Letters from the Issue of June 4, 2009
Sloppy reporting: I remember the William Fenzau murder case from The First 48, but I don't get the angle of Francisco Alvarado's May 28 story, "Rush to Justice." How did the TV show rush the detectives? Where in the article is there anything to substantiate this incredible claim? Did the reporter even try to talk to the producers? Alvarado seems to contradict himself whenever he brings up the show. He even tries to get the prosecutor to blame the show, but the prosecutor can't do it. Alvarado's quote about the show's premise is all wrong from the start — the show never says anything about an arrest in the first 48 hours after a crime; it just says it's important to get a lead in that time. As the reporter states in the article, the detectives didn't arrest Fenzau's ex-boyfriend Kevin Goode until two weeks later, after DNA evidence came through linking Goode's blood to the crime scene. That and all the other evidence about Goode's cuts seems to me like pretty good probable cause. Sounds like Goode had a really good defense attorney and he got off on a bunch of technicalities. If the reporter really wanted to help the victim's sister out, he should have focused on that aspect!
The Canine King
Iggy rocks: I thought Arielle Castillo's May 28 cover story about Iggy Pop, "King of the Dogs," was a great interview. It's interesting to see how someone who admittedly made a buck off of that early era is actively trying to cultivate a new approach and fresh sounds.
I look forward to hearing the new album.
One for the Dogs
Too biased: I don't think "balanced" is how I would describe Michael Mooney's May 21 story about racing greyhounds, "Track Star." Everything from the tone of the article, the photo captions, and the photos themselves reek of bias. Mr. Mooney came in with an agenda and largely sought evidence that supported it. He leads off with the tragic accident involving BB's Story Book. The implication seems to be that this is a common occurrence. It's not. It is highly unusual and was an accident. The truth is that more adopted greyhounds are hit by cars, because their owners were negligent, than racing dogs are hit by the lure on a track. I do have to commend Mr. Mooney for visiting with Mr. Trudden, but he promptly dismisses what he saw with his own eyes by writing, "Joe Trudden might be a conscientious guy — but not every trainer is." Maybe Mr. Mooney needs to visit several dozen more kennels, farms, and tracks to see that Mr. Trudden's operation is the norm in the greyhound business.
Greyhounds deserve better: To anyone who thinks greyhound racing isn't as bad as it has been hyped up to be, let me say this: Any industry that has frequent reporting of multiple dogs abandoned, abused, and killed both inhumanely and for illegitimate reasons deserves it.
Greyhounds are gentle, elegant giants. They're bred that way. Each is unique and will always bring a smile to your face. This is a breed that deserves the best, and the fact that the majority never knows a home, a bed, good food, and the love of a family will haunt me until the day I die.
Please let us put an end to this failing industry.
Hail the Winners
Miami New Times won eight awards at last Saturday's Sunshine State Awards, more than any publication of less than 100,000 circulation in the state. Both columnist Elyse Wanshel (first in humorous column for "Pregnant Pause") and staff writer Tim Elfrink (first in civil law reporting for "Black October") beat out all newspapers of any size in Florida. Gus Garcia-Roberts took home two prizes, second in both light features and election reporting; Frank Alvarado garnered second place for non-deadline sports reporting and third in serious feature reporting; Carlos Suarez De Jesus grabbed third in arts reporting; and former Broward/Palm Beach staffer Amy Guthrie grabbed third place for investigative reporting. Broward also took several awards for its website and other work, including first place in web design. The awards were presented by the South Florida chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists.
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