Letters from the Issue of March 6, 2008

"She can try out for American Idol as a reporter."

Rock Rolle!

He doesn't know which side is up: Isaiah Thompson's "Payday Mayday" (February 28) reveals only the tip of the idiocy of Miami-Dade Commissioner Dorrin Rolle. He advocates special rights for African-Americans but votes against equal rights for gays and lesbians. Rolle is upset the county refused to award a contract to an abusive minority-owned business, but he ignores the plight of the suffering Alanis employees, many of whom are minorities. Rolle's concern is with the rich Alanis business owner, Augustine Ajagbe. I wonder how much money Ajagbe contributed to the commissioner's campaign?

In May 2007, regarding the so-called People's Transportation Plan, Rolle commented about the 18 percent minority makeup of the consultation team: "That is not enough. I do not think the county has done a good job of getting work to minority contractors."

But in 1997, he voted against an ordinance outlawing discrimination against gays. He said, "In my mind's eye, this is special rights, and I am against anyone having special rights."

Has it ever occurred to Rolle that some of his constituents might be black and gay?

Gayle Durham

Miami Beach


Deceit à la Marc

Doin' business: Regarding Francisco Alvarado's "TV Guise" (February 28): Marc Sarnoff has also lied about living in Coconut Grove for "over 20 years." He has really lived in the Grove for less than 10 years. Prior to that, he resided in Coral Gables, where he improperly ran a law practice from his home, similar to the one he now runs from the house next door to his Coconut Grove residence (on the corner of Shipping Avenue and Virginia Street). Why has he been able to run this law practice for so long, with four employees who park at the dog park (which he enginneered) every day?

Anna Gomez

Via web commentary

Standin' up for nada: Perhaps Commissioner Sarnoff needs more issues to take positions on. He seems to be on a roll.

He should send out notices and speak about:

• Banning toys and processed foods imported from China, since the Chinese lack proper oversight of these products.

• Better protection of near-extinct rodents in Florida and — why not? — the entire United States. This is a great green issue and not something the second district is likely to fight. In fact any green issue is great.

• Fighting crime and drugs. Press releases regarding these issues should be printed in bold.

These are obvious distractions from his breaking campaign promises on major issues that directly affect his district. Major public works projects and zoning issues should be the priority over the generic-cause position statements he cranks out weekly. But these are much, much safer than confronting big developers and the mayor, whose support he apparently thinks he needs (maybe for a planned run for mayor?).

Whatever Sarnoff's motive, we'd have to be really slow to think these tactics are more than a bad attempt at distracting us from his voting record.

Martin Slansky

Miami


We Get No Respect

From you jokers: It is very sad that people like Tamara Lush get to write about important events in other people's lives as she did in "Fidel's Gone. Yawn." (February 21). She has no clue what she is talking about! Obviously she's not a good reporter. That she thinks it is funny and boring that Cubans all over Miami and the world act one way or another is very insensitive. I bet she would never write like that standing in front of the Holocaust memorial in Miami Beach, or at the spot in Memphis where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, on the anniversary of his death, no matter how many weirdos she saw.

And I am sick and tired of the press running to Versailles to get Cuban people's opinions about Cuba — always showing images of patrons standing in front of the coffee-brewing machine and the girls making the coffee. Why don't reporters also go to Coral Gables? Or maybe stand outside a bank or a lawyer's office? Key Biscayne? CocoPlum? Brickell? Hialeah? Homestead? Yes, all kinds of Cubans go to Versailles, but journalists should get views from Cubans everywhere in the area. Lush wrote her article simply to ridicule an image formulated by the media. Don't make fun of us! How come the reporters catch only the man in the white tuxedo, the bearded elderly woman, the guys (not Cubans) selling beaded Cuban flags, etc.?

If it wasn't so sad, I would laugh — laugh at how ignorant some people are. This might be the biggest story reporters ever cover: the end of a tyrant, the cruelest one of our era. This is a man who has scoffed at more than 10 U.S. presidents, the one who has destroyed a nation and its people. Thousands have died because of him. Cuban families have been crippled thanks to him. The world will be a better place when he is gone.

And all Lush can do is yawn. Maybe she should try out for American Idol as a reporter. Or maybe not. She makes me yawn! She is lucky to be in America, land of the free and home of the brave.

Mariela Jewett

Hialeah


Let's Go to Havana ... No

It's not automatic, bucko: I read Calvin Godfrey's piece "Vamos a Cuba!" (February 21) with great delight. I enjoyed learning about how much trouble he went through to try to get to Cuba, in the process thumbing his nose at the U.S. government and right-wing Cuban exiles violating his constitutional rights.

Of course, as a working journalist, Godfrey is authorized under a general license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control to go to Cuba anytime he pleases for journalistic activities.

That detail, of course, would have killed the entire premise of his piece, so I can see why he omitted it.

Other than the fact that it was based on a complete fabrication, the story was great!

Henry Gomez

Miami

Exile lunacy? Speak for yourself, you outlander!: I thought "Vamos a Cuba" was excellent.

And speaking of the Miami/Havana axis, some of these great points are also detailed in the book Up Dog Street and Left on Shadows, a political satire on Miami, exile lunacy, the Elián affair, what it means to be an American, and if, in fact, assimilation is tantamount to capitulation. In the end, freedom is what it's all about.

Tony Gonzalez

Springhill, Florida

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