When my fishing companions and I return each year to trout waters we’ve stalked for years, we slip easily and comfortably into a language and frame of reference specific to our experience in this place. Sprawled under a tree streamside, gnawing on some fistful of lunch we’ve pawed from our fishing vests, we recount in that language the morning’s fishing and our plans for after we split up again and go in search of what the afternoon hatch will bring to the surface. Will the fish be where you left them last year? This is intimacy. Out of the flood of often inscrutable words swirling around us, intimacy may be what we seek. To know a place so intimately, cherish it so fully, that it becomes so utterly interwoven with the pulse of your life it’s impossible to imagine that life otherwise. And to do so would lead to nothing short of profound grief. The intimacy of waters. As with a beloved spouse or lover, we know where we will encounter the rough currents and where the waters will open out into smooth, placid pools. We know if we caress that one spot with patience and wisdom, it will respond in an explosion of pleasure. We know of that one spot, so thrilling but so sensitive, we will be allowed only one cautious touch, if we dare. We know when to speak in carefully chosen words and when not to speak at all. With such intimacy, the well-being of the beloved, be it lover or river, is contiguous with our own well-being. A condition never to be fouled, abused or taken for granted—always to be revered, respected, nurtured and loved. The comfort of home waters for fly fishing companions After the ragged edges of winter have worn smooth and spring begins to unfold along the Blue Ridge, it’s time for that first trip of the season to a favorite trout stream, a trip marked by enthusiastic anticipation and wary trepidation. Glad to be back in that stream you know like an old friend but anxious about what the winter has done. That tangle of leaves and branches clogging the tail of that crescent-shaped pool, the mess deposited by last winter’s run-off—will this winter’s run-off have been strong enough to clear it out? That dying hemlock that for so many years has provided cover to the big trout in that wide, glassy pool—will it have finally come down, altering irrevocably the rhythm of life in that pool, for trout and angler alike? How many beer cans and barbecue grills will have been lodged along the bank, carried here in the winter run-off from backyard refuse heaps upstream? Anglers often refer to such streams as “home waters,” those rivers and creeks fished so often, that we know so well they’ve become a part of our flesh, that our blood seems mingled with their waters. When standing knee-deep in these waters, casting to a rising trout, our separate selves are no longer so. No longer contained within the boundary of our skin, we can reach beyond it. If we’re paying attention and we do it right, and if we’re a little lucky, the gap between domesticated human and wild river closes, one creature absorbing the other into itself. “I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked, I am mad for it to be in contact with me.” –Walt Whitman James Keefe, a character in my novels, has a propensity to strip down to the buff occasionally and fish for his beloved brook trout in the nude, reciting the above words from Whitman when he does so. To be clear, I’m not arguing for naked fishing as a method to achieve that intimacy of which I speak. Trout waters are cold, and the prospect of a trout stream dotted with the naked bodies of other anglers would be an unsettling sight, at the very least. That, and it could scare the fish. But Keefe, for one, has taken Whitman at his word, following those words to their logical extreme, his practice the ritual enactment of that intimate connection with river and trout without which he could not survive, without which he might surely go mad. “Right there, where it shoots into the pool beside that pine snag that washed in there a couple years ago, that big back eddy under the outcropping. Big guy in there—hit so fast he was off and gone before I could set the hook.” “Must have been three or four good-sized browns holding in that pocket between those two strands of current. Where that fawn waded in and walked right up to us that time. You know the spot.” Tim Poland is the author of two novels, Yellow Stonefly (Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 2018) and The Safety of Deeper Water (Vandalia Press/West Virginia University Press, 2009). He lives near the Blue Ridge in southwestern Virginia and is Professor Emeritus of English at Radford University. This cloud of metaphor aside, some anglers will say that, in the end, it’s about the fish. Probably so. But still, for so many of us who wade into the middle of a river, wearing rubber pants and wagging a stick over our heads, the river, and the fish in it, lead us beyond the pounds and inches of the simple catch. Fishing is the ritual enactment of that intimacy, to connect to time beyond the temporal, to place beyond the lines of maps, to speak to wildness in its native tongue. Fishing is, at heart, a narrative act—it’s a fiction, of course, but if we craft it, present it, and tell it well, make the simulation believable—if we tell the river a good story, the kind of story it waits to hear, a fish will rise. And with each pull of the line that draws the fish closer, the gap between us and that wildness we lack shrinks until, with patience and a little more luck, we’re granted the intimacy of contact with the wild fish in hand. And we do. We know the spot. Out of this snarl of esoteric, localized chatter, we understand each other with complete clarity. We nod our heads in agreement and confirm each other’s reports with our own. “Yeah, sure—that’s a good pool—tricky casting with all the overhang, but some good fish there.” Yes, we know the spot. “Took a nice rainbow in that pool up past the fork, where the current scoots along the left there, right by that old sycamore down along the bank.”
