Letters

Where's Henry When You Need Him?
Jim DeFede's "Good Enough for Political Work" (August 8) brought out a very important point: Where has Henry Marinello been hiding all these years while folks like James Marshall, Lee Arthur Lawrence, and the late Kevin Broils were trying to bring a better quality of life to South Dade? Where was Marinello during the charge against HABDI, which was led by Commissioner Katy Sorenson and Miami Times columnist Rosa Reed (a South Dade resident)?

These questions merely scratch the surface of the multitude of questions that South Dade residents should ask themselves before they vote for Henry Marinello. But the real question is this: Where will Marinello be when the citizens of South Dade need him?

Marco Antonio Valdes
Princeton

Paid for by the Alex Penelas for God Committee
I am truly hurt, offended, disappointed, and frankly appalled when my favorite publication, New Times, produces and disseminates a denigrating and innuendo-filled article about a man who is undoubtedly the most caring, talented, conscientious, and honorable candidate running for any major local public office to appear in recent memory.

I shall refrain from a tirade of unkind yet accurate adjectives that come to mind regarding your "reporter," concerning both his fairness and his inability to evaluate a candidate. Jim DeFede writes that Alex Penelas is "Ambitious to a Fault" (August 1). When a man's ambition is solely to serve his community -- a community sorely in need -- why is it necessary for your reporter to gratuitously question both his rectitude and his sincerity?

I feel most confident that a strong Metro-Dade mayor in the person of Alex Penelas will do much to improve the quality of life in Dade County and the integrity of the office for many years to come.

Roye Levin
Miami

Neigh Sayer Spouts Off
Thank you for Elise Ackerman's recent article about Premarin, Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories' controversial estrogen drug made from pregnant mares' urine (PMU) ("And You Thought Hot Flashes Were Bad," July 18). Contrary to Wyeth-Ayerst's claims, all is not well down on the PMU farms.

To make Premarin, PMU farmers in the United States and Canada confine some 50,000 pregnant mares to tiny stalls for six months at a stretch. The cumbersome rubber urine-collection bags that mares must wear at all times chafe their legs and prevent them from lying down comfortably. Farmers have limited horses' access to water so their urine will yield more concentrated estrogen.

When U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors toured PMU farms, they found mares with stiff gaits and limps from "standing the line" without adequate exercise, and at least one mare who had been denied veterinary care for a wound that was "dripping pus." A veterinarian who works on PMU farms told the inspectors that some horses were suffering from "renal and liver problems," the result of insufficient drinking water.

The USDA isn't the only government agency to express concerns about Premarin. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions that "the urinary estrogen excretion by pregnant mares is widely variable." Studies have shown that the amount of estradiol -- one of the active hormones in Premarin -- can vary by almost 400 percent from one batch to the next.

Synthetic and plant-based estrogen drugs are widely available, and at least three of the drugs currently on the market -- Estrace, Estraderm, and Ogen -- have been approved by the FDA for use in preventing osteoporosis.

Paula Moore, correspondent
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Norfolk, VA

Before There Were Airplanes, There Were Airlines
Regarding Ray Martinez's article "They've Been Workin' on the Railroad" (July 4): How quickly we forget, especially if we are young, born long after the name of the Seaboard Airline Railroad was changed to the Florida East Coast Railway, the former being a name Henry Flagler never knew.

Why would a railroad be named "airline" before there were airplanes? See the 1896 revised version of Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, in which the word airline is defined, or try a current college dictionary.

Col. Richard Stark Bennett
Fort Lauderdale

That Cultural Thing
As a newcomer to Florida, I rely on New Times for cultural things. Even the small listings help (I was in them once or twice while gigging). Judy Cantor's writing on the arts continues to stimulate me. Best to all!

Jane Goldberg
Miami

 
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