Letters

Stierheim: A Target for Friends of Odio
Regarding Robert Andrew Powell's interview with Merrett Stierheim ("The Stierheim Report," October 31), the Cubans are maligning an honest public servant who is Miami's friend. He is not deserving of the racist comments by a few people who are friends of Cesar Odio. The vast majority of my Cuban-American friends are appalled by Odio's betrayal of the city.

My prayers go out to Stierheim and to the people of Miami. They deserve more than what they have been getting.

Neal McCool
Coral Gables

Stierheim: A Feather in Carollo's Cap
Mayor Joe Carollo deserves credit for drafting Merrett Stierheim to conduct a review of Miami's impending financial crisis. Mr. Stierheim is very smart, has integrity and good judgment, and is a workaholic's workaholic. He should stay on the job to help solve the city's problems.

Robert Stewart Denchfield
Miami Beach

Stierheim: A Bean Sprout amid the French Fries
After reading "The Stierheim Report," one might say, Welcome to Miami, where honesty is considered a career change. If scandal and prevarication were considered fast food, there would be golden arches over city hall.

Ronald C. Rickey
Miami Beach

The Pistol-Packin' Personification of Perfection
I'm an admirer of Ray Martinez's work; however, I must comment on his article "What's a Little Gunplay Among Friends?" (October 24). For the record, Jose "Pepe" Alvarez did not always live a charmed life. It took him years of hard work and sacrifice to get where he is today. Absolutely nothing has ever been handed to him on a silver platter. Despite his successes, there isn't a kinder, more compassionate man, and it is unfair to paint him in such a cold light.

Instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor, Pepe is tireless in his commitment to helping this community. He honestly believes in giving something back. Actively encouraging his employees to participate, he sponsors food drives for the homeless at Thanksgiving, collects toys for needy children at Christmas, and is a sponsor of the annual Walk for Multiple Sclerosis. But perhaps closest to Pepe's heart is the church he's building (the St. Francis of Assisi/St. Claire Mission) for the Corpus Christi area here in Miami.

As for the "menservants" mentioned in the article, Pepe has only one personal assistant, Johnny, who is one more testament to his generosity. As a young African American living on the streets, Johnny would frequent the office for cars to wash. Pepe gave him a job, took him off the streets, and today Johnny is a trusted member of the family. He would be offended to hear himself referred to as a manservant.

I realize these points are not the issue, but in light of the article, it seems an issue has been made of his character. If truth be told, Jose "Pepe" Alvarez is an amiable, educated gentleman who is not given to violent fits of temper, especially not to the detriment of others. He has a gentle kindness that few men of his position have.

Despite Winston Noe Curtis's allegations, if something did occur, Mr. Alvarez was probably provoked. Assistant Miami Beach Police Chief Manuel Diaz and Det. Gary Schiaffo did their jobs. Why spend more taxpayer money on sacrificing an honest man for the sake of publicity?

It's understandable why the article was so one-sided, as Mr. Alvarez declined to comment. Unfortunately he was going through a difficult period at the time of the alleged incident. His mother was dying of cancer (she finally passed away on October 1).

I hope Ray Martinez's next article is back on par with his previous work, as the only truth to this one is that Jose "Pepe" Alvarez is, and always has been, a perfect gentleman.

B. D. Rodriguez
Miami

You Say Studio, Berny Says Stupido!
Month by month the area named after its now extinct coconut groves is becoming a miniature Kendall. Every new development is trying to squeeze more tacky units than the last onto plots of land that barely hold one small house.

Now, as Sean Rowe wrote, certain groups want to destroy the Merrill-Stevens boat yard ("Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Key?" October 17). The farmers'-market concept would not be a good fit on the waterfront. What would become just another strip mall for items available only blocks away does not need access to Biscayne Bay.

Putting up a movie studio is completely senseless. The old hangars could never be soundproofed. New structures would need to be built and soundproofed by having no windows. At best, some of the clerical workers might have a view of the ocean.

To make full use of the waterfront, it should be kept as a boat yard. Merrill-Stevens is one of the few places left in that part of Miami where boat owners can take their boats out of the water for maintenance.

Adding some docks, like at Dinner Key Marina, would be a welcome addition. Adding a few more businesses serving the boating industry would bring in more revenue. Most important, preserving the boat yard would preserve a way of life for Miami's seafaring community.

Berny Shomstein
Coconut Grove

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