Wristy Business

"You work together and they won't speak to you?" The Bitch wondered. "When you see each other in the hallway, what's that like?"

"Just like two strangers passing in the dark. It's not a comfortable work relationship at all," he grumbled.

Ital-K's disenfranchisement strikes a bitter chord with loyal Sounds listeners, who use the call-in time on his 1:00 to 5:00 a.m. show to air their gripes with WLRN's lack of diverse, locally oriented programming.

"Let me put it to you this way," Smith said. "Every Thursday morning into Friday, my show -- the whole four hours -- is full of very frustrated listeners. I take nothing but complaints. It's very hard to do a positive show and remain positive on the air when there's so much negativity out there."

The station's ever-helpful communications manager Jeneissy Azcuyreports the opposite: "We have not received any criticism from listeners of Sounds of the Caribbean."

Azcuy wouldn't comment on Smith's tenuous hold on his show's slot, and when confronted with The Bitch's direct question: "Does the station have any plans to increase local programming to serve the Hispanic and Caribbean communities?" she offered the following remarkable logic: "By offering our listeners news and information we are serving all communities, Hispanic and Caribbean included."

Back in November (which was the last time the radio station manager would speak with The Bitch), Ted Eldredge said: "The management and staff of WLRN has spent a great deal of time in discussion looking at various alternatives before final decisions were made about what shows to put on the air, and when to broadcast them."

Eldredge wouldn't return The Bitch's calls this past week regarding his plans for the station in general and Smith in particular, leaving Smith to speculate in the following manner:

"The objective is to turn WLRN from a noncommercial format into a for-profit station, and to change the format from representing the diverse nature that we have here into one that just caters to the affluent segment of South Florida, period. Black people don't exist. Spanish people either. Currently, if you look at WLRN's radio line-up, there is not one minute out of the seven day, twenty-four hour programming that is devoted to the Hispanic community here. Not one minute. Whatever ethnic program they have here, they want to get rid of it. WLRN's current management has lost complete touch with our community. We do not serve our community in any way, shape, or form."

Fight Back with Fashion: The First Thrilling EpisodeIn a city rife with mandals, tank tops, backward-turned baseball caps, and faux Kangol berets, it is terribly vexing to The Bitch that it was Jorge Ramirez who was arrested for his fashion sense. This past January 11, two Miami Beach police officers on routine patrol stopped the 29-year-old, who moved here recently from New Jersey, while he was shopping on 74th Street. His crime? Wearing a black T-shirt with the word "POLICE" in white letters on the front and back.

"When stopped the defendant stated the shirt was just as a joke," reads the arrest report. Though this type of humor is common in Passaic, the cops were not amused, and charged Ramirez with "unlawful use of police equipment." Ramirez declined comment.

Not Looking UpA Discovery Channel special called Planet Storm explores what would happen if weather patterns on other planets occurred on Earth, a subject that occupies a strangely large place in The Bitch's imagination. So she was delighted to discover that one scenario on the program involved Jupiter's giant red spot pulverizing Miami-Dade County. A three-dimensional, computer-generated sequence showed a lone security guard walking through the Bank of America building (the one downtown designed by I.M. Peithat lights up in different colors). The sky turns red and in seconds, hot, swirling 700 mph winds rip through the building, sending the toy cop flying along with glass, shrapnel, and Metromover cars. Everything in southern Florida is pulverized. It's the best!

The real news site, spaceweather.com, reports that asteroid 2004 MN4 will come very close to Earth, according to new radar measurements by NASA and NAIC scientists. Skywatchers will be able to see the 300 meter-wide space rock glowing as it passes only about 9000 miles above our planet's surface. There's no danger of a collision, though. This will take place on April 13, 2029. Mark your calendars!

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