Letters

The Smallest Slice of the Jailhouse Pie
After reading Jim DeFede's story "Jailhouse Rumble" (March 21), I have to wonder about the remaining fifteen percent of the corrections officers who are not black or Hispanic. How do they fit into the department and who represents them?

Edward S. Sheppard
Miami

Goldstein: A Developer's Dream?
I read with interest "Wasted Space," Robert Andrew Powell's account of the Commodore Bay litigation (March 14), but was left somewhat confused as to the role Michael Goldstein is playing in this saga.

On the one hand, Howard Scharlin notes that Goldstein is "a bright young man. He is not our attorney." On the other hand, we have Goldstein's response to the city's demand that the developers agree never to sue: "They want a full release! There is no way in hell I'm going to do that -- to give away every right simply for the privilege of sitting down with the city to discuss what may or may not occur!"

I can understand the developers wishing to preserve their rights in the event sales negotiations are fruitless. I also understand the city's position, for in all fairness it can't be said that the developers have not had their day in court. What I do not understand is why Goldstein is serving as spokesman for the developers.

Intriguingly, after ten years of litigation involving Commodore Bay, Goldstein's proposed solution to the problem is A more litigation: "If necessary, Goldstein says, he will sue the city to enforce the Bayside Agreement, in which Miami Commissioner J.L. Plummer said the purchase of Commodore Bay was a top priority."

I do not know on whose behalf he would bring such a suit, or whether Commissioner Plummer's "priority" creates a legal right to compel the use of trust funds for that purpose. Fortunately, it is not Goldstein's legal acumen that is at issue here, merely the role he plays in this drama.

Joseph Fleming, the city's attorney, has opined that Goldstein is "being played for this one." Fleming has litigated the Commodore Bay matter on behalf of the city for ten years. Goldstein, by contrast, was eighteen years old when this affair began. Under the circumstances, one would think Fleming is entitled to a presumption that he knows the issue and the players. In any event, it is difficult to shake the concern that the "inveterate, unabashed, unrepentant tree hugger" may only be a developers' tool.

Barbara J. Lange
Coconut Grove

You've Got to Fight for Your Right to Party
Excuse me, Robert Andrew Powell, but what is wrong with our city officials getting to go to a celebration in honor of the city they serve ("Your Tax Dollars at Work A Hiccup!" March 14)? For such an event, $4500 for 30 people is average.

As the PTA treasurer and parent of a student at Natural Bridge Elementary, I can say that paying (using money the PTA has made through volunteers) for our teachers and staff to attend outings related to the job they serve is money well spent.

How often during the hectic days, weeks, and months of the year do we let these people sit back and just enjoy what they've worked so hard to accomplish -- for "free."

Erika Basar
Miami

Stink and You Shall Pay!
Regarding "Sell It or Smell It" by Jim Kelly (March 7): To us neighbors of the terminal produce market, it is more like smell it. Talk about garbage and filth. At many places in the market, few owners care. Others don't give a shit about the neighborhood. They don't live here in Allapattah, but they make money here. I've lived on NW 26th Street since 1968, and I have seen the changes for the worse.

How come some businesses keep their premises spotless while others look like a pig sty? If they don't change soon, the government will take steps to ensure the welfare of the community at large. They can police themselves. If not, others will have to do it.

Mariano J. Cruz
Miami

Notes from the Left Coast
I was moved by John Floyd's article "Anywhere's Better than Here" (February 1). With many a regret, I moved to L.A. after living in Miami more than eight years by way of Scotland, my birthplace. I got a music scholarship to the University of Miami and also attended FIU. Now I'll be relocating back to Glasgow.

Out of necessity I had to move (doing an MTV gig and tour, and bicoastal marital probs), but I kept saying, "I'm just visiting." Well, I've been visiting for two years and still consider Miami my home. If I had a choice, I'd be in Miami right now. And this from a girl who is doing projects with Danny Elfman (Oingo Boingo), Seth Hartman (Thomas Dolby, DEVO), and now EMI. I am sure I could have done all the same in Miami, but one thing made a difference: The local scene in Los Angeles is great and very well supported. Where else can you go see some great songwriters perform at a local acoustic gig, meet a plethora of label execs at any and every club or industry schmooze fest, and (for me) breathe down your publisher's neck in person to keep shopping your songs?

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