We use TerraCycle for products we know we can’t put in conventional recycling. There is one way for this tour to be a reality– our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to all of our awesome sponsors that make this tour happen: Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Leki, Big Agnes, Stio, Roofnest, and Franklin County, VA. We Carbon Offset this year’s tour by buying carbon credits. We researched a lot of companies to find what programs we identified with the most. We landed on Stand for Trees and Cool Effect. The Live Outside and Play Road Team has been making an effort to live more gently on the Earth. We’ve incorporated a few things into our daily routines that reduce our carbon footprint. Take a look at the video for just a few of the things we focus on. Of course, we strive to always Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. More info below:
PHOTO: Front Porch Fest 11 | Spirithaven Farm | Stuart VA | Photo © Roger Gupta Front Porch Fest, produced by One Family Productions and presented by Patrick County, Virginia is pleased to announce an exciting slate of local, regional, and national acts to perform at the 12th annual event this Labor Day weekend, September 3 – 6, 2020. Held on the front porch to the Blue Ridge mountains, this yearly event weaves together a love of music and community. Front Porch Fest 12 is set to be a dynamic year as the organizers work to offer a wide range of talented performing artists, children’s activities, and vendors, creating fun for the entire family while raising money and awareness for local community organizations and charities. Front Porch Fest 11 | Spirithaven Farm | Stuart VA | Photo © Roger Gupta FRONT PORCH FEST announces 2020 initial band line up including Toubab Krewe, The Nth Power, The Wooks and more! Tier 1 general admission 4-day tickets and VIP tickets are available, as well as car camping and RV passes. The festival is a family-friendly event and children 12 and under are free – they can groove to the tunes while creating arts and crafts and other fun activities in the Children’s Area. In addition, the festival features plenty of food and merchandise vendors to ensure an enjoyable weekend. For additional information, to see the lineup, and to purchase tickets for this unforgettable weekend, search for Front Porch Fest on social media or visit the website at www.frontporchfest.com. FPF is produced by One Family Productions, a non-profit organization with the mission of promoting and supporting community enrichment and growth. We create impactful partnerships and events that are accessible, innovative and engaging. Proceeds from this event are donated to local charities such as the Patrick County Community Food Bank and Caring Hearts Free Clinic of Patrick County and others. Front Porch Fest is a volunteer-run organization and is always looking for energetic and motivated volunteers to join the family. Volunteer opportunities are currently available in a wide variety of departments. Anyone interested in working in trade for their ticket is encouraged to apply as a volunteer by visiting the website! The 2020 lineup features a diverse range of acts, spanning genres such as bluegrass, folk, soul, americana, gospel, blues, funk, and more. The instrumental powerhouse TOUBAB KREWE swirls together rock, African traditions, jam sensibilities, and international folk. Proving that soul music can be exponentially greater than the sum of its parts, The Nth Power is on a mission to share the light. Local fan-favorite Big Daddy Love returns to the porch again this year and is no gentle string quartet; their music has been described as “a blend of rock, bluegrass, southern soul, and psychedelic jams.” The Wooks translate the sights and sounds of the people, hills, bars, roads, and creeks around them into songs and shows that captivate. The Judy Chops have been carving out their niche in the Virginia music scene by delivering heartfelt, passionate live shows with charm and grace while utilizing their amazing vocals, lush arrangements, and sonic bravado to fuse elements of blues, rock, swing, soul, and classic country. Space Koi a three-piece reggae/rock band blending a variety of music genres that will entertain crowds of many musical tastes by combining modern reggae rock with blues and funk and performing both originals and fan-favorite covers. Staying true to their jazz roots, Hambone Relay’s live shows are a mixture of danceable grooves, psychedelic overtones, and improvisational jams. Borrowed Earth presents original material that strives to put the listener in a state of contemplation and joy as they share their mission of