Sleazy, Lazy, and Filthy Rich

Letters from the issue of July 6, 2000

He was not fired because of his looks; he was voted out 4-to-1 by the board, and if Mr. Cruz would read the minutes or watch the videos of the meetings, he would be able to get his facts straight. Instead this cheap reporter writes a soap opera in which most of his writing is dedicated to insulting the physical appearance of the members of the board and others. What does the physical appearance of board members have to do with their ability to perform their jobs? Could it be that since Mr. Cruz could not find the corruption he was hunting for, he decided to write all that garbage? I am happy to know that the worst he could write about me was that I am a large person. Thank God that is not against the law and does not affect my brain. I can always lose the weight. But can Mr. Cruz remove the stupidity from his brain?

Another thing: When writing an article, reporters should get their facts straight. I would be very proud to be Cuban but I am not. I am Puerto Rican. And I did not say, “I have something to lose,” because I don't. What I said was: “I have nothing to lose.”

I hope the editors of this paper start doing their jobs and stop such garbage from being printed. And don't let morons call themselves reporters.

Ruth E.Pasarell, commissioner
Miami Beach Housing Authority
Miami Beach

Mr. Gayton would like a word with you:

I write to point out the cultural and journalistic ignorance of Alfredo Triff's article “Art Out on the Town” (June 15). Mr. Triff's commentary on the “Beyond the Millennium” exhibition at the Tower Arts Center discussed only the cosmetics of the exhibition's display, without any discussion or critical analysis of the works themselves. I can only imagine he is not schooled in such analysis or even in journalistic integrity. After all his article refers to the exhibition, including the works of a Mr. Pedro Damian, an artist who never even participated in the exhibition.

For your reference the artists who did participate in the opening were Marcela Santa Maria, Aldo Amador, Silvio Gayton, Raimundo Garcia, and Jesus Villareal, all internationally exhibited and critically acclaimed artists in their own right.

I trust your editorial staff will have a serious conversation with Mr. Triff about the quality and integrity of his journalism. It is he who criticized the exhibition's display as “lacking an expert eye.” I hope that, in some small way, this letter will encourage your readership and editorial staff to question and hold your journalists accountable for the validity of their professional coverage. Miami cannot and should not continue to endure a reputation as the intellectual and cultural black hole of the country.

Nelson Gayton
via the Internet

Editor's note: Mr. Gayton correctly notes that Pedro Damian was not a participant in the show at Tower Arts Center. His work was on display that evening at the adjacent La Vena del Gusto. We apologize for the error.

Hey, what's that funny smell?

When I turned to Brett Sokol's June 8 “Kulchur” column and saw Vince Martin, I was suddenly back in the old Grove, where the sandal-maker in the alley made a toy wooden train for his little boy, where I ordered a new, custom-made pair of sandals every summer, where there was funny-smelling smoke in Peacock Park, and where, in our short year in the house on Aviation Avenue, I would tug at my brothers and say, “Look, look! There's a real folk musician living right next door to us.”

Vince Martin had no clue who we were but I knew who he was, and we would watch him come and go with his guitar. I even got my brother to take me to the Flick and brave the thick cigarette smoke for the music and the ambiance and the feeling that we were where magic was happening. I particularly remember him with the “Greenback Dollar” song. I also remember another little hole in the wall across from what is now Mayfair, where we went to hear Odetta. One time this hysterically funny man comes on who says he cannot tell us his name because of his contract with a hotel in Miami Beach. A year later I'm watching TV and there he is with the same bit and it's Flip Wilson with his “Columbus Gonna Find Ray Charles” routine. Little did I know they were coming down for the weather.

On June 10, after the story in New Times, WLRN's Michael Stock interviewed Martin. I was on a friend's balcony to watch the tall ships sail out to sea and asked to listen to the radio at the appointed time. About ten minutes into it, I heard Martin talk about the old house next door to us and the landlady we didn't know either but whom we also saw from time to time. And then my friends changed the station. I had to go along, unhappily, but what can I say. Sometimes life just has to be accepted as it comes.

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