By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
Saving the Beach, One High-rise at a Time
Are you all a bunch of idiots? The individuals quoted in Ted B. Kissell's article "Elector Set" (October 30) all attempt to parrot the same "save the Beach" philosophy. Save it from whom? The reason these morons are all recent residents of Miami Beach is that not long ago South Beach made Overtown look like a garden community.
Sure, there was plenty of parking on Ocean Drive in the Seventies and early Eighties. Hotel rooms were $75 per week! No one lived there but Mariel criminals and crackheads. There was no Miami Beach Marina, no Versace mansion, no restaurants on Lincoln Road, no designer stores on Collins or nightclubs on Washington. Nemo was a crackhouse, Amnesia a long-abandoned Italian restaurant.
Is that the quality of life these people long for? The reason they're able to live in this community is because of the vision of people like Gerardo "Gerry" Sanchez (remember him?) and Thomas Kramer, who, through development, "saved" the Beach by chasing out most of the lowlife scum who once ruled the streets.
These towering condos aren't going to add to the city's parking problems. They all provide adequate off-street parking for residents and guests alike, and they're going to be filled with wealthy, full-time, taxpaying, voting families -- not here-today-gone-tomorrow tourists.
Look around, folks. All the parking hassles are created by the older buildings that aren't required to provide off-street parking for their residents, most of whom are here for a short stay and couldn't care less about contributing anything to the community or its quality of life. Those are the buildings the Save Miami Beach people ought to be trying to close down if they're really searching for a "symbol of all that's screwed up."
Of Course It Sounds Crazy, Ozzy -- They Thought Nostradamus Was Crazy Too
The amount of development taking place on Miami Beach is a disgrace. But what will decide the fate of the Beach is Mother Nature. When things get out of control, she takes action. And as far as South Florida's ecological destruction, she is fed up.
When the volcano on Montserrat finally blows its top, it will trigger underwater faults and set off a high-intensity earthquake that will rock the South Florida coastline. It will also unleash immense tidal waves that will flood the coast. As a result, all the high-rises will be leveled; they were not designed to withstand earthquakes.
On the bright side, multistory construction of any type will thereafter be banned in Florida, and the condominium will go the way of the dinosaur. Over time, things will return to what used to be normal, and South Florida will once again be a place of gentle beaches and unobstructed sunrises and sunsets.
No one will listen to this, of course, because it sounds -- well, crazy.
Over the Edge and Off-Target
In the article "Over the Edge and Under Investigation" (October 30), Jim DeFede stated that I received a letter from Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Butler advising me that I was a "target" of a federal investigation. This is not true. My former client, Lynne Sachs, received a letter notifying her that she was the "target" of the investigation because she was suspected of having sent the two faxes to Judge Ellen Venzer. I received a letter stating that I was a "subject" of the investigation.
In my opinion, the definition of a "target" and a "subject" of a federal investigation is this: The "target" is a person for whom the prosecutor has substantial evidence linking him/her to the commission of a crime, a putative defendant. A "subject" is merely someone who knows something about the matter under investigation.
There is no evidence whatsoever that I had anything to do with sending the faxes and/or that I had any knowledge as to who sent the faxes or why they were sent. My former client has denied having sent the faxes. By being her attorney, I had general information about the matter under investigation. That is why I received the "subject" letter.
Mr. DeFede characterized my letter to prosecutor Butler as "pleading with her to clear" me. This is also not true. Mr. DeFede's false reference that I was a "target" and his negative characterization of my letter could lead some to think that I may have acted improperly while I represented this client. I represented my former client zealously, as I am obligated to do by the Florida Bar. I was not involved in any improper conduct whatsoever.
Mr. DeFede chose to ignore the truth and printed false information that was damaging to me. This was an example of careless and unprofessional news coverage of a story. When the news media print false information, the result is that a person's reputation is negatively affected.
Abe Koss, Esq.
Editor's Note: Owing to a reporting error, Abe Koss was incorrectly identified as the "target" of a federal criminal investigation. In fact he is a "subject" of that investigation. New Times regrets the error.
Over the Edge and Out of the Closet
It was very refreshing to read Jim DeFede's detailed and uncensored version of the Lynne Sachs lawsuit as compared to the Ms. (Homophobic) Manners version in the Miami Herald, which coincidentally was published the same day.