Best Of Ballot Stuffing
I appreciate Living Room being selected as Best New Bar. Although, as a designer who has created 13 nightclubs, the idea that Living Room is referred to as a bar is questionable. I have never designed a bar. I do, however, appreciate the editorial that followed the Best New Bar category clearing this up.
On a serious note, I am appalled that Exit 66 was allowed to win the Readers' Poll as Best Dance Club. It is difficult to reconcile the fact that Living Room lost this poll by only two votes. More than a dozen votes were counted before Exit 66 was even open, and a majority of the rest of them were a minute apart. How the hell can a club that wasn't even in business have counted votes? If you want to count what I believe are false votes after they opened, so be it. But a basic requirement should be that the club is open.
Frankly, we would have won this category, and that's not cool. Now we have to tolerate another business advertising New Times Best Dance Club for all of 2009 — rubbing it in our faces — a title they stole from us. I wish nothing but the best for Exit 66 and all businesses trying to survive in a tough economy, but fair is fair.
Living Room Nightclub
The Panthers are the worst professional team in the city and one of the worst in pro sports. In the article that names the Florida Panthers as Best Sports Enigma, you wrote: "If a team wins in Sunrise, does anyone care?" This team has not won a playoff series since '96. One reason fans have been turned off is because of asinine front-office moves like the trade of goalie Roberto Luongo, probably the worst trade of any local sports franchise ever. Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun was picked as a reserve for the all-star game, and he was awful. Jay Bouwmeester is no star — he was on the trading block.
The Marlins are the enigma. The Panthers are a failure.
Good Hustle on Hustler
Great reporting effort ("HIV Hustler, Bob Norman, June 4)! Joel Steinger is an evil dirtbag who should face execution for his crimes. So too the politicians and lawyers who paved his way. I forwarded your article to my friends and asked them to forward this to whomever they voted for in the last election. Let the politicians think about it. Both political parties are complicit in this crime. What's new? BTW, Raquel Kohler was a victim. She does the time for her boss' crime.
Your series of articles exposing the Mutual Benefits criminal enterprise underlying these investment scams is excellent. I am sick of superficial ambulance-chasing stories, those short stories of daily mayhem that the public gets addicted to reading in the morning newspaper. Your investigation gets down to the underlying operation of criminals exploiting our legal and political system to public disadvantage. We need to learn how crime thrives in the selfsame system we rely upon to protect us. Otherwise, we are like lambs led to slaughter.
A Response to Sarcasm
Paul Rien's recent letter on pit bulls is proudly full of sarcasm but short on facts ("Some Pit Bull Sarcasm," June 4). Here in Washington, D.C., there is no breed ban, and there never has been. Dog bites topped 3,000 per year in the 1970s, but there were fewer than 200 reported bites in 2007. Only ten of those bites were categorized as severe and were inflicted by nine different breeds of dog.
Our neighbor, Prince George's County in Maryland, enacted a pit bull ban in 1996. A task force examined the effectiveness of this ban in 2003 and found the ban to be "inefficient, costly, difficult to enforce, subjective and questionable in its results." And that's with a price tag of more than $250,000 per year.
If Rien is truly concerned about protecting the community from dogs, he should encourage local elected officials to provide more resources for animal control, support subsidized spay/neuter programs, and enact and strictly enforce animal cruelty laws.
Director, Pets at Risk Program
One on the House
Just read your article "Slip Slidin' Away" online about your visit to Scandals Saloon (Tara Nieuwesteeg, May 28). Thank you so much for your excellent coverage of our club. I loved your wit and description of our customers and the club itself. My partner, Lloyd, and I are extremely proud of "The Saloon," and it was so good to read a positive and fun article. Thank you again and hope to see you soon. The cowboy cocksuckers are on me.