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Bureau of Consumer Distress
My wife and I found Dan Lovely's article on Aaron Travis' problems with Armstrong Ford ("Taken for a Ride and Left Stranded," January 1) especially meaningful, given the situation's symbolism when it comes to consumers and business, especially in Broward County.

We find it interesting that when a consumer has a problem with a business, the business is able to take punitive measures such as garnishing wages, keeping deposits, damaging one's credit and generally having the upper hand in settling disputes. But when a consumer tries to go after a shifty business, he has little or no recourse. We sympathize with Travis because we're in a situation where we gave a boat as a deposit on a new boat -- as he did with his Thunderbird on a new vehicle -- and the dealership sold our trade-in boat, kept the money, and never delivered the new boat.

So my wife and I are out a $25,000 boat; the dealership folded; the people involved are still operating in Broward County; no "consumer" agency has stepped forward to help, nor, in fact, has any state agency. God forbid it was my wife and I who stiffed a business out of $25,000, or even a few bucks for that matter. We'd be hounded, discredited, our possessions garnished and repo'd, and we'd probably be dragged into court. Meantime, all we have going for us is the lawyer who's trying to get our money back from those who stole our boat and kept the money they got from selling it below value (because they knew they'd never have to deliver a new boat to us), and one lone Broward Sheriff's deputy who's still building a criminal case against the grifters.

We were also interested to note the wishy-washy quotes from the Broward County Consumer Affairs Division analyst, including, "that's a new one... something doesn't sound right." Yep, that's about the size of the interest those people show in consumer problems. But at least someone responded; we've never received one word in response to our letters to Mona Fandel and her Consumer Affairs crew about the con pulled on us and other countless boat buyers.

Bill and Barbara Adams

Ladies and Gentlemen, the First of Many Letters from Harvey Slavin, Food-Critic Critic

Egads! Kavetchneck times two... PU! How pitiful for Broward Countians that New Times was too cheap to hire a new food critic for the Broward/Palm Beach edition!

Reading Jen "Kavetchneck" Karetnick's drivel in the Miami New Times was bad enough. Now Broward Countians and Palm Beach-ites will be as misled about the restaurants "Kavetchneck" reviews as the poor souls down on Calle Ocho and South Beach!

If you want to maintain any semblance of credibility, I strongly suggest you get rid of her at once. Why piss off your new readers when they find out that she trashed yet another great area restaurant, causing [readers] not to try some really great food?

By the way, a "kavetch" [sic] is a Jewish word for "pain-in-the-ass", which Karetnick is when it comes to rating restaurants. She has the credibility of Bill Clinton in a whorehouse!

Harvey Slavin

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