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
Ted Gives His Pulitzer the Boot
This is in response to Ted B. Kissell's article "Parking and Politics" (September 3). Does Mr. Kissell think the public to whom he's addressing his article is a bunch of juveniles who cannot see clearly through the manner in which it was constructed?
He purposely omitted important facts. He received copies of information from the legal division of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs pertaining to individuals from more than one booting company now trying to conduct business in Miami Beach.
The biggest booting-company violator in New York City had more than $110,000 in fines and its license revoked. That company's director of operations is a current employee of Florida Parking Enforcement, [which is now booting in Miami Beach].
Mr. Kissell downplayed other negatives about the company. He used politics as a masquerade to gain the public's sympathy and to seem more sensitive in favor of booting.
This is about booting, not towing. Judging from his clear bias, it appears that Mr. Kissell might aspire to become a freelance publicist. Well, at least we know he won't be getting the Pulitzer any time soon. What an insult to the community.
Miami: Looking Out for Number One
I want to thank New Times, and especially Jacob Bernstein, for bringing to our attention the plight of Honduran immigrant Ernesto Mejia ("American Nightmare," September 3), who, thanks to the antics of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, is facing an apparently groundless deportation.
Mejia's case is emblematic of the prevailing attitude against many hard-working immigrants in this country. This English-only bias is the same beast masked under a different name: "reform" or "responsibility." The same beast that's trying to do away with affirmative action. Vituperative attitudes expressed by those who stand to gain politically or professionally against those who are easy prey have become the norm in this country. And it all rolls downhill, eventually trampling the little guy.
You would think the little people would protect each other, but no. I hate it when I hear Miami described as multicultural. Miami is not multicultural. Miami is unicultural -- meaning each culture only looks out for its own. And yet there is merit in looking out for someone who lives across the tracks.
Ernesto Mejia's rights are going to be waved off, first because he is not an American and second because he is not Cuban. This is a man whose only transgressions were, as Mr. Bernstein pointed out, being in the wrong place at the wrong time and naively trusting those who were supposed to be protecting his legal interests.
For people who like to preach, I say save your breath. You ain't going to Heaven unless you're willing to drink out of the same cup. My prayers are with Ernesto Mejia.
Alpha 66 Was Then, Exile Idiots Are Now
Kirk Nielsen's incisive cover story "Alpha Males" (August 27) mentions quite fairly my participation as creator of the original Alpha 66 and touches upon my involvement in its leadership from 1961 to 1964. Mr. Nielsen is objective in his overview of the commando raids that received worldwide attention (including in Moscow) and our final landing on Cuban soil in 1964; a scant but just account of our one-month guerrilla combat on the island, up until the day of our capture.
I would, however, like to add another dimension to Mr. Nielsen's story. Allow me to point out the following:
*Our war effort was not of a reactionary or terrorist nature and it was explainable within the context of the early Sixties.
*For various reasons that would require further discussion, the Cuban government, in the midst of the Cold War, had aligned itself with the Soviet Union. This fact made our waging an active campaign of irregular war against Fidel Castro's government a justified effort in light of Cuba's questioned independence at the time.
*While there were forces in exile whose links to and subjugation by Washington and the CIA were evident, some of us remained staunchly independent, sustained by our deeply rooted belief in Cuba's right to be sovereign.
*In contrast to today's Alpha 66, the revolutionary effort I led in the Sixties took place within the inspiring ideological discourse of the times. The exile community of that convulsive decade prided itself in the defense of an attractive populist agenda of progressive social values. Before the dark forces of the extreme right took over the voice -- if not the heart -- of the exile community, early exile organizations had positive, constructive links to the academic world, labor groups, professionals, intellectuals, and artists all over the globe.
Finally, let me point out that those who have pushed the political pendulum to the extreme and who have misrepresented the Cuban exile opposition as an arrogant elite of reactionary idiots are substantially responsible for many of the negative perceptions of Miami's Cuban community held abroad. Blinded by fear and hatred, they have worked in favor of our adversaries on the island.
One Large Pepperoni with Extra Coke and Plenty of Straws
Regarding Jim DeFede's column "Right Out of a Movie" (August 27), my question is, What happened to the 75 tons of cocaine smuggled in by good ol' Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta? That's 2.4 million ounces, or 68 million grams. If this same amount of cocaine had been taxed at a nickel a gram, the revenue produced would be about $3.4 million.