Gretchen: No More Whining, Now She's Demanding
I am requesting a retraction of Harris Meyer's use of the word whined to characterize my remarks at the June Dolphin Democratic Club Board meeting ("Et Tu, Dolphins?" Harris Meyer, June 17). If I demanded a retraction, would you respect me more? It is regrettable that when it comes to some men respecting women, not much has changed after 30-plus years of activism and education! Would you have referred to a man angrily responding to malicious and utterly false remarks of character assassination as "whining"? In an effort to be fair, I considered that you may have heard the tone of a disabled, chronic-pain patient whose broken wheelchair was hanging off the back of her car. If this is the case, then it could have been cleared up had Meyer kept his word and returned the phone call that I made to him after hearing that my name was going to appear in the article, which he did not.

It is a shame to have to ask for a retraction when my time and efforts would have been better served to ask New Times how much care, medication, money, and compassion for innocent children suffering (or about to be born suffering) from the effects the AIDS virus was caused by your salacious coverage ("Sexual Roulette," Jay Cheshes, May 27) of the sex practices of an infinitesimal minority of the gay male community? Or to congratulate you on your excellent and empathetic coverage of "a better way to handle hard-core juvenile delinquency" ("The Redemption of Crime Boy," Harris Meyer, June 17).

By the way, about the only thing all of the Dolphins agree upon is our respect for Mitch Ceasar and confidence that he will lead the club and the Democratic Party to cohesion and victory in the ongoing struggle for civil rights and respect for all the people of Florida and the nation!

Gretchen L. Hasselkus
Democratic Executive Committee Member
Fort Lauderdale

Afflicting the Barracudas of Hollywood
My friend calls Mr. [David] Mankuta "Barracuda Man-A-Kuta" ("An Ethical Variance," Harris Meyer, June 10). Apt?

Thank you for your work. All of Hollywood should thank you. His behavior at the Hollywood Commission Meeting should have many side effects. What developer would want to be represented by such a schmuck?

"It is a newspaperman's duty to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." I'm sure your article made him very uncomfortable. A job well done. Who is next?

Alan Stieb
via the Internet

Your Critic Is a Meathead
I read Robin Dougherty's review of Always...Patsy Cline ("Musically In-Clined," June 3), and I could not believe how tasteless and cruel her comments about Sally Struthers were.

A truly good critic reviews the performance of an actress and does not criticize every aspect of the person performing. Contrary to your lengthy diatribe, all the people I have spoken to loved Sally.

Betty Weinstein

Safe Sex Means Wear Your Raincoat, and Don't Go Out
I read your story titled "Sexual Roulette" (May 27). Jay Cheshes did an excellent job defending the problems facing the gay community. This week I read a letter [in your paper] titled "Getting Gay Men to Use Their Brain Organ" by David W. If more gay men were like David, the AIDS epidemic would definitely be curtailed.

I must respond, however, to the "safe sex" cliche used in his letter and in the story "Sexual Roulette." The only safe sex is a mature, mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. Anything else is risky. If car brakes had the same failure rate as condoms do, there would be a national recall. Condoms do not protect against herpes or HPV (genital warts), both of which put an individual at a subsequently higher risk for HIV. If a person chooses to engage in promiscuous behavior, let's not downplay the risks. At best, condoms may make sex a little less risky but certainly not safe.

Sally Beach
Lake Worth

Your Assumption, Not Ours
Jay Cheshes' article, though interesting, was indeed inflammatory. It brought the assumption that all gay men are promiscuous. Worse, it gave ammunition to all the gay-bashers to justify their position. Do you think the sensationalism of the article was worth the hate it could incite?

Sybil Rosen
via the Internet

Correction: A recent theater review of Love's Fire incorrectly listed the director of one skit. The review should have read, "The directorial coup goes to John Fionte, who marshals amazing creativity in the service of The General of Hot Desire, John Guare's backstage drama." New Times regrets the error.

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