The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 28, 1998 · Page 165
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 165

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, March 28, 1998
Page 165
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SATURDAY, MARCH 28, 1998 The Palm Beach Post s SECTION D INSIDE I f f. - ' i ' ON-LINE VIGILANTE This hacker destroys computers, but ACCENT don't expect him to be arrested. He targets child porn traffickers. PAGE 3D Craig Crossman looks at recordable CD-ROMs; plus Netguide and Cyberstuff. PAGE 3D South Palm Beach County Living The way it was explained to me, sooner or later I would have to go. I would be less than candid iIdidn 'tsay there were mixed feelings. But how many more mountains can I climb?' Bill Brooks Emily J. Minor Real Life Some healthful ideas are just too hard to swallow i- r c ; '-iS ' n y ! , 4 Jf, ' X 1 Y - 'r- . LANNIS WATERSStaff Photographer It's no secret that Bill Brooks, standing before a bank of TVs in his office, is well-liked in Channel 5's newsroom. He sends staffers carnations red on Valentine's Day and green on St. Patrick's Day. And he knows everyone's name their full name. By Kevin D. Thompson Palm Beach Post Television Writer ill Brooks, WPTV-Channel 5's outgoing general manager, is looking for a new office. But 0) Dl mm. piniik jw jff0m. F"1! ft j"'. W not one oi tnose corporate nign-nses. "Those places are sort of like morgues," cracks the affable Brooks from his memora Every once in a while a life-changing experience hits you right out of the blue, and I am not embarrassed to admit that mine came during the Academy Awards. There I was, lounging on the couch, a pile of pillows supporting me like I was The Queen, when I decided I was tired of relying on an . ice pack to cure my aching back and my aching shoulder and my aching head. I decided I was going to the health food store to buy me some of that ginseng. , ; Now, marching into one of those places is not an ;easy thing to do, especially when you are a 41-year-old woman who considers pacing during a cigarette break a good workout. I mean, the moment you ". open the door you feel very much like a shrill Iwhistle is going to sound and some person with an -odd accent and zero body fat is going to trill over :the intercom: Careful. Woman in Aisle 3 puts real bacon and regular Ranch dressing on her salads. Home remedies? This is big business But, of course that didn't happen because all the healthy, fit folks were very busy milling about - picking up $14 bottles of Oil of Love Kamasutra lotion and pining over the giant vat of Stress 'B' Gone drink that looked very much like the Oil of Olay face lotion I've been slapping on my face for 20 years. (Aha. You're supposed to drink the stuff?) Homeopathic medicine is big business. By some accounts, one in three Americans rely on alternative medicine for what ails them. And, worldwide, we spend an estimated $27 billion a year on things like bee pollen and echinacea. "We" being a relative term, of course. Heck, some insurance companies are even paying for offbeat treatments, like rubbing palmetto berries and chopped valerian root on a pulled muscle. And Steve Gorman's all for it. Gorman is president of Alternative Health Insurance Services (in California, where else?) and he says it's taken society too long to catch on to homeopathic treatments. Steve says people like me are to blame. "Most insurance companies really haven't believed in this at all," he says. Horse pills and mixed results But I want to believe. I want to change. I want to give up the ice pack. So, I tell the health food woman, she of size 6 shorts who carries her daily does of vitamins around in a little plastic baggie, that I'm tired and I'm anxious and I want something to perk me up. And, lo and behold, this is what she says to me: Are you a good swallower? Now, I thought that was pretty darn personal until I realized it was the Impala-sized vitamins she was talking about. The best, I boasted. And then I bought the time-released horse pills and the Natural Care Anxiety medicine and, just for good measure (since I am in my 40s and don't want to be left in a lurch), something called PMS Forte. But the smell of the wad of cotton in the vitamin bottle made me nauseous and the anxiety medicine made me tingly and, thus, panicky, and the PMS Forte well, I'm still holding out some hope. Thing is, the tablets expire in a year so my body had better hurry. One good thing did happen, though. The woman who happily took my 59 dollars and 82 cents was every bit as nice as the folks at my real doctor's office, and I didn't even have to calculate my co-pay. "If you start taking all this stuff and you discover something else goes wrong like your memory