In deference to him, performance has been better, but it's far from perfect. I believe the lack of concern on the part of FPL is due to the "inner city" status of homeowners and businesses in the 79th Street area. Ironically it is businesses such as Reef Bait and Tackle that are exactly what the Upper Eastside needs to sustain and revitalize its economic development, yet FPL and the City of Miami ignore their basic operational needs.

I have FPL's power-outage number on my auto dial so I can alert them in the dark when the only alternative is to find a number by candlelight. We're also looking into buying a generator.

Dr. Jean Miles

He Escaped, Only to Return
I loved John Lantigua's article about gangs in Miami ("Rich Thug, Poor Thug," December 10, 1998). I was formerly a gang member in the Cutler Ridge chapter and the South Miami chapter of IN/P, International Posse. Right now I am recovering in my so-called gang rehabilitation program: the U.S. Army.

I had so many friends die in my old gang, friends I grew up with who were troubled like I was. Seeing those pictures nearly put tears in my eyes.

Now I am 22 years old and about to get out of the army. I'm going to try to accomplish my dream of becoming a gang-unit cop to help troubled kids. I thank God my juvenile criminal record hasn't caught up to me in my adult life.

Before I joined the army, rival gang members tried their best to hunt me down and kill me. Now they can come to me and ask me how I managed to escape and become the real man I am today. RIP, old friends.

Luis Rodriguez

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