Letters

If She's Such a Great Psychic, How Come She Didn't Know She'd Be Appointed Queen?

I suppose Ray Martinez felt compelled, in his article on King Mango's new queen, Ellen Whitmore, to get into the spirit of the Strut and zero in on the zanier aspects of Ms. Whitmore's personality ("Her Royal Weirdness," December 26). That's all well and good, but those of us who know and love Ellen will attest to the fact that in addition to being a Grove character, she is quite serious about her work.

That's right -- work.
Mr. Martinez refers to Ms. Whitmore as an "unemployed psychic," which, at least in her case, is an oxymoron. More accurately, she is a self-employed psychic, and a damn good one at that. She is educated, well traveled, informed, and opinionated, and chooses to use her considerable talents advising people who are seeking fulfillment in their lives.

Her clients include writers and painters, doctors and lawyers, students and teachers -- in short, the full gamut of individuals who together compose the true heart and soul of the Grove. Ellen Whitmore is, indeed, the perfect choice to represent the King Mango Strut. Hail the new queen!

Mark Deland
Coconut Grove

City to Anchorage: Go Spring a Leak
I thought the article Sean Rowe wrote about the Dinner Key Anchorage was very good ("Anchors Away," December 12). With great concern, he covered most aspects of life on a boat. But there were a few things he didn't mention that I'd like to share with you.

Pete Sawyer, who years ago was the first chairman of the city's Waterfront Advisory Board, tells me that the Anchorage was the first thing on his agenda. Furthermore, the board laid out a full set of rules about twenty years ago for the city to use. They were never implemented.

About four years ago, city staff did sit down with members of the Dinner Key Anchorage Association and actually came to an agreement. For a small fee based on the length of their boats, the Anchorage people got drinking water, trash pickup, use of the showers (under city hall), and a parking place.

The fee was not great, but still everyone did not join. For some time, however, there was peace between the live-aboards and the city. It was wonderful!

Then one day when the Anchorage people came in to make their monthly payments, they were advised that the number of parking spaces available would be reduced by, I believe, 25 percent. No one knew who had done it or why. Later the number of spaces was again reduced. Again no reason or responsible party. Finally there was no more agreement, according to the city's staff.

Eventually the drinking-water faucet near the dinghy dock was shut off. No more drinking water for the Anchorage. The reason was obvious: One of the homeless people who congregate in the area was seen taking a shower -- without any clothes. So the logical thing to do was to shut off everyone's drinking water. Most people would admit that the man taking the shower was under the influence of something or other. But no one called the law.

David Bricker, president of the Anchorage Association, has offered many times over the past few years to pay the city for the small services they had before, but the city has not accepted the offer. The city probably doesn't need the money.

Mixed into this, the county environmental protection agency has been pointing a finger at the live-aboards as terrible polluters while completely ignoring the four-foot-diameter storm sewer at the bottom of 27th Avenue, which belongs to the Florida Department of Transportation and which runs continuously. To get an idea of what comes out of this storm sewer, check the pile of black mud at the outfall. If all the live-aboards had diarrhea, they couldn't do as much damage in a year as this drain does every week.

John A. Brennan
Miami

Damaged Credibility or Deep Confusion: You Be the Judge
I am deeply confused by Kathy Glasgow's recent article concerning the Economic Opportunity Family Health Center ("Clinical Depression," November 14). Was Ms. Glasgow hinting at either incompetency or dishonesty? If so, she has damaged her own credibility. If the Family Health Center is guilty of anything, it is trying too hard to meet the health needs of its community with insufficient funding.

The situation will get worse as welfare "reform" and the disenfranchisement of immigrants follows the debacle of health care "reform." The Family Health Center is in great danger of being a casualty of these forces. Rather than blaming the victim, why not apply your journalistic skills to expose the mean-spiritedness and hypocrisy of how our government and society are dealing with health care for the poor in general and the HIV epidemic among the poor in particular.

Arthur M. Fournier, M.D.
Associate Dean for Community Health Affairs
University of Miami School of Medicine

 
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