Your publication's reputation certainly precedes itself. It is truly a shame that you allow this type of shabby tabloid journalism to prevail in South Florida.

Frank Amadeo, vice president
Crescent Moon Records
Miami Beach

John Floyd replies: Amadeo is being disingenuous. When a contract between an artist and a record label expires, and the label chooses not to continue working with the artist -- well, Amadeo can call it what he wants. The fact remains that Cachao -- without doubt the finest artist ever to grace the Crescent Moon imprint -- is now a man without a label. That said, I stand by my reporting.

The Bad News: Still Disgraced
The Good News: Free Pipefitting
I read Kirk Semple's story about Alex Daoud ("The Haunting of Alex Daoud," October 10 and October 17) and I was saddened by the fact that Alex felt he had no friends. I think he has more friends than he'll ever realize: common people, workers. I'm a pipefitter for Pipefitters Local Union 725. I'm also a delegate to the AFL-CIO, and Daoud always made me feel special.

He tried to make everyone feel important, to feel that they have their deed to do, and no matter how menial it might be, that deed was important. He saw to it that we got decent wages from our employers, that we had adequate medical insurance, and that we had retirement programs. He spoke to each of us as if we were the president of the United States.

I thought he was a decent, decent guy. I know he made some mistakes; I know he did wrong, and I'm saddened by that because I think he could have gone a long way and represented all of us. He might be considered a kind of Robin Hood: He may have taken money from the rich, but he never took money from the poor, and he always made sure the working man on Miami Beach got a fair shake. There are a lot of working stiffs who have never forgotten that. The guy still has a special place in my heart. I pray for him and my wife prays for him, and we won't forget him.

Lewis Carpenter

Lionel's Open Letter to Alex Daoud
I am writing this letter because I know you slightly, well enough to be sure that you must turn your back on those "friends" who "betrayed" you. These people never were your friends. They always used you, they are real criminals. You really don't, or shouldn't, want anything from them -- just to be away from them. The life of crime is ultimately stupefying -- the cleverest crooks get stupid from it. You were never any good at it anyway.

Lionel Goldbart
Miami Beach

Odio: Callous and Evil
I was appalled by the extremely poor taste, callousness and, yes, the ill (and evil) will reflected in the article about the Odio family ("Dynasty," October 10). The American justice system is based on the premise of innocent until proven guilty. Mr. Odio is certainly entitled to that right under the law.

Let us also not forget that Mr. Odio was present and made a difference during Miami's darkest moments: Mariel, racial disturbances, Hurricane Andrew, and the balsero crisis. Let us be respectful of Mr. Odio's and his family's right to dignity and privacy.

Alina Lopez Gottardi
Coral Gables

Odio: Not That We Loved Cesar Less but That We Loved Miami More
New Times sought to bury Cesar, but the Cubans came to praise him.
Michael Lopardi

The Publix Mosh Pit
I am writing in response to Lionel Golbart's letter regarding my comments as quoted in Ray Martinez's article on shopping at the South Beach Publix ("Publix Maximus," October 3), in which I indicated that I refuse to use the Publix parking lot and rather choose to pay to park at metered street spaces.

First, for the record, unlike the quote attributed to me, I simply stated that I have never parked my car in the Publix lot. The author, apparently noticing my car, embellished, and changed my comment to "I never park my Mercedes Benz...."

Mazel tov to Mr. Goldbart, who always finds a space in the lot. But parking space availability (or lack thereof) was not my point. Rather, my issue is the bedlam one confronts upon entering the parking equivalent of a mosh pit. The point wasn't about protecting or preserving my Mercedes, but my sanity.

Inexplicably, Mr. Goldbart likens my refusal to use the parking lot to "those snobs who brag of not owning a TV set." Huh? In a weak and vain attempt to find deeper psychological meaning in my comments about parking, the simple truth -- that the parking lot is a nightmare -- was sacrificed to pseudo-intellectualism. Sometimes, as Freud said, a cigar is just a cigar.

By the way, I have owned five cars since I have been shopping at this store, and none of them, including that ultimate status-mobile, a 1980 AMC Spirit hatchback (two-tone blue with baby-blue velour seats) has ever entered that lot. None ever will.

Christopher Heid
Miami Beach

Ray Martinez replies: Mr. Heid is quoted in the story as saying, "In thirteen years shopping here I've never parked in the lot." That quote was neither changed nor embellished, and obviously does not indicate the kind of car he drives. That he drives a Mercedes Benz E300 was simply reported as fact in the context of his comments.

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