Letters to the Editor

From the issue of June 14, 2000

Hizzonor the Oinker
Banish the boobs, the butts, and the bimbos they're attached to: In heaping abuse on such a sensual, beautiful, and just plain nice person as his wife Mari, Miami Mayor Joe Carollo has once again affirmed that he deserves an addendum to his already dubious "honorable" title: His Honorable Pig. Robert Andrew Powell's article "The Mayor, the Wife, the Sexpots" (June 7) shows that it's obvious Carollo has no self-respect, let alone respect for others, including his wife, kids, and constituents. As a role model he is nothing more than a piece of human trash who sincerely believes he is a legend. And he is -- in his own mind.

To flaunt his adulterous ways in public with the Bimbos Three -- Sissi, Diana, and Lucía, who are nothing more than phony baloneys desperately seeking their fleeting fifteen minutes of fame -- is a true depiction of what he is all about. His entire tenure as mayor has been something out of a B movie. And his comment that "people are very understanding and forgiving" confirms his rather naive belief that he will be returned to office by voters.

Joe Carollo's hypocrisy is an insult to all of us here in his banana republic. He should be bounced out of town and banished along with the big boobs and broad butts of his three bimbo babes.

Mark Rosen
Miami Beach

We Are Two Wild and Crazy Guys
Hey, hey, hey, what say O.J.? Next thing you know, Joe Carollo is going to be O.J. Simpson's wingman, partying it up on South Beach with a bevy of supermodels. Escorting these two exemplary citizens will be the mayor's personal sergeant-at-arms, Det. Tony Mir, armed to the gills with weaponry. They'll have no problem entering the VIP rooms on South Beach. The mayor will just flash his giant-size key to the city, and Detective Mir will wave a "special pass" that allows him to bypass security at airports and bouncers at velvet ropes.

Maybe Shawn Lewis will comp them a bottle of champagne in one of the many clubs he manages but does not own. Sounds like a plan to me. Plus O.J. can give the mayor some tips on how to beat the rap over that mysterious bump on Mari Carollo's forehead. Whoever called this guy Crazy Joe is just jealous because he's living la vida loca!

Sean McGuire
Miami Beach

South Beach Manifesto: We Are Inclusive
We just choose not to include a certain subculture: I read Tristram Korten's article "South Beach as Thug Central" (June 7), and as a resident of South Beach I was not surprised at the chaos that took place over Memorial Day Weekend. The warning signs were there. Hungry club promoters were ready to trash the city in order to line their pockets. In particular nightclub operators Shawn Lewis and Gerry Kelly were blatant about their plans for South Beach after failing to attract the "A-list" crowd to their clubs. Residents of South Beach should not have to pay for their failures. Ingrid Casares was right on the money in her last Ocean Drive interview when she blamed Level owner Kelly for the beginning of the end of South Beach.

This is not a racial problem, since not every African American in the United States is part of the urban hip-hop subculture whose idols are ex-cons who rap about murder and violence and anger toward a society that fails to understand them. Memorial Day weekend on South Beach was filled with that violence and anger, as well as a disrespect for diversity.

These negative sentiments are at the core of the so-called hip-hop movement, and the only people in the whole world who don't know it are our city officials, who should be blamed for dancing with unscrupulous club promoters. But we residents should also be blamed for not protecting our community, which is one of the most inclusive and hippest in the world, comparable only to New York and San Francisco. This is a community where young couples and families mingle with gays, orthodox Jews, and Hispanics; a community where respect is the law of the land, an alien concept to the hip-hop subculture.

Hosting this Memorial Day event again should not be an option for Miami Beach.

David Flores
South Beach

South Beach Manifesto: No Violence, No Misogyny
And while we're at it, let's get straight about hip-hop culture: Here's an idea: While everyone scrambles to figure out if Miami Beach is a racist city and if hip-hop culture is violent, let's try to understand that what we saw Memorial Day weekend was not hip-hop culture. The B-Boy Masters Pro-Am -- the five-year-old break-dancing conference and competition that took place May 16 through May 20 at the Ramada Resort on the Beach -- now, that was hip-hop culture.

What we saw Memorial Day weekend was just glorified misogyny and violence acting itself out in the real world. The Ramada Resort had no trouble with the b-boys. As a matter of fact, no one in the local media or city cared about them coming to town. But then, the media have no interest in real hip-hop culture. They're only interested in celebrating violence whenever they get a chance.

This controversy on the Beach was not about race. It was about violence and misogyny being actualized.

Lee Williams
Miami Beach

South Beach Manifesto: Money Talks
More runways, more models, more color, more cash: I attended Urban Fashion Week on South Beach and it was a classy, elegant, upscale event like no other fashion event I have seen in Miami. It featured the work of at least twenty designers. To me it was like New York City's Seventh-on-Sixth fashion shows.

Leaving the Beach was daunting because of the lack of police control over crowds and cars. But as for unacceptable behavior, I have seen far worse during White Party week and other big events.

Those who are having fits and think the world is coming to an end obviously never have been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans or to the Beach during Super Bowl weekend. The world is not coming to an end. It is coming to South Beach, and it includes people of color with m-o-n-e-y. Get over it or move to Idaho.

Lyndajoy Fomlar
North Bay Village

South Beach Manifesto: The Whole World Is Welcome
Well, maybe not those annoying teenagers: There has been considerable discussion in the community about Memorial Day weekend in Miami Beach. It was one of the busiest weekends in recent years, rivaling the last Super Bowl. Many residents and some business owners expressed concern over the impact of the massive number of visitors. Others, including many outside Miami Beach, have taken offense at comments about the weekend visitors.

It is important for all to understand that the City of Miami Beach is an internationally famous tourist destination. It's where people want to go when they come to South Florida. The city cannot say it's okay for one group to come to town but not okay for another. The city cannot and should not admit one group but deny access to another. Whenever an extremely large crowd of young people visits our city, there are bound to be a few troublemakers, and such was the case Memorial Day weekend. The majority of visitors, however, were well-behaved tourists who spent a lot of money.

It is also important to note that the only city-sanctioned event, Urban Fashion Week, was not raucous and out of control. There were many private parties and performances in clubs, hotels, and other venues, including across the bay, that helped attract the throngs of visitors. The city cannot prohibit these events on private property.

As a policy the City of Miami Beach does not permit or encourage mass events geared toward teenagers at any time during the year. We focus on events that are cultural, sophisticated, and fashion- and media-oriented. But anyone is free to come and stay in Miami Beach and enjoy our restaurants, clubs, and public spaces. At the same time the city continues to work hard to maintain the high quality of public events. Since Miami Beach is the premier attraction for visitors to and residents of the region, enhanced planning and government services provided by the city and the county for major holiday weekends should result in minimal disruption in the future.

I regret the intemperate remarks about our weekend visitors made by certain individuals associated with city government. Please be assured that they do not represent the sentiments of city government. The comments and actions of our city administrators, police, and most business leaders have been uniformly thoughtful and responsible.

Miami Beach is a tolerant and open community. Embracing diversity is a hallmark of our city. We have had a tradition of leadership in both the civil-rights and human-rights movements in this county for many decades. In fact the African-American boycott of Miami-Dade County tourism was ended in large measure due to the city's receiving Nelson Mandela and subsidizing construction of a major African-American-owned hotel. We will continue to work to accommodate visitors while at the same time preserving the quality of life in our community.

Mayor Neisen O. Kasdin
Miami Beach

Encrypted Daily Defies Comprehension
Get your free-weekly decoder rings right here: Last week's issue of New Times was an absolute gem. The Crazy Joe piece got behind what everyone has been wondering about regarding the mayor. The Guillermo Alvarez Guedes article by Lissette Corsa ("Cuba's Jackie Mason") told us about the guy who defines Cubanness to a whole generation born and raised in America. And Tristram Korten's article about South Beach on Memorial Day said what everyone else has been afraid to say. A person needed the Authorized Guide to Political Correctness and Sensitivity to decipher what the Miami Herald was talking about when they did the story.

Thank you. New Times has done a great service to the community.

Richard de Villiers
Miami

Editor's note: A Miami Herald executive has objected to this phrase in Tristram Korten's story: "The concept of race was so problematic that the Miami Herald didn't use the words “black' or “African American' until its followup stories, a week after the action." In fact on Wednesday, May 30, a Herald article included this phrase: "predominately black crowds who came to the Beach." Regarding the elapsed time, we stand corrected.

Belén: Practical Jokers
Too bad it wasn't funny this time: I was unpleasantly surprised to read a letter to the editorin your May 31 issue for which I was given credit as author. The letter was not submitted by me. I believe it was someone's ill-advised attempt at humor. Nevertheless I would like to make it clear that I consider the remarks vulgar, embarrassing, and in no way representative of my feelings toward my alma mater, Belén Jesuit Prep. I am indeed a proud alumnus of the Belén class of 1987. One day I hope to see both my sons graduate from there.

Alberto C. Imperatori
Miami

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