Letters

Myths: The Kids Got It Right
After being torn apart by the pain permeating Lynda Edwards's story "Myths Over Miami" (June 5), I had second thoughts. Ms. Edwards seems to think that the homeless children she wrote about are imagining a world of demons, angels, and war. But I think the children have a better grip on reality than most of us.

They are right. There is a war between good and evil, right and wrong -- many wars, in fact. And each of us needs to be a soldier every day. Our most powerful weapon is wisdom. The children's courage and faithfulness is so very important. They help us adults tremendously when they refuse to do wrong, when they go to a police officer or shelter worker for help, when they learn as much as they can in school. Of all the daily battles being fought in this world, many are being won by just such children.

The sides are not so clear to us adults. We don't see Bloody Mary or the Blue Lady. The demons we deal with don't have faces, but they do have names: addiction, abuse, ignorance, unemployment, illness, and despair. These wars are real, just as we soldiers are real. Are you in the trenches or are you a deserter?

Miami's homeless children have important work to do. They must stay as healthy as they can, learn as much as they can, teach younger children what they know, and stay true to their faith. Then, when they grow up, they will be expert warriors against evil. Some of them are already heroes. Life will be easier for them when they grow up; fighting evil will be easier because they will not need to fight for food, shelter, and safety.

Many battles are still lost, but with the help of these brave children, the side of justice and love is winning!

Connie Lamka
Miami

Myths: The Kids Are Being Ignored
It broke my heart to know that these poor, innocent homeless children in Lynda Edwards's article have gone through so much at such a young age. I just wanted to take them all and comfort them. They have endured so much that it seems they have given up on God's help. But there is a God.

Our country is so caught up in the problems of other nations that our own children are being ignored. They go through so much on the streets that they have nothing but negative thoughts about life. My prayers are with them all. I can only hope that one day our country will put more into helping them.

Pamela Gilliam
Miami

The People of Miami Beach Have Spoken (In a Language Apparently Not Understood by City Officials)

For the past few months Miami Beach officials did their best to thwart the will of the public. As Ted B. Kissell noted ("The Hale-Bopp Amendment," May 29), several openly lobbied against the Save Miami Beach charter amendment, despite the fact that it is unethical for city officials to take a public position on referenda. During the campaign, the city manager went on radio and television to lobby on behalf of Portofino, the company that was attempting to deceive residents at the time. The mayor excluded the public from the taxpayer-funded infomercial he staged for that same developer.

The most important issue now is that Murray Dubbin, the city attorney who opined that the amendment is unconstitutional, is charged with appointing independent counsel to defend it against a Portofino lawsuit. This is a blatant conflict of interest. If his appointee successfully defends the amendment, Mr. Dubbin will be diminished in the public eye for offering an opinion that was either incorrect or that was given as political cover for the commissioners who opposed the amendment. If his appointee loses, there will be questions about whether the selection process was as thorough as it should have been.

Mr. Dubbin should allow representatives of Save Miami Beach to participate in the selection of counsel. By doing so he would remove any question about the integrity of the process and would show himself to be above the political fray.

City officials have aligned themselves with Portofino and have turned against the people. Their efforts to clear themselves of this charge only draw them further into an unethical position. They should stop their bad behavior and start representing their constituents.

Eric Gottlieb
Miami Beach

Bye, Bye Becky
I am writing because I thought New Times's readers should know what happened to Becky Labno, the "chubby-faced" girl in Kirk Semple's article about Dade Corners ("Right in the Middle of Nowhere," May 22).

Saturday, May 17, as Becky was finishing her shift, she was notified that that was her last day. This good employee with nine years at Dade Corners was terminated by the new owners. Becky was not the only one. Apparently the new owners do not know the value of employees with longevity.

Now it is clear why Becky was let go. She was replaced by a person who would work for less money and no benefits. The new owners could spend in excess of four million dollars for the business yet neglect the very essence of any retail business: the long-term employee, the friendly face that people had come to know. There is no replacement for employees who stay with you. Bob Dollar and his family knew it, and for that reason I have often thought Dade Corners was a very good place to work.

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