bringing a message of peace, love, and light through the positive energy and universal language of music. You won’t be able to miss Fluidity Performance at Front Porch Fest 2020 engaging in workshops and enhancing the atmosphere around stages throughout the weekend. Their high energy LED, silk veil fans, and masterful manipulation of day props such as hula hoops will leave you wanting more. Marvelous Funkshun features soaring guitar and pedal steel over a heavy groove. The Freeway Jubilee provides a refreshing, explosive blend of gospel-tinged southern rock and hard-driving soulful grooves met with a flare of psychedelic mountain music. Local blues boogie band SLICK JR. & The REACTORS are joined alongside returning artists such as GOTE, a versatile group with an eclectic blend of originals and cover material, they play a different show every time they hit the stage. In addition, fans will enjoy ‘new to the porch’ acts like Music Road Co Moving who fluidly moves from funk to reggae, rock to afrobeat; their sound bounces from blues and soul to island dance and back again, bound together by one common ideal: music should feel good and spread positive vibes. Visit their website at http://frontporchfest.com/
By Dialogo September 16, 2009 U.S. Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH) hosted their initial Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP) conference from 17-21 August that focused on the Caribbean and Central America regions. The purpose and theme for the conference was “Combating Illicit Transnational Activities and Creating Cooperative Solutions.” Brig. Gen. Hector E. Pagan, SOCSOUTH Commander and conference host, welcomed military and police representatives from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana and Suriname. In his opening remarks, Pagan praised their accomplishments, contributions, and willingness to cooperate to secure their borders against transnational illicit activities and efforts to enhance regional relationships. The weeklong conference highlight came as each country representative was given the opportunity to discuss topics affecting their country’s challenges in dealing with illicit transnational activities, such as narco-trafficking and gang violence. As the presentations progressed, a common theme emerged showing drug trafficking as a threat throughout the region. By the end of the partner nation briefings, one thing was clear – dealing with illicit activities is a ‘regional issue” that requires a regional solution. “Our goal was to bring regional partners together to discuss and share information on a common threat we’re all facing as we struggle together to deal with illicit transnational activities,” said Lt. Col. Mario Guerrier, SOCSOUTH planner and conference coordinator. “The first step was to admit we have a problem, the second step was to identify the common threads that bind us together and walk away with a resolution to help each other against a common enemy that’s growing in power, influence, and brutality,” added Guerrier. According to statistics posted on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency website, just over 26,000 domestic arrests were made in 2008, a considerable drop in comparison to approximately 29,000 in 2007. However, Pagan feels successes can be achieved with continued communication and partnerships where regional nations work together to find solutions, independent of U.S. involvement. “Together we create cooperative solutions. We hope our partners continue to share information and that they continue to reach out to each other for assistance,” said Pagan.
By Dialogo July 07, 2010 The Nicaraguan police seized $220,000 dollars in cash on a bus in the department of Chinandega (in northwestern Nicaragua), the local press reported Monday. The authorities found the money in three boxes that were being transported in a bag and a backpack on a bus on the route between Palo Grande and Somotillo, on the border with Honduras, the Chinandega police chief, Douglas Pichardo, declared. The seizure took place Sunday, and the bus was traveling without plates, according to the police report. None of the forty passengers on board was detained. Separately, in the municipality of El Viejo, 140 km northwest of Managua, the authorities found a small plane that had landed along the Pacific coast, in the area known as Los Clavos, the police chief indicated. The plane was abandoned, and no documents were found in its interior, which contained only the pilot’s seat; tests for drug residue were performed, Pichardo specified. “We are investigating whether there are links” between the plane and the 220,000 dollars, he noted.
