To Lose Sleep
I have to commend Deirdra Funcheon for writing one of the most scary, surreal, saddening, and fascinating stories I've
read in a long time ("To Hug a Porcupine," June 26). I haven't been this moved by a piece of local nonfiction since Amy Guthrie's story on the junkie Powerball winners ("Powerfall," August 30, 2007). I mean, to say your story and sterling reporting skills are gripping is a huge understatement. I read it yesterday and probably slept two hours. I wonder if you had as much trouble sleeping while researching it as I did reading it.
That poor, poor family. Man, the things we take for granted... Please, for the sake of those of us who still enjoy a good story, keep up the excellent work.
West Palm Beach
Shattering story. Assuming there's not some deep, dark secret that the adoptive parents are hiding (and there could be; one should instinctively distrust anybody with such strong ties to a church community), the situation seems terminal. This Rosa dude is obviously fucked up in some way that he is powerless to address, which led to these kids being fucked up in some even more profound and unfixable way, which has in turn potentially ruined the lives of this well-meaning couple. They're probably doing the right thing by getting these kids committed, but doing the right thing is no guarantor of success. All they can do is keep tinkering, trying new things, hoping for the best even though all signs point toward the inevitability of the worst. Miserable situation, and best wishes to the parents. Congrats to the author too for rendering the story so elegantly.
Open That Can
It's an outrage and a travesty that this man served 28 years in prison for marijuana ("Smoked Tuna in a Can," Brantley Hargrove, June 19). Rapists and murderers get less time. Good luck with the book deal and all of your endeavors, Bobby. I'm sorry the system wasted so much of your precious time. Now is the time to put an end to these draconian policies once and for all and become the civilized nation we set out to be.
Brooklyn, New York
Like They Eat, Dude
I felt compelled to address Amy Guthrie's article in June 12's issue of New Times regarding interactive shark encounters ("Shark Huggers"). Unlike most articles that have gone to great lengths to demonize sharks as well as those charter operators who offer shark dives, her article was well-balanced and well-researched. However, there are a number of items I took issue with, starting with the lead-in to the article, referring to sharks as "eating machines." The fact is, just like any other creature or human, sharks eat to survive. Some sharks like great whites actually go months without eating.
My second concern was more of a personal one, in that I was quoted as saying I wanted to get back in the water as soon as possible after my shark accident so as not to develop an "acute" fear of sharks. What I did in fact say was that I wanted to get back in the water again to debunk all the unwarranted media speculation surrounding what was reported as an unusually high frequency of shark-related incidents in 2001, during the so-called "Summer of the Shark."
The fact is that diving with sharks poses far less of a threat than most everyday activities, including crossing the street or driving to work.
Kent O. Bonde
USCG Licensed Master Captain
So here I am reading the "Shark Huggers" piece, and I come across Mark Quartiano comparing himself to Steve Irwin, saying "karma or whatever. Look at Steve Irwin and how he died..." For lack of a more intellectual response, the only thing I can think is: "Bitch, are you retarded (no offense to the mentally challenged). Did you spend entirely too much time in the sun?" You slay sharks for a living and dare to compare yourself to one of the most respected conservationists of our time? If you know anything about karma, then that stingray that killed Irwin probably felt like the biggest moron in the water. The only way your statement would even come close to making sense would be if Irwin spent his life gigging stingrays in the shallows. Go on, take a swim, Quartiano.
Name withheld by request
The June 26 story "Rubber Doll" inaccurately described Rubber Doll's appearances. She has not done in-store events at Fetish Factory.
The National Society of Newspaper Columnists has honored Edmund Newton for producing the best notes and items column of 2007. Newton is managing editor of New Times and author of the weekly Tailpipe, which includes contributions from staff writers.