners in lightly populated areas of Florida -- like the Fanjuls -- will never have to face angry neighbors in state court when they spread more suburban sprawl. It is a neat trick whose provisions benefit the biggest campaign contributors.

For his work, Mr. Cantens is now well-qualified to execute the plan for new developments that will turn polluting sugar fields into a recipe for disaster: huge profits, individual misery, tragedy for the state. Make no mistake: Once the Fanjuls' polluting interests plant cul de sacs and building pods in the Everglades Agricultural Area, restoration of the Everglades will never, ever happen. The costs will be incalculable -- and New Times is right to indicate that the profits to the Fanjuls will be on the order of many hundreds of millions. That is what we are sacrificing the Everglades for.

In anticipation of all that is now coming to pass -- and detailed in this excellent story -- the Sierra Club earlier this year withdrew its support for the charade called the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. The only thing comprehensive about it is how thoroughly the Everglades is getting trashed. The appropriate thing for the Palm Beach County Commission to do is to petition Jeb Bush to enact a building moratorium in the Everglades Agricultural Area until government agencies do what they promised years ago: a contingency plan for surface-water storage adequate to the purpose of restoring the Everglades.

Your elected officials and government are lying to you when they say the Everglades are being restored.

Brian Scherf


You took your time: What took New Times so long? I've been telling people about these scumbags for years. "Bitter Sugar" is one of the few stories that put their surnames with the company name. I am not complaining, just wondering. Good article.

Cornelius J. McCool Jr.

Coral Gables

Tears for Tiers

No treatment for the poor: "The Big Lie" (Bob Norman, August 26) is a very good story about what is truly happening in the North Broward Hospital District. Having contact with approximately 6,000 homeless individuals in the last calendar year, putting 3,000 homeless individuals in programs and shelters in Broward County per year, we are fully aware of the problems that you have presented in your story.


Via the Internet

Where the Spotlight Lands

Be careful what you wish: I believe that Jesse Barber, Stephen Jordi's former Army sergeant, was accurate when he described Jordi as "a man who loved to get attention" ("Bombs for Babies," Trevor Aaronson, July 15). I also believe that this situation had little to do with a sincere concern for the "Plight of the Unborn" but rather has everything to do with Jordi drawing attention to himself.

Although the psychiatrist's comments may not be far from the truth, Jordi is still responsible for and should be held accountable for his own actions. I agree with Judge Cohn when he stated that a longer sentence "would more appropriately address the seriousness of the crime" and that Jordi will still be dangerous when he walks out of prison. I appreciate the efforts of all who had a hand in this case and look forward to moving on with life.

Timothy L. Jordi


More Moore

Honest and rich: Gregory Weinkauf's review of Fahrenheit 9/11 was right on the mark ("George of the Bungle," June 24). I saw the movie last Friday, and I think Michael Moore has more integrity, courage, and honesty than all the anchors on CBS, NBC, MSNBC, etc.

As far as what he will do when these punks leave the playground... there will always be more punks but not as bad as these punks.