Letters to the Editor

From the issue of December 7, 2000

DXM is an adulterant being passed off as Ecstasy (MDMA), not something people are choosing to take themselves. Scam dealers are trying to cash in on the pleasant effects of Ecstasy (MDMA) by selling dissociative anesthetics like DXM and Ketamine (not to mention deadly poisons like PMA) to unsuspecting teenagers, telling them it is "Ecstasy." Zero-tolerance policies like Florida's new anti-Ecstasy laws only further encourage more dangerous adulterants to be passed of as Ecstasy to unsuspecting teens.

While no drug use is 100-percent safe (even legal drugs), it is a pipe dream to think we will ever eradicate recreational drug use from our communities. If Mr. Diaz would shed some of his ideology, we might be able to work together to actually reduce drug-related harm and save some teenagers' lives.

Emanuel Sferios, executive director
Oakland, California

When It Comes to Our State Attorney, I Beg to Differ
You would too if you'd had the delightful experience of being indicted: While I agree with letter-writer H. Scott Fingerhut (November 23) that Alberto Milian was not well suited for the position of State Attorney in Miami-Dade County, I wish to challenge his claim that Katherine Fernandez Rundle is, in his words, "ďthe servant of the law,' the one who ensures these uniquely democratic philosophies: to fairly prosecute guilty people and ensure that the innocent are exonerated." Anyone who watched the two of them debate before the election could clearly see that the choice was between a fanatic and a very smooth politician, neither of whom could be classified as "a servant of the law." One appears to be a servant of his own ego and the other a servant of one particular political party.

Having been investigated and indicted in 1998, based mostly on evidence that the State Attorney knew or should have known was false or incompetent, only to have the misdemeanor charge dropped once it served its political purpose, I would be glad to describe to Mr. Fingerhut how the process really works, since he obviously has no clue.

In my particular case, Ms. Fernandez Rundle chose not only to accept the testimony of an obvious liar but also to make false and stigmatizing public statements based on that and similar testimony, the purpose of which appears to have been to aggrandize herself at my expense, to bias the pool of potential jurors in my case, or both.

The path down which I was led during this process was anything but, again in Mr. Fingerhut's words, "one amber path down which to travel and seek community peace while preserving fundamental freedoms." This is Miami-Dade County for God's sake. Nobody believes that kind of hackneyed B.S., and nobody believes the State Attorney is attempting to promote community peace by prosecuting criminals.

Amber is the color of caution. Rose must be the color of the glasses through which Mr. Fingerhut sees the world, including the criminal-justice system. What is the nature of his relationship to Ms. Fernandez Rundle, I wonder?

Lee Martin

Editor's note: Lee Martin, a former Miami-Dade County building official, was indicted in April 1998 on a misdemeanor charge of culpable negligence for allowing the Dadeland Station shopping center to open despite alleged construction defects. The State Attorney's Office dropped the criminal case against Martin in November 1999, after disagreement among expert witnesses regarding the building's safety. Martin is now suing the county for reinstatement and damages.

Dear Madam Chair
Allow me to express my disgust over Norman Lindeblad: After reading Rebecca Wakefield's article about Norman Lindeblad, former head of the school district's Office of Professional Standards ("Still Employed After All Those Leers," November 9), I wrote the following letter to Perla Hantman, chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County school board:

It is very disappointing to me, a 49-year resident of Miami-Dade County and a hard-working taxpayer, to see a person such as Norman Lindeblad, arrested for soliciting prostitution, happily remain employed with my hard-earned money. Taxpayers, I believe, do not desire to fund Mr. Lindeblad's retirement years.

Mr. Lindeblad, the school board, the superintendent, and everyone connected directly or indirectly should shudder with embarrassment. Do you feel he set a good example for the children? Perhaps they should be exposed to Mr. Lindeblad's comments to the police decoy "prostitute" (as reported by New Times) so they know what conduct is prohibited by law.

The article goes on to say that Mr. Lindeblad's car was impounded, and he was accepted into a deferred-prosecution program. Had he not committed the offense, don't you think he would have hired a defense lawyer and fought the State Attorney?

You and your board hold the public trust in your hands. The fact that the board decided to delay the crucial institution of an ethics commission is unacceptable to taxpayers. The fact that Mr. Solomon Stinson needs more time "to think about the ramifications" does not adequately serve the interests of the county, the parents, the faculties, staffs, and above all the children. I hope you agree.

It's time for a renaissance in governing this school district, which is among the most prominent in our nation. I thank you for your comments and for expressing my thoughts to the entire board and administration.

Ira R. Gordon, Esq.

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