The Yuks Stop Here
Regalado as film critic (funny); wasted millions (not funny): Though I found the article on self-proclaimed movie critic (censor is more like it) and Miami City Commissioner Tomas Regalado quite amusing, I fail to see the humor or the logic of spending millions of taxpayer dollars to refurbish the Tower Theater ("At the Movies with Tomas Regalado," January 24).

Spending millions on the Tower was just one of Commissioner Regalado's great ideas. The theater eventually flamed out and turned into a dollar cinema. Now it's being rented to Miami-Dade Community College for $500 per year. So taxpayers got to spend millions to rebuild the theater, and now taxpayers will also pay the rent. What a deal!

Maybe we can talk Viacom or Disney into hiring Commissioner Regalado. Who knows? With his talent for judging movies and his financial acumen, those companies will have the potential to become the next Enron.

Emiliano Antunez

Miami

Regalado Verdict: Two Thumbs Down
A bad actor with a worse script: I find it repugnant that in an American city, a college must notify an elected official as to what movies it will show at a publicly owned theater. Tomas Regalado's motives and comparisons are ridiculous and fall by their own weight. His "sensitive" constituency should have known when they became citizens that it's tough living in a free country.

This is the kind of thing that really backfires on Cuban-exile politics. It's bad politics, guys. The Castro government can't be fought with censorship. When will we learn that fascism is not the antidote to communism? Mr. Regalado does himself and the community he serves a disservice by playing Cuban censor and not behaving like an elected U.S. official who does not get involved in what is shown on campus.

Joaquin I. Galarraga

Miami Beach

Now Opening at a Theater of the Absurd Near You
Effete critic enters phone booth, emerges as fierce warrior: As a micromanaging Cuban fascist despot, Tomas Regalado should take his wars away from these shores, get some cojones, and fight Castro like a man in Cuba. That he is masquerading as a New Times movie critic is theater of the absurd at its most extreme. That's like Nixon sending in football plays during the Super Bowl.

Fluff will never mitigate arrogance. But at least Regalado can never be called a square. He's not a square. He's a Cuban!

David Melvin Thornburgh

Miami Beach

Last Train to Pinkoville
Jessica, I'll be happy to stamp your ticket outta here: In response to "America to World: Bend to Our Will or Else," Jessica McGilvery's uninformed rant ("Letters," January 24), let me just say that Ms. McGilvery has demonstrated herself to be completely devoid of rationality. In reference to America's international impact, she wrote, "Everything we are and everything we do breeds hatred." Rubbish! Perhaps Ms. McGilvery can explain the long lines of humanity the world over clamoring to be admitted to the United States. The only hatred is on the part of Ms. McGilvery and a few other fringe elements. Her obvious self-loathing and nouveau-radical-cause-of-the-month world view qualify her for an exit visa, and that's about all.

Send us a postcard from your new home, Ms. McGilvery, in whichever Third World country will take you. As for us, we'll be here, loving our wonderful country and not changing it to fit your sad, self-hating agenda.

Paul Meade

Miami Beach

World Events Explained to Confused Reader
And another thing: The Cold War had nothing to do with refrigerator sales: I believe Jessica McGilvery, in her letter to the editor, made a silly mistake. She must have understood that a mob of fanatical New Yorkers attacked a bunch of innocent Muslims and killed thousands of them on September 11.

Herbert Marvin

Miami

Proud to Have Been a Barfly
I'll raise one to the Ader family: I want to respond to Rebecca Wakefield's article about the 1800 Club ("Farewell, My Lovely 1800," January 17). It was reported in a very professional manner, unlike the Miami Herald's reporting of the same story. The 1800 Club was well-known for its cozy ambiance and great food (recipes passed down through the generations).

The January 19 farewell party for patrons of the 1800 was probably the best goodbye imaginable, thanks largely to the sons of Bill Ader. It was a fitting reminder of days gone by. Many of the women who served a great clientele of patrons on that farewell evening were proud to do so just for the chance to remember what it had been all about for so long. I myself was pleased to have been a part of what I think was an appropriate memorial to Bill Ader. He would have been proud of his sons for responding in the manner they did, paying tribute to their lifelong friend and manager Jan and to all who worked there over so many years.

The 1800 Club provided a comfortable place for me and all my friends to grow with the help of a man who knew how to treat his family -- as well as his friends -- with the utmost respect and humility. More important than the demise of the structure is the remembrance of the man who built it and his dream.

Kudos to Rebecca.

Roger J. London

North Miami

Education the Beetle Bailey Way
Padron has nothing on the thugs at the school district: Despite Gaspar González's damning portrait of Miami-Dade Community College and its president, Eduardo Padron ("Fear and Loathing in la Escuela," December 6, 2001), the situation at that institution pales in comparison to what teachers must contend with at Miami-Dade County Public Schools. While MDCC has only one Eduardo Padron to worry about, the school district has many like him, especially in the field of adult education, where standards for how one treats employees are less stringent owing to the relatively high number of part-timers and a comparatively diminished state of curriculum control.

It is here at our public schools that the size of your buttocks has more to do with whether you'll get an adult-center administrative position than your ability to manage the lives of those assigned to your care and supervision. Our school district has succumbed to the demands of politicians in placing certain people in key positions. And like Eduardo Padron, these people are no more competent to run a school than Beetle Bailey. They are thugs dressed as administrators, acting outside the scope of their authority and using Hitleresque tactics to destroy the lives of others, corrupting every ethical rule of business, including that which prohibits a member of the board to act out of self-interest. And as Gaspar González's subsequent article on Padron demonstrated ("Just the Stacks, Ma'am," December 20), these thug-types are willing to sacrifice our most sacred rights (i.e., freedom of speech) to achieve their goals.

Please do not mention Fidel Castro. Terrorism is alive and well right here in the banana republic. This power pattern in Miami -- whether involving the likes of Padron, Penelas, or school-board politicos -- would not be effective if decent people had fought it from the start. With the public at large apathetic about politics and local politicians zealous about procuring money or sex in return for professional advancement, we as a community have abdicated our civic responsibilities.

With money now in short supply, it's going to be fun watching the slime rise to the top as it fights and squirms among itself to retain whatever shred of power or ego is left to go around.

Name Withheld by Request

Miami

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