Letters from the Issue of November 6, 2003

Hidden Agendas? Bias?

How else to explain the attacks on Bob Dugger? My name is Kenneth Karger and I am treasurer for the board of directors of the Spanish Trace Condominium Association. I've been on the board off and on for more than 22 years. During the past nine years, our management company has been Timberlake, under the leadership of Mr. Bob Dugger as president.

During Mr. Dugger's tenure, Spanish Trace has become a first-class condominium. Our property values have doubled during the past five years alone, and we have been able to control maintenance costs in spite of large insurance increases. Our monthly maintenance is only going up two to three dollars per month next year. He supervises the budget, the elections, and attends the monthly board meetings.

I am very much disturbed by Francisco Alvarado's most recent article about Mr. Dugger ("Thug Meets Pug, Part 3," October 30). It was one-sided. He did not interview a single person who supports Mr. Dugger as a hard-working, honest, and competent businessman. I resent the effects and consequences these recent three articles are having on his career. I realize we live in a free society and Mr. Dugger is a public official, but that does not give the author the right to present an article that creates inaccurate perceptions and attacks a man's professional character and integrity. It is wrong and should not be tolerated by the editorial staff.

New Times should make future articles regarding Mr. Dugger more objective by having the writer contact people such as myself and others on the board of directors of the Spanish Trace Condominium Association. We are satisfied with Mr. Dugger's work and can vouch for his professionalism and personal character. In my opinion, biased reporting for hidden agendas is unprofessional and lacks responsible journalistic content. I believe this is how all three articles about Mr. Dugger were handled. That should not be tolerated in the future.

Kenneth Karger

Miami

The Toy Kids Speak

Amazing, awesome, dynamic, but too short: Thanks to Celeste Delgado for all the time and effort she put into her story "Revenge of the Misfit Toys" (October 23). The dynamic was great. She really pinpointed who and what we're all about. The three of us read it together online and were cracking up and having such a great time going through it. We wanted more, more, more!

It was a pleasure to meet and work with her and we just wanted to thank New Times for such an amazing story and an awesome opportunity.

Melody Lisman, Tury Sandoval, and Sam Borkson

The Friends With You

Miami Springs

Speaking of the Toy Kids

They're great people and I should know: I just read Celeste Fraser Delgado's story "Revenge of the Misfit Toys" and was delighted. It was well written and well researched. I liked the fact that she contacted all the people involved in this phenomenon of plush dolls. The Friends are great people and their creations are unbelievable. I'm glad she brought their work to the forefront.

Oh, by the way, I'm Sam Borkson's dad.

Elliot Borkson

Fort Lauderdale

Editor's note: Owing to an editorial oversight, Miami freelance writer David Gonzalez was not credited for his contribution to "Revenge of the Misfit Toys." Our apologies.

Is Pudge the Chicken or the Egg?

Funny baseball article not quite a home run: As an avid sports fan, I was surprised to read a sports-related article in New Times ("Power to the Pudge!" October 23). Author Tristram Korten did a nice job of mocking the way sports franchises are run in this new century. Although the article was comical, it did very little to attack the major issue at its heart.

What happened to the 1997 Marlins was an atrocity that took Marlins fans years to get over. Some might say they have yet to get over it. Witness the fact that even with the Marlins fighting for a wild-card playoff spot this past September, only 24,000-plus fans attended the first game of the Phillies series, when the Marlins only had a one-game lead with six games left.

It's the old Catch-22: Who came first, the chicken or the egg? But in this scenario we're talking about million-dollar chickens. Or is it million-dollar eggs? If team owner Jeffrey Loria pays Pudge Rodriguez the millions he will undoubtedly get next year, will the fans reward Loria with increased season-ticket purchases? If history is any example, that won't be the case. The Marlins had a magical run at the World Series and won it, but are fans going to run out to see them at some 80 home games?

Major League Baseball has a major problem. In the early Nineties officials tried to increase seating capacity by building several new stadiums, thus increasing revenues to pay escalating players' salaries. Look where that got them. The recent luxury tax put a Band-Aid over the hemorrhaging economic problems of the sport by giving light slaps on the wrist to the Red Sox and Yankees, who can afford to build big-dollar teams.

We should cheer Jeffrey Loria for building a team of champion baseball players. He has broken the economic mold of money buying championships. If Pudge wants to finish his career in a Marlins uniform, it's going to cost Loria a lot. Dumping Cliff Floyd and Ryan Dempster were brilliant economic choices from which the team benefited. If the Marlins had never gotten rid of Floyd, who has now become something of a journeyman by baseball standards, we never would have known speedster Juan Pierre.

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