By Geraldine Cook, Diálogo August 27, 2018 Protecting the Dominican airspace is among the many roles of the Dominican Air Force. For Major General Luis Napoleón Payán Díaz, commander of the Dominican Air Force (FARD, in Spanish), reducing illegal drug trafficking in the Caribbean corridor, while strengthening combined and interagency exercises, are essential functions. Maj. Gen. Díaz participated in the LVIII Conference of Chiefs of the American Air Forces (CONJEFAMER, in Spanish) in Panama City, Panama, June 19-21, 2018. The commander spoke with Diálogo about FARD’s progress in the fight against narcotrafficking, interagency work, and humanitarian aid missions, among other topics. Diálogo: What’s the importance of FARD’s participation in the LVIII CONJEFAMER? Major General Luis Napoleón Payán Díaz, commander of the Dominican Air Force: FARD took part in CONJEFAMER for the first time in 1962, a year after its inception. Since then, our Chiefs of Staff and commanders at the institution always participate in the conference. CONJEFAMER is the right scenario, with the camaraderie, commitment, and professionalism that characterize our air institutions, in which commanders of the Americas can interact and foster bonds of cooperation between air forces, beyond the friendship and brotherhood that exist between our people. Diálogo: Why is it important for FARD to be part of SICOFAA? What are the benefits? Maj. Gen. Díaz: It’s important for FARD to belong to the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces (SICOFAA) because it allows us to be opened to globalization. SICOFAA is a strategic tool for the nation to project our foreign policies and expand our operational capabilities. One of SICOFAA’s benefits is that it enables us to exchange experiences, knowledge, and interoperate among air forces of the Americas in a combined, standardized way, such as the emergency response for humanitarian aid in case of natural disasters. Other SICOFAA benefits are the virtual and real Cooperation exercises and different committees. Diálogo: What’s the importance of SICOFAA for the region? Maj. Gen. Díaz: SICOFAA is a powerful, strategic tool for each member nation that enables us to respond with humanitarian assistance to natural disasters. This shows the diplomatic reach of the air force, beyond its essence as a military organization for the defense of the nation. Diálogo: What contributed to the decrease in drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Dominican airspace? Maj. Gen. Díaz: This is due to the government’s acquisition of the A29-B Super Tucano weapon system. Another element that contributed to this decrease is the 2010 Standing Operational Procedure (POV, in Spanish) agreement between FARD and the Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish), which establishes the operational procedures to exchange information between both countries’ air spaces. Diálogo: What’s the importance of the combined exercise Caribe VII between FARD and FAC? Maj. Gen. Díaz: The importance of the Caribe exercise is the focus on training and standardizing the work of binational crews (FAC-FARD) to conduct operations to interdict, identify, and report irregular trafficking. The exercise also allows us to verify the capabilities that were developed jointly to stabilize airspace control. These exercises are the ideal scenario to continue standardizing doctrine and updating air interdiction tactics. Diálogo: What type of interagency efforts does FARD undertake to counter maritime drug trafficking? Maj. Gen. Díaz: FARD continuously coordinates with the Dominican Navy’s Intelligence Bureau, and constantly supports the National Narcotics Directorate, the government responsible for fighting drug trafficking. The Ministry of Defense coordinates the support for antinarcotics operations. In this fight to counter maritime drug trafficking, the information we receive from Colombia and the United States, among other countries, is very valuable. Diálogo: One of the main roles of FARD’s Search and Rescue Squadron (SAR) is humanitarian aid and natural disaster relief. How does the squadron prepare for its mission? Maj. Gen. Díaz: SAR is committed to follow the high command’s guidelines to safeguard the national sovereignty. In this sense, as an emergency response agency—with the use of its air resources such as helicopters—it efficiently supports humanitarian response operations in the event of natural disasters. SAR organizes training to keep its airmen flight efficient. Through the U.S. Embassy, combined training is arranged with the rest of the Dominican Armed Forces. Exercises are also carried out to guarantee better performance when conducting this kind of mission. In addition, FARD’s Air Operations Office plans practice flights and simulations between SAR, the Emergency Operations Center, and other government organizations to standardize procedures and unify criteria that would strengthen and improve the execution of these missions, which would augment operational capabilities to confront the continuous threat of climate change in our country and the region. Diálogo: What kind of security cooperation does FARD conduct with the United States? Maj. Gen. Díaz: The United States is the main strategic partner of the Dominican Republic concerning security and the fight against transnational crime. In this regard, means and resources are allocated for that purpose. The United States is also FARD’s main provider for courses, training, and equipment.
