Gossip 101

"How many times can you rank the hottest sororities? It just gets meaner and meaner."

Gossip 101

Filed under: News

If there is a special corner in Hell reserved for the producers of Fox's family-destroying hit reality show The Moment of Truth, then Matt Iverson, creator of JuicyCampus.com, might find a spot nearby. The site is an anonymous collegiate message board that airs X-rated, high-school-style taunts — the kind of stuff traditionally found written with a Sharpie on dirty bathroom walls.

In the University of Miami students' section of the site, anti-Semitic comments describing Jewish coeds as big-nosed and hairy share space with posts outing closet gays on campus. There are lengthy misogynistic rants about college women, usually mentioning their first and last names. A typical post reads, "She is the sluttiest slut in all of slutdom. Comparing her vagina to a Wal-Mart entrance is like comparing the Grand Canyon to a crack in the sidewalk."

Considering more than 40 shooting deaths have occurred in the past year on college campuses — 33 alone at Virginia Tech in April — some fear JuicyCampus could lead to more than hurt feelings. In December, a Loyola Marymount student posted a threat to shoot random peers on campus and was later apprehended by the Los Angeles Police Department.

A few dozen UM student leaders met February 19 to discuss the site and what can be done about it: not much, admits student government vice president Molly Jones. It doesn't make sense to ban the site, she says, "but JuicyCampus.com is spreading like wildfire. Many students here are outraged and offended."

Last Thursday, on UM's Coral Gables campus, a Midwestern sorority member in her third year agreed to talk about JuicyCampus — anonymously, of course. "It's like the new Facebook. When you are writing a paper, you just have it in the background all the time," she said as she headed to the gym.

"I think something really bad is going to happen. It is getting old.... How many times can you rank the hottest sororities?" she continued. "It just gets meaner and meaner.... And you just don't know. It's college. People have low self-esteem." Asked to elaborate, she added, "Someone could get hurt." Mara Leventhal


Got Boats?

Filed under: Real Estate

A couple of cows for a good saddle? Trade you my Cheetos for your Doritos? Or how about a $6-million yacht for a house or a condo in Florida?

A Northfield, New Jersey plastic surgeon is looking to make that last, high-end swap through Craigslist, the Internet hub where just about anything goes.

For the adventuresome and creative (and those with beaucoup resources), real estate deals continue to percolate — at least outside the Miami condo market.

Dr. Ira Trocki, a big-time real estate investor in the Northeast, is advertising other trades on Craigslist, including Philadelphia condos for places in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Such exchanges aren't all that uncommon, realtors say. But a boat?

Andy Weiser, an agent for Coldwell Banker in Broward County, wonders how such a swap might go down. Do you bring in an appraiser? How do you allow for the appreciation of the real estate and the inevitable depreciation of the yacht?

Trocki didn't respond to messages seeking comment for this story. Meantime, old-school bartering is apparently making a comeback. Just be careful not to step in the bullshit. One trader on Craigslist advertises a private (or, as it's spelled, "privet") island off Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with a "$2,500-square-foot house" in exchange for "anything of value," including "cars, boats, planes, jewelry."

Trocki's proposed swap is straightforward enough: no middleman; a house for a yacht.

The doctor himself is a man of many interests. He owns the company that built the vessel — Egg Harbor Yachts, a once-floundering boat maker he bought in 1999 and infused with $10 million in improvements, according to the company's website. He's also the principal of the Trocki Hebrew Academy and has even worked as a cut man for Mike Tyson.

"People in Hell want ice water," says Weiser. "It sounds very funny to me." Brantley Hargrove


The Misfits Keep on Coming

A month ago, probation officers served the sex offenders living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway with 72-hour notice to leave, and then-Department of Corrections Secretary James McDonough explained sex offenders would no longer be sent to live there.

Since then, there have been at least three newcomers, the bridge dwellers say. What's more, they are still under 72-hour notice to leave; every 72 hours, they are given new notice.

A DOC spokesperson declined comment but confirmed the three new arrivals.

"A whole bunch of probation officers — a couple of them were from Tallahassee — came down here the other night," says Juan Carlos Martin, one of the most outspoken in the group. "And they were like, 'Do you have microwaves?' Microwaves? We can't even get water anymore!"

The appearance of visitors from Tallahassee might have something to do with McDonough's recent resignation and his replacement by Walter A. McNeil.

Since the county passed in 2005 an ordinance restricting sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of any school — a law that makes nearly the entire county uninhabitable to them — county and city officials have responded to the situation under the bridge by adamantly refusing to take any responsibility whatsoever.

A few weeks ago, McNeil wrote a letter to the City of Miami: "We are willing to work with local leaders of the City of Miami community towards finding a solution to the unintended consequences that have resulted from sex offender residency restrictions." — Isaiah Thompson

 
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