For Free
Re: "The Free Way," by Max Linsky (June 8-14)
Nice article, Mr. Journalist, but you haven't lived until you've had a free dinner from the Chicken Man. Here's a resource on my personal website for all the free stuff I know of in, of all places, downtown St. Pete: http://www.angelfire.com/poetry/prof/index/free.html. Next time, for sleep, I recommend going into 24-hour study lounges on college campuses and pushing four chairs together to make a makeshift couch when class is in session. No car required. I've met people who have been keeping the free in freedom for years. Some have a bicycle, some not even that.

Professor Pyramid
Via e-mail

When I first moved to Florida in 1995 from N.Y., all I had was my Chevy Suburban full of my things and a desire for warm weather. I had a membership to Bally's, so showering was no issue, but after not finding a job like I thought I would after five days I began to worry. I understand how difficult it is to live a few days away from being homeless. Your article was great, I really enjoyed it.

John Nault
Town 'N Country

As a former car-camper by choice (actually a 1972 Dodge camper van that roamed Colorado and neighboring states in the West), I identified with many of your experiences and observations on society, as well as society's observations on you. I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion during the read and I really value that. Thanks for the laughs, and tell your nutty editors that was a great assignment.

Michael Meadows

Here's A Tip
Re: Scene & Herd, "I'll Drink To That," by Scott Harrell (June 1-7)
To add to Scott Harrell's do's and don'ts for bar customers, how 'bout, DON'T play stupid games at ID time, you aren't being "flattered" and I don't give a rat's ass how old you are if you can't prove it. I'm LEGALLY compelled to cover my, the bosses' and the establishment's ass, so fork it over and shut yer yap.

The Fuma Bella Staff
Ybor City

Watch Your Language
Re: Short List, "Quit Doggin' Chappelle" (May 18-24)
This letter is in reference to the one-liner: "He's still the funniest motherfucker on TV, shut it."

I, and others who have read this, find the use of the slang MF word very offensive. It is disrespectful of all Mothers and should not be used in a newspaper publication for all to read. Do you not use proofreaders anymore in your newspaper business? If you do, does this type of language meet with their approval?

We would like to see our newspaper media strive to keep a higher standard in their choice of words. You people are in a position to influence our young people for the better, rather than setting a bad example by allowing such low-type slang to be used in print.

Fran Stowe (and 27 additional signatories)

To Her Health
Re: "Hope, Organic Style," by Alyssa Abkowitz (May 25-31)
Thank you so much for your inspiring story about Esther Morris. I hope you will keep your readers informed on her progress. I am sure many will be rooting for her.

Between hardcore drug reps pushing meds that doctors don't even know enough about and a system that mixes pills like candy, I really feel that both alternative and traditional doctors need to put ego and commercial gain aside to focus on the patient's well-being. Heinous animal testing and Hollywood bashes raising money for more research haven't cured the common cold. TV ads for new drugs are enough to make anyone sick! Isn't it convenient to describe a multitude of general symptoms with beautiful actresses and heart-wrenching music? A TV viewer is sold symptoms.

Time for a change, and I say, "You go Esther," for taking control of your life and health.

Louise Kahle
Via fax

Editor's Note: Later this summer, Alyssa Abkowitz will be revisiting Esther's story to see how she is faring on the controversial Gerson diet.

Conservatives Conserve
Re: Political Whore, "Alt Republicans," by Wayne Garcia (June 1-7)
Wayne Garcia says he knows something about being called an oxymoron. So do the members of Rep America, the national grassroots organization of Republicans for Environmental protection. But being a Republican and supporting environmental protection really isn't an oxymoron, if you spend a little time thinking about it.

The Republican Party is supposed to be the conservative party, right? What do true conservatives believe in? Conservatives don't believe in taking unnecessary risks, being a burden on the community, or shucking responsibility for one's actions. Conservatives are supposed to, well, conserve.

Too many of our party's leaders have bought the false notion that being for the environment is somehow not conservative. The "conservative" politicians who have spread this phony line are not conservative at all. They are big government, machine politicians carrying the mail for special interests that have their hands in our pockets.

America is blessed with an abundant natural endowment. It's our natural capital, which pays rich dividends - clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, fertile soils to grow our food, natural areas to refresh our spirits. Depleting our natural capital by polluting it and using it wastefully is foolish. We should protect our endowment and pass it on, healthy and productive, to our children. These are some of the reasons Rep America was formed - it was the conservative thing to do.

Joan M. Deguire
Past President, Rep America
St. Petersburg

Back To The Garden
Re: "Save Paradise," by Mary Mulhern (June 1-7)
I just read your article on the tragic state of Dan Kiley park in downtown Tampa, and I was absolutely shocked to hear about what has happened. I grew up in this area, and used to spend time in the park while I was in high school because I loved the magical feeling of that place, and it seemed like a secret garden in the middle of the only downtown I had ever known.

I've been living outside of Florida for 11 years, and just last month moved back to be nearer to family, but I was hesitant to actually make the move because certain things about this area bother me. What has happened to this park is a prime example. People's values are off. So many people seem to only be concerned with drinking beer and riding around on their boats. I have a problem with the lack of value placed on cultural richness here (and there is a lot of it here that people do not treasure). How can the art museum not want to promote and cherish that park? To me it shows an embarrassing lack of awareness.

My first reaction to reading your article was total disgust with where I now live. Later, I realized I might be able to do more than get really pissed off. I moved back here to work with an extremely experienced media company. We operate out of Indian Rocks Beach, it's a family business, but we have loads of experience and equipment. I have the ability to make a documentary video about Dan Kiley park, and I think it would be an important part of exposing the pubic to what needs to be done to save this neglected treasure. Please contact my e-mail address below for further information.

Correne Anderson

[email protected]


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