Hank is an American hero: I am writing this letter to comment on Wyatt Olson's September 11 article regarding Hank Asher ("The Matrix: Unloaded"). I became acquainted with Hank, first as his attorney and then as his friend. I think Mr. Olson's article fails to provide appropriate balance in reporting on this man's extraordinary life. The reference to allegations regarding Mr. Asher's distant past must be placed in the context of the extraordinary assistance that Seisint, a company he founded, has provided to law enforcement. This assistance was recognized when Seisint received awards from the U.S. Secret Service, the Florida Police Chiefs Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the FBI, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The firm also received the prestigious Adam Walsh Rainbow Award.
These awards confirm that Hank Asher has contributed in countless ways to assist law enforcement agencies in solving what would otherwise be insoluble serious crimes. Through Mr. Asher's genius, unimaginable systems were developed. After September 11, when our country was under siege, Mr. Asher caused Seisint to donate, without charge, millions of dollars worth of time and technology to assist a federal task force. I believe we should recognize his lasting contributions.
I agree with Martha Barnett, the well-respected lawyer and former president of the American Bar Association, who suggested that rather than focus on activities that took place more than 20 years ago, we should look at a great company (Seisint) that is doing "cutting-edge things." It's thanks to people with the vision of Hank that Florida's crime rate is at an all-time low and the United States is winning a war against terror. Mr. Olson's article concludes by suggesting that we "stay tuned" for the rest of the Hank Asher story. Fortunately, the next chapter of that story shows us that Mr. Asher will be dedicating his same energy and brilliance to another worthy cause: cancer research. With Mr. Asher's departure from Seisint, I believe he should receive the thanks and appreciation of a grateful community. It is my privilege and honor to recognize his achievements and to call him my friend.
Jon A. Sale
Change or, well, change: After reading Bob Norman's September 11 article, "Forgotten 9/11," it is crystal-clear that what is needed in government today is a common-sense reform policy.
We can always count on our government to get it wrong. Here we have immigration officials who "screwed up big time," but instead of being disciplined, they are promoted. Look at the case of the United Teachers of Dade's Pat Tornillo, who should have been raked over the coals but was let off with a slap on the wrist. The list goes on and on. The stage is set for a real leader to step up and embrace common-sense reform. Where is he?
Bay Harbor Islands
Take off those gloves and put 'em up, Jeffy: I caught wind of Jeff Stratton's review of my band the Brite Side, and I have to say, I was pretty surprised at how aggressively he condemned the CD and how ruthless the verbiage got (Subtropical Spin, September 11).
I'll be the first to say that those early recordings were pretty average. I welcome some of your valid criticisms. But much of this was just mean-spirited. Sure, Jay's writing can be melodramatic and, as you say, "overearnest." I'd like him to expand his lyrical horizons and maybe work on some more subtle vocals. But maybe I cut him more slack than you since I know about the handicap that makes a cane necessary. Those sort of insecurities would seem impossible to repress in your songwriting, especially for a kid in his early 20s.
All of this, of course, made me chuckle when Stratton uses phrases like "sensitive jockstrap crap" and "Pompano Beach boy band" to describe songs Jason Misrahi wrote.
What's the point of giving no-name unhyped bands a thrashing? I liken it to beating up the skinny kid with glasses in high school. It's just pathetic and pointless. Save your vendettas for the platinum-selling pretty boys who peddle music that's not to your liking. The Chris Carrabbas of the world can at least take solace in the checks they're cashing and the fans who love them.
Via the Internet
He wants to thank her: I wanted to thank Susan Eastman for her write-up of Rosa Lopez and our apparition site ("Our Lady of Hollywood," September 4). I think she did a fine job, and I appreciate her doing so. I hope she can come back another 13th of the month and I will thank her personally.
She wants to spank her: I want to thank you for your article on the apparition site in Hollywood. There is a lot of information in it, and most of it is accurate, but there are several points that need correction: 1, the cover picture is not a statue of the Virgin Mary; it is St. Philomena, an early martyr of the church; and 2, you state the first name of Nancy Fowler as Virginia. Two other things: Not as many people come during the week as on weekends, but at least 200 usually attend. Also, it was Larry who read the rosary, not my husband, Frank.
Thank you for your efforts. You are welcome to visit the apparition site at any time.
Via the Internet