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Nickname the Mayor
c/o New Times
2800 Biscayne Blvd. #100
Miami, FL 33137
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Dear Jim:

Generalissimo Francisco Carollo?
Generalissimo Francisco Carollo?

I know it's important for TV stations to cover a major important event like Hurricane Floyd, but do they have to go nonstop, 24 hours a day?


Pining for All My Children

Dear Pining:

It would certainly be easy for me to sit here and ridicule some of the folks on TV. Heaven knows they make an inviting target. In the case of Hurricane Floyd, however, they really didn't have much choice but saturation coverage. But I do have a few suggestions for future storms. Because hurricane coverage has now taken the form of a telethon, why not combine the two genres? Between updates from the National Hurricane Center, one station could be raising money to fight AIDS, while another station could be raising money for earthquake victims in Turkey, and another could be soliciting donations for breast-cancer research.

Instead of Jerry's Kids we'd have Rick's Kids, Dwight's Kids, and Tony's Kids. You want to ask Bryan Norcross a stupid hurricane question involving your dogs and cats? That'll cost you a $50 donation to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Get Home Depot and Publix involved. For every overpriced sheet of plywood or case of water they sell, a percentage can go to fight a disease.

There's also no reason you can't jazz up hurricane coverage with a few musical acts, maybe a juggler or a magician. I understand Belkys Nerey can tie a cherry stem into a knot with her tongue. I'd pay to see that. Imagine Tony Segreto sitting on a stool in the middle of a darkened studio, a single dramatic spotlight shining down on him as he sings "You'll Never Walk Alone." The phones would light up.

Instead of dreading the arrival of another hurricane season, viewers would get excited. "Hey, honey, good news! A tropical storm is forming in the Atlantic and I hear Todd Tongen is working on an act where he does the most amazing things with balloon animals."

Dear Jim:

Heard any good jokes lately?


Desperate for a Laugh

Dear Desperate:

As a result of a recent New Times story, Miami-Dade commissioner and would-be slumlord Miriam Alonso was caught violating federal rules and a local conflict-of-interest ordinance when it was revealed that she was collecting federal Section 8 rent subsidies from the Miami-Dade Housing Agency, an agency she oversees in her role as commissioner.

But that's not the joke.

The funny part comes courtesy of Alonso's chief of staff, Elba Morales, who told the Herald that Alonso needed time to review the matter. "Obviously she is going to do whatever the law says," Morales intoned, "which is what she's done from Day One."

Oh, that Elba. What a joker!

Dear Jim:

We're flying into Miami International Airport on vacation in a couple of weeks and were just wondering if there is anything we should know before we arrive.


South Beach Bound

Dear SoBe Bound:

The airport has been a virtual beehive of activity lately. Luckily we finally have the answer to a question that has been plaguing the flying public for decades: How much are you supposed to tip a skycap to handle your bags?

At MIA it's about $7000 per bag.

The most amazing thing about the airport smuggling ring wasn't the hand grenades or coffee filters laced with heroin ("Hmmm, Bob never asks for a second cup of coffee when I make it for him at home ..."). It was the fact that the feds could round up nearly 80 airport employees and not one of them ends up being related to a county commissioner.

As unlikely as that may seem, it is true. And it presents new opportunities. Now that 80 people likely will be going to prison, Mayor Alex Penelas, Commissioner Miriam Alonso, and Commissioner Javier Souto have a chance to arrange jobs for a whole new crop of in-laws and second cousins.


"Hurricane Van Van," by Judy Cantor, September 23

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