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Letters to the Editor

Suicide Is Blameless
Thank you for the thoughtful, thorough, and sensitive article on elderly suicide in the January 20 issue of New Times ("No Exit," Bob Norman).

Your effort should assist in bringing this issue to the forefront, and I would hope that medical personnel, the clergy, politicians, and the general public can all play a role in fashioning a policy so that elderly people who are in a great deal of suffering can find either a way to end their lives with dignity or, if they choose, to spend their remaining days in a relatively secure home free of pain.

Gene Bunge
Hallandale Beach

Home of the Free and the Land of the… Criminal?
In reference to "A Family Portrait" (January 20) by Jim DeFede, Robert Andrew Powell, and Lissette Corsa, the enlightened (joke!) Armando Gutierrez showed us just how in touch he is with this great country when he stated, "Everybody has somebody in their family who was a troublemaker. But this is not a criminal family."

For your information, Mr. Gutierrez, in my family (both paternal and maternal sides) no one has ever been arrested or in trouble with the law. That goes for most other American families I have known and grown up with throughout my 40 years.

Here you are, parading around with this poor little boy, looking more like his jailer than someone who truly cares for his welfare. Elian is probably scared and bewildered beyond all comprehension. God only knows how he feels about the loss of his mother. And now you're denying him his father. And how nice it is to see him consorting with upright individuals such as Jose and Luis Cid.

Paul E. Czekanski

Hey Brian, Don't Worry About Laughing at Bob. The Feeling's Mutual.
I am awestruck by your article ("Night of the Living Heads," Bob Whitby, January 13). All I can say is go to something you have some aspiration of enjoying ahead of time and stay for the peak (midnight)!

Your article was hilariously foolish, though. I printed it out and handed it to everyone in the office (many Phish heads, many not), and we all enjoyed a good laugh.

It's a good thing there's still good journalism out there. People writing reviews on things they actually attend and such. Maybe you should take some lessons! For instance [Miami New Times music editor] Brett Sokol seems to know how to write. I think he's in Florida too. You two should do lunch, and he can show you a thing or two!

Brian Reen
via the Internet

A Political Stranglehold? That Sounds Painful.
Thanks for the story on Hollywood's first district elections ("Hollywood's True Colors," Julie Kay, January 13).

I would only like to make a comment regarding the District 2 "minority district" and your reference to it being formulated to guarantee a minority would be on the commission. There is no possible guarantee for a 38 percent minority district to ensure a minority commissioner. It was only an attempt to have a high-percentage minority district and candidates to be able to afford to run, including and encouraging minority candidates. What this election proves is that there are willing citizens who want to represent their neighborhoods. Twenty-two candidates would have been unheard of in past years, even with the "stacking of shills" for every previous election.

What exists today is opportunity for minorities to not only run for office but to vote, and for their votes to make a difference and have impact for the first time in Hollywood's history. The voters in Liberia, South Central, and North Central have an opportunity to have someone they can speak to whose life and experiences can help solve problems which have been neglected for years. Now every neighborhood will have a direct voice on the commission.

No matter who put whom in the race in any district, there is truly choice, and this is the opportunity not only for minorities but for every registered voter to make a difference, to make a change for progress and representation of and by the people. We may finally see democracy at work in Hollywood and the death of the political machine that has had a stranglehold on this city for well over a decade.

Linda Wilson
via the Internet

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