Letters from the Issue of August 4, 2005

Response to "Tales of Teele," published July 28, 2005

Roxanna King

Hialeah

New Times should be held accountable for the unproven sensationalism that caused Arthur Teele to end his life. I read "Tales of Teele" looking for the facts, but all I found was very leading police questioning of a convicted drug felon and statements from an admitted prostitute and current inmate. No proof. No smoking gun, except the one Teele used to end the humiliation he felt from your article.

Maybe New Times could do an in-depth article about the sleazy world of strip clubs, escort services, prostitutes, and phone-sex providers. Just look to your own advertising section for a large selection of sources.

Jean Bier-Londono

Miami

Keep up your great work exposing corruption. Maybe with your continued diligence in reporting the crimes of our elected officials, Miami will function like that great city up north to which everyone here loves to compare it. If not, then Miami will more and more continue to resemble São Paulo or Mexico City in so many ways.

Whitfield Palmer

North Miami Beach

"At the end of the day, I was just doing my job." Francisco Alvarado's quote in the Miami Herald about his Art Teele photocopy journalism cover story reminds me of the excuses the Nazis used during the Nuremburg trials. Of course, like the guards and the commanders of the concentration camps, Alvarado didn't act alone.

What were you guys thinking when you decided to run such a piece? Selling more papers? What ever happened to that old American adage about not kicking a man when he's down? It's even more alarming when I look at the effort you took with the illustrations to hammer home your point. Such an effort for what? It's not like this information has never been made public.

You should all be ashamed. The best thing that could come out of this is if your readers stop picking up New Times. In the end, New Times has shown its true character, something not much different from the man it gleefully slimed. What Mr. Teele should have done is stop by New Times and take a few of you motherfuckers with him. I'm sure that would have sold more papers than the final, desperate act he pulled off at the Miami Herald.

DC Copeland

Miami Beach


Additional Letters from the Issue of August 4, 2005

Arthur Teele blew into this town in debt to certain people. He owed a commanding officer hundreds and thousands of dollars. He even owed the IRS almost a million dollars. But in the black community this guy is considered a hero and a great guy. It's time that the black community wakes up and gets some young fresh voices to represent us. People like Victor Curry, Georgia Ayers and the unctuous Paulette Sims Wimberly need to be put out to pasture with their racial garbage. Just because Mr. Teele was a crook, and a shyster they come out and defend him. Do you think that they helped pay his tax bills or his legal bills? Probably not! Teele lined his pockets, and didn't care about the risks involved. I enjoy your weekly, and will continue to do so, and for the record, I am black.

Name withheld by request

Via the Internet

Huge kudos go out to Mr. Frank Alvarado on his brave story on the now deceased Art Teele. For Mr. Teele's supporters to say that the media is in any way at fault or might have contributed to his death is ignorant and irresponsible. The media's job is to report the news. And Mr. Teele might have done many good things in his lifetime, but to ignore the fact that he was a crook is inconceivable to me.

Whether the people of Miami want to believe it or not, Mr. Teele was a corrupt politician who used his power and intimidation to get just about anything he wanted in this city. To have certain members of Miami's community play the race game, or say that the Herald or the New Times were out to get him is simply unfair. To ignore that he was at the center of a ring of lies, deceit, and absolutely repulsive behavior is an injustice to members of this community who are hard working honest citizens. These are the kind of headlines that put this city at the center of global ridicule when it comes to politics and political corruption. It seems like we want our constituents to ignore the fact that he stole thousands and thousands of dollars from the CRA's funds to buy his "above the law" status he oh-so projected. The money he stole could have helped rebuild some of Miami's poorest black neighborhoods and given them hope of being a part of Miami's growing urban market.

I expect our public officials to be exceptional members of our community -- to be honest and to use the money they budget to serve the people of their communities in the best possible way. To look out for the people and conduct themselves in a reasonably dignified way. But to ignore that Mr. Teele's insatiable appetite for everything illegal and sick is an injustice to me. In its short history, this, his city has a long record of corruption: (C. Odio, A. Hastings, H. Hernandez, C. Lunetta, M. Alonso, D.Perez Jr., X. Suarez, J. Burke, B. Kaplan, M. Dawkins, M. Oliphant, A. Gutman, P. Reboredo, D. Warshaw) and every single time there has been a very vocal community crying foul. The media is not responsible for what they did. They committed the crime. We must realize that there are good and bad individuals in all communities and by not accepting that and playing the media game we are perpetuating injustice.

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