Letters for April 3-9, 2003 | Letters | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Letters for April 3-9, 2003

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John Badeen

via the Internet

Is there irony in your H20? Hey, Dave Flaherty and Bill Hargett! Best bring your bottled water if you're heading over to my neighborhood. Imagine my chagrin after reading Bob Norman's March 13 article titled "Don't Drink the Water" regarding Palm Aire's water quality and then having the two "disgruntled employees," Chris Fox and Nick Hoffman, show up at my front door to test our neighborhood water to document the cover-up in our community.

A city worker came out to flush the fire hydrant in front of my house, claiming this was a "routine flushing." Routine? What's routine about the hydrants of our neighborhood being opened at 10:30 at night and later for the second time in one month? The hydrant had run for about a half hour to 45 minutes before water out of our kitchen tap was tested with a standard kit to detect chlorine, the chemical needed to kill off all the yummy bacteria that swims in our water supply. The results? A chlorine level of barely 0.2 ppm, which falls drastically short of the 0.6 ppm legal limit. Nice. And all this time, I thought I was just saving money on bottled water... seems I was simply throwing out the welcome mat to bacteria and infections.

My neighbors complain of mold in their dishwashers and/or washers. A 2-year-old recently contracted a parasite, and the doctor determined that this was from unsanitary water. Another neighbor recently made the switch from bottle to tap water and is suddenly being plagued with stomach problems. I have recently been treated for a urinary-tract infection, the cause of which is unknown to my doctor. Could this have any correlation to Fox and Hoffman's findings, or has our community become mysteriously stricken with an unexpected bout of bad health and fungus? But the water's safe, right, guys? Fox and Hoffman discussed their stories at length with my mother and me that night, and I personally was shocked at what's going on. I find it ridiculous that Pompano Beach public works administrator Flaherty asserts Fox and Hoffman are "disgruntled employees." I wasn't aware that concerned was a synonym for disgruntled, Flaherty, but thanks for the insight.

Flaherty's alleged treatment of employees and flagrant disregard for public health is appalling. The people of Palm Aire are entitled to a thorough investigation conducted by an independent party as to the validity of the City of Pompano's water testing findings and the plant's procedures. It was brought to my attention that an investigation was allegedly conducted by a county health department employee who has "connections" to the water department. Slightly ironic, ain't it?

So, to clarify any confusion and to clear up the doubt swirling around this situation like the bacteria and funk in our drinking water, let's get that investigation going and get this matter out in the open.

Oh, and don't drink the water in the meantime.

Lauren Cusolito

Pompano Beach

An expert speaks: After reading Bob Norman's article on Pompano Beach drinking-water problems, all I can say is that I'm shocked! As an independent consultant to the water/wastewater industry (specifically in the areas of laboratory/regulatory compliance), I'm ashamed to say that while I'm trying to help clients in other states, these types of shenanigans are going on in my own back yard (I recently moved from Palm Aire to Margate).

I commend Mr. Norman, Mr. [Chris] Fox, and Mr. [Nicholas] Hoffman for exposing the bureaucracy that threatens the public health and safety. Lord knows there is enough of that in our government system. We shouldn't also have to worry about what's in the water we are drinking. Who needs Saddam Hussein and his biological weapons when we have Mr. Flaherty and Mr. Gerard Weber, director of the city's water lab, right here?

Keep up the good work!

Yvonne M. Fernandez


Spoiling the editor's point: Chuck Strouse points out that there is a conflict between the Hollywood City Commission's push for development in downtown Hollywood and the Broward County School Board's lack of action to help Hollywood Central Elementary's overcrowding problem ("Steal from the Kiddies, Spoil the Rich," March 6). It appears to escape him that these are two separate bodies, not parts of one organization. Something needs to be done -- true. But to slam the Hollywood commission, as Mr. Strouse does for almost his whole essay, seems to miss the point entirely. People, including the New Times staffer Mr. Strouse refers to, want to live in and near downtown Hollywood, and it seems that it would be the commission's responsibility to create opportunities for them to do so. A thriving downtown is good for everyone.

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