Letters from the Issue of April 17-23, 2003

"Once again we Americans have successfully married hedonism and controversy for profit."

Hector is a close friend of mine, and has been since years before the incident. Good people like him are hard to find nowadays. I talked to him the same day everything went down, and he was looking forward to spending his first Christmas with his baby and wife Patsy. I hope this story will help him out by exposing the mistake that could possibly cost him ten years of his life.

Hector's case is just one of many that reveal the amount of corruption in the system. The cops' infamous "blue wall of silence" is hopefully going to crumble like the Berlin wall, and when it does I will be outside the jail with open arms waiting for Hector to come out.

Javier Garcia

Miami

He Ain't Guilty, He's My Brother

And please remember -- those werepaintball guns: I am Hector Torres's sister. My brother and I would like to thank New Times for publishing his story. I know he is innocent. I know how he acted, what he did, and when. I used to sit on that couch at Travis's and play with the puppies while the guys did their thing.

They were loud, they smoked too much, they even spent too much time cleaning and perfecting their paintball equipment, which as I understand it is sold at Kmart!

I love my brother and I will be there when they let him out and he comes home. Cops are supposed to help people, not destroy families and lives.

Nicole Torres

Miami

Nightclub Chic, Combat Chic

In the land of decadent consumption, everything is product: It's frightening to consider the disconcerting yet striking resemblance between the ultra-cool SoBe club scene and the Iraqi landscape ablaze with bombs and war, as both Celeste Fraser Delgado and David Holthouse shrewdly unveiled in "Beach Head" (March 27).

Once again we Americans have successfully married hedonism and controversy for profit. From donning gas masks in discos to selling fashion that is "combat chic," we now deem war to be in vogue.

Not to say we shouldn't continue to live our lives during this time of war (meaning the Winter Music Conference definitely should have proceeded as it did), but when we begin to commodify the war instead of examining the real issues at hand, it doesn't exactly shock me that the Muslim world would look upon our materialistic decadence in utter disgust.

Party on, pray for humanity, and be at peace with yourself. But let's cut that vile stench of greed clinging in the air!

Michelle Meier

Coconut Grove

Insurgents in the House

We're here, we're active, and we're still gunning for Teele: Regarding Rebecca Wakefield's article about our effort to recall Miami Commissioner Art Teele ("When You Strike at a King, You Must Kill Him," March 27): Overall the story was good, even though a few minor things did not show us in the best light. But that's life.

The one consistent comment I've had from acquaintances concerns the brazenness of Teele's threat against those of us who organized the petition drive, which they found shocking and ill-mannered. But we know that's how he operates. We saw individuals who were literally terrified to have their names appear on any record as contributing to our effort. While they wanted to see the recall happen, they would not give money. If we could have taken cheers and best wishes to the bank, we would have raised thousands and thousands of dollars.

In the end, despite the challenges and the peeling-off of Leroy Jones and his group, we feel confident we moved the agenda forward. Many of the changes now in play never would have happened were it not for the courage and conviction of the people who took this action. Best of all, there is a reservoir of activism that is alive, and coalitions and alliances that are beginning to take form. Things will never be the same in District 5. The people have been awakened, and even politicians serving other constituencies are taking note.

Del Bryan

Miami

The Last Days of the Lido

It was simply marvelous: I want to comment on Celeste Fraser Delgado's article on the Lido Spa ("How Sweet It Was," March 20). I did not read the article in full until after I spent three days there, and then I found her article very true to life. She described the Lido Spa to a T.

I am not Jewish, but I retired after working for Jewish firms for many years. I had gone on a cruise on the Carnival Spirit because I wanted to get away from the winter in New Jersey. I also wanted to spend a few extra days in Miami after the cruise, and I remembered an article I had seen in the Newark Star-Ledgerabout the Lido Spa, so I booked three days there.

Everything was exactly as Ms. Delgado described it. I had a marvelous time. Social director Terry Ross presented a young lady singer, Jody Ebling, who was better than anything they had on the Carnival ship.

Irene Williams

Hillsborough, New Jersey

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