I'm a member of Synergy [Cohousing] who has recently moved down from Manhattan to work on the project ("It Takes a Village to Raise a Ruckus," Paul Belden, August 27). I want to thank you for the article. It was very nicely written and interesting. I appreciated the fact that it was simply an examination of the process of building a new community, and not a sugarcoated PR job. We are planning to break ground November 1, and it will be interesting to see what the neighbors in Aspen Ridge have in store for us then!
To Love, Honor, and Defend in Print
I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful article, "Cutting the Healing" (Paul Belden, August 13). It accurately described the plight of the disabled with emotional problems and the impact of cutbacks to Medicare and Medicaid.
There is a saying, "No good deed ever goes unpunished," and this situation is a prime example. As a board-certified psychotherapist, Ellen Savits (my wife) could have a well-paying practice and come home every night and relax. Instead, as the only specialist in her field, she works under extremely trying conditions on 24-hour beeper alert, with a net take-home pay that approximates what a Burger King server makes without any benefits at all. What has our society come to when a middle-class family such as ours (I'm semi-retired and assistant to the director of the FIU School of Music) has to decide that we can no longer afford to privately underwrite a program such as this?
Some of Ellen's patients were formerly in institutions that are now closed. What will they do and where will they go without support? Even if a more restrictive environment can be found for them, it would probably cost more per day than Ellen's fees for a year. Ellen is currently negotiating for a part-time office in Coral Springs that would cost her substantially less than her old office. We are also trying to get support from foundations and organizations. The New Times article should be a real help in this quest. I don't know whether to be hopeful or not.
A word must be said of Paul Belden, the reporter who wrote the article. He really portrayed the feeling of being in the sessions with these disabled people and of describing their frustration with their lives. He also captured their dignity and intelligence. Many people who read the article cried. New Times might be an alternative newspaper, but with people like Paul, your standards are exceptional.
Dr. Myer Savits
Clap Clap for PAC-PAC
There seems to be a trend relative to what was recently printed in SCOOP magazine by Shameless (Shane) Gunderson about how horrible PAC-PAC is, how inept its leaders are, and the recent situation at ZAN(Z)BAR ("Removing the Unity From the Gay Community," Michael Freedman, July 30).
Apparently now that the wonderful but persecuted Delia Loe, former executive director of the Fort Lauderdale Community Center, and GUARD's Dennis Delia are gone, Shane Gunderson, past Dolphin Democratic Club president, continues [the Dolphin Club's] tactic of attacking, boycotting, and excluding. Like pit bulls they have tasted victory and now relish in it regardless of how and who they attack and/or hurt.
I would like to commend PAC-PAC for including, not excluding, the supportive Republicans in Broward County. I apologize to any business owners who fear or face the unacceptable strong-arm tactics of people who claim to represent our community when in fact they oppose everything "pride" stands for.
Andy Eddy, Member
Broward Log Cabin Club