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
Laurels for Hardy
Filed under: News
To: Dunkin' Donuts
From: Michael Hardy
Re: Manager Position
As you might have read in the papers, I've decided — okay, the Performing Arts Center Trust decided for me — that now's the time to leave my position as Carnival Center CEO and look for greener pastures. The opportunity with your company sounds perfect for someone with my skills and track record. Please review the attached resumé and allow me to prove I am Dunkin' Donuts material.
Consider that in the year since the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts opened under my leadership, it has cost taxpayers only $7.85 million. I know that's $4.1 million more than we planned — and that we underestimated basic expenses like air conditioning, lighting, and security. But hey, you sell more Munchkins than that in a day, right?
Yes, I failed to deliver a promised $48 million from patrons toward building costs, and fell $7 million short of funding a $10.75 million endowment. But I made coffee for everyone in the office — and never spilled a drop!
I'm pretty good at planning too. Since I was brought onboard in 2002 as president of the PAC Trust, the cost of building the center jumped a mere 85 percent — from an estimated $255 million to $473 million. And we finished it only 20 months late with — surprise! — no parking!
I know, I know. My qualifications are almost overwhelming.
I don't pretend to have accomplished all of this alone. Some of the finest minds in the industry were behind my decision to base cost projections on those of performing arts centers with one hall even though our PAC has two. A simple CEO from Kentucky can't take all the credit for low-balling occupancy costs by more than half — at $306,250 per month versus actual costs of $647,844.
But the important thing to know is this: I steered the ship. And I can do the same for you. If it truly is time to make the doughnuts — and I believe it is — look no further. I am your man.
Easy Rawlins Rides into the Sunset
Filed under: Culture
Dressed in black from head to toe, author Walter Mosley stood out against the rich tones of the Mandarin Oriental's lobby and its equally overhued patrons one recent afternoon. Mosley was in town to speak before the Brickell Avenue Literary Society, a group of lit-lovers that flies in authors like Philip Caputo and Michael Ondaatje eight times a year.
As he walked, ebony fedora tipped to one side, visions of his most well-known character, Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins, came to mind; like his creation, Mosley is a black hero, having abandoned his computer programming job around age 33 (he couldn't remember exactly) to become the author of more than two dozen books.
"We had a long talk," Mosley said of his appearance. "I really was talking about race in America and who I am, and what I am, and where I come from, and why I write about black male heroes. And that was kinda fun."
Easy Rawlins, he said, is "like the real Invisible Man. Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man was the philosophical one. Easy's the guy who walks in a room and nobody sees him, but he uses that to his advantage."
The soft classical background music staged a mellow scene against which Mosley stood out. He rattled off his political views and discussed the way he defined his position within the ranks of black authors. Mosley also addressed rumblings that his latest book, Blonde Faith, marks the last we will read of Rawlins. "No, it's the last one. It's not a rumor. Well it's a rumor, but it's true."
So Riptide will have the scoop?
"Well, yes, but I do tell everybody," Mosley demurred. "Sorry." — Raina McLeod
Filed under: Flotsam
Mitchell Lasco of Hilo, Hawaii, thought he was getting a good deal on eBay when he bought a used Pentax camera for less than $50 this summer. When the camera arrived — with a return address of Miami Gardens — he discovered two used rolls of film inside the carrying case.
Lasco tried contacting the seller in Miami but got no response. So he had the film developed. "My heart sank when I saw the photos," he said. Many were of a woman giving birth in a hospital. "There's no way that a parent doesn't want these photos." It dawned on him that someone must have stolen the camera sometime after the baby was born.
Lasco called Miami Police, who suggested he report the incident to his local authorities. Knowing this would get him nowhere, he posted an ad on Craigslist and created a MySpace page (www.myspace.com/babyboy_in_florida) in the hopes of returning the camera and photos to its rightful owner.
"I'm just really hoping the story gets out," said Lasco, a counselor for special needs kids at a school in Hawaii. So far he's gotten no response.
Many photos from the camera are included on the MySpace page, including what looks to be a handsome couple in formal attire, a beaming woman near a bouquet of flowers, and a proud papa holding a tiny baby in the hospital. There's also a beautiful closeup of the infant, his eyes squeezed shut and his mouth open.
"There's no monetary value to these photos," said Lasco. "But there's nothing you can do to make up for the loss." — Tamara Lush