Letters for January 16, 2003 | Letters | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Letters for January 16, 2003

Why didn't they whack 'im? Thank you for Bob Norman's on-target and hilarious January 9 column about Rick Sanchez ("Wake Up and Smile"). The few times I've seen Sanchez, I couldn't believe that MSNBC picked this guy as a morning anchor and then didn't fire him. He is so obnoxious and in love with himself. And that voice. It's good to read that others have written about his considerable talents.

Kim Stewart

Denver, Colorado

Bob, a troublemaker? Naaaah: I want this opportunity to thank Bob Norman for the extraordinary effort he put into the three-part series about my city ("Down on the Plantation," December 12-26). I feel totally vindicated for the comments I made about the city's racist attitude during my last two campaigns for Plantation City Council. Norman repeated every one of them!

The subject of the area east of Florida's Turnpike was hot not long ago. It was my feeling that the area should be de-annexed and given to the City of Fort Lauderdale so that the people who live there could be treated fairly and receive their due, financially speaking. Fort Lauderdale would receive a tax advantage because of the businesses located in this area.

Finally, the people who should be reading your three-part series will no doubt not even know it was ever written. Norman shall from this day forward be known as "a troublemaker" in the City of Plantation.

John A. Garon


Sorry, ma'am, but only racist barkeeps agree with racist drinkers: Talk about slanted news! Bob Norman researches well up to a point. One busy nightclub is a traffic problem; two close together is mayhem. Mr. Norman should have mentioned the main racist drinkers at Webby's. Barkeeps tend to agree with good (heavily imbibing) customers. Same the world over.

Betty Cobb


One word, Bobby: planning: Bob Norman is a terrific fiction writer. This is proven by his mighty "exposé" of Plantation, especially his discussion of the comings and goings along State Road 7 (a.k.a. U.S. 441). As a former city planner for Plantation (1978-1982), I was well-immersed in the difficulties faced by the business community along that corridor, which was constructed too big for its own right-of-way and too small for the amount of traffic it carries. The real problem facing the commercially zoned strips along State Road 7 (generally both sides) and its adjacent neighbors is this: The lots are not deep enough!

Yes, this minor design flaw effectively precludes putting parcels together for most economic development projects... including nightclubs. For all practical purposes, no matter what you do, any new project will be in the back yard of an adjacent residential property. And this, mes amis, is the crux of the problem. It's not race; rather, it's poor urban planning. This is a fact despite the desire of many liberal/leftist journalists to turn everything into a race issue.

Fred Bluestone

Pembroke Pines

Scum, fools, and hypocrites: Thank you so much for that wonderful article detailing the rich family and circus history of the Hanneford Family Circus at the Sunrise Swap Shop ("The Show Must Go On," Susan Eastman, December 19).

Thank you also for the true story detailing the 1990 death of elephant handler David Dickerson, who worked with the Hannefords for years. Dickerson's death was an accident that in no way involved one of his charges turning on him. Contrary to media reports at the time, the elephant that killed Dickerson was spooked by a foolish motorist. Dickerson ducked under the elephant to avoid being hit by the car. The elephant, turning around, accidentally caused Dickerson to fall. She tripped over him. Because Dickerson was missing his rib cage, a nonfatal injury became fatal.

Let's get down to "business." There is nothing I can add to Eastman's piece about the Hannefords and their circus. There is much I can add to her account of the activities of animal rights activists. There are two types of people belonging to animal rights groups: scum and fools. Then there are the hypocrites, who really fall into the "scum" or "fool" categories. Scum will use anything to accomplish their end, such as using the death of Dickerson, as reported by Eastman. Scum will misrepresent, lie, frighten children, and make their livings from the animal rights business.

Animal rights activists still use photos and still write of a type of animal experimentation that took place 40 to 50 years ago. They give the public the impression that it is still going on. These same people will applaud the people who break into fur farms to set the animals free. What they never tell you is what really happens to these animals, which know no other life but captivity and an unfortunate death. Mainstream animal rights groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) will never admit that many of them applaud and support fringe groups such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The ALF has a record of destroying property, threatening animal researchers and their families, and performing acts such as mailing letters with razor blades embedded in the envelopes.

The "fool" category is represented by their members, contributors, supporters, and even local and national politicians who, I believe, are unaware of the complete agenda of the animal rights groups. Such groups in some of our larger cities decry the killing of rats, mice, and other harmful vermin. If they had their way, we would all be vegetarians. There would be no hunting or fishing, no livestock farming or ranching, no zoos or pet shops. What we call companion animals, they call animal slaves. Because of ARFF, a Broward pet shop had to stop delivering trained birds to places such as homes for the elderly.

A number of Broward elementary schools will not let teachers keep small harmless mammals in the classrooms even though many hyperactive children sit quietly while cuddling a guinea pig or rabbit. If the animal rights activists had their way, animal experimentation would stop. And then we would be left with HIV, AIDS, various cancers, multiple sclerosis, and all other diseases we list as incurable. Do you suppose that animal rights activists who are diabetic take insulin? Insulin is a derivative of the meat packing industry. Do you suppose even the most die-hard animal rights activist would deny his or her child a life-saving drug or life-saving medical procedure derived from animal experimentation?

The animal rights activists continually harassing the Hanneford Family and its circus are scum or fools. The scum know exactly what they are doing; the fools don't know any better. And all of those members of ARFF, PETA, and other groups that avail themselves of life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical procedures derived from animal experimentation are hypocrites.

Alan W. Rigerman


New Times is scum, that is: I thought New Times' article on the Hanneford Family Circus was disappointing. Generally, I expect New Times to be something more than just a public relations piece for the circus industry.

While mentioning that the industry has been under fire for cruelty to animals, the author did not bother to provide any examples of just what animal protection advocates object to.

I saw no mention of the bull hooks used to beat elephants into submission and break their spirits. I saw no mention of food and sleep deprivation, common training methods. All I saw was a reporter playing PR hack for the Hanneford circus.

Doug Bomar

Silver Spring, Maryland

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