Herman is a gold digger! Forrest Norman's article "Yeshiva Dustup" (July 13) wonderfully portrays dashing, superfly, gold-digging attorney Jeffrey Herman as the greedy lawyer he is. Herman has piggy-backed onto the fashionable, trendy pedophile witch-hunt industry started by Fox TV's Bill O'Reilly. This has become a cash cow for O'Reilly and Herman marketing fear to parents. It works as long as they can maintain the ruse that all children under eighteen are helpless, frail infants incapable of a romantic thought or expression, therefore in need of constant protection from "responsible" adults like Bill O'Reilly.
However, more and more Americans are on to these hustling gold diggers' agenda of fattening their wallets at the expense of "victimized" adult males. Children are mere pawns used for the purposes of expanding bank accounts.
Don't forget, too, we all pay a high price for O'Reilly's and Herman's seedy activities. Just prior to September 11, 2001, the War on Terror was far from O'Reilly's mind. That's because he successfully pressured (blackmailed, actually) then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to focus all of his attention and resources on pedophiles on the Internet rather than terrorists in America. Many now credit this distraction as the main cause for September 11.
The Bill O'Reillys and Jeffrey Hermans are just as disgusting as child pornographers both use children to expand their bank accounts.
I did no-o-thing: I am disgusted by the mention of my name in the article "Yeshiva Dustup." I don't know why Forrest Norman referred to the false accusations against me and Ricardo Castellanos. This lawyer has sued the Archdiocese 30 times.
The claims by the Chinchillas and Currais are completely false. The sexual episode as claimed by the Chinchilla family never occurred. Castellanos was not even in the country when these alleged episodes occurred. In fact the father of the presumed victim recanted his claim under oath.
The Archdiocese did not accept blame but rather settled for economic reasons. I have publicly renounced all the settlements.
I have never been prosecuted criminally, nor have I been a defendant in any of Herman's lawsuits. Father Castellanos and I were voluntarily excluded.
Father Alvaro A. Guichard
Save the duckies: Congratulations to Lee Klein for exposing the cruelty behind the production of foie gras in "Foie Wars" (July 13). Customers who patronize restaurants serving it are complicit in adding to the suffering of animals raised and slaughtered for the food industry. Compassionate people can end the disgusting practice of force-feeding these hapless animals by simply boycotting restaurants that refuse to stop serving it. The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) has a list of those South Florida restaurants on its Website, www.animalrightsflorida.org.
Higado de pato, maybe? What a great article, "Foie Wars." Thank you for offering a very unbiased view of a very biased and difficult subject. The real problem here is not whether foie gras should be banned; it is whether we should offer this delicacy anymore. Maybe it's time to move on to other unique and wonderful products we can cook with, and open up the eyes of our customers to new and exciting culinary creations.
Robbin Haas, chef
A vegan T-bone, please: Thank you to Lee Klein and New Times for "Foie Wars." There is no excuse for any chef to claim ignorance about the source of foie gras. Chefs in South Florida have a reputation, deserved or not, for being consistently mediocre and unimaginative. A dependence on the unconscionable foie gras only reinforces that. Foie gras should hardly be deemed a measurement of a talented chef. Though I have never had it, it does not surprise me that, like all high-fat foods, foie gras is considered delicious. As with food drowned in creams and cheese, it seems lazy to declare this a delicacy. Here in South Florida, our most gifted chefs, like Jonathan Eismann, Johnny Vinczencz, and Giancarla Bodoni do not need foie gras to prove themselves (nor do any of the chefs in the city of Chicago, apparently, now that it has been banned there). Thank you again. I've already had friends who read the article tell me they "just didn't know" but will now avoid the restaurants that continue to serve foie gras.
Get your Grammys straight, you dolts: There was an error in the story "Heliocentric Theory" (July 20) by Julienne Gage. It stated, "Just a week before Michelle nearly took the Latin Grammy for Best New Tropical Artist with the Cuban group Conjunto Progreso...."
Conjunto Progreso was actually nominated for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album, and it was for the Grammys, not the Latin Grammys.
Director, producer, and vocals
Blue Russky: Excellent work in Abel Folgar's "From the Cold" (July 13). I've worked with Dmitriy Klevenskiy, pianist extraordinaire. He's way ahead of his time a Picasso of the piano. I perform a tribute to the King representing the name and legend of Elvis Presley mostly at private and concert functions. Dmitriy can play piano any time for my performances.
Charlie Babcock Jr.
Those happy parents are stinkers: My comments are in response to the letters from parents about Joanne Green's article "Rough Love" (June 22). My child was at Tranquility Bay, and I have personal knowledge of the conditions. I have read the comments of parents who have lodged their children at Tranquility Bay Academy in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. It is one of numerous children's programs that have been associated with the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP). In late 2002 the director of Tranquility Bay, Jay Kay, personally admitted to me that an American child, weighing only about 90 pounds, was slugged in the face by a staff member, knocking the child's teeth loose. I was shocked and, later, outraged.
Jay Kay admitted on a national news program that he had used pepper spray on children, then added he hadn't needed to use it in a few months. Mr. Kay's employee, Randal Hinton, also admitted he used pepper spray on a child up to three times a day, for months, at Tranquility Bay. Mr. Hinton admitted to me that he had diapered a child with a plastic garbage bag, forcing the kid to urinate and defecate in the bag. Mr. Hinton later stated, "Restraints could be used, mechanical devices could be used, pepper spray could be used to gain control of your child. It's just a job that helps people."
If the actions of these men do not constitute criminal child abuse, what does?
I personally heard a girl screaming for more than twenty minutes at Tranquility Bay. When I nervously inquired if she was okay, the casual staff person laughed and said the girl always screamed at home too. The child had mental problems, she said. I later learned the staff routinely grinds children's joints into the ground and twists their limbs as punishment, sometimes causing dislocated joints and broken bones.
Credible reports of child abuse at Tranquility Bay have streamed in for years, and in my opinion, any parent who knowingly leaves a child in conditions of this nature, after hearing such reports, is participating in the child abuse and neglect. Both the Jamaican and American governments should be ashamed to allow this program to continue.
We need stringent federal laws to prosecute such businessmen and to regulate this booming billion-dollar industry. American children are the hot marketplace commodities of the 21st Century, yet no one in our government is paying adequate attention.
Via the Internet
I was saved: Regarding Joanne Green's "Rough Love": I think the state's child welfare department should look into taking custody from these unfit parents. You don't give your child's custodial rights to strangers from a foreign country. You no longer have rights in other countries, and parents who send children to Tranquility Bay are stupid. These kids deserve to be raised by someone who cares enough to research the possible consequences of such acts!
What basis do I have for such an opinion? I was a troubled teen. I could've gotten worse. But the state (Oregon) stepped in and found a program to help me.
There are other alternatives throughout the United States. Here there are laws to protect children and teens, especially from careless parents!
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Francisco Alvarado's article "The Ghetto Governor" (July 20) misidentified Al Maloof. He is not a lawyer. Also, a review of Oasis restaurant by Lee Klein, "Welcome Home" (July 20), incorrectly described the pie filling. It is fresh, not canned.