Letters from the Issue of May 10, 2007

"You need to check your facts.

He's No Hero

Give him his just desserts: I just read your article on the deserter ("Is He a Coward or a Hero?" by Frank Alvarado, May 3) ... what a pussy that guy is. I mean seriously, who joins the army and doesn't know there is a possibility of going to war? That has to be the lamest excuse I have ever heard. What a load of shit. This guy should not be in the same sentence as HERO. For he is the furthest thing from a hero. He is a coward and deserves to spend a lot more time in jail. It's people like him who are ruining this country.

Biff Zwier

Miami Lakes

Baghdad in Your Backyard

Show your history: Congratulations on an excellent piece on Opa-locka ("Baghdad West" by Calvin Godfrey, April 26). The only addition I would like to have seen was some historical background on how the town got to be the way it is after such promising beginnings.

John Gorman

North Miami

City officials, are you reading?:I have just finished reading Calvin Godfrey's article "Baghdad West" (April 26), and I have to say that having grown up in the city, I have seen the rise and fall of Miami's Arabian town. Mr. Godfrey painted an extraordinary picture of how the city govenment and the police feel about it. I think that it is sad that the "powers that be" don't see the chaos and (in my opinion) eventual death of a once-thriving city. The writer painted a better picture than I ever could about the violence and how both sides of the fence deal with it. So congrats on a great article; if more were written (in accuracy and truth) about the inner-city neighborhoods of Miami, then maybe government would see that they cannot just polish things over but actually need to DO something to end the bloodshed.

Derrick Robinson

Overtown

Not the town I know: Regarding "Baghdad West" by Calvin Godfrey (April 26): I have lived in Opa-locka for over twenty years. I have NEVER had a problem with shootings, gangs, or any of the things you have depicted in your article. Although I know that these things happen, and I am aware of "the Triangle," this is not the case for all of Opa-locka. Also I think you need to check your facts. City hall is not abandoned, it's working; there are offices there which I visited myself this past week.

Yes Opa-locka needs help. But it is getting better. This article makes it seem like we can't drive down the street. This is not true. I have three girls who play out in my yard daily. I go to the local supermarkets without fear, as I have done for the past twenty years.

Maria

Via the Internet

Here's a thought: I must respond to your recent article on the state of Opa-locka ("Baghdad West" by Calvin Godfrey, April 26).

As a lifelong resident of Miami, I've noticed the same condition has existed for quite a long time, in fact was even statistically worse some years ago.

The underlying reason is commerce in illicit substances contributing to countless shootings, etc., and a huge cost to taxpayers due to law enforcement's efforts, not to mention civil liberties lost, due to increasingly draconian laws in the name of solving the "drug problem."

Face it: Drugs will always be around in one form or another. Let's use our brains about this.

My thoughts are as such: Dealers ("dope boys") — step into the 21st Century, move your works via the Internet, thus taking crime off the streets (literally). The only threat would be a "virtual drive-by shooting."

My suggestion: Call it E-Dope!

Christopher J. Smith

South Miami

That Was Harsh

Lighten up on the enlightened:Regarding "Vegetarian Valhalla" by Lee Klein (April 26): We have to be thankful for every vegetarian restaurant that opens. Although it might not be perfect at first, we should pay respect to its intention, to prevent the further butchering of animals, and to help people to change their meat-eating habits. This world is drowning on its own. Society follows the majority, that is, the meat industry, but if one restaurant can have the courage to stand on its own, especially in the center of the world, Ocean Drive, then we should do everything to support it. Your article was a little harsh. Even though you might have had an unpleasant experience, think of the positive aspect of helping this world to eat less meat. Love animals and humans.

Julio Maza

Kendall

Not So Hot

You call that reporting?:You're a great publication, but unfortunately your recent cover story ("Big-Bucks Benchwarmer" by Ashley Harrell, April 19) was not up to your standards.

The cover, with flames superimposed on the background, suggested we'd get an in-depth look at the trials and tribulations of a young kid who skipped college for the NBA (Dorell Wright).

Instead we got what looked like a Heat program profile blown up to about 2000 words. What's worse is the fact that the writer admitted not interviewing Wright or "anybody" from the Heat organization. A few quotes from his roommate, and a phone interview with a tattoo parlor? Yeeks! The lack of effort on this piece, combined with the way it was played (cover), was disappointing.

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