Letters from the Issue of March 13, 2008

"Miami-Dade County government is badly in need of a federal enema."

Missing Pedigree

Missing papers: In regard to "TV Guise," Francisco Alvarado's February 28 Riptide story about Miami city Commissioner Marc Sarnoff: For your information, a man named David Collins, who owns a store in Mayfair called Out of Africa and who lives on Gifford Lane in Coconut Grove, was taking several breaks throughout his workday to empty all of the New Times stands in the Grove. He was stuffing them in the back of his small light-green Ford station wagon. I just thought you should know. He has been doing this for a few weeks now.

Alan Butler

Miami

Follow the Bouncing Check

I saw them scramble to the bank: Isaiah Thompson's article "Payday Mayday" (February 28) about Alanis Security is right on target. I used to work for Wackenhut on the Metrorail, where Alanis is a subcontractor. On every Alanis payday, their guys would pick up their checks and haul ass to the bank. If they were more than the fifth or sixth in line, there usually was not any money left in the account. Since Wackenhut's payday was on a different cycle, many times I lent money to Alanis officers so they could buy food for their families and put gas in the car until the rubber checks stopped bouncing. They also constantly had to pay insufficient-funds charges after depositing their checks in their own banks, and then attempt to get the company to reimburse. At the time — this was 2005 — Alanis received $75,000 every two weeks. One of the longtime employees said the owner would send the money to Nairobi for some sort of investment. You should talk up the Alanis Metrorail officers. By the way, isn't Alanis the chosen company to take over the rail? Interesting decision by the county commission, given the history of shady dealings.

Jerry Kingsbury

Miami

Cookin' with Gas

For now, anyway: I loved Lee Klein's "Bourbon Buzz" (February 28), and since I distribute Kobe beef, I'd love to get a few more details about the butter poaching prior to grilling. Outdoor grilling is a few months away for me, so I'm content to pan-brown and finish in the oven at 450 degrees for a few minutes, even with a slice or two of pancetta on top. Our local meat market now carries tenderloin, rib eye, New York strips, and top sirloin, but the fresh-ground Kobe hamburger is the biggest seller. Customers are learning to appreciate the better cuts, and knowing a new means of preparation would be helpful.

John C. Braun

Via web commentary

Bend over, Miami

Not gonna roll with it: Francisco Alvarado reports in "Rolle's Gotta Roll" (Riptide, February 14) that county Commissioner Dorrin Rolle, president of the James E. Scott Community Association, is going to split that post. It is said he is tired of being blamed for all of the association's problems. Is that a joke? Who the hell else should be blamed? Once upon a time, county Commissioner James Burke held that post. Can you say "public corruption indictment"? Rolle replaced Burke. Nothing has replaced "public corruption." Witness the use of county police at a JESCA picnic to honor Rolle, improper lobbying, bounced checks, failed audits, many overdue bills, and involvement in more than one failed project that cost taxpayers millions. Don't let Rolle cry because he receives a salary of $6,000 as a county commissioner.

Add to that a nonaccountable expense account, lots and lots of terrific benefits, and pretty good travel opportunities. JESCA is a charity. So why does this clown earn close to $200,000 a year and receive a V12 600 series Mercedes for his use? What the hell would be wrong with a Ford or Chevy sedan? The City of Miami and Miami-Dade County government are badly in need of a federal enema, a federal grand jury to stem the tide of the misuse of millions and millions of public dollars — perhaps, since 2001, $1 billion down the toilet and a smaller amount in the collective pockets of too many folks with the right friends and connections.

Alan Rigerman

Hialeah

Last Call

Close the damn bar!: After reading Francisco Alvarado's "Combat Zone" (February 14), I saw Commissioner Marc Sarnoff on television today. He was leading residents who want to get the Grove clubs to stop selling liquor after 3 a.m. Good for him.

Polly Ermenia

Via web commentary

Ride with Pride

Show them the path: Regarding Isaiah Thompson's "Share the F***ing Road" (February 7): I ride by bike on the M-Path — the strip of asphalt that runs under Metrorail from Brickell to South Miami — Monday through Friday and sometimes on weekends. It is quite far from perfect, but I am able to use it for my needs. With time, energy, and resources, the M-Path could be a catalyst for great things to come — including east/west lanes and paths. Change is certainly possible. In fact Miami-Dade Transit even hired a firm to conduct a study on improving the M-Path for pedestrians and bicyclists (for those interested, the report is available at www.miamidade.gov/MPO/docs/MPO_mpath_master_final_200707.pdf). But how do we get that kind of thing implemented?

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