By U.S. Air Force Captain Rachel Salpietra/Joint Task Force Bravo December 08, 2020 After nearly a month of supporting foreign humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (FHA/DR) operations under authorities granted by the U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense, at the request of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and Joint Task Force Bravo (JTF-Bravo) concluded immediate response missions for hurricanes Eta and Iota in Central America on December 2, 2020.USAID initially requested the unique capabilities of SOUTHCOM to transport relief supplies to hard-to-reach areas. Now that weather conditions have improved and floodwaters are receding, roads are becoming passable and commercial transportation services are resuming. The operations supported by the U.S. military will now transition to local authorities, the United Nations, and nongovernmental organizations that are increasingly able to reach communities previously cut off by storm damage.In addition, USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) will continue to lead the U.S. government’s humanitarian response efforts, working in close coordination with local authorities and multiple partners on the ground to assess the needs of affected people and help coordinate relief efforts.“Support from JTF-Bravo was absolutely critical in these first weeks of the response,” said USAID’s DART Leader Tim Callaghan. “Working together, USAID and the U.S. military were able to deliver relief supplies to communities who urgently needed the assistance that nobody else was able to reach. We’re grateful for the strong partnership and thank all of the members of JTF-Bravo and SOUTHCOM for the support.”During the course of JTF-Bravo’s authorities to conduct FHA/DR missions, the command supported 295 missions, providing medical and casualty evacuations for people in need of urgent care. JTF-Bravo’s assets rescued 810 citizens, transported 163 rescue and aid workers, and nearly 350,000 pounds of food, water, hygiene kits, and other life-saving aid. Additionally, JTF-Bravo transported nearly 564,000 pounds of relief supplies in support of USAID-led humanitarian response to the region.“JTF-Bravo has been working non-stop since early November, as part of a team effort,” said U.S. Army Colonel John D. Litchfield, JTF-Bravo commander. “We’ve worked closely with our Central American partners throughout, and it’s been inspiring to see our friends and allies joining us to help people in their time of need.”JTF-Bravo worked closely throughout the disaster relief efforts with USAID, the U.S. embassies in Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama, and members and assets from SOUTHCOM, U.S. Army South, U.S. Naval Forces South, U.S. Air Forces South, U.S. Special Operations Command South, the U.S. Coast Guard, the United Kingdom Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and the French Navy.During the early, critical stages of disaster relief operations, the unique military capabilities fielded by JTF-Bravo enabled the United States to assist its partners in the region with immediate, life-saving efforts. Within an hour of receiving requests for support from the Honduran government, JTF-Bravo personnel were flying immediate life-saving missions.As friends and neighbors to Central America, JTF-Bravo has stood by its partners for nearly 40 years and continues to do so today. The task force stands ready to respond and assist should the need arise again.
