Between Something and Nothing

Cocaine case no-actioned; pigeons are rats with wings

"The whole thing stinks," fumes Milian. "If you get a guy with a record like this one, with a prior trafficking conviction ... and he gets caught with that amount of cocaine, which clearly shows it's packaged for distribution, not for personal consumption, it's a very sad statement for the voters of Miami-Dade County that the State Attorney's Office says that's not a serious case. The State Attorney's Office should tell that to some of the parents who have kids who are addicted, or whose kids become victims of violence prompted by drug trafficking. I think that's outrageous." He says the SAO should have put the case at "the top of the heap" and issued the arresting officer a subpoena.

Arrojo says Camacho never responded to the memo. (Neither Camacho nor supervisors at the MPD court liaison unit responded to requests for comment.) This past May, the state also dropped Armando, Jr.'s worthless-check rap after he finally completed an eight-week counseling program. Cool.

Go Tell It on the MastiffThe Bitch gets a lot of invective-filled messages. Many of them just say "You suck and oh by the way your knowledge of Italian cinéma vérité sucks too" or "It's Frango Mints, you moron" and are confined to about that many words. Other correspondents devote themselves to more expansive deconstructions of this columnist's many flaws, and a few especially intrepid, or as we like to say in Bitchville, unmedicated, authors pry themselves away from their stygian tasks to pen critical Remembrance of Things Past-length manifestoes consisting entirely of sentences beginning with the word "I."

Some writers, however, actually pose mysteries for The Bitch to solve using her considerable sleuthing powers. So began the case of the Coconut Grove Parking Meter Fairy. Inspired by a skit on the sadly defunct MTV program Jackass,in which an irate Los Angeles parking-enforcement officer berates Johnny Knoxville, someone wondered if the CGPMF, a guy whose real name is Xavier Cortes, was breaking the law by in effect tampering with the natural expiration of quarter-supported parking.

According to The Bitch's interpretation of the City of Miami's ordinances Sec. 35-160, Tampering with, damaging, etc. meters (Code 1967, 34-31, 34-36, 34-37; Code 1980, 35-51, 35-66, 35-67), the answer is no.

The citation reads: "It shall be unlawful for any unauthorized person to remove, deface, tamper with, open, willfully break, destroy or damage any parking meter, and no person shall willfully manipulate any parking meter in such a manner that the indicator will fail to show the correct amount of unexpired time before a violation."

The Bitch takes this to mean that for the meter to "show the correct amount of time," it doesn't matter whether it is slug-fed by the hand of fairy or human....

The Avian of the MassesThe Bitch also got a lot of incoming from an item about a man seen caging up and taking off with pigeons in Miami Beach. Readers responded with tips about the identity of the pigeon-nappers.

A likely suggestion: Many botánicas, catering to Santería adherents, sell pigeons along with roosters, hens, and other fowl. A caller left the following message: "I am concerned that The Bitch has not ever visited a botánica. They sell plenty of animals there. Perhaps you could trace the pigeons to see what they do with them. Of course, they bleed them to death. But do not be overly concerned! I am not overly concerned, because pigeons are nothing but rats with wings. And it keeps people in line to have a religion."

The Bitch called several botánicas; they do sell pigeons, and though no one had ready answers about what ultimately happens to the birds, it's safe to say they don't end up starring in the upcoming remake of On the Waterfront.

Another call came from someone identifying himself as Joey. "I know a guy who catches pigeons in the way you described in your article. He's selling them to local laboratories. He's getting about four dollars a bird and, um ... he smokes crack." This tip remains unverified: Joey's number was mysteriously disconnected and no local labs will fess up to buying cages full of pigeons from crackheads. This important issue continues to be bird-dogged.

World's Quietest Board GameOnly about a dozen people attended the late-night portion of a July 8 meeting of the Miami City Commission, during which commissioners approved a settlement with Clear Channel Outdoorover the media giant subsidiary's illegal flock of hundreds of billboards citywide. This civic beautification boon is actually a boondoggle. Clear Channel will pay about a million dollars to keep half of its eyesores on a stick painfully visible.

Anti-billboard activist Steve Hagen said, via e-mail: "I think I will better invest my time looking at brochures of places that respect their scenic beauty ... as billboards will reign in Miami and for that matter most of Florida for the rest of the time I have to enjoy this planet, unless voters demand more from their city and state officials."

To summarize a decade's worth of billboard terrorism:

1985: City tells billboard companies new expressway billboards illegal.

1990: City tells billboard companies non-expressway billboards must go in five years, or else.

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