Letters to the Editor

From the issue of May 24, 2001

With Charity for All
After the background check, of course: Not only did Tristram Korten's article "We're Doing God's Work" (April 26) raise my eyebrows, it also raised me right out of Key Biscayne's St. Christopher's by the Sea Episcopal church. I was denied service there for refusing to fill out a form for a background check by police. I was just hoping to be served a sandwich while seeking clothes. Then I began to wonder what else was being served between that bread. Anyway, I found better service at the Homeless Assistance Center in Miami.

So St. Christopher's wants to "protect" nearby schoolchildren from me, do they? Well, wait a minute. Who's going to protect me from the children? They're the ones packing guns and killing one another, both on the streets and in the schools. Or hasn't St. Christopher's heard?

Just because I'm homeless doesn't mean I'm stupid. Far from it. If these background checks are so legal, why not conduct them on the children? Next time there's a school shooting -- and unfortunately there will be a next time -- the cops will again wonder, "How could that have happened? He was such a good kid." If the cops are looking to do so much protecting, put a patrol car in front of every school and check the children.

Some of us homeless people have done more harm to ourselves than we could ever do to another human. Yet we are treated like animals, checked to see if we've had our shots before being hauled off somewhere. So if you don't want to help me, at least don't hurt me.

Tony Billingsley
Miami Beach

South Beach: Preferred Playground for Global Sophisticates
You want proof? Just try getting a table at Caffe Milano: Brett Sokol's "Kulchur" column ("South Beach Drinks Up and Goes Home," May 10) quotes an editor from the New York Times regarding South Beach: "There is a sense that everyone with an ounce of style is waiting to be told where to go next." At this I can only laugh. Anyone with style and sophistication does not need to be told "where to go next," especially from Amy Spindler, a New York Times so-called style editor.

Then Brett goes on to ask, "Is South Beach over?" Spare me from his attempt to fill a page or two with a negative report about what is still the most popular spot for foreign tourists. Has he checked to see if rooms are available at the Delano or other nearby hotels? Has he tried to get a reservation at Caffe Milano or Tiramisu for a late-night repast? They are always busy, along with many other places on South Beach.

Sophisticated individuals do not go out to see or be seen. They are self-assured and confident about themselves. If people choose to stand in line to attend events such as the MODA in Miami Fashion Week of the Americas kickoff, that is their own choice. I'm sure there are many events and other happenings much more important to sophisticated people than looking at anorexic, star-seeking females.

Ronald Rickey
Miami Beach

South Beach: Preferred Playground for Vulgar Yahoos
You want proof? Just behold the size-24 thong bikinis: Thanks to Brett Sokol for having the courage to criticize current happenings on South Beach. As a resident of Miami Beach since 1978, I see the area deteriorating. It has no class!

Although I am a senior citizen, I am fashionable, not opposed to change, not prudish, very active, and can boast that no one ever accused me of being stupid. The recent Miami Fashion Week of the Americas (which I did not attend for obvious reasons) was ludicrous. Fashion? They do not know what the word means.

Mostly what I see here are bimbos, some with breasts overexposed, some with tight-fitting, clinging clothes with cellulite on their derrieres, and others with mini-outfits showing legs that do not justify such apparel. On occasion when I see "ladies" with inappropriately tight, short skirts or dresses, I am tempted to ask, "Didn't they have your size?" I'd probably get a knife in my back.

"Kulchur" was right on point. Individuals who are not afraid to speak up, who are not afraid to write their sentiments, earn my admiration and respect. If people are offended by Brett's words, he should tell them to kiss his ass.

Truthfully I am considering moving on, but since I don't drive and I am not affluent, where to go next?

Lee Margolis
Miami Beach

MDCC Ready to Roar
Free weekly poised for pivotal role: In response to Gaspar González's article "We Appreciate Your Concern, and Now You're Fired" (April 26), Miami-Dade Community College is one of the nation's leading community colleges and a valuable resource for the people of South Florida. The college educates students of all ages and from every walk of life. The MDCC Foundation funds millions in scholarships to ensure that worthy students have the opportunity to pursue higher education. The Clements Group is proud to be a partner in MDCC's quest to extend even more opportunities to its constituents.

President Eduardo Padron, foundation executive director Sam Gentry, and former acting director Ana Cristina Carrasco are among the finest professionals our company has been associated with during our fifteen years as the nation's leading consulting firm for community colleges.

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