This Message Sponsored by the "Coleman for Mayor" Committee
Your microscopic report ("Face Off," February 5) by Sean Rowe on the mayor of Hollywood and her battle to retain an ironclad grip on the city is sensational.

Finally a reporter who tells it the way it is in Hollywood government. It's about time someone shed some light where sunshine has not been found for years. Between the backroom deals and the misuse of public funds to restore Hollywood beach, it's no wonder that political newcomers like John Coleman, along with his native Hollywood running mates Estelle Loewenstein and Sal Oliveri, finally got serious about opposing the incumbents' shenanigans. I only hope the citizens of Hollywood look beyond the gilded glitz of Giulianti's special-interest deals to realize the long-term impact of these short-term quick fixes. The cost to neighborhoods is a declining quality of life and even the removal of churches and schools from one neighborhood to make room for substandard parking lots and huge garages to service non-revenue-producing casino boats.

Thanks to the New Times and Sean Rowe for a real look at the mayor's legacy of elitism and government waste.

Larry Gierer
Fort Lauderdale

Duesberg: The Nutty Professor
When does a forum for the free exchange of opinions border on criminal negligence? This week one of our clients with AIDS announced that he was stopping all of his HIV medications. He could not be persuaded to rethink his decision. He had heard all he wanted to hear from Peter Duesberg at the lecture spotlighted in your newspaper (Night & Day, "The Single-Minded Professor," February 5).

Your article summarized Duesberg's view that "until a cause-and-effect relationship is established between the presence of HIV and the diagnosis of AIDS" we need not worry about HIV. Duesberg argues that AIDS is not the result of HIV infection but of "long-term use of recreational drugs," which deplete the immune system. Since he believes that HIV is not the cause of AIDS, he tells the public not to bother with condoms to prevent HIV infection and not to bother with medicines to fight HIV infection.

To his credit Duesberg challenged the medical establishment on many points. I agree with his view that many doctors overprescribe anti-HIV medications in a desperate attempt to throw everything but the kitchen sink at HIV. Patients should talk frankly with their doctors about toxicities and side effects before taking on new treatments. However, this does not mean patients should refuse all treatment. On this point Duesberg is dead wrong.

It is tragic that Duesberg cannot just take pride in having raised what was once a valid skepticism about the HIV-AIDS link but continues to insist on his disproven theories. He confuses the public with a scientific vocabulary that seems to carry authority. How many people will die sooner [than they would with traditional medical treatment] because they now ignore their HIV-infection? How many teens will use Duesberg's theories as an excuse to abandon abstinence or safer sex practices, now that Duesberg has told them that HIV is no big deal?

Stephen J. Fallon, M.D., Director of Education
Center One, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale

La Reaction From La Marina
We appreciate that New Times' Jen Karetnick took the time to review our restaurant, La Marina, at the Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott (Dish, "New World Conceit," December 25). Her comments, however, surprised us! The restaurant recently won the "People's Choice" and "Judges' Choice" for Best Appetizer at the Eleventh Art a la Carte competition, which was attended by 700 people, notable food critics among them. But Ms. Karetnick chastised the dish. We wonder if she was just disappointed that La Marina did not fit neatly into the "New World" mold, which was never our intent.

La Marina replaced the Riverwatch and the Library at the Marina Marriott and continues to serve many of the favorite dishes of the old restaurants, with the addition of "New Florida" items that combine local seafood with some of the flavors found in South Florida and the Caribbean. The restaurant purposely does not tout "New World" cuisine because our chefs are always experimenting with traditional and nontraditional flavors that don't necessarily fit the definition.

La Marina consistently receives high praise from our customers -- the critics whose opinions we value most. We are always striving, however, to improve our cuisine, and we will absolutely take Ms. Karetnick's critique into consideration.

John Weit, General Manager
Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott Hotel
Fort Lauderdale

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