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Letters to the Editor

Get government outta her boudoir: In regard to Bob Norman's "Politically Incorrect" (October 26): How could a government official believe that sodomy laws should be enforced and that homosexuality is a criminal act, then in the next breath claim to be tolerant of gays? As the mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Jim Naugle is the official voice of a city known for its tolerance for the gay community, yet he believes that what we do in the privacy of our own homes is a criminal act. In the interview he answered "yes" to both of the following questions: "Do you believe that sodomy laws should be enforced?" and "So homosexuality is a criminal act?" When New Times asked if his stance on gays is intolerant, he responded, "... Throughout my career, I haven't been that way."

Naugle then states, "I am certain I have some supporters out there in the gay community." Who would support a mayor who would have you arrested and charged with sodomy? Who would support a man who would go on the record saying that the gay or lesbian lifestyle is a "criminal act"? As a lesbian I cannot support a government leader who would condemn my lifestyle just because it goes against his personal and/or religious beliefs. All I'm asking for is acceptance.

Heidi Reneé Sanford
Hallandale Beach

Putz goes the weasel: So Mayor Naugle says he is a Christian and his religious beliefs dictate that homosexuality is a sin. Yet he has a Jewish wife and is raising his daughters in the Jewish faith. He sees no conflict in that? True Christians believe there is only salvation through Christ. Is "the sin" of a homosexual lifestyle worse than the loss of salvation? Apparently so in "The Bible According to Naugle."

Bob Bartole

Airboats and four-wheelers are good for the Glades: I read Bob Whitby's article ("Swamp Wars," October 19) and would like to say that what the government is trying to do is a crock of crap. We have been four-wheeling out on Bear Island and in the Big Cypress Preserve with our two boys since they were two months old. Now the government wants to take this away from us. It seems to me they would rather our children watch TV, play video games, or play on the computer than go outside and see what the Creator created. I would like to know who to get in touch with about this. We also have an airboat that we run on the south and north sides of U.S. Highway 41. We belong to the airboat association on the Tamiami Trail. They are trying to run us out of there, too. Why can't someone come and talk to us about why we are not allowed to go to either place anymore? I would like the national-parks guy to come and tell my boys why we cannot go mudding or look for critters and deer.

The days of the old swimming hole and dirt roads are disappearing. We respect the land, and we stay on the trails. For New Year's last year, we went four-wheeling on Bear Island. Now where else can you go and not have to hear or be around people?

Annie Allendorf
Leisure City

A simple math lesson puts federal regs into bold relief: Hopefully this letter will help your readers understand the extremely small effect of off-road­ vehicle use at Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP).

Two tools have been expertly used to create an inaccurate perception. They are aerial photos and a study by the University of Georgia assessing trail mileage within the 582,000-acre preserve. Along with others, I have seen the still photos in the newspapers of some large ORV trails. What I haven't read, though, is the fact that this type of trail is rare. Photos alone will never illustrate a true sense of scale. What can provide such a sense is ninth-grade arithmetic.

The BCNP can be viewed as a 30.16-by-30.16­mile square. This equals 909.4 square miles, which equals 582,000 acres. Believe it or not, there is enough space inside this square to generate more than 2.4 million miles of trails using two-foot-wide tires! When we compare this with the University of Georgia study that estimates 27,000 miles of actual ORV trails, we begin to see reality. In the past 60-plus years, these vehicles have generated a mere 1.125 percent of the trails they could have generated.

There are three reasons. First, we ORV users truly love the land and have never been out to harm it. Second, some terrain is intentionally avoided because it is unsafe. Third, other areas are avoided to minimize the possibility of mechanical damage to the ORV. We aren't out to rack up miles but to reach sites and places that are very important to us.

I feel that ORV users have limited themselves over the years, so they have earned the right to wear the hat of the good guy. The National Parks Service and the Department of the Interior should not be allowed to steal 98.6 percent of the trail system.

We all understand South Florida is growing rapidly, and in view of that, we could consider a trail mileage freeze at the current level, only 1.125 percent of Big Cypress' space. I really feel we should rethink even studying this issue at all. Surely the federal government can better use these millions of dollars to improve the lives of the elderly and youth of this great nation.

Frank F. Denninger

Particularly when it comes to bad grub: I read the angry letter from a reader ("Dusting Off the Mustang," October 19) regarding Jen Karetnick's review [of Mustang Sally's] ("You've Got to Be Kidding," October 12). After reading a few of her other reviews, I'm already a fan. I am a true foodie and give hands-on cooking classes in people's homes. I used to live in San Francisco and was hooked on Patricia Unterman's restaurant reviews in The Examiner and the Chronicle. She was very knowledgeable about food and restaurant service and refreshingly candid in her reviews.

I find both The Herald's and the Sun-Sentinel's restaurant critics very middle-of-the-road. Let's face it -- one can't like everything about one's dining experience. Also, I like everything broken down into details. If I read one more red-sauce Italian restaurant review that raves about garlic rolls or antipasto (read: iceberg lettuce with cold cuts), I think I'll scream! Unfortunately, living in Pembroke Pines, I'm relegated to formulaic chain restaurants.

I am looking forward to following Jen's lead as far as trying out a critically acclaimed restaurant. Knowing as much as I do about food and my passion for cooking, dining out has got to be as good as or better than I can prepare. I've had it with mediocrity in food preparation; the core of a head of lettuce in my salad bowl or worse, a pool of water at the bowl's bottom. Then there's the wait staffer named Kristy, Brandi, or Meghan who couldn't care less or who giggles when you complain about your meal. Oh, Jen -- can we talk?!

Keep up the good work, and I'll surely continue to be a fan.

Alice Colin
Pembroke Pines

Editor's note: Readers won't have Jen Karetnick to kick around for a few weeks. Blame her son, Jeremy Simon, who was born October 19. Weight: seven pounds, two ounces.

Maybe it will reopen as a Mac and Don's: I didn't even bother to read the review of Mustang Sally's. I've been going to that restaurant since it was City Slickers (even had my wedding reception there), then Beverly Hills Café. Each time it closed, it caught me by surprise, as I always liked the food and would show up to locked doors. So when it opened again as Mustang Sally's, my wife and I just assumed that, despite the name change, everything would be fine.

Wrong! I wasn't biased by any review, but if the Sunday brunch is any indication, I won't be back. The food was poor to mediocre, the service was too friendly (the waiter looked like Maynard G. Krebs and sat down at our table to "chat" about the daily offering), and when I asked for orange juice, I got a glass of what I can describe only as murky water with an orange smell. When I asked for water, the waiter repeatedly nodded that he hadn't forgotten us while he continued to wait on other tables. My wife remarked that it looked like the entire establishment was being run by teenagers.

I don't know what drugs were slipped into the Herald reviewer's drink (could have been that weird OJ), but this place just ain't got it. I have nothing against Cooper City, but Mustang Sally's will probably go out of business quicker than the better restaurants preceding it. And not because of location.

Gary Barth

Due to an editing error, the October 19 cover story ("Swamp Wars," Bob Whitby) misstated the Florida Biodiversity Project's funding source for its lawsuit against the National Park System. The lawsuit was funded by a private foundation. New Times regrets the error.

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