In your story about prostitution on Federal Highway in Hollywood ("Street Life," Emma Trelles, February 15), you characterized the corner of Federal Highway and Fillmore Street as a mecca for prostitutes, drug dealers, and users. While in the past this may have been true, the area is changing due to the efforts of people like the owners of the Entrada Hotel and the business I am a partner in, Massage Therapeutics Spa.
We have taken a motel and turned it into a bright spot. Last year your very newspaper named us Best Day Spa in Broward and Palm Beach counties. This past September we won the City of Hollywood's Project Pride award. Also the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has its headquarters just one and a half blocks south of this intersection.
The Hollywood police have done a credible job of lowering crime in the area, and it seems the prostitution problem moves from one section of Federal Highway to another. But it is not fair to characterize the area around Fillmore and Federal Highway as a bad neighborhood -- it isn't. We have done a lot to try to improve the area and would like the public to know there is no reason to think if they come to our spa they will be propositioned and offered drugs before they can get in our door.
John Wadsworth, partner
Massage Therapeutics Spa
Reaching the inner streetwalker:
I just read and was very impressed with your story concerning Hollywood prostitutes. You really managed to put a human face on the issues of drug abuse and prostitution, and I especially enjoyed the way you delved a bit into the personal histories of the women. It was the last paragraph of the article that really hit home with me, about the wind chimes the prostitute had put up in her trashed motel room to have something nice to look at. These prostitutes are human beings whose only sin is not being able to say no to their addictions. Instead of people demanding that prostitutes be taken off the streets, maybe, because of your article, they will understand how the prostitutes came to be there in the first place.
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These guys are gimmick-free:
I have to disagree with Jeff Stratton's comments about the Hep Cat Boo Daddies (Bandwidth, January 11). The author seems so jaded by the music scene here that he doesn't appreciate a good thing when he sees it. Yes, the Hep Cat Boo Daddies do some standard blues songs, but they are anything but a standard blues band.
These guys are electrifying! They mix songs and styles from surf to blues, and let's not forget that they absolutely rock! Every pair of feet in the Poor House was moving that night; let's not minimize that! Let's face it, a lot of bands these days are about gimmick. These guys are about playing from the soul and delivering what their fans truly love, good music!
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LaFontaine takes on the homophobes:
A special thank you to New Times and Emily Bliss for featuring a gay Eagle Scout in your cover story ("A Scout for Life," January 4). I applaud your investigative news reporting.
America was founded as a republic. Therefore America has certain responsibilities to all citizens. Discriminatory policies should not exist in a country that has constitutionally guaranteed freedom for all. The Supreme Court, public schools, the military, police departments, fraternal organizations, corporations, and religious groups directly violate our Constitution.
From the time one is born gay, one experiences discrimination and harassment. I believe the religious right promotes hatred and discrimination. Thank you, Mr. Mark LaFontaine. Your bravery should entitle you to yet another badge: courage.
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