By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
And buck-fifty beers: The Bitch's recent article about Jimbo's, "Aluminum Can Omen" (November 2), was shortsighted and, if the intention was to describe Jimbo's as a hippie retreat, more than a bit off the mark. By focusing on a few recent interviews and images depicted in an amateur (however well-intentioned) film, she has failed to realize how symbolic Jimbo's truly is. It's not a hangout for hippies, but a naturally preserved anomaly of the salty-dog/cracker lifestyle by the sea that is all but extinct within Miami's borders of burgeoning property values and the exotic-car-driving jet setters. Jimbo's is the kind of place where mangroves, manatees, and mosquitoes; herons, horse flies, and hermit crabs; bikers, barracudas, and bocce balls can coexist in an affable, ungrudging, rooster-crowing harmony. And it would be Fisher Island Phase VII if it weren't for an honest, garrulous, lovable merchant mariner who in the name of his live-shrimping trade struck a deal with the city so that the Miami Herald building could be built. Now the Herald is being chased out by developers, but as long as Jimbo lives, his lease on that diamond sliver of Miami's posh waterfront will live on too. Besides, where else can you see Miss February in her Valentine's Best Photo Shoot and interview the next episode of Miami Ink, all while nursing a dollar-fifty Budweiser, nibbling on a tasty hunk of smoked salmon and sitting on the same dock where Flipper once begged for sardines. Long live Jimbo!
And a profane one: I loved the November 2 Riptide about Uncle Arza, that little bitch. He thought he was Superman. Just like Superman, he stood there and the bullets bounced off his chest. Then he ducked when the GOP hypocrites threw the gun at him. Little bitch!
Is that like candy for perverts?: Regarding Lee Klein's "Luna Rocks" (November 2): Damn, Lee, that was obscene! My mouth was watering the whole time I was reading that piece. I gotta go to that joint. Or maybe the one in the Gables has some similar dishes. At any rate, that column would qualify as porno for bulimics. Karen Carpenter is making a reservation right now.
South Miami via Staten Island
He's gone:Regarding Lee Zimmerman's "Rio Return" (November 9): I'm guessing this story was written way ahead of time, but it should have been updated with the fact that guitarist Andy Taylor quit Duran Duran on October 25. That's a pretty big oversight.
Not the righties: Joanne Green's article about abortion services in Miami, "In the Bag" (October 26), made me question whether the focus was on untrained providers or a veiled attempt to promote a pro-life agenda. We have worked hard to unstigmatize abortion. The photo and headline on that New Times cover reflect the sentiment that abortion is dirty and unsafe. It should be noted that it is one of the safest medical procedures offered to women more so than carrying a pregnancy to full term. However, when untrained people offer abortion services, this is what happens.
This is also what happens when legislation interferes with a woman's ability to choose a safe abortion provider. Congress and governmental leaders do this by creating mandatory waiting periods, parental notification, and burdensome building codes, which often force health centers offering abortion services to close. This is what happens when women don't have the financial resources to obtain medical care and turn to anyone who is willing to help them. This is what we will continue to see happen until we stand up to our government and demand that, because abortion still is legal, we should have access to it. This is also what will continue to happen if we don't support local doctors who provide safe abortion services to women.
Is my kinda stuff: Lee Klein missed a couple of phenomenal signature dishes at Scorch Grillhouse in "A Grill with Cheap Thrills" (October 26): the Scorch Salad, with an unreal cilantro vinaigrette, and the Scorch Rice, with scallions and mushrooms. Also the lamb shank is worthy of mention. Try it; you'll like it!
Thanks, teach: Regarding Rob Jordan's "Pay Fray" (October 19): Let me put the $3000 suggested pay raise into perspective for the public. That is what teachers will receive after earning a master's degree. It is the same amount they have been receiving for the past 30 years. Let's consider that at Nova University, it will cost a student a minimum of $12,000 to obtain that master's degree.
This year alone my gasoline bill has increased by $1500, and my homeowners' insurance by an additional $3000. That's $4500. Teachers cannot afford to stay here. They will cut back working past 3:20 p.m. They will "work to contract," not because they don't care about their students but to get to their second or third job. Teachers cannot afford to work for free. Our contracts get us further and further behind. My mailman makes $80,000 with overtime. We don't get overtime! In one state, sanitation workers receive $57,000 after 5.5 years on the job (that's their max, by the way, and it doesn't include overtime). Their hours are great.
These pay differences wouldn't bother me so much if those jobs required a college degree. Who taught the mailman how to read? Who gave the sanitation worker the math skills to be able to map out directions to find locations? Teachers. Hard-working, dedicated, professionals. Passionate, caring human beings. All we hear about in the paper are statistics, FCAT scores, pass/fail, et cetera. What about the "real" stories about the struggles of teachers and their students in the classroom? The obstacles that teachers have? The successes in the classroom?
In the past thirteen years in this career, I have had the opportunity to affect so many lives. I have students coming back to me, sending me letters of thanks from parents and students alike for making a lasting impact on their lives. I love my job. It's not an easy job, but I love it. In 1998 I was kicked in the stomach while pregnant. In 2000 I was injured several times by a violent student. In 2001 I was hit in the head with a table and knocked unconscious by a student. There's no question that teachers have a difficult job. These negotiations will damage the profession in this county forever if educators are not adequately compensated for their jobs. Teachers are disappointed and frustrated. They are not willing to work twenty-plus hours of overtime a week so that Superintendent Rudy Crew can receive his nine percent!
It has been said that we teachers "walked out" on our students to attend the school board meeting in October. However, it was Dr. Crew who walked out on us that afternoon. As soon as we got up to speak and pour our hearts out, he left.
In closing, let me tell you a brief story. Driving downtown to speak at the school board meeting, I passed a group of homeless people. I asked myself: Why I am going downtown to fight for a few thousand dollars when these people are sitting here, without even a roof over their heads? It really bothered me most of the morning. I wondered if it was a sign to turn around, go back to work, and help with the "real" problems in the world. But I didn't. Those homeless people were there to remind me that their situation didn't happen to them in one day. They begged, pleaded, reached out for help and no one listened. Just as the teachers did at the last school board meeting. Just as we do every day we protest on the street. There are teachers reaching out for help, and no one is listening.