By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
However, as The Bitch learned this past Monday from a suddenly loquacious Commander Whitehead, that's a wily statement. According to him, Rida Shapiro, age 49, was busted March 8 at McDonald Street and Grand Avenue on cocaine and drug paraphernalia possession charges. She was wearing a Cheesecake Factory uniform and identified herself as an employee of the restaurant, said Whitehead.
Whitehead also amazingly regained his memory of the other two incidents in question.
Apparently someone who was working for Greenstreet Café but hadn't come in for some days (and was fired as a result, though he was still owed a paycheck, which he showed up to collect) was arrested for playing a part in a crack deal the same day he was supposed to appear in court for another case. Whitehead, who made the collar in mid-May, learned this when he searched the employee's car after finding he didn't have a license.
"I towed his car," Whitehead explained. "The court paper was right in the front seat."
In another Greenstreet incident, this one on Memorial Day, an employee invited someone into the café who later caused a scene.
"He dropped a crack pipe right there on a table in Greenstreet," Whitehead said. "I got on the worker [who invited him in] and I told him to stop bringing this kind of element into there."
In the newfound Whitehead détente, The Bitch queried about his and Pacheco's meeting with Mr. Moe's owner, John El-Masry, specifically asking if they had told El-Masry none of his employees had been arrested.
"There was nothing mentioned about his employees," answered Pacheco, who was on another phone line. "I never spoke to him about his employees, and we never confirmed anything."
Whitehead agreed, confirming that in fact Mr. Moe's employees had been nabbed. He went on to explain he barely even talked with El-Masry during the meeting of local merchants. "He never spoke to me, period, about anything personal," Whitehead said. "Him and I never spoke privately."
But when asked how El-Masry knew about the Cheesecake case, Pacheco suddenly recalled a few details.
"As I was leaving, he pulled me to the side," Pacheco said of El-Masry. "John [El-Masry] asked me if we made any arrests in regards to Mr. Moe's, and from what I can understand, [my squad of City of Miami Police] didn't directly make the arrest. We are not the only ones that are making arrests out there."
El-Masry, it seems, wrongly assumed none of his employees had been taken into custody.
So apparently the Crime Watch update compiled by Robert Loupo is completely factual and accurate. Or at least Whitehead said it is.
Patriotic in Full
You know your party is a success when Michael Capponi arrives with an entourage of his most beautiful friends on a yacht, no less. So The Bitch woofed with relief to have been in attendance at what finally was a good party at what should be Miami's default setting for successful soirees, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens at 3251 S. Miami Ave.
The event, a benefit for the Vizcayans (a nonprofit group of volunteers who raise money to maintain and preserve the villa), was in honor of July 4 but took place on the more party-suitable Saturday, July 1. According to Clayton Clavette cochairman of the so-called Red, White and Blue event more than 1500 people attended this year.
Cece Feinberg, the publicist and event planner whose April KRELwear fashion show at a Design District warehouse is still being swooned about, organized the affair. The mojitos were cold and plentiful, there was an interesting assortment of well-dressed (for Miami) people, there was certainly some party energy in the air, and ... the music was good.
DJ Rob Base, despite having performed "It Takes Two" probably a million times over the past twenty years, hasn't lost any of his good-natured flow. It's just not a party without girl drama, and coheadliner/voice of the Weathergirls, Black Box, and C+C Music Factory Martha Wash provided it.
At the beginning, reigning drag queen Elaine Lancaster, who was providing her services without charge to the Vizcayans, gave a flattering, albeit lengthy, introduction. Then Wash turned to the imposing, Valkyrie-haired, flame-minidress-wearing beauty and snapped (into her microphone so the entire crowd heard), "Why don't you just get off the stage so I can do my show?"
Yikes! The Bitch locked eyes with celebrity photographer and blogger Cubby at that moment. Both trembled at the incipient diva smackdown.
Lancaster, ever the lady, didn't bite. She smilingly surrendered the stage and wildly applauded Wash's set.
"The Miami Herald is doing a story on me and they've been following me around. And while I was standing on the side of the stage, the photographers were taking pictures of me, and I think [Martha] felt like it was upstaging her," Lancaster told The Bitch later, adding, "I think Martha is ... one of the most talented vocalists there is." Lancaster attributed Wash's sudden lapse in graciousness to the singer's lack of a recording contract, getting in a bit of a dig.
"It can be hurtful sometimes 'cause they have such talent, but then major record labels won't pick them up because ... she's fat, or older, or not particularly marketable anymore. It's unfortunate, because I am one of the all-time champions of people like that," Lancaster smiled.