Generating controversy: In response to your lead story regarding Wilma, "Hurricane Voyeurism" (October 27), I offer the following: Human selfishness wasn't washed away by the storm.
When it comes to generator etiquette, I wish people would wake up and smell the coffee. After Wilma careened through town like a freight train, we were treated to something special, namely, splendid weather, a dark sky filled with stars, and a peaceful quiet. Or at least we did until the generators fired up and shattered the tranquility. Running through the night, these noisy demons continually interrupt my family's sleep.
Of course, there are courteous neighbors who turn off their somniferous machines at night ... and those who even send over a pot of piping-hot coffee in the morning. However, there are the selfish, who seemingly modified mufflers to achieve maximum sound intensity in violation of all noise standards and subsequently disturb the peace. Perhaps the noise ordinances targeting motorcycles in Coconut Grove and Miami Beach should be applicable in a post-Wilma world. Currently my only consolation is the sound of their sputtering pistons as they gasp on that last drop of fuel from an empty tank.
Tourists trump: Where is everyone? Three days after the hurricane there are still live wires hanging from the front of my building at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The hotels on Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive have power. Alton Road has power. Do the people who live here (and pay taxes) get second-rated to the tourists? You bet your life we do!
South Floridian wimps!: Maybe I am nuts, but when people move to Florida, how can they not understand there is the potential for a hurricane somewhere in their future?
Guess we in the northern lands have not learned how to whine and get the government to come in and warm our hands during a three-day blizzard with 90-mile-per-hour winds and no power, no water, et cetera. As you seem to enjoy blaming President Bush for your condition, I am going to begin insisting that whenever it snows, FEMA run to the Dakotas with hot chocolate, wood-burning stoves (complete with cut wood), and extra blankets.
Maybe it's time we learned something called personal responsibility!
Yankton, South Dakota
Strouse vs. the establishment, man: I was delighted to read Chuck Strouse's piece "Free This Priest" in the October 27 issue. It was such a breath of fresh air to read some real, substantive coverage about Father Jean-Juste and the human rights situation in Haiti, something outside of the corporate misinformation machine. I was also excited to find out that Strouse currently holds the editorship of Miami New Times and so has the ability to get these important stories out there to the American people.
The Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel have proven to be cowardly and subservient arms of state and corporate power; this is why they have been so silent about Haiti, refusing to write anything critical of the horrific U.S. client state of Latortue. It is so essentially vital to have a source of alternative news and information in South Florida, and I commend Strouse for practicing the rare art of actual journalism.
Via the Internet
Protect the croc: Your "Wet Foot/Wet Foot" (October 20) story by Kirk Nielsen named white American human male Todd Hardwick as endangered, but the crocs are really the ones on the Endangered Species list and protected under the Endangered Species Act. I live in a community with a lake that is interconnected via drainage pipes under the road to the Miccosukee Golf Course. My children and I had the privilege of having the "Miccosukee Golf Course Crocodile" visit our community's lake. It was wonderful to be able to watch him sun himself on the bank until a few of my neighbors ruined it. My children watched as an adult neighbor beaned the croc on the head with a rock, and soon enough signs were posted all over the community that a "commando unit" had been called in to repatriate the Godzilla in the lake.
I spoke with Hardwick on the phone after one of his visits to our lake, and he told me the croc would be left alone since it wasn't a nuisance "gator." Not soon enough for the croc's sake, it moved back to the golf course and away from my frenzied neighbors. A couple of weeks later, my sister told me she had observed a "commando unit" trying to lasso the croc on one of the golf course's lakes. Weird: Indians removing a croc from their golf course. Haven't seen the croc since. Maybe it was taken to be with the "Ives Dairy Crocodile." It's perplexing to me that people think we humans and our pets are the ones in need of protection from the wildlife whose habitat we are encroaching on.
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You got the smarts: Regarding "Terrorist or Trickster" by Tristram Korten (October 20): That's a fascinating story. I'm a South Florida native living in Louisville, toiling in the establishment media as a reporter at the Courier-Journal. I've always envied the stories you guys write and how much more interesting they are than the bland-on-bland stuff I'm asked to deal with every day. I had to share with you that I too have spent my now eighteen-year career looking for that holy grail, that one unified field story that unravels the secrets of the global power structure and trickles down to explain everything. So I was really able to relate with Korten on that journey.
Sadly, I think William is exactly what I was hoping he wouldn't turn out to be just a sad, lonely man in a dead-end life, seeking to self-medicate with a little larger-than-life excitement, even if he has to fabricate it and recruit his own supporting cast. He has probably listened to a little too much George Noory over the years. I also have had my share of Williams in my career, the ones who get you all fired up about a big story just enough credible facts to keep you going before it all blows up in the end. I keep myself going with the thought that perhaps just one of these Williams will someday be the real deal. But then again, I've been saying the same thing about my soul mate, wherever she is. Well, just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed this and Korten's other work. Better go before the boss asks me why I don't have phone receivers on each ear while typing with my toes!