We're no fans of Plantation Councilman Ron Jacobs. He's one of those suburban politicians that, when you see him in action, you wonder how much Valium and other assorted sedatives you would find in the medicine cabinets of those cozy middle-class and upper-middle-class neighborhoods in Plantation. Jacobs is, in short, a self-satisfied ass with a perpetual smirk on his face. But we must give him his props on deciding to investigate disabled activist Fred Shotz when Shotz began snooping around the city to find Americans with Disabilities Act violations. Jacobs sicced a private investigator on Shotz and soon had a video showing Shotz, who gets around in a wheelchair, standing up to pump gas into his car. The councilman's instincts on this one were correct -- Shotz, in our opinion, is as crooked as the path of the average I-95 driver. Before he started his ADA business, he was the radio "Love Doctor" who lied about his educational background and masqueraded as a sex therapist. Before that, he was a Yippie who ran around with Abbie Hoffman (he claims). Now he's an outspoken nudist who runs around suing everything he sees in federal court. We believe in the ADA and want to see it enforced. And we believe Plantation is doing a lousy job of making its facilities accessible to the wheelchair-bound and deserves to get its ass kicked. Just not by Shotz. So when Dr. Love alleged in federal court that Jacobs, Mayor Rae Carol Armstrong, and city attorney Don Lunny violated his civil rights, we were hoping Shotz would lose. And federal magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer upheld our ever-waning faith in the justice system by throwing Shotz's case out with the garbage this past March. Unfortunately, it surely won't slow Shotz down, whether he be on wheels or his own two legs.
We're no fans of Plantation Councilman Ron Jacobs. He's one of those suburban politicians that, when you see him in action, you wonder how much Valium and other assorted sedatives you would find in the medicine cabinets of those cozy middle-class and upper-middle-class neighborhoods in Plantation. Jacobs is, in short, a self-satisfied ass with a perpetual smirk on his face. But we must give him his props on deciding to investigate disabled activist Fred Shotz when Shotz began snooping around the city to find Americans with Disabilities Act violations. Jacobs sicced a private investigator on Shotz and soon had a video showing Shotz, who gets around in a wheelchair, standing up to pump gas into his car. The councilman's instincts on this one were correct -- Shotz, in our opinion, is as crooked as the path of the average I-95 driver. Before he started his ADA business, he was the radio "Love Doctor" who lied about his educational background and masqueraded as a sex therapist. Before that, he was a Yippie who ran around with Abbie Hoffman (he claims). Now he's an outspoken nudist who runs around suing everything he sees in federal court. We believe in the ADA and want to see it enforced. And we believe Plantation is doing a lousy job of making its facilities accessible to the wheelchair-bound and deserves to get its ass kicked. Just not by Shotz. So when Dr. Love alleged in federal court that Jacobs, Mayor Rae Carol Armstrong, and city attorney Don Lunny violated his civil rights, we were hoping Shotz would lose. And federal magistrate Judge Barry Seltzer upheld our ever-waning faith in the justice system by throwing Shotz's case out with the garbage this past March. Unfortunately, it surely won't slow Shotz down, whether he be on wheels or his own two legs.
Lucious Boyd savagely raped and killed Dawnia Hope Dacosta, a 21-year-old church singer who was saving herself for her dream man. Two other women swore he raped them as well, but juries didn't believe them. One of those women, Michelle Galloway, wept and shook in our arms when we found her for a story we were doing back in September 1999. The I.D. of murdered Melissa Floyd was found on the grounds of Boyd's family funeral home in Fort Lauderdale. And a teenaged girl named Patrece Alston disappeared while on a day trip with him in 1998 and hasn't been seen since. In an impromptu jailhouse interview, New Times sat across from Boyd in September 1999, after the rapist and killer was charged with Dacosta's murder. Boyd seemed scared to talk; his dull black eyes looked like those of a tired animal in the wilderness. Death by the state is too good for him. Let him get in prison what he gave to unsuspecting women while he was free.
Lucious Boyd savagely raped and killed Dawnia Hope Dacosta, a 21-year-old church singer who was saving herself for her dream man. Two other women swore he raped them as well, but juries didn't believe them. One of those women, Michelle Galloway, wept and shook in our arms when we found her for a story we were doing back in September 1999. The I.D. of murdered Melissa Floyd was found on the grounds of Boyd's family funeral home in Fort Lauderdale. And a teenaged girl named Patrece Alston disappeared while on a day trip with him in 1998 and hasn't been seen since. In an impromptu jailhouse interview, New Times sat across from Boyd in September 1999, after the rapist and killer was charged with Dacosta's murder. Boyd seemed scared to talk; his dull black eyes looked like those of a tired animal in the wilderness. Death by the state is too good for him. Let him get in prison what he gave to unsuspecting women while he was free.
Really, how can one argue for capital punishment when the state's decision rests on the word of people like Scheff? This guy is the kind of cop who doesn't let the facts get in the way of a good case. Frank Lee Smith -- a poor black man with a hard past and no money -- faced the chair because of Scheff's worse-than-dubious investigative techniques. Smith was saved from execution only because cancer got him first: He died a horrible death in prison before DNA tests proved he was innocent of killing a six-year-old girl. More recently, BSO is having serious second thoughts about the conviction of two teen boys, Tim Brown and Keith King, for the murder of BSO Deputy Patrick Behan in 1990. A former deputy recently boasted to undercover agents that he killed Behan. The Brown and King convictions stand, but a look at those cases, particularly King's, shows that the investigation -- supervised by now-Major Scheff (that's right; he's been promoted) -- was full of problems, including jailhouse snitches who perjured themselves and numerous recantations by key witnesses. We just hope the next BSO convict found innocent is still alive when it's time to go free.
Really, how can one argue for capital punishment when the state's decision rests on the word of people like Scheff? This guy is the kind of cop who doesn't let the facts get in the way of a good case. Frank Lee Smith -- a poor black man with a hard past and no money -- faced the chair because of Scheff's worse-than-dubious investigative techniques. Smith was saved from execution only because cancer got him first: He died a horrible death in prison before DNA tests proved he was innocent of killing a six-year-old girl. More recently, BSO is having serious second thoughts about the conviction of two teen boys, Tim Brown and Keith King, for the murder of BSO Deputy Patrick Behan in 1990. A former deputy recently boasted to undercover agents that he killed Behan. The Brown and King convictions stand, but a look at those cases, particularly King's, shows that the investigation -- supervised by now-Major Scheff (that's right; he's been promoted) -- was full of problems, including jailhouse snitches who perjured themselves and numerous recantations by key witnesses. We just hope the next BSO convict found innocent is still alive when it's time to go free.
Declared the "working man's hero" in the Sun-Sentinel this past January, City of Fort Lauderdale engineer Elgin Jones has filed lawsuits against his employer for racial discrimination, claiming he was passed over for a job because he's black. The 39-year-old also moonlights as a government reporter and columnist for the county's incendiary Broward Times. Is writing about the people he's suing a conflict of interest? No way, he says. Reporting about the people he's suing is his right to "freedom of expression." Some say the issue of Jones's dual jobs is nitpicking: Former Broward Human Rights Board member Jeff Gorley, for one, believes Jones is Broward County's answer to Braveheart, praising him for attracting the attention of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which recommended that the Justice Department review hundreds of city-employee discrimination complaints. Note to Jones: Look into blue face paint.

