West Palm Beach
Peacock and fire: You reporters hunt for stories and then write news. That's your job. But writing misleading or at least inaccurate news is wrong. We have a feeling you had a hard time being impartial when you first wrote about the death of a peacock in your April 10 issue. But saying that the entire neighborhood of Victoria Park is rejoicing about the arrest of the supposedly mob-style murderer of "Big Bird" the peacock is wrong and misleading ("Fowl Play," Susan Eastman, June 12).
That said, the only people rejoicing here are probably Mr. Robert Barcia and his apparently (very) small group of friends. He sure does not speak for the people adjacent to his property. We are one family, and we are taking a stand. Besides the fact that everybody in Broward and Palm Beach knows from your first story that, and we quote, "Robert Barcia does not give in easily. He prides himself on his stubbornness and even on his inability to get along with others," it seems that Mr. Barcia has some powerful friends. Some people got harassed, one arrested and put in jail.
We also were a little disappointed by the "idleness" of our newly elected president of the Victoria Park Civic Association, Jan Idleman. But as you mentioned in the first article back in April, we quote, "Peacocks are not for everybody. Big, clumsy birds, they can be noisy and obstreperous. Despite the male's grandiose display, being around them during mating season is tough... They destroy prized flowers as they hunt for bugs. And they defecate a lot -- big pasty gobs of the stuff."
Peacocks belong in the countryside, not in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Other people's common pet feces are enough for us to handle on our grass, swales, and sidewalks. I'm an animal lover too and against animal cruelty.
The way this bird got killed remains very reprehensible. It was cruel to allow an animal to bleed to death. Whoever did that should have done a better job. What could have been a neighbors' dispute has turned ugly. It's deplorable. Everybody who loses a pet is devastated, but a lot of us on the west side of Barcia's fence are not. May we suggest a quieter pet.
And if it's really Big Bird that you miss, guess what? We found him! He's on Sesame Street, and everybody loves him!
The Hernandez Family
Via the Internet
New Times is nasty: I feel I must offer a different view of Vitas Hospice from that in Wyatt Olson's May 22 article ("Troubled Endings") and a letter that was recently published in New Times. My father has been in the Vitas program, and his experience has been completely positive. At no point has any representative from Vitas ever mentioned the bottom line.
Dad's caregivers from team 149 are incredible, caring, and compassionate. The nurse, nurse's aide, chaplain, and social worker have been a godsend. Last week, we called the social worker for some advice regarding preparations for long-term care, and she came right to the house. The people we have dealt with from Vitas Hospice have been selfless, dedicated individuals, and we are grateful to them.
Robert G. Adams
All in a day's work, Jeff: I would like to thank Trevor Aaronson for his diligence in reporting on my uncle's wrongful and tragic death in his May 8 story, "Death Road." I can only pray that no one else is harmed in this manner. And I hope that the inmates who witnessed this tragedy do not suffer because of what they witnessed. They should be allowed the freedom of speech to express what happened without threats. Thanks greatly for going places and asking questions.