The Sun Sentinel Letters Page
Has published my complaint about the firing of Jeanie Curtiss.
If you're not familiar with this story, please see the original De La Cruz column here.
In short, though, De La Cruz decided to do a sweet little puff piece on this old, odd, swing bridge (instead of going up, it pivots sideways -- it's neat) along historic Sailboat Bend in the New River. It's SW 11th Ave -- right near Don's house, and the Broward County Historical Commission website lists it as a "must see." I would agree with that. Anyway, De La Cruz spoke briefly to Jeanie Curtiss, a former merchant marine who hand-cranks the bridge open when a boat needs to get by. Curtiss mentions that she loves the bridge and loves her job, then asks De La Cruz to okay the interview with her bosses before he publishes anything. They, in turn, fire her.
They claim they're firing her for letting De La Cruz into the bridgehouse. But she didn't let him in; they spoke on the sidewalk.
De La Cruz obviously is pursuing this out of some guilt and some quite just outrage at this completely bullshit firing. But one of the things he mentions in his pursuit is this: the city of Fort Lauderdale is outsourcing the running of the bridge to some company in Clearwater, which takes almost 140k yearly from the city, and translates that into $9/hour for the bridge tender.
And that's what my letter is about.
But there's a lot to get pissed about on this one. The Sun Sentinel also published a general editorial about it here.