Letters for September 11-17, 2008

The One-Out-of-Ten Result

Hmmm. Scott Israel will win in November despite the facts that he has been less-than-honest about his partisan leanings, has a record of troubled arrests, and has blown his résumé item of police chief of North Bay Village (36 employees) into the equivalent of running a major law enforcement agency ("Trickster in Chief," Bob Norman, September 4). Broward voters are left with another set of less-than-perfect choices. This is what happens when only 11 percent of the voters show up — we get what we deserve.

Name withheld by request

Fort Lauderdale

Greed Never Stops

Although I think the purpose of Brantley Hargrove's August 28 story, "Blood Diamonds," was to shine a light on a little-known and often successful crime, I couldn't help laughing at the brutal hypocrisy throughout the story's five pages. It seems that even when someone attempts to protect the innocent, good ol' American greed rears its ugly mug to stamp John Q. Everyman back down into his hole of indentured servitude.

I'm referring to the fact that there are three "sell us your gold and jewels" ads splashed on what is otherwise a righteous page in your paper.

As a fellow writer, I know we have no control over such things. But the blatant, probably coincidental irony of pagination was too much to handle. As you read this, some foreign national illegally residing in the area is at his wit's end. He's frothing at the mouth, itching for another hit of crystal meth or a Big Mac. You, my friends, have given him the method, the target, and the confidence to know that our broken law enforcement will never catch him.

Maybe these crazed South Americans are simply shit-twisted backward from childhoods of dodging bullets and finding cocaine mixed into the sugar bowl. I'm not one to speculate, but I can say kudos. The article showed the world that no matter how bat-shit crazy things get, our own lust for the good life will keep the planet spinning on its axis.

Zachary S. Fagenson

Palm Beach

Plastic to Die For

High praise for Lee Klein's "Kick the Bottle" (August 14). This is a critical but balanced report on the bottled-water industry (mania?) and its consequences. Snake oil (along with Snake Water) salesmen abound. Unfortunately, people respond with their emotions, not their intellect. "Kick the Bottle" is a standard-bearer exposé for all the other baloney-bender sales adverts and the industries they represent.

We should reinstitute the propaganda/critical-thinking college courses of yesteryear. Currently, we are flooded with the so-called "communication" courses on how to market, sell, and take advantage of the ignorance of prospective customers. Unhappily, the professional geniuses in too many of our B.A. programs are great instigators of this "hurray for me/bottom line" attitude.

Thank you for your excellent investigative reportage.

Leo Shatin

Boca Raton

Bravo!  Not only is your article well-written but it is very informative. My company has been promoting "bottleless" technology, an alternative to bottled water, which is helping companies with the "Going Green" campaign. Research has shown that more than 1.5 million tons of plastic are contributed to these landfills from the bottled-water industry alone. The best part of bottleless water is that we are able to upgrade the quality of drinking water while eliminating the hassles of the bottle business, such as the lifting, storage, interruption of deliveries, potential of running out of water, and of course price, which goes up in direct proportion to the price of gas, since these bottles are delivered by trucks that run on gas.

Maybe with your help, we can both make a difference. More than a dozen New York hotels and restaurants, including the Waverly Inn, Il Buco, and Del Posto, recently declared bottled water politically incorrect.

There is another campaign called "Think Outside the Bottle" that was started by the San Francisco mayor; 12 other mayors have joined the campaign.

Richard Pollack

President, Crystalline Water

Via the internet


New Times columnist Bob Norman has been honored by the South Florida Black Journalists Association for producing the best sports story of 2007. The winner was Norman's "Gang Tackled" (June 21) about star-crossed Deerfield Beach football player Jarvis Hicks.

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