Cynical bastards: This letter is written in response to Francisco Alvarado's tasteless "Letter to Barack Obama" (November 20, 2008). The article is characteristic of this newspaper's history of petty mockery and character assassination, which has done nothing but tear our city at its seams. We do not need to explain to your readers that the article was not actually written by our father, Joe Arriola, nor was he interviewed for this article. Our father proudly worked with Miami Mayor Manny Diaz for more than three years, and both men should be proud of their record of service.
Your paper has written plenty about Joe Arriola over the years, but we are disappointed that you have failed to mention any of the good he has done for this community. Joe Arriola is a self-made entrepreneur, a man who bootstrapped his way, building a business that at its peak employed 1,400 people in this country. Over the years he has been very active with our kids, the University of Miami, and countless other community programs, including serving as chairman for the United Way. Most important, you failed to mention he has been a great family man — happily married for more than 40 years, with five children who are college graduates and actively involved in the community.
To further the insult, you don't even get your facts right: We are not a "Cuban Republican" family; we are an American family with independent points of view. We are not the type of people who would stoop to name calling in order to embarrass someone such as Mayor Diaz, who is committed to the revitalization of our great city and other cities across the United States.
Our father raised us with the belief that public service, being an active citizen in your community, is something you just have to do — you have to care. We hope New Times figures this out before it's too late.
Champions of free speech:New Times nailed it! If Obama hires Manny Diaz, the president-elect will definitely start losing points with me. Diaz needs to be sent packing. He does not represent the people, only developers who can do something for him.
From a neighbor:Natalie O'Neill's November 20, 2008 story "Drop-Dead Sexy" was very sad. You must understand what it was like for these kids to grow up in Cooper City at that time. I too am a transplant from the Northeast and wanted a better life for my son — we all did in Cooper City. We provided everything for our kids.
Well, our kids graduated from Cooper City High School and thought it was not important to go to college. They would just live at home; we would provide everything (even though we would have huge fights about going to college, getting a job and a career), and they would buy themselves expensive cars and party all the time. Then we, the parents, got stuck paying for the car because naturally, they could not afford it.
To make a long story short, I have seen these kids from good families die of drug overdoses, go to jail, go to rehab, have children out of wedlock that they can't afford, and go from one bad job to another. It truly breaks my heart to see this.
Fortunately for my wife and me, our son has finally seen the light. He has started college and is pulling all A's and has his life on track, and he is 27. I have seen several of his peers begin to do the same thing by getting their lives back on track; some, though, are too far gone or dead. It truly scares me how through a few bad decisions and a series of circumstances, our children could wind up like this poor beautiful girl.
Once again, great article, but very sad and too close to home.
From a friend: This is so incredibly sad. I can't imagine what the family has had to live with because of this worthless piece of crap. He definitely should be put to death!