Unbundled rule report sent to Supreme Court Senior Editor A proposal to create a family court rule specifically allowing lawyers to provide unbundled services to clients in family law cases will be presented to the Supreme Court. The Bar Board of Governors, at its October 19 meeting in Boca Raton, approved all five findings and recommendations of the Unbundled Legal Services Special Committee. That includes asking the court to direct the Family Law Rules Committee to draft a rule that allows lawyers to provide limited and specific representation in court. “Unbundled is allowing a lawyer to perform a discrete task in the context of a larger legal issue or case,” said board member Sharon Langer, who chaired the Unbundled Legal Services Special Committee. “What we’re really talking about is limited representation.” The committee, she said, received a variety of input, including a proposed family court rule and recommendation from the Family Law Section. “We relied on the Family Law Section’s research and we agree there is a need for limited representation in family law matters,” Langer said. “We did not address any other rule changes.” The limited representation includes allowing lawyers to appear in court without undertaking the responsibility for the entire case from the client. Only two other states, Colorado and Arizona, allow limited representation and that does not extend to courtroom work, she said. The final conclusions of the committee, Langer said, are: •Acceptance of the Family Law Section’s investigation showing unbundled services are needed in family law matters. • No other section or committee indicated limited representation is needed in other legal areas, therefore the unbundled committee concluded none is needed at this time. • Florida Bar rules as drawn allow limited representation envisioned by the Family Law Section in its proposed rule. • Proposed Family Law Rule 12.040(d) should be addressed to ensure it conforms with candor-to-the-tribunal requirements in Rule 4-3.3. • The Supreme Court should instruct the Family Law Rules Committee to draft a rule that specifically addresses limited representation in court. Langer noted that the Supreme Court has expressed interest in finding more ways to improve access to the courts, including specifically with unbundled services. She added, “I think the unanimous report that we bring to you today comes with some very intellectual and studied individuals feeling this is the way the Bar needs to go at this time.” Michael Gora, a member of the unbundled committee told the board the rule is needed to “increase the ability to deliver legal services in as many forms as possible to allow as many people as possible to access legal services. I believe it is a benefit to the legal system; I believe it is a benefit to our customers.” Board member Arthur Rice asked if the board passing the report to the Supreme Court meant it was an endorsement with no chance for further consideration. “All we’re asking is for the court to ask the Family Court Rules Committee to draft a rule,” Bar President Terry Russell replied. “I think we’ll have more than adequate opportunity in the future to review the consequences of the rule.” Langer recounted that the Unbundled Legal Services Special Committee was formed by the Bar in response to a directive from the Supreme Court to investigate unbundled services. The committee got a proposed rule from the Family Law Section and heard from several other sections which said they had no objections to unbundled services. The committee prepared and published preliminary proposals, which drew concerns from the Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors. The committee added two members from the YLD in response and substantially revamped its proposals for the final report, she said. November 1, 2001 Gary Blankenship Senior Editor Regular News Unbundled rule report sent to Supreme Court
May 1, 2002 Regular News Board of Bar Examiners has openings for public members Board of Bar Examiners has openings for public members M embers of the public are invited to volunteer on or before June 14 for a three-year term on the Florida Board of Board Examiners.The Supreme Court of Florida will appoint two public members to serve on the board, which ensures that applicants have met the requirements of the rules with regard to character and fitness, education and technical competence prior to recommending to the Supreme Court an applicant’s admission to the Bar.A public member volunteer should possess education or work-related experience such as educational testing, accounting, statistical analysis, medicine, psychology, or related sciences. A bachelor’s degree is required. Lawyers are not eligible. Public board members should be willing and able to devote about three days’ work a month. Service requires travel to various Florida locations to attend board meetings and the examination, with travel and subsistence expenses reimbursed.Board members should be interested in seeking to improve the examination and its administration, and to evaluate carefully the character and fitness of applicants seeking admission to the Bar. Board members should be free of adverse interests, conflicting duties, or inconsistent obligations that may interfere or appear to interfere with the proper administration of the board’s mandate from the court.The two vacancies on the board will occur on November 1, with the expiration of the terms for Yvonne Loggins-Coleman and Mary Harris Moore. Loggins-Coleman is a business consultant currently living in Orlando. Dr. Moore is a professor of counselor education at Florida A&M University, currently living in Tallahassee.Persons interested in applying for the position as a public member may contact Kathryn E. Ressel, executive director, Florida Board of Bar Examiners, either by fax at (850) 414-6822 or by mail at 1891 Eider Court, Tallahassee 32399-1750, prior to June 7, to obtain an application which must be completed and filed in the board’s office on or before June 14. The application is also available on the Bar’s Web site by clicking here.
