I Was a Grand Juror
And she was the hardest-working woman in law enforcement: I read with interest Tristram Korten's story about State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle (Friendly Fire, October 26). I served on the grand jury with her and let me tell you, she is tough, fair-minded, and one of the hardest-working people I have ever met. It was a great experience working with her, even though at first I tried to get off the grand jury.
She sure has my vote for experience, honesty, and integrity. I only wish there were more people like her to vote for.
I Am a Voter
But she won't get my ballot: Friendly Fire was an excellent article. It fairly framed both sides of the issue regarding the upcoming State Attorney's election. I personally believe we've had enough of the Fernandez Rundle types. In my mind she has a do-nothing style of running one of the most important offices in the county. It's as if she's playing football and is a master of the handoff.
In a recent interview with Michael Putney on Channel 10, she stated she was an administrator. We certainly do not need any more administrators. What we do need is a tough, no-nonsense State Attorney who will prosecute. We still have too many instances of unresolved scandals: the port, the mess at MIA, the paving fiasco, her handoff of the Warshaw investigation, the trees not delivered, the trees that shrank after delivery.
Her office is more interested in publicity than in protecting the public's money. I know I will not vote for her, and I'm certainly not alone.
Lawmakers on the Bus
Next stop, a stinking place of despair: What a complete and well-written article by Lissette Corsa on assisted-living facilities (Home Is Where the Hurt Is, October 26). I worked in Jacksonville in the early Seventies and saw firsthand the congregate assisted-living facilities. The feeling of despair I had then resurfaced as I read the article.
I'd like to see our state legislators take a bus tour of the licensed and unlicensed homes and get a whiff of what they are appropriating money for. Some of the seniors and mentally ill living in these places are oblivious or get used to the lack of space and privacy. But our community can do better.
Martha K. Backer
Not All Stinky Despair
The old folks at home, smiling: I am upset that Lissette Corsa did not include even one paragraph on the outstanding assisted-living facilities that exist here, leaving your readers to think ill of them all. My mother and my aunt have both been at East Ridge Retirement Village for twenty years. I do not know what the rest of the family would do without East Ridge.
My aunt is 90 years old and my mother 96. They are kept busy with organized activities, are well-fed and well taken care of. Their lives could not be better. Ms. Corsa's article should have mentioned some of the good ones like East Ridge, if for no other reason than to serve as comparisons to the bad ones she wrote about.
via the Internet
It's Not the Election, Stupid
It's the value-based, progressive-movement party evolving: Regarding Victor Cruz's article Honk If You Like Chickens (October 26), the Miami-Dade Green Party is made up of ordinary people from all walks of life who are able to raise only relatively small amounts of money. We are trying to create a value-based, progressive-movement party for the future. This is part of what is happening in towns and cities all across the nation this year.
We consider our project far more important than winning an election, because such a movement party could replace the present driving forces behind American politics -- the careers of politicians and the needs of those who finance and promote them -- with people power. It was the Roman lawyer Cicero who said, Freedom is the participation in power.
Miami-Dade Green Party
McIntire: Destructive and Painful
Not to mention the untrustworthy reporters: The story by David Villano making allegations of sexual abuse against the late Dr. Alexander McIntire (Admired in Life, Reviled in Death, October 19) served no public purpose but did destroy the reputation of a person unable to defend himself, while inflicting undeserved pain upon his surviving family members and friends.
Back in the 1950s, Joseph Welch asked the witch-hunting Sen. Joseph McCarthy the question: Have you no shame? In the case of New Times, the answer to that question clearly is no.
For the record the quotation attributed to me was placed well out of the context in which it was uttered, and left the clear impression that I was somehow threatening the reporter. In fact I told him he would regret the publication of the story for the rest of his life because of the unnecessary suffering he would inflict on Dr. McIntire's survivors. Further, I did not describe myself as Dr. McIntire's closest friend. I am not surprised that a staff member of your organization chose to quote out of context and put words in my mouth.
McIntire: Nothing Accomplished, None Enlightened
Welcome to the tabloid sleaze pit: I did not know Alex McIntire, although I did precede him by many years as president of the South Florida Chapter (not Miami Chapter) of Mensa. I therefore read the overly long attack on his character very carefully. I found it hard to believe that the one newspaper I admired for not stooping to yellow journalism had finally dropped to the level of the tabloids. You have effectively ruined the reputation of a man now dead and unable to protect himself, along with causing great harm to his wife and child.
Even on a second reading, among the matters that could be proved, I could only find that he was a very bright and good person. Whereas the bad charges were solely the word of one stepchild. Her telling others later or writing about them does not add to her credibility. If she imagined the whole thing, she still would have reacted the same way. More likely, as does occasionally happen in step families, she was very jealous of losing the sole love of her mother and having to share her; or worse, playing second fiddle to this new man. Whatever actually happened we will never know, but one person masquerading as a journalist has made a full-blown horror story without any real facts.
If all the charges are accepted as real, there would still be no story worth all the harm that was done. You have accomplished nothing, enlightened no one. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
James B. Tracton
McIntire: No Mystery Solved, Nothing Gained
But plenty has been lost: Alex McIntire has been dead and gone well over a year. This has been a trying year for his surviving family. David Villano's article served no purpose other than to crush his family. Dr. McIntire was not punished, and Lisa Hamilton did not find vengeance and monetary compensation.
This article has hurt some very nice and special people who, believe it or not, loved Lisa very much and hoped that one day she would remember this. For years after Linda and Alex's divorce, his family lamented the loss of what they had come to think of as their grandchildren. Has Lisa forgotten this elderly couple who deserves better than to have this news be published after all this time? Does anyone know what the holidays, or Father's Day, or Mother's Day represent for these gentle people now?
Dr. McIntire is dead. He cannot speak for himself. Yet now his wife, child, and the rest of his family have to live with the filth and shame of this article. What mystery has been cleared? Who has gained from this sleazy bit of yellow journalism? Weigh that against what has been lost.
Slow news week, huh? If David Villano and New Times were striving for something poignant, they ended up with something pointless. These slow news weeks must be very troublesome. You were thinking about ... what, exactly?
But appreciated nonetheless -- perhaps: I knew Alex McIntire. I liked Alex McIntire. I respected Alex McIntire. On occasion I socialized with Alex McIntire. I was worried about him when he disappeared. He was listed as a reference on attachments to my résumé when applying for work with University of Miami.
I have read David Villano's article detailing the things about the Alex McIntire nobody knew. It disturbed me. Thanks for writing it -- I think.
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In Memory of
Jason McGee, a 25-year-old senior account executive at New Times who was killed on October 19, a trust fund has been set up for his two young children, three-year-old Molly and two-year-old Liam. Checks can be made out to The Jason McGee Trust Fund and sent to:
James B. MacDonald
Balfour, MacDonald, Olmsted
3200 Park Center Dr, ste 1110
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
For information call 305-571-7586.