Train man fan

Thanks for the article on the conversation with John Mica ["Train man," June 16]. I learned a lot and you did not spray the politics in my face as you normally do (i.e., you presented the facts and let me make my own decision). I, like Mica, feel we need to start somewhere or it will be 2020. And we are still waiting for the "right thing"?

— Porter McNeil, Orlando

Sorry, we were drunk

While we applaud the appearance of your recent supplement, Drink [June 9], we at Independent Bar feel your description of our establishment missed the mark entirely.

Obviously, no one at the Weekly took the time to properly investigate the oldest club in Orlando. If you had, surely you would have noted that I-Bar is the premier nightclub to hear indie/alternative/underground music. This is something we have prided ourselves on since the inception of Beach Club so long ago (1988).

While we do provide a sanctuary for those with an affinity for '80s, and for those who shroud their dark souls in black on black, it should be noted that retro/new wave constitutes only 26 percent of our business, while goth a mere 10 percent. If you haven't, we invite you and your readers to visit us on our busiest night, Thursday, when DJ Smilin' Dan bombards the kids with the best of new indie, electro and alternative. If you don't hear enough Bloc Party, Of Montreal, Postal Service or The Killers to satiate your appetite for new music, then join us again on Friday when B Minus spins out his two cents of modern indie bliss.

— H. Scott Graham, Orlando

Permission granted, John

You have a very talented group of writers there at Orlando Weekly. I loved the Hurricane Survival Guide [Happytown™, June 2]. I write a dance newsletter, and I would like to use a few of the hurricane survival items, shortening and rewriting them to apply to our newsletter, and send them by e-mail to some of the surrounding dance newsletter editors, with wording something like: "adapted from Orlando Weekly's 'Happytown™.'" Would that be all right?

— John Davis, Orlando

Happy, not mad, cows

The second United States cow to test potentially positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as "mad cow disease," is creating concern about how the U.S. Department of Agriculture is protecting the U.S. food supply. In fact, this incident should be seen as the exception that proves the rule.

In 1997 the USDA outlawed the use of ruminant parts in the feed of ruminant animals in order to eliminate the possibility of eating brain matter from an infected animal, thought to be the cause of this fatal brain-wasting disease.

While 20 countries, led by the United Kingdom, have experienced epidemics of this disease, the United States has not. In December 2003, an infected cow was found in the United States; it proved to have been raised in Canada. We do not yet know the source of this present cow, which initially tested negative in November 2004 but was recently retested.

In any case, since the Canadian cow was found rules were instituted to keep out of the food supply any cows that cannot walk. The current cow in question was one such cow.

While the cow in question may or may not be found to have had BSE before it was destroyed last fall, it should be considered the exception that proves the rule: USDA is doing a great job protecting America's food supply.

— Jay Lehr, via the Internet

Money-grubbing maggots

While driving home from work the other day, I was much relieved to hear that Michael Jackson was acquitted. Well, not quite. Now that the trial's over, we can all look forward to days, if not years, of legal analysis from every F. Lee Bailey wannabe on the planet, which will ironically make us all sick enough to file a class-action lawsuit against these same money-grubbing maggots. As for the king of pop himself, any 45-year-old man who publicly states that it's OK to sleep with a 12-year-old (notice none of them are girls) is either a pedophile or a whack job, and probably both.

— Joe Prussing, via the Internet

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