come back," she says. Which sounds just fine and dandy, assuming I can find the place. SIGNS OFF WPTV-Channel 5's colorful general manager is moving on after 23 years. How will the station survive without his dogs, his baseball memorabilia and his salty talk? bilia-strewn digs on the Flagler Drive waterfront. "They're too quiet. They have (statues) that look like they're constipated and they call it art." He wants something modest, a place where his beloved Labrador can roam the corridors. A place where the rabid baseball fan can display his pictures of The Babe, Ted Williams and Fenway Park. A place where a salty-tongued ex-priest who favors colorful Save the Children ties can hold court. Some executives fit the corporate starched-shirt mold. Bill Brooks just isn't one of them. After a 23-year stint, 17 as general manager, the 64-year-old Brooks was recently asked by Scripps Howard Broadcasting, the station's parent company, to make way for new leadership before it moves into a planned $15 million building next year. "The way it was explained to me, sooner or later I would have to go," says Brooks in his familiar Boston-Irish brogue. "I was either going to walk out or be carried out." He isn't walking far. Starting June 1, Brooks will work out of West Palm Beach as Scripps Howard's vice presidentgovernment relations. He'll represent the broadcast division's nine TV stations before the Federal Communications Commission and congressional representatives. How does Brooks feel about the change? "I would be less than candid if I didn't say there were mixed feelings," he says softly. "I'm sort of an emotional guy and I love the trenches . . . but how many more mountains can I climb?" Yes, an era is ending in Palm Beach County. Brooks' near quarter-century tenure is by far the longest stint of any local TV executive. But as colleagues and friends are quick to note, the former Roman Catholic priest is more than just a well- Brooks' religious order assigned him to West Palm Beach in 1969. Leaving the priesthood in 1971 was one of his most difficult decisions. PALM BEACH POST FILE PHOTO I L -:.- Please see BILL BROOKS6) Do you recall your Easter bonnet? Researcher hopes to solve mystery of man behind the mask Do you have special memories of Easters long past? Of frilly socks, patent-leather shoes, pretty hats, fancy dresses? Of brand new suits for that very special Sunday? Of exciting Easter egg hunts long ago? We d like to share your memories of your favorite Easters - the outfits, the egg hunts, the family gatherings - and perhaps some of your M A researcher says The Man in the Iron Mask wasn't Louis XIVs twin, as portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio. old photos - with other readers. Share your story in 150 words or less, along with photos if you've got them (send a stamped self-addressed envelope, too, if By Barry Borbikk The Sew York Times Sews Service SANTA BARBARA, Calif. "I don't know why you've come to see me," Paul Sonnino said during a recent interview at his cavernous residence near Toro Canyon. "I don't know Gennifer Flowers or Monica Lewinsky." True. But the diminutive University of California at Santa Barbara history professor knows much about a far more intriguing scandal that has daunted investigators for 300 years the identity of The Man in the Iron Mask. Sonnino, a professor of Western civilization and early modern European history, is committed to solving the riddle and explaining why a hapless soul was imprisoned for 34 years on direct orders from King Louis XIV. Though popular culture and the new Leonardo DiCaprio film. The Man in the Iron Mask, have obscured historical facts by suggesting the prisoner was Louis' twin brother, Sonnino knows better. "That's absolutely absurd," Sonnino, 67, said of the creative yarn first developed by Voltaire and embellished by French adventure writer Alexandre Dumas. Fables are the things of fiction writers and movie makers, not the work of investigative historians, Sonnino believes. "One way to teach and study history is to develop a capacity to deal with evidence and to look at it critically," Sonnino said as he displayed a mountain of documents he uncovered during half a dozen trips to various archives throughout Europe. These papers, which date to the early 1600s, are the recorded acts of common folks, French noblemen and ministers and associates to the king. They speak volumes about French society under riease see ICON MASKSZ) you want them returned) to: Easter Memories The Palm Beach Post P.O. Box 24696 West Palm Beach, Fla. 33416-4696 Letters must be postmarked by Friday. Or entries can be sent on the Web at Palm Beach Interactive: www.CoPBI.comtellthepost v:

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