Letters from the Issue of July 2, 2009
Thug or No Thug
Careful, you writer wimp: I'm a retired cop, and after reading Gus Garcia-Roberts's June 25 article "Cracked Cowboy," I suggest the writer be careful with people such as Jon Roberts. Taunting could cause them to cross the line and do real harm to you.
Remember that during their drug days, these people killed many others for next to nothing. You are dealing with a man who not only ruined his own life but also thousands of others with the large quantity of drugs he helped get into the hands of folks.
Last week, a nut case walked into the locker room of the nation's most popular high school coach and murdered him.
That's why I carry a gun everywhere I go.
No need to fret, you writer wimp: This bum is no tough guy, so there's no need to worry about anything. He's an outright snitch. Apparently he likes to slap women around, which makes him an even bigger chump. After seeing Cocaine Cowboys, I always figured him to be a stool pigeon based on the way he spoke, his mannerisms, and, most of all, his joke of a federal sentence. Hey, Jon, please don't try to pass yourself off as a wise guy unless you're trying to emulate Henry Hill.
Just chat with the guy, you writer wimp!: You have to respect the fact that this person has gone through such an eventful life and has been able to stay alive — no matter how he did it. Granted, he has broken laws and killed people, but so have many of the great leaders in our history. Whether you like it or not, Jon Roberts is becoming a legend.
This article reminds me to never trust reporters on keeping quiet. But then again, how else would I have known about what Roberts said? I guess in a way, you are the bird in the forest that tells us the tree fell.
I think the writer should tell Roberts that if he didn't want anything printed, he should have stayed silent and that you both work in a business/world in which info/sound waves travel, whether he likes it or not.
Action at Jackson
Piece of praise: Thank you to Natalie O'Neill for her extensive and riveting June 18 cover story, "Piece of Mind." I can only imagine the amount of research, time, and effort that went into such a gigantic exposé.
I'm glad the public can now be apprised of Jackson Mental Health Hospital's habitual negligence. I have forwarded your article to many colleagues and friends.
David S. Ehrlich, Esq.
Piece of geography: Great article! The problem is nationwide. Minnesota's state government is proposing cutting $100 million from Health and Human Services.
When I was in college, I worked at a grocery store in St. Cloud, Minnesota, where there are a number of halfway houses and mental hospitals. A 50-year-old woman from one of those houses came in to the store and slit her wrists for attention. I bound up her wounds and called an ambulance. The emergency room sewed her up and released her the same day. She was back in the store a few hours later.
To summarize, Minnesota has the same revolving-door policy in regard to mental health as Florida.
Dump the managers: The system is broken because the budget cuts affect the staff that provides services to patients, when the ones who should get laid off are the many middle managers who do nothing all day yet collect large salaries. The hospital should do like the business world, which downsizes by letting go middle managers, not direct service people. Don't cut nurses; cut managers and administrators. Services will improve very quickly.
Awards, Awards, Awards
Miami New Times' art director Pam Shavalier took home a first-place award for cover design at the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies convention last week in Tucson. Staff writer Francisco Alvarado grabbed second place in the short-form news story category. Also, columnist Elyse Wanshel took second place for humor among small papers in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists contest. Editor Chuck Strouse took honorable mention in the same competition and third for serious columns in the SPJ Green Eyeshade Awards, which cover the 11 Southeastern states.
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