Letters to the Editor

From the issue of January 11, 2001

 Padron's Power Grab
It sounds distressingly familiar, and I should know: Gaspar González's inferences regarding the manner in which MDCC district president Eduardo Padron operates are right on target ("Power Play," January 4). This story about Juan Galan's resignation from the MDCC Foundation is a replay of Padron's power takeover of New World School of the Arts, motivated in large part by questions raised about how the MDCC Foundation, the fiscal agent for New World's foundation funds, was handling our monies.

As the former provost and CEO of New World School of the Arts, I know that Mr. Galan is correct when he says that "Padron runs the place like an outlaw outfit."

Bennett Lentczner
Silver Springs, Maryland

Two Padron Stories, Two Cases of Disappearing Papers
Coincidence? You be the judge: "Power Play" was a wonderful article, for which I thank Gaspar González. You might be interested to know that at the MDCC North Campus, all newsstand copies of New Times disappeared overnight from their racks. Funny thing. The same happened with a past New Times cover story titled "Schoolyard Bully" (May 7, 1998), also about Eduardo Padron. I did not witness removal by any MDCC employee, but these were the only two issues that mysteriously disappeared overnight. But as they say, if it walks like a duck. You might want to inquire of our campus president, Castell Bryant, if she gave the orders. She recently confiscated all copies of the student newspaper, as you probably know.

I have been a full-time professor at the college for more than a decade. I will include my name here in case you wish to verify my information but would ask that it not be published. I have two children to support, and the current administration can be most vindictive. It seems that tenure means nothing anymore if you cross Eduardo.

Name Withheld by Request
via the Internet

Speaking of Padron
He and Beatty deserve respect, not innuendo: For many years I have been an admirer of New Times. I find myself, however, disappointed by Gaspar González's article "Power Play." It is replete with many factual errors and inaccuracies. Although I am not mentioned in the article, as chairman of the Miami-Dade Community College District Board of Trustees, I feel compelled to write owing to my long-standing respect for your journal.

For some time there have existed policy differences between Mr. Juan Galan and other members of the MDCC Foundation board. Regrettably Mr. Galan has personalized some of these policy differences against MDCC district president Eduardo Padron and [outgoing foundation chairman] Robert Beatty. The article's innuendoes as to Dr. Padron and Mr. Beatty are just plain wrong. Padron and Beatty are respected and hard-working members of our South Florida community, with impeccable integrity, who have contributed significantly to the community through their lifetime of selfless dedication. Both Dr. Padron and Mr. Beatty have earned the support and respect of their colleagues at the college and the foundation, including from each member of the college's board of trustees.

Miami-Dade Community College is recognized by all as the best community college in the nation. This achievement has been attained by the hard work, over many years, of members of our faculty, administration, staff, students, and generous supporters in the private sector. Dr. Padron stands prominently among those who have contributed to Miami-Dade's success.

We regret to hear that Mr. Galan has decided to resign from the MDCC Foundation, but on behalf of the board of trustees, I wish him Godspeed.

Bob Martinez

Airports Do Not Good Neighbors Make
Especially if you happen to be a fragile world treasure: Thanks to Jim DeFede for keeping up the opposition to developing an airport in Homestead via his recent excellent articles ("Promises to Keep," January 4, "Vox Populi," December 28, "Destiny's Child," December 21, and "Collision Course," November 23).

It seems we have a tendency not to appreciate our own back yards. The Everglades river of grass and Biscayne Bay are treasures among the world's wonders. They deserve a better neighbor than a commercial airport.

Imagine a world institute and resource center nestled between these monumental national parks that would study and help develop solutions to growing ecological threats like global warming. What an economic boost that alone would give to the area. But also it would bring worldwide recognition to the area as an ecotourism destination.

We must continue to urge all our elected officials not to set in motion actions that we all know in our hearts will lead to the certain destruction of one of Earth's few remaining jewels.

Luis Penelas

I Cannot Escape Martin Siskind!
This was supposed to be a vacation, not a forced march down memory lane: Amazing! I come to Miami from the United Kingdom at Christmas to get away from the cares of this world, and I'm confronted with memories of a guy I was involved with some years ago.

Congratulations to Juan Carlos Rodriguez for a wonderfully researched article on Martin Siskind ("The Great Pretender," December 28). It's rare to see such depth in UK newspapers, perhaps because of the fears our editors have of libel actions.

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