By Michael E. Miller
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Munzenrieder
By Sabrina Rodriguez
By Michael E. Miller
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Luther Campbell
By Kyle Munzenrieder
My Adventures with Mohamed
Although New Times has published a substantial number of my letters, this one is much more personal because the story affected me directly. Kathy Glasgow's reporting on landlord/developer Mohamed Ibrahim sent chills down my spine ("Loads of Dirty Laundry," November 20).
My wife, two-year-old son, and I lived at Island Pointe apartments last year, and we got ripped off royally. We rented apartment 26 for one full year. Though we politely requested a lease to make the stay more official, we never got one, even after many complaints.
We usually paid our rent in personal checks or by cash; sometimes we never got receipts as proof of payment. One problem after another occurred. In the hot, humid summer months of 1996, our air conditioner broke down in our master bedroom. When we complained to Mr. Ibrahim, he promised us he would install a new unit. He never did. For the sake of our baby's health and comfort, we had no alternative but to rent an air conditioner from Rent-A-Center. This cost us approximately $60 a month. In addition, Mr. Ibrahim apparently neglected to pay the garbage-collection fees; there were heaps of filthy, foul-smelling garbage piled up for weeks in the Dumpsters.
Although the management kept the huge back-yard swimming pool clean, that was the only thing they took care of. A lot of times the grass was not mowed.
In November 1996, five minutes after my wife had given our son a bath, the ceiling over the bathtub caved in. If my wife and son had still been in the bathtub, they both might have suffered serious injury. If their heads had been cracked from falling debris, who would have paid for their hospital treatment? Knowing Mohamed Ibrahim's history, if we had sued him, how would we have received restitution?
The receivers who handled the foreclosure of the property after Mr. Ibrahim filed for bankruptcy knew the dilapidated building was a terrible, run-down mess. Joel Tabas, the trustee who took responsibility for the property from the receivers, decided to pull out of the situation, leaving us tenants with practically no one to manage and maintain our building.
When our year of residence at Island Pointe was due in February 1997, we decided to move two blocks away to another apartment building. We never got our last month's rent and security deposit back.
I was present at a recent emergency hearing in bankruptcy court in West Palm Beach, and I have filed a "Proof of Claim" form with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Miami.
The trustee's legal counsel is trying to strike my claim (filed as a priority claim instead of a general secured claim), contending that there isn't sufficient documentation to prove that I am entitled to compensation. We are demanding restitution for the sum of $1065 for having had to rent an air conditioner and for not getting our security deposit back from the landlord.
I resent Mohamed Ibrahim. I believe he is a bad man.
Robert Stewart Denchfield
Carey on Teele: No Disdain Whatsoever -- at Least Not Now
I want to commend New Times for providing an excellent service to the citizens of Miami-Dade County and wish it continued growth and success. I recently read with interest Jim DeFede's article "The Teele Deal" (November 20). It is unfortunate that the article did not provide a more balanced perspective -- giving local "black elected officials" a chance to speak to the points raised and provide the facts.
I did, in fact, support Pierre Rutledge's candidacy [for the Miami City Commission]. A young man of great character, Mr. Rutledge has outstanding leadership qualities, and given the chance would have effectively represented the district. As you are aware, our talented young African Americans are leaving this area in droves for better opportunities elsewhere. Thus we suffer locally from a brain drain. I believe Mr. Rutledge represents the group that is our hope for tomorrow. By supporting him, we sent a positive message.
I agree that this is a dangerous time for our community; however, I disagree that blacks in office are not able to get things done. This assault on hard-working women and men representing our community is unfair and misleading. It is also untrue. It does no good to sow seeds of discord -- that is a real danger to our community.
I strongly reiterate that all black elected officials need to pull together and address the problems that plague our community. I see that happening more now with many of the black elected officials, clergy, professional organizations, and others. It is vital that we develop comprehensive long-term strategies and work together as a community to achieve our goals. That is the only way we can make Miami-Dade a better place for all of us to live now and in the future. That is especially critical for the African-American community.