Editor's note: Our apologies to Mary Luft and Laura Quinlan of the Rhythm Foundation. Here is the correct contact information for both organizations. Tigertail Productions: 305-324-4337 (www.tigertail.org). The Rhythm Foundation: 305-672-5202 (www.rhythmfoundation.com).
He was my Erin Brockovich and we need more like him: Francisco Alvarado's article about attorney Michael Pizzi ("Saint Pizzi," April 24) was an exceptionally fine portrait of a remarkable man. I have been very fortunate to have him represent me in the lawsuit that was filed against me by the Ouster Corporation in June 2001. Just this past week the suit was withdrawn, and I am deeply grateful to him for his efforts on my behalf.
Prior to having him represent me, I had spent countless hours seeking legal help and had contacted many individual attorneys and law firms, from Masry & Vititoe (of Erin Brockovich fame) to local attorneys recommended by friends and associates, as well as the ACLU, numerous environmental groups, and national legal resources. Many of my requests went unanswered, and the few attorneys who actually spoke to me had fee scales far beyond the means of any average citizen.
When I finally called Bierman Shohat Loewy & Klein's offices in July 2002 to try to reach Mike Pizzi, I was desperate, despairing, and fearful for my family's well-being. I was amazed when Pizzi answered his phone directly, and after I spilled out my story as rapidly and as briefly I could, he said, "I'll help you." Within days he met with me, agreed to take on my case, and has been a relentless advocate for me and my neighbors.
As for criticism of his tactics to utilize the media, it's pure nonsense. The media have been crucial in reporting the facts to the citizens of Miami-Dade County regarding public corruption, misuse of funds, and corporate irresponsibility. Without access to such information the public would be dangerously uninformed.
Mike Pizzi does his job phenomenally well, and he fights his battles in the open, which obviously makes his deep-pocketed and well-connected opponents very unhappy, because he can't be bought or silenced. He minces no words, seeks out the facts, and tenaciously defends our most basic and important rights. If anything, we need more people like Mike Pizzi in our community.
Now we need to get the message out -- live theater rocks: Thanks so much to Ronald Mangravite for his wonderful article regarding the plight of the theater scene in South Florida ("Pulitzer Surprise," April 17). I just finished playing the character "Mother" in the Mosaic Theatre's production of A New Brain. The response to the show was overwhelming. It's a shame more people didn't have the opportunity to see it, but artistic director Richard Simon could not afford to hold it over.
It's good to know there is someone out there who evidently feels as passionate about live theater as we actors do.
Which is exactly what you'd expect of a dictator: In response to Kirk Nielsen's article "Dialogueros" (April 10), letter writer Curt Bender says: "As long as we have ... exile leadership hostile to Cuba, there will never be any positive change." Yeah, right! If exile leadership would be as submissive to the Cuban dictatorship as the dialogueros are, there would be no real exile, just a bunch of stooges doing the dirty work of the communist dictatorship!
By the way, what positive change could ever come from the longest-lasting dictatorship in the Western world? Dictatorships never change peacefully, nor do they "dialogue."