Letters to the Editor

My dinner with Kvetchnick?
I would like to compliment Emma Trelles on a fair and balanced story about my letter-writing habits and thoughts ("The Man Who Wrote Too Much," January 11).

I would like to clear up a few things, though. First, with regard to the legal battle over my great-nephew: My wife at the time and I did not attempt to claim temporary custody of him. Rather we were awarded temporary custody because his parents were drug users.

We never "dropped the custody battle," as Trelles wrote. Rather after our great-nephew's father abandoned him and returned to Ecuador and his mother gave birth to twins, the ever-loony Judge Steven Robinson awarded custody back to the mother -- against the recommendation of the state.

As for The Herald, you gave them and their "letter Nazi," Zulay Dominguez Chirinos, too much publicity. Of course it is easy to silence me, Zulay. You and others did it for almost a decade by banning me from the Readers' Forum. Aren't you just special? NOT!

And while at One Herald Plaza, let's talk about sports columnist Dan Le Batard. The fact that he gets paid for his opinions shows how rotten The Herald's sports section remains. At minimum wage, Dan, you would be overpaid! By a long shot!

Finally, I have suspended writing to The Digest. Ever since its publisher, Dan Bluesten, canceled Joe Schneider's column and replaced it with the propaganda of Hollywood's mayor, Mara Giulianti, I have decided his freebie was not worthy of my time to read, let alone respond to it.

In closing, as for Jen (Kvetchnik) Karetnick, I suggest that she and I go out to dinner while she is preparing to write a restaurant review so that I might better understand her job and how she goes about doing what she does. Whatever that is. Of course, Jen, you can bring along bodyguards, if they'll make you feel safer. I await your invite, but I won't hold my breath.

Harvey Slavin

Gay-haters are really haymakers:
Dr. Laura Schlessinger says homosexuality is as close to Satan as you can get. She has also called gays "biological defects." Her attacks against gays and lesbians are legion and ongoing. This woman (if you can call her that) has the staunch support of the most vehement, antigay groups and people to come around since Nazi Germany. These people include, in part, Dr. D. James Kennedy (Coral Ridge Ministries), Jerry Falwell (Liberty Alliance), Jay Sekulow (American Center for Law and Justice), and James Dobson (Focus on the Family), to name only a few.

Hatred of homosexuals and homosexuality has spawned a cottage industry of social-conservative extremist organizations. Currently their rallying point is the Boy Scouts' ban on gays. Courageous Scout Mark LaFontaine, whom New Times did a fabulous job profiling in "A Scout for Life," (Emily Bliss, January 4), is a pillar of decency, respect, honor, integrity, loyalty, and all those good human qualities instilled in him by the Boy Scouts of yesteryear. Everyone agrees that LaFontaine is the pinnacle of human achievement. Everyone, that is, except for those who would use him as a conduit for hate. Thus the demonstration begins.

These radical groups claim they "love" gays. I beg to disagree! They continue to use the courts in an attempt to deny gay people every single human right bestowed by God. They don't believe in equal rights for gays. They believe in no rights for gays. Since they can't use the "love" argument for attacking gays, they go for the "protect the children" argument.

They figure if they can portray themselves as "child protectors" (like Dr. Laura), then America will heed their call. This, however, is where they fall on their faces the hardest! Just beneath the surface, bubbling, is their core fear of gays in the Boy Scouts -- the fear that some gay men or boys might make sexual advances on the straight boys in the Scouts. Dr. Laura has enhanced this fear on her show by screaming, "If any man made a pass at my boy, I'd kill him!" (Incidentally, her "boy" is not a frail infant any longer, he's six-foot-two, a strapping fellow in his mid-to-late teens -- almost a man!) Scout history reveals, however, that there have been very few episodes of man-to-boy sex; the token cases that have arisen have been met with harsh punishment: convictions and incarceration.

Dr. Laura even takes it a step further to suggest that all gay men cannot be trusted around boys unless they are related or closely supervised. She maintains "grown men" are the only people having sex with boys. She encourages her groupies (fans) to write Congress, urging members to draft legislation that would address their myth. That's why you have all these silly referendums popping up around the country, especially in the South. Be very suspicious of groups that like to spike their titles with words like traditional, families, and values. You can bet Dr. Laura had something to do with it. The "protect the children" argument fails miserably.

The option that is left for the gay-haters is simply to use their organizations to rake in huge sums of cash by portraying decent men like Eagle Scout Mark LaFontaine as rabid-mouthed societal outcasts and for right-wing wackos like Dr. Laura to regurgitate their mantra in a vain attempt to recruit more bigots in their deceptive web of deceit.

Americans, for the most part, are aware of this agenda. Thank God for people like gay Eagle Scout Mark LaFontaine -- a shining light of truth illuminating the dark void of homophobia.

Scotty Feldman
Boynton Beach

Gypsy's really rosy:
This is regarding the letter from "a concerned museum member" in your January 4 issue. Rather than being criticized, Bob Whitby should be commended for calling attention to a very important and underutilized resource in our community ("Bones of Contention," December 7). Casting aspersions on Gypsy Graves is unfair. She has dedicated her life to working selflessly not only for the Graves Museum but also for other Broward groups. She is scrupulously honest, and that the museum exists at all is to her credit.

Now that the museum has reached the size and magnitude that it has, control and administration have become subjects of controversy. Therefore, the solution to these problems lies in academia. Most museums, because of the oft-mentioned and oft-neglected research component, are affiliated with a university. Several years ago Gypsy and I made some preliminary arrangements with Florida Atlantic University. If the museum were to be administered by a university, most of the problems would be resolved and a curator would become more important. The Graves Museum has not had a curator, and this has been a mistake.

The museum has wonderful treasures to be shared with children and adults alike. I hope an educational institution or nonprofit foundation can forge an alliance with the museum that will help develop this community gem.

Florence Smith
Fort Lauderdale

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