Foxes and hounds
Re: "Bogus Crusade, Deceitful Crusaders," by John Sugg (Oct. 15-21)
Being called deceitful by the likes of columnist John Sugg is somewhat akin to being called ugly by a toad.
In Atlanta, even the paper for which Mr. Sugg now works labels his column "Fishwrapper." That is an apt description but an insult to fish. As the late, great Chicago journalist Mike Royko once said of the Sun-Times after it was bought by Rupert Murdoch, no self-respecting fish would ever want to be wrapped in it.
Sugg's rant against former Fox-13 reporters Jane Akre and me, warmed over from a tirade he first published in Atlanta, was laced with inaccuracies and half-truths propped up by nothing more than innuendo and wild, uninformed speculation.
Since Sugg called us "cheap, false martyrs" not long after we sued Fox for pressuring us to broadcast what we knew and documented to be false and distorted information about growth hormones in milk, we've repeatedly addressed the issues he's raised. I can't imagine there being much interest in this story that's more than five years old, but anyone who would like to see our full, documented response can visit our website at www.foxBGHsuit.com.
People in the Tampa Bay area and elsewhere who supported our decision to stand up to the Murdoch media empire in the whistleblower lawsuit we filed should know this: Every penny contributed to pay for legal expenses was ultimately spent for that purpose and no other.
Sugg is apparently appalled that five years later we own a luxury home similar to the one we owned on Lake Tarpon before Fox fired us. We bought it with the result of our own hard work and investments in the last few years since the Fox fight.
Just as political contributors don't withhold support until the candidates they favor have spent their own last dime to be elected, people who donated money to defray our legal bills did so because they saw the value in supporting an important cause.
And as for the poor news director and reporters at Fox 13 being the real victims here, as Sugg suggests? I'm reminded of what my plainspoken grandmother in North Carolina used to say: When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.
Ponte Vedra Beach
Editor's note: We offered Wilson repeated opportunities to identify specific errors in Sugg's Weekly Planet report, which can be viewed at http://www.weeklyplanet .com/2003-10-16/news_feature.html. Wilson declined.
Re: "Feeding Your Inner Child" by Sara Kennedy (Oct. 8-14)
Ms. Kennedy's review of Habana Cafe would be a winner if the name of the restaurant were Desserts First instead of Habana Cafe. How wonderful it would be to start with the alleged award-winning cream cheese flan and not be concerned with the rest of the meal.
Since I'm a more conventional diner, if the waitress forgot my bread (a staple with any dinner), the soup were tepid, the plantains (a main accompaniment to the main dish) not ripe enough so they had to be tough and the Cuban coffee (another mainstay of a Cuban restaurant) too mild, I would no longer be in the mood for dessert. Of course, if my meal were paid for by someone else, my expectations might be considerably lower as yours certainly seem to be.
If the only thing good about this meal is the dessert, I will go to a coffee house.
—Mrs. Joan Rubenstein
Re: "The Big Picture" by Adrienne M. Golub (Oct. 15-21)
Just a note of thanks for the great article on Jim Rosenquist. I have had the opportunity to be in his company a few times and heard him speak at the Dali Museum a few years ago. And you captured very well his personality, wit and charm. I was happy to know you saw what I saw.
Your insights into his development and paintings, as well as your details of the history he has with our area (I didn't know of the car accident), fleshed out more of his work and the man.
The scope, the vitality and the sheer body of work are breathtaking. It was wonderful to find our local paper so in tune with the national scene. As you noted, he is our one true local celebrity.
A valuable voice
I was dismayed to hear recently that Senior Editor Susan Edwards will be leaving the Weekly Planet. I worked with Susan for a number of years while at the Planet, and I was struck by her immense grace and skill as an editor and manager. As a writer, she was one of the few voices in Tampa that spoke eloquently of what made the area unique and worthy. Through her voice I saw past parts of a city that can sometimes appear flat and impersonal to a place rich in culture with a rowdy, independent spirit that makes it stand apart.
In fact, my eventual seduction by the city probably wouldn't have been possible if Susan's reporting hadn't led me to see the beauty and feistiness beneath Tampa's diverse neighborhoods. She has a voice truly embedded in the fiber of Tampa and its surroundings — the kind of voice essential to the process of defining and understanding a city's spirit.
But, admittedly, it will be her personal spirit that I'll miss most in the pages of the Planet. I have rarely met a person of such integrity and talent combined, and the loss of her voice will be heard on this coast like a roar.
—Susan Dix Lyons
St. Helena, California
Editor's note: We couldn't agree more. Which is why we're pleased we could talk Susan into staying on as a part-time contributing editor, effective this issue. Her weekly "Metropolis" column will continue.