Letters from the Issue of August 25, 2005

Condo fantasies, disappearing nurses, and boogers as art

The Throbbing Towers of Übertown

Sexy lifestyle condos for sale now! South Florida is indeed in the midst of an unprecedented condominium building boom. Your tongue-in-cheek, satirical condo article was very humorous ("Übertown," August 18). It reminded me of the sacrilegious approach Mad Magazine takes to ridicule sacred cows.

The overtly sexual and phallic references helped to magnify the absurdity of the manner in which many luxury condominium developers market themselves. The target market and prices of these units could only be of interest to foreigners with deep pockets and big libidos.

The fact is that most of the units sold in these new buildings will only include one parking space. That will soon become a big problem for the unit owners. But it will bring lots of additional revenue to the Miami Parking Authority what with all the money generated by tickets for expired meters and illegal parking. The shortage of parking spaces will be a gold mine for the tow truck companies as well.

I wonder how many folks who saw "Übertown" didn't know it was not real! I wonder how many tried calling Lucre Development to place a deposit on a preconstruction unit or two. You should establish a phone number or e-mail address to record the results. I suspect it generated a lot of interest from people who are more than eager to invest in the latest, newest, tallest, biggest, most luxurious, sexiest condo project.

Harry Emilio Gottlieb

Coconut Grove

Can You Say SNAFU?

Those new decorative lights along Coral Way? Just wait: The Bitch's note about the Coral Way lighting project ("New Gold Dream," August 18) quite correctly pointed out the apparent disconnect between the touted purpose of the Homeland Defense/Neighborhood Improvement bond issue and the resulting spending. In the case of this effort, yet another surprise is in the wings.

It turns out that the particular fixtures chosen for the installation are totally unsuitable for the task at hand. The problem is that the actual bulb in a significant number of the fixtures will be visible to drivers, causing a distracting and dangerous glare that will inevitably doom the project soon after the lights go on. Many of the fixtures have been fitted with shrouds, which some pinhead no doubt figures will solve the problem. It won't.

Be on the alert for the following developments: First there will be one or more postponements of the inauguration ceremony for reasons such as "landscaping," the city commissioners' schedules, you name it. Then if the switch ever does get thrown, the whole thing will be turned off shortly thereafter for "adjustments." A period of denial will be followed by shifting of the blame here and there.

This could be an interesting tale.

Howard Beasley

Shenandoah

Good Nurse, Bad Nurse

At Jackson they need more of one and less of the other: When I read Forrest Norman's article about his mother-in-law's transplant operation and Jackson Memorial Hospital's nurses ("Disappearing Nurses," August 11), I just had to write. My husband also had a liver transplant. His was done just a few days after Mr. Norman's mother-in-law's. We had very similar experiences.

It seems to me that although there are many very fine and professional nurses left at Jackson and every other hospital where my husband has been a patient over the past three and a half years, there are a lot more who should never have received their licenses. These are the ones who get mad at you and treat you badly if you have an accident in your bed. I feel so badly for those who are at their mercy. Instead of treating you with a kind word and an understanding heart, they are rough with you and jerk you around as if you had come in for a common cold. After what I have seen these past few years, it scares me to death to think I might get sick and actually need one of them.

Name Withheld by Request

Hollywood

Doctors Without Supporters

At Jackson the great MDs need better RNs: I hope Forrest Norman's mother-in-law is doing well by this time. My father had a liver transplant two years ago. He was in the hospital for six months and developed every type of infection imaginable during his stay. He is alive because of a miracle of God.

I totally agree that the doctors are absolutely wonderful at Jackson but the nursing staff and the helpers who stay with patients 24 hours a day leave a lot to be desired. I recall on several occasions coming in and finding staff with colds and horrible coughs and not covering their faces or wearing the gowns when attending to patients. I tell you it's a pity because the doctors are great. I feel for every patient who has a transplant, because they have a special problem with immunity and such. I used to cringe.