Declared the "working man's hero" in the Sun-Sentinel this past January, City of Fort Lauderdale engineer Elgin Jones has filed lawsuits against his employer for racial discrimination, claiming he was passed over for a job because he's black. The 39-year-old also moonlights as a government reporter and columnist for the county's incendiary Broward Times. Is writing about the people he's suing a conflict of interest? No way, he says. Reporting about the people he's suing is his right to "freedom of expression." Some say the issue of Jones's dual jobs is nitpicking: Former Broward Human Rights Board member Jeff Gorley, for one, believes Jones is Broward County's answer to Braveheart, praising him for attracting the attention of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which recommended that the Justice Department review hundreds of city-employee discrimination complaints. Note to Jones: Look into blue face paint.

Last fall was a very bad season for charities not involved in post-9/11 relief efforts. This is why the Florida Philharmonic's ballsy, successful campaign to raise $2.5 million was so remarkable. Coming on the heels of so much bad press for the philharmonic -- the musicians' strike in 2000 and its ensuing tensions, James Judd's abrupt resignation in November 2001, the resignation of its executive director in December 2001, continued budget deficits -- it's simply amazing they pulled it off. Robert Levinson, past chairman of the orchestra's tricounty Governing Council, ticks off the campaign's three dimensions: The orchestra's 84 musicians donated part of their salaries; the front office staff cut costs largely by laying off employees; and board members past and present both donated their own funds and leaned on their friends for about a million dollars -- while checks in small denominations totaling $20,000 to $30,000 rolled in. Voilà! $2.5 million found, roughly half in cost savings and the remainder in donations, in six short weeks. The orchestra is saved. Suddenly, for the first time in years, everyone involved with the philharmonic is playing from the same sheet music, and what you hear is the sound of success.
Last fall was a very bad season for charities not involved in post-9/11 relief efforts. This is why the Florida Philharmonic's ballsy, successful campaign to raise $2.5 million was so remarkable. Coming on the heels of so much bad press for the philharmonic -- the musicians' strike in 2000 and its ensuing tensions, James Judd's abrupt resignation in November 2001, the resignation of its executive director in December 2001, continued budget deficits -- it's simply amazing they pulled it off. Robert Levinson, past chairman of the orchestra's tricounty Governing Council, ticks off the campaign's three dimensions: The orchestra's 84 musicians donated part of their salaries; the front office staff cut costs largely by laying off employees; and board members past and present both donated their own funds and leaned on their friends for about a million dollars -- while checks in small denominations totaling $20,000 to $30,000 rolled in. Voilà! $2.5 million found, roughly half in cost savings and the remainder in donations, in six short weeks. The orchestra is saved. Suddenly, for the first time in years, everyone involved with the philharmonic is playing from the same sheet music, and what you hear is the sound of success.

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