Letters Dignity in LawI am writing to support Tod Aronovitz and the Dignity in Law program. As a former prosecutor, public defender, judge of industrial claims, a partner with former Florida Bar President Bill Blews, and now as a tenured full professor of law, I have seen in my 30 years of being in the practice of law a lot of unwarranted attacks on a profession I still find to be noble and inspirational.I am proud to be a lawyer, and I want everybody to know the whole story about our great profession, and I want someone to respond to the unjustified attacks on our profession. Tod is doing that, but he needs our help. We lawyers need to stand together in this campaign and put aside provincial interests. It’s not about civil trial lawyers versus criminal trial lawyers and trial lawyers versus transactional lawyers. It’s about defending who and what we are. And if you are anything like me, I sometimes forget who we are and what we do. So I pull out any Bar Journal and reread the “Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar” (found this year on page 831of the Journal’s directory issue).I first “took” the “Oath” in the well of the Florida Supreme Court in the spring of 1972. It gave me goose-bumps then and it still does. I read it again before writing this letter. And when I read about “justice” and “honesty,” and “truth and honor,” “maintaining confidences,” and “preserving inviolate the secrets of my client,” and about honor and reputation, and about “never rejecting from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless and the oppressed,” I realize why I became a lawyer and how my brothers and sisters at the Bar are “living” that “Oath.” Why shouldn’t we defend ourselves when we are attacked unjustifiably? Why shouldn’t we point out to our critics the greatness of our profession?Sure we have shortcomings, and things to do to make the justice system fairer, and we need to work harder in those areas, but what other profession polices itself as much and as openly as we do? Sure, I am ashamed of the things some of us do, but I am also extremely proud of what others do. We publish the shameful stuff and our shortcomings in our own publications.Why can’t we publish the good stuff, the rest of our story? I say, ‘Keep it up, Tod.’ I am a lawyer, and I am proud of what we do.Steve Everhart Criminal Law Section chairFoster KidsI was thrilled to read the article in the November 1 News about the Summer Fun For Kids Program in Miami, which was organized by several local lawyers to provide summer camp and other fun experiences for foster children. As a foster parent of two teenagers, and the treasurer of our local (Pinellas) foster parent association, I have seen firsthand what a huge difference such opportunities can make in the life of a foster child.In Florida, about 46,500 children are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Children and Families. Of these, almost 20,000 are in foster care. Many others live with their parents or relatives, under DCF supervision. The average length of stay in foster care is 33 months; and 18 percent of foster children have been in care for five years or longer.All of these children are at risk, and all of them have had to face very difficult circumstances in their young lives. Some have been shuffled from family to family for years. Some have suffered physical abuse, some emotional abuse, and neglect. The amazing thing is that each of these children has tremendous potential to grow and develop into a caring, productive adult. But each needs good role models to teach them how. Summer camps and other such activities, where responsible, caring adults show an interest, are a huge influence and give these kids the hope and skills they need.I would like to thank the attorneys who organized the program in Dade. Also, if any others would be interested in participating by starting start a similar program in the Pinellas County area, please contact me.Uta Grove ClearwaterLawyers and AlcoholI read with interest the November 15 full page “In Practice” article by Timothy J. Sweeney titled “A Clinical Look at the Chemically Dependant Lawyer.”Isn’t it a little inconsistent that lawyers would spend so much time and money and even have a staff attorney for and director of a “Recovering Attorneys’ Program,” when in fact we base every meeting we have on a cocktail reception? Can you think of a time when lawyers got together other than in a courtroom or at a closing without prefacing or completing their meeting with alcohol? Just scan the agenda for the Midyear Meeting.Maybe we should re-examine how we do things and then we can spend a little less time and money on recovery.William C. Davell Ft. Lauderdale December 15, 2002 Letters December 15, 2002 Letters