Letters to the Editor

From the issue of November 16, 2000

But I deserve respect that the article did not afford me to arguably show that all my students, each in his or her own way, are successful and productive and a true testimony to a program that teaches children self-confidence, commitment, and a great work ethic.

It was never once mentioned that the Hip Hop Kidz mission statement of "No Drugs, No Violence, Just Dance" is the ethic all kidz in the program live by. The fact that performers are made, not born, is not a crime. The majority of our program's parents teach their children that hard work breeds success.

It is not the hordes of money that Mr. Powell and his cowardly critics insist measures our company's success. Rather it is seen in the smiles on the kidz' faces, the hugs of the kidz, and the excitement of the performing moment that my staff and I see on a daily basis that is a measure of my company's true success!

The amazing television opportunities, charitable events, and travel experiences that the Production Company has achieved are a result of their hard work, not mine. I am just the conduit to making sure that people have the chance to enjoy their talents to the fullest extent. I find it interesting that Mr. Powell mentioned to me on countless occasions how amazing the children were during his interview process, but yet he could not seem to remember that same talent when it came time to writing his article.

Good reporting would have also shown that this program truly changes children's lives forever and that ten successful years have produced thousands of well-adjusted little citizens South Florida can be proud of. These kidz are part of the future of our city and country. All are succeeding in school and in outside activities. They are not the Nintendo or TV couch potatoes we hear about every day. The shame of this article was that the kidz were forgotten, and they truly are the business of Hip Hop Kidz!

Suzy Stone, president and creative director
Hip Hop Kidz, Inc.
Miami

Suzy Stone, Camera Hog
Let me tell you about unfulfilled egos: I have known of Suzy Stone and met her a few times in the Eighties. All I can say is she's the same arrogant bitch she was then. She was a camera hog then regarding her aerobics fame, and she is still trying to be in the spotlight through these young boys and girls.

She needs to take a class in how to talk to children. I pity her own kids and what they must go through. I applaud all the parents who have chosen to remove their children from her Hip Hop Kidz classes. Hopefully they will enroll them with a better person who understands kids and their real needs, not with someone who wants to fulfill her own needs and ego.

Suzy Stone, shame on you!

Alex Hernandez
Miami

Editor's note: Owing to a reporting error in "Her Brilliant Career," a photo caption incorrectly identified the child being held by Steve Allen. In the photograph Mr. Allen was holding Jamie Hinnant, not his daughter. New Times regrets the error.

McIntire: Private Agonies, Public Duties
My daughter was a victim: I am the father of the 36-year-old sexual-molestation victim who expressed her views in your October 26 "Letters"column. My daughter alerted me to the article about Alex McIntire by David Villano (Admired in Life, Reviled in Death,October 19) and to the resulting storm of letters.

My wife and I are always deeply appreciative of any attention paid to the subject of child abuse and sexual molestation, and I must tell you that Mr. Villano did what any reporter of integrity has a duty to do: Report the truth, do it with courage and skill, do it regardless of where it leads, and in the final analysis, serve society.

There are two sides to this issue. The first is the very personal, deeply emotional, and private agony of the victim and the victim's immediate family. The second is the more arcane and impersonal social issue: the criminal aspect. The personal cost to our family was enormous. Years of mistaking our daughter's destructive behavior for a rather serious case of teenage rebellion and trying the age-old disciplinary remedies have burdened us with unrelenting guilt.

Our most profound memories are not of happy smiles and youthful exuberance but of visits to secure psychiatric wards, of rushed visits to emergency rooms, and of terrified telephone calls from friends in distant cities alerting us to the latest car wreck, alcoholic episode, or abusive relationship. We also had to fight the denials from other family members, which left serious scars and deep resentments.

It is impossible to assess the true monetary cost of all this except to say it was considerable and will be causing us some concern as we enter our senior years. We're still paying for "our" pedophile's deviant obsession, although we now enjoy more and more a daughter who is substance-free and is a hard-working and productive person. But she will always suffer the effects of abuse.

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