SO THAT'S HOW SLUMS GET STARTED!
Regarding your story about a trash heap in a police parking garage ("Unsolved Mysteries, Dateline Miami Beach," September 25): Your tongue-in-cheek approach to the incident was uncalled for. Chief of Police Philip Huber, coming from Baltimore, is obviously accustomed to clean streets and clean areas all over his city.
If everyone who painted graffiti could be made to stop it, this city of ours would look a lot cleaner. Filth breeds crime, slums, and an aura of hopelessness for all those who must see the deplorable scenes daily.
Our city commissioners could well take some lessons from their chief of police. In fact, during this political campaign season on Miami Beach, we are witnessing many violations of anti-litter and political-sign laws all over the city. We are being turned into one big garbage dump with political advertising and signs being the culprits.
No, rather than poking fun at the chief of police for his appreciation of cleanliness and just plain common decency, he should be complimented. I just wish all members of our community had the respect for other people's property and a greater concern for keeping our city blight free. To those of you who choose to be ill-mannered and uncaring for others around you, may I say: If dirt were trumps, what hands you would hold!
Ronald C. Rickey
JUST SAY "KNOW"
At 25 years of age Kathy Johnson ("Letters," September 25) seems trapped within the citadel of dogma and the Society for Watered-down Arts. Attacking bands such as Marilyn Manson and Bergasse 19 seems to show a fear of progression. Stagnating arts and sciences seem at best a futile attempt to pacify the desire for growth.
I feel obligated to state (since we were attacked) that Bergasse 19 does not promote the use of LSD (or caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or any other corporate chemical). Just say "know." We also do not promote government revolts. We do use declassified CIA files for our flyers, mostly from MK-ULTRA (a CIA operation during the Sixties that experimented with LSD for use in unconventional warfare).
Bergasse 19 does promote the ideas "Think for yourself" and "Question authority." We also promote the notion that Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids are one of the more innovative bands around!
STARTING TO GET A LITTLE PISSED?
I found your article, "The Case from Hell" (September 11 and 18) to be slanted. I've worked for HRS for a while, after ten years of working in a variety of human-service agencies in another state; and HRS certainly gets a lot of bad press. Oh, well. If Lee Iacocca ran HRS, we wouldn't be in America, which, let's face it, has no heart.
There are only three basic HRS stories in the press. One is powerful, wicked HRS destroying innocent families. Another is weak, incompetent HRS callously letting some poor kid get beaten to death by his mother, sister, or stepdad. More than 60,000 people work for HRS, so there must be blood on a lot of hands. As a child-abuse worker in HRS, I'm also tired of being portrayed in the press as a poor, pathetic, underpaid, undereducated, overwhelmed sap, a sick control freak, or an incompetent, bumbling, dangerous fool, as Mr. Fromme, in your "Letters to the Editor" column states (September 18).
I do what I do for my own reasons, because it's fun, and for the money. I've helped women who had had handicapped cocaine babies get their tubes tied. I've gotten kids in day care who lived in one-bedroom apartments with nine brothers and sisters. I don't expect the Carnegie medal for dealing with things every day that most people wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole but, just as an aside, if one more well-meaning, patronizing ninny tells me my job must be "so fulfilling," I'll scream. Cut me a break.
Mr. Almond's article is completely one-sided, as the professionals he attacks are constrained by certain ethics from commenting, unlike members of the family and the defense attorneys. I have worked with the principals mentioned throughout the story. They're regular folks who try to do a good job, although Almond makes them seem like insane child snatchers, and makes Judge Seymour Gelber sound like some kind of rustic fool, for his well-meaning explanation of why the burden of proof in juvenile-dependency law is different from criminal law.
The laws of this state empower these people to do what they're doing, and who does Almond think makes the laws? Between people constantly calling me up on the job to take care of their business, and such trivial, misinformed, sensationalist reporting as Mr. Almond's, I'm starting to get a little pissed. By the way, the Nogueses certainly seem like a mixed-up bunch, and three judges, often the harshest critics of HRS, found merit in the state's case. I could cite numerous instances in this article of misinformation and twisting of facts, betraying either ignorance on the part of Mr. Almond or willful distortion. Obviously he's trying to make a name for himself by picking up on everyone's favorite target. Print this if you have the nerve.
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A small modicum of sanity in an otherwise unfathomable world: "The regulars make a point of not knowing its source;" "Just something to put in the window;" "It pays to rent;" "That's one address I can forget."
Shakespeare? Keats? Descartes? No, Katchor, who raises the mundane to excitement ("Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer" cartoon). Why does he do this? What type of man is he? Computer analysis of Mr. Knipl cartoons indicates that Katchor should have the world's second most extensive collection of dental floss (waxed and unwaxed, none flavored - purists avoid this type) collected by and sent to him from several continents, some samples reaching up to an unprecedented fifteen inches in length.
The regulars want to know! How about an article on Mr. Excitement's father,