From the Cradle to the Rave
Given the rolling, glow stick-wielding dancers, the 100-plus-degree heat, the total indifference of the cops, and the