Rules of Subtraction

The debut of The Bitch

But the deal may be worth squat since Penrod's ex-partner Tommy Pooch took his popular Sunday party up Collins Avenue to the Raleigh Hotel. This past August the Brooklyn-born promoter sued Penrod in Miami-Dade Circuit Court alleging breach of contract. Earlier this month Pooch won a round against Penrod when Judge Roberto M. Pineiro denied Penrod's motion saying his contract with the long-time South Beach promoter was null and void because Pooch was convicted of a felony years ago.

Meanwhile Pooch has prospered after his split with Penrod -- hooking up with fellow nightclub promoters Alan Roth and Ingrid Casares to host Soiree Sundays at the Raleigh and an upcoming Wednesday-night dinner party at China Grill. "It's my way of getting some payback," Pooch gloats over dinner at a table featuring NFL tight end Jeremy Shockey and Paris Hilton.

Tommy Pooch tests the strength of the bamboo in 
happier times at Nikki Beach
Steve Satterwhite
Tommy Pooch tests the strength of the bamboo in happier times at Nikki Beach

In the latest dust-up in the city with the highest concentration of bizarre political shenanigans, North Bay Village's top elected official is seeking retribution against the man who led state investigators after his best friend, Police Chief Irving Heller.

City Manager James Vardalis is in the line of fire from Mayor Alan Dorne in the midst of a Federal Department of Law Enforcement investigation into possible official misconduct by Heller.

Vardalis called on the state agency to find out who was responsible for illustrating and then circulating a series of violent, pornographic cartoons of civic crusader Fane Lozman, based on allegations that Heller was behind the perverse drawings. Vardalis also tried to place Heller on administrative leave pending the investigation's outcome. The police chief preempted his boss by taking an emergency family medical leave.

Heller, who has since announced he is retiring at the end of this month, denies drawing the dirty cartoons. Meanwhile Dorne has allegedly been working behind the scenes to get rid of Vardalis. Last week Dorne drove down to Homestead and met with former county manager Steve Shiver. "It was not a job offer," Shiver explains. "But the mayor inquired about my assistance in the search for a new manager."

Shiver says he agreed to participate in the search if the North Bay Village Commission voted to fire Vardalis. Dorne confirms meeting with Shiver, but denies ever discussing the city manager's job. "Absolutely not," Dorne says. "I work nicely with Vardalis. I don't have any problems with him at all."

Shiver, however, is adamant that Dorne's main topic was that job. "From our conversation, I don't believe he was satisfied with the current administration," Shiver says. Vardalis, who earns a $93,280 annual salary, declined comment.

They evicted the lady's dog, now they want the lady out. Last week New Times chronicled how the Miami-Dade Police Department's Animal Services Unit nabbed 67-year-old Lazara Betancourt's one-year-old mutt Ambrosio in early January while the ailing senior was hospitalized with severe heart trouble. The dog was home alone at Betancourt's small Normandy Isle apartment for several days. He had messed all over the floor by the time her Section 8 landlords, Carlos and Margarita Rivero, arrived. They deny they were the ones who called Animal Services to confiscate the dog, although Mr. Rivero admits to signing the complaint. The pound no longer has Ambrosio and doesn't know if he was adopted, stolen, or euthanized.

Three days after New Times interviewed the Riveros, Betancourt received a letter from their lawyer, Adrian Ferradaz. "The landlord has elected to terminate your tenancy at will," the letter states, leaving Betancourt on the street at the end of March. It offers no justification for kicking her out.

Ferradaz says state law doesn't require his clients to justify an eviction. He declines to offer any motive, but reveals that it isn't because Betancourt owes rent.


Interviews with the press following DanceStar USA 2004, the American Dance Music Awards, where Paris Hilton won a Best Celebrity DJ award:

Press: What gear do you use to DJ?

Paris Hilton: [Giggles] I donít really have any records. I use CDs.

Press: What do you play the CDs on?

Paris Hilton: [Giggles] A CD player.

Press: What do you think of the DanceStar Awards?

Paris Hilton: They told me I was going to win, otherwise I wouldnít have come.

Press: What did you think of Paris Hiltonís look?

Boy George: I didnít notice.

Press: What did you think of Paris Hiltonís look?

Lady Bunny: Gorgeous gown. A Maxi. Hides the knee pads. [Laughs] No, she doesnít wear knee pads. [Pause] Sheís got bruises. She stole my look!

Lady Bunny: Best Celebrity DJ? Paris, I knew you could BJ, but DJ?

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