I remember my father developed a sore on his hand the third day after his transplant and I proceeded to tell the nurse. I was afraid it would get infected. I told three nurses on several occasions. It went unnoticed until the surgeon passed by on his routine rounds and luckily I was there to see him. I explained to him about my father's sore. Immediately the whole floor went wild. He rushed the nurses inside. Two hours later my father had the sore biopsied and sure enough he had a horrible fungal infection owing to an IV that hadn't been checked for two days. That was just the beginning of our family's horrible ordeal. I hope things will get better, but I am not so optimistic. Things never do. It's great Forrest Norman wrote a story about this problem to bring it to light. I hope something good will come of this.

Name Withheld by Request

Miami

Latest Healthcare Trend: Shrinkage

At Jackson and elsewhere staffing is down while demand is up: On behalf of the 4000 RNs, physicians, and medical professionals at Jackson Memorial Hospital, I am sorry for Mr. Norman's mother-in-law's experience on West Wing 15 as reported in his article "Disappearing Nurses."

I hear his frustration that there was a shortage of RNs to provide care, a shortage of secretaries to answer call lights, and a shortage of environmental workers to clean patient rooms. As healthcare workers we share his frustration as we too experience these shortages while striving to provide quality care.

Owing to the lack of healthcare money, all hospitals are suffering. The unfortunate reality is that this experience is not unique to Jackson. Actually Jackson's RN staffing is better than other area hospitals because of a longstanding commitment to staff with RNs.

I hope that as we move forward, patients and healthcare workers can be partners in solving this healthcare crisis that plagues hospitals in this country, not just Jackson. Together let's demand that our politicians put our tax dollars into healthcare -- for Jackson and nationally -- so that no other patients face the experience of Mr. Norman's family. Let's make healthcare a priority in this country!

Martha Baker, RN

Miami Beach

Dolphins: Facial Hair

Dali did it to the Mona Lisa, so why not? What do you hope to accomplish with your "Dump This Dolphin!" contest? Sounds like an NFL product promotion to me. You cannot substitute colors for talent. Perhaps a mustache on the dolphin would satisfy you.

Norman Davis, Sr.

Blairsville, Georgia

Dolphins: New Tune

Bet you didn't even know the Fins had a fight song: What a coincidence that New Times should promote a "Dump This Dolphin" campaign. A friend and I were just discussing how they need to redo the fight song for the team. It has a definite Sixties air. Like the logo, it doesn't exactly strike fear in our opponents.

I think for next season we should create a whole new Dolphins team -- new logo and fight song. Then Super Bowl, here we come!

Crystal Downs

South Miami

Lettuce Thank You

Our manifesto -- people need affordable salads: We want to thank Pamela Robin Brandt for what we think was a great review of our restaurant, Giardino Gourmet Salads ("Where the Green Things Are," August 11). We truly appreciate her time.

We are excited about this new concept, and getting the word out is what we need. Our goal is to create a great healthy fast-food place affordable to the everyday person.

Ody Lugo

Coral Gables

Skirts and the Men Who Wear Them

Yes, we have our own Website: The Bitch's story "Skirt Stake" (August 4) is being discussed at Tom's Café, one of the Internet forums about guys who believe that males should wear kilts and skirts more frequently. The article was very well written, pointing out clear contradictions between what Lior Gonda says happened to him and what the Boynton Beach Mall claims happened.

We would be interested in a follow-up article and would also be interested in knowing if a date is set for Lior Gonda and his friends to return to the mall skirted, because some of us would like to join him.

Keep up the good work!

Cory Kerr

Gainesville

Battling Arts Districts

Can't tell the players without a scorecard (and a map): I was reading the article by Julienne Gage, "Crown of Thorns" (July 21), and I noticed an error. I'm the director of Helix Gallery, which is in the Wynwood Art District, not in the Design District. Our address is 153 NW 36th St., Miami.

Cecilia Lopez Bravo

Miami

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