Letters to the Editor

Letters from the issue of June 15, 2000

They are pressured into making an appointment with one of Image's photographers and leaving a sizable, nonrefundable deposit to "hold the appointment." They are overcharged for substandard photos (the examples of the Image-taken headshots I've seen have been unusable) and pressured into taking "acting" classes such as those described in your article.

In an industry with a reputation for taking advantage of the unsuspecting, Image and Jerry Babij stand out. Whenever I give my beginning students a lecture on "the business of acting," I use Jerry Babij and Image as examples of what to avoid. Thanks for the information.

Josh Braun

Tere Exits Stage Left
Thank you for the article on "actor" and "talent agent" Jerry Babij. It's about time someone wrote about the questionable business practices going on at Image. I speak from experience.

Two years ago I signed up with them. After nearly six years of stage-acting, I wanted to continue with it and to get involved in other projects. Silly me for thinking Image Model and Talent could help. On my first meeting, after paying for basic headshots, they tried to convince me to take modeling pictures too. Even after I explained that I had no interest in modeling, they persisted until I threatened to leave and try another agency. The deal I got for the headshots was actually a good one, but when I saw the final product I was mortified: They were of such cheap, crappy quality that to this day I am too embarrassed to show anyone.

Based on my experience, I'd say Image is nothing more than a two-bit, sorry excuse of an agency. You know how much they care about their talent? In the three months I was with them, they never even bothered to call me to pick up my headshot and pictures. I had to keep calling and calling and calling, and every time I had to go over again exactly who I was and what I was looking for.

I ditched them as fast as I could, realizing that they do not provide good service. I hope your article serves as a warning to Jerry Babij's current clients: Take your talents and run!

Tere Estorino

Party-Hearty Security Chief Prompts Prayer
Thank God we have such good investigative reporting in New Times. After reading Jim DeFede's "Meet MIA's Own Barney Fife" (May 25) I couldn't help but think: No wonder Miami is in such a mess!

When you have public officials like Miami International Airport security chief Nelson Oramas conducting their personal lives (a 46-year-old ex-policeman partying late at night) in a county vehicle (obviously he couldn't care less about public property) and handing the car keys (with a gun still in the vehicle) to a total stranger -- well, I've heard it all now.

Can you imagine for just one moment a private citizen doing the same thing and not reporting the incident until the next day? More than a few eyebrows would be raised.

Please, dear God, send in the feds and clean up this damn airport!

Name Withheld by Request
Miami Beach

Snookered Security Chief Kindles Compassion
After reading Jim DeFede's article about Nelson Oramas, I was amazed at the bias of this piece of so-called journalism. Mr. Oramas has had a very respectable career and has made many valuable contributions to our community. He was the victim of a crime, and as a victim he deserves our sympathy and support.

Why doesn't Mr. DeFede write about all the commendations he has received during his career, and how he rose through the ranks in one of the best police departments in the nation? Or is Mr. DeFede on a vendetta against all county employees? One has to question the motives of this "bumbling" reporter and where his venom comes from.

Alfredo A. Hidalgo-Gato

Frank Talk About Free Speech
Attorney Victor Diaz chats up the ACLU's Howard Simon

The Gittelson Protocol: Buscaglia 24/7
Regarding New Times's article "Frank Talk About Free Speech" (May 25), my view is contrary to that of the First Amendment and that of most Americans. Briefly, Adolf Hitler's bloodthirsty and degrading book Mein Kampf is readily available in the United States. Fortunately it is illegal in Germany, where they had to learn the hard way.

My point is that speech which is outwardly and profoundly hate-filled and derogatory should be banned. This type of speech leads to hate crimes. On the other hand, the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lead to a more peaceful and harmonious world.

Make it illegal for the racist, twisted words of Adolf Hitler to resonate and instead broadcast those of Dr. King and Leo Buscaglia.

Alan Gittelson
North Miami

Land of the Rich and Home of the White
Morningside is supposed to be open to the public. So why is it closed off like a private club?
By Kathy Glasgow

Morningside: A Shameful Outrage
I don't know what's more shocking about Kathy Glasgow's article "Land of the Rich and Home of the White" (May 25): forcing people to pass through security barricades to reach Morningside Park, or the fact that no minority-group organizations or individuals have filed suit to end this quasi-legal and blatantly racist practice. The recent removal of the park signs on Biscayne Boulevard only underscores the deliberate prejudice involved.

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