One thing we must understand is that different people party differently. We were unprepared for that when 200,000 visitors came here to party over Memorial Day. And because we were not prepared, we began to make it a color issue. I find this to be unfair. We all know the bottom line is the color green, as in money. So let's not point fingers. Instead let's admit that we need to be better prepared in the future.
One thing we can be certain about: We have what it takes to draw a quarter-million people to our parties. I think it worked so well that it scared us. We should learn from our mistakes and move on to prepare for the next party. Keep the green rolling!
Tony Billingsley Miami Beach
South Beach Manifesto: The History of Ka-ching! It's old and sad and noisy: Being up here in peaceful Vero Beach, it takes a while to get the news about civilly and ethically bankrupt Miami Beach. The essence of the recent hip-hop controversy, however, is not new news. It all started years ago, when Neisen Kasdin -- then a private attorney, now mayor -- helped "enable" the Clevelander hotel and bar into business. This destroyed the peace and quiet of the Clevelander's neighbors and ruined the business of the beautifully restored Essex House hotel behind it.
No one other than the neighbors cared. And that was just the beginning. The "establishment" saw that being a noisy, bad-taste neighbor paid handsomely. The rest is sad history.
Erratum Owing to a reporting error in Rebecca Wakefield's article "Confessions of a Former School District Cop"(July 19), inaccurate language was used to describe an agreement reached between the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office and José Gonzalez, former assistant chief of the Miami-Dade Public Schools Police Department. Prosecutors were investigating allegations that Gonzalez was involved in a 1987 plot to kill a witness associated with the notorious Miami River Cops case. No charges were filed. After negotiations with the State Attorney's Office, Gonzalez agreed to resign from the school police department, surrender his credentials to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and refrain from seeking employment with another police agency. There was no "plea agreement," as incorrectly reported. New Times regrets the error.