Letters from the Issue of November 23, 2006

"You are sanctioning further police corruption"

Good Cop

Bad cop = big money: In reference to Carl Jones's "A Snitch Seeks His Money" (November 9): If you castigate a police officer who — for whatever reason — came forward to tell the truth about police corruption, then you are sanctioning further police corruption. You are warning honest officers against standing up for truth, honesty, and ethics. Bill Hames did the crime, pleaded guilty, and accepted his sentence. But now you criticize him for trying to keep his pension — though his sentence did not dictate he would lose it. So you are telling other police officers: "Don't dare break the code of silence and do the right thing, or we will take away everything you own and put you in the poor house." Don't expect to clean up corruption with that kind of message being sent.

Bill Henderson
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Blame It on Lee

Or at least give him credit: Lee Zimmerman's "Rio Return" (November 9) was a great story, man. I saw the band at Bang and they looked and sounded great. Good work ... great article.

David Rousseau

Vote for Marc

You just like the guy?: We read the story called "District 2 Dustup" (November 2) and were quite surprised that Francisco Alvarado half-heartedly suggested Frank Rollason might win. Rollason is a very skilled public servant and an honorable man. (If Marc Sarnoff had not made the runoff, we would have happily endorsed Frank.) Sarnoff brings a completely fresh perspective to District 2. In fact he came in first in the general election by defeating the second-place candidate by 600 votes. Perhaps your paper would like to do a story explaining why so many people voted for the populist candidate. Readers might be interested to know how a candidate running on a quality-of-life platform could do so well. Please remind people the runoff is November 21.

Peter Ehrlich
Lemon City Taxpayers Association

Let's do the math: Regarding "District 2 Dustup": The vote count is still unofficial owing to provisional votes and absentee ballots. The numbers gathered as of November 9 are as follows:

Linda Haskins votes: 3734
Marc Sarnoff votes: 4323
Total votes for top two candidates: 8057
Percentage of registered voters who cast ballots for top two candidates: 22.36

As of November 3, records indicate the following:

Linda Haskins: $405,595 (funds raised), $388,243 (monetary expenditure)
Marc Sarnoff: $77,800 (funds raised), $74,976 (monetary expenditure)

Amount of money invested by the candidates to win each vote:

Linda Haskins: $103.97
Marc Sarnoff: $17.34

Conclusion: It is a sad fact that there were so few voters. It is amazing that the average cost per vote is $60.65. It is bewildering that so much money is being spent to obtain a job that previously paid only $7000 and now pays around $50,000.

If the job is worth so much to the candidates and their many financial supporters, perhaps they should be paying us taxpayers for the honor of serving the community!

Harry Emilio Gottlieb
Coconut Grove

Abortion Can Be Good

Even if you're poor: As an advocate for safe healthcare for all women, including those terminating pregnancy, I was horrified to read about local abortion clinics operated by unlicensed and unqualified staff in Joanne Green's "In the Bag" (October 26). Unfortunately the article did not address the fact that there are high-quality medical facilities in Miami-Dade County providing abortion as part of a broad range of reproductive healthcare services in a safe environment. These facilities are accessible to all women, rich and poor alike.

Clinics such as A Choice for Women in Kendall are staffed by board-certified obstetrician/gynecologists who are assisted by trained, licensed professionals. They provide not only termination of pregnancy but also other vital services. Before even asking a woman to undress, they offer unbiased counseling to help her sort through her feelings and explore her options. For those who choose to continue the pregnancy, they provide referrals for needed social services and/or adoption. These clinics also provide their patients with education about sexual health and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, diagnosis and treatment of any existing sexually transmitted infection, and education about the successful use of birth control and emergency contraception (the morning-after pill).

By implying that women without financial resources who seek an abortion have no alternative but to turn to clinics like those you described, you did a grave disservice. Women throughout the country who need help paying for an abortion can seek that assistance from one of 108 member organizations of the National Network of Abortion Funds. In 2005 these organizations together spent more than two million dollars subsidizing abortion and related healthcare for 22,000 women. In Miami women needing help paying for an abortion can turn to Women's Emergency Network (www.wen-online.org), which makes referrals only to first-rate clinics.

To find a safe, licensed, accredited abortion clinic, contact the National Abortion Federation (www.prochoice.org). Accredited clinics must participate in periodic quality-assurance site visits, register employees involved in abortion care, and comply with policy guidelines.

I applaud you for helping to expose the fraudulent, unscrupulous abortion providers in our community. Now your readers need to know we have some first-rate providers as well.

Carol Cohan, executive director
Women's Emergency Network
Coral Gables

If you get the bad guys: "In the Bag" by Joanne Green shows how unscrupulous persons take advantage of patients. Whether it be abortions, plastic surgery, or dental care, we need oversight of the medical community so that all persons have access to safe healthcare. Abortion is legal, and women should be assured that if they so choose, the procedure will not be performed by an unlicensed person who pretends to be a doctor.

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