Letters to the Editor

From the issue of February 1, 2001

There are, unfortunately, too many instances of neighbors letting their emotions get the better part of common sense, and running to code enforcement has become a knee-jerk reaction. The results are that our quality of life deteriorates, our laws become trivialized, and our county's ability to deal with serious violations diminishes.

Let me offer a different perspective. Perhaps by taking personal responsibility and by making symbolic gestures to demonstrate responsibility for undoing any harm that has been caused, Mr. Bliss can send a better message: that we are in this together, working to make a better community for all of us.

Barraging county officials with a litany of complaints and expecting someone else to solve all our problems for us has one major flaw, which Mr. Bliss shows us: It doesn't work.

An aficionado of Robin Hood, Mr. Bliss has dubbed his property "Sherwood Forest." Far more fitting a sign, unfortunately, would be: "Castle of the Sheriff of Nottingham."

From The Litell Geste of Robyn Hode: "The proud sheriff ... said, ďYou traitor ..., you keep the king's enemies.' And the sheriff ... went to London town, all for to tell our king."

And that's sad.

Ronald H. Kauffman

Cinéma Non Vérité

It may not be the correct title, but it's a pretty darn good title: I enjoyed reading Tiffany Madera's article "Waiting 4 the Dough" (January 18). I thank her for mentioning me and writing about the documentary film I made about [Miami native and former UM football player] Nate Brooks. But she made a critical error in her article. The film was not titled Black with No Excuses; it was titled Big Plans. I realize she must have watched the film, and I am not sure how she could have missed the title at the opening. I would appreciate it if you would print a correction in the next issue of New Times.

Scott Alboum

Editor's note: The incorrect title was the result of an editing error, which New Times regrets.

This Commercial Announcement Brought to You by the Miami Herald Publishing Company

And what else? Oh yes, our office softball teams are awesome: Jacob Bernstein's recent story about El Nuevo Herald ("Sex! Sin! Sensation!" January 11) indicated that "its rate of return is greater than the paper that spawned it." Apparently he misunderstood the difference between incremental profitability and a true, apples-to-apples comparison. An apples-to-apples comparison of the profits and losses for El Nuevo Herald and the Miami Herald, with proportionate allocation of fixed costs, shows the Miami Herald with a greater rate of return (profit margin) than El Nuevo Herald.

We are pleased with the financial performance of both newspapers, along with our free weekly entertainment publication Street, the Jewish Star Times, Herald Custom Publishing, Aboard Magazines, our direct-marketing and events businesses, and online and other units that make the Miami Herald Publishing Company the organization that best meets the needs of local readers and advertisers, in both English and Spanish.

Joe Natoli, president
Miami Herald Publishing Company

Padron: The Truth Lies Beneath the Surface

Mr. Martinez, it's time you did some digging: How about one more comment regarding Gaspar González's article ("Power Play," January 4) on MDCC district president Eduardo Padron?

In his January 11 letter to the editor in response to "Power Play," Roberto Martinez states that Mr. Padron has earned the respect of his colleagues at Miami-Dade Community College. As a long-time member of the MDCC faculty, I would like to ask Mr. Martinez when he last had a serious conversation with any of us on the faculty or staff about the climate in which we work and what we think of Mr. Padron. We are certainly among Mr. Padron's colleagues, but I think Mr. Martinez would find the respect to which he refers in short supply among us. The reasons for that are many, and this letter is not the place to air them.

Mr. Martinez, you are chairman of the board of trustees of this institution and ultimately our boss. Talk to us, sir. Find out for yourself what the reality is at MDCC. Please do not depend entirely on the varnished version of that reality you are given. The truth is quite distinct. Perhaps it is time you sought it out.

As others have done, I too must ask that my name be withheld. That I must do so speaks volumes about our situation. Fear of reprisal often is the order of the day around here. I will provide my name, position, and address to the editor at New Times for verification purposes but ask that the information not be printed.

Name Withheld by Request

Padron: Control Is Everything

And it's left us with nothing: Regarding the ongoing discussion about Eduardo Padron and whether he is good for MDCC -- the people's institution for higher learning -- we the faculty think not. How else would one explain that after previous unsuccessful attempts to unionize, the faculty finally voted to form a union at the college after being "managed" by Mr. Padron for a short while?

His use of the business model to control the faculty totally, without regard for our professional status or abilities, has led to demoralization and apathy. We truly are saddened by this. As retired MDCC professor Gabriel Read said in his letter (January 25), we have taken three steps back and are rapidly losing further ground. And I mean all of us: the faculty, the students, and the community.

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