Letters from the Issue of June 30, 2005

Feuding neighbors, art objects, and combative cops

Biscayne Park: Tax Us More

And shut the gates for safety of ourselves: The story by Francisco Alvarado, "Delusions of Dogma" (June 16), is yellow journalism at its finest. When I go home, I want to feel probably safe. That is the safest I have ever felt, living in all the urban and suburban neighborhoods that make up my life -- probably safe. But not in Biscayne Park. I found Biscayne Park by accident. In Biscayne Park, I can drop the probably. I am not probably safe. I am safe. One simple example of feeling safe is what happens throughout the night, every night. A Man in Blue drives by in a cruiser with small floodlights. "To Protect and to Serve." There it is, right there.

I can tell you one truth: All Americans, from the projects to the barrio, from Times Square to the suburbs, want this one simple courtesy. Police driving by their residence or business at ten miles an hour, just checking it out. The reason this simple courtesy provides such a sense of security to every resident of Biscayne Park is that the homeowner makes the extra sacrifice to pay for it. Pay for it.

A police commissioner is going to "pad" his salary with $950? Please, let me pay for it. Right on. I've given every cop in Biscayne Park a raise of $950 a year. We need them. They need laws that give them authority to go after the bad guys, and the money to have enough cruisers to make everyMiamian, everyFloridian, feel safe.

If Florida wants to enjoy the feeling of moving from "I am probably safe" to "I am safe," there is only one solution. Do as Biscayne Park did. Tax themselves. Return the state tax to Florida. Abolishing the state tax only benefits one group: the rich. The rest of us pay it without thinking. Join the rest of the Union. Make Silicon Valley here. We have the sand! We have the talent. We have the money. Tax the money. Give it to where state tax always goes: schools and police. And leave Biscayne Park to police itself.

Rick Valdez

Biscayne Park

Biscayne Park: Village People

He speaks not like a citizen: I read "Delusions of Dogma" by Francisco Alvarado. To do your story justice, you should speak to some of the neutral residents in the Park. I am sad to see you portray this individual as a victim. You are putting the spotlight on a person who upon meeting me for the first time proceeded to brandish his weapon and discuss how he would kill anyone if he feared for his life.

As for his not living in the Park, that may be due more to his wife throwing his clothes out on the front lawn than to the police's presence. But to be fair, are there problems with the police department and the village in general? Yes. However, the poster child for change should not be McDade. True change will come only when a level-headed, open-minded person stands up and bridges the gap of communication between the village and its residents. I hope this happens soon, so the reality of living in the village will live up to its image.

Name withheld by request

Biscayne Park

Biscayne Park: Popularity Contest

I cannot justify who the law condemns: Francisco Alvarado's piece about Biscayne Park, "Delusions of Dogma," strikes me as mildly hysterical. Some of the characterizations of people working here in the village are over the top. There are good and bad cops on any police force; Biscayne Park has a couple of jerks in uniform. But Lt. Mitchell Glansberg is not one of them. He is an honorable, intelligent, compassionate, and capable officer who always does his best to deal with people and circumstances fairly and wisely. I've observed Chief Ronald Gotlin behave commendably as well as seemingly rather unprofessionally. But his innocence must be presumed until proven otherwise, with actual factual proof, not accusations seething with raw emotion. Sira Ramos is "the most reviled person in the village" only to those she dared cross while doing her thankless job of enforcing village regulations. To most of us, she's a hard-working, decent person who does her best to make this neighborhood better. There's a load of Peyton Place petty intrigue and power struggle going on here in Biscayne Park all the time. I'd rather see some of that exposed than people's reputations questioned with such broad strokes of the journalistic brush.

Bill Gordon

Miami

Biscayne Park: Happy with the Man

Great is the rumor of this dreadful knight: I was appalled while reading the article by Francisco Alvarado. You will never find a better police chief than Ron Gotlin. I have lived here for twelve years and know the chief and most of the officers. Biscayne Park is better patrolled than any other area. I had broken both of my feet within the span of six months; when my husband went out of town for two weeks while I was wheelchair-bound, Chief Gotlin made sure an officer came to my door every night to check on me. Try getting that kind of service in the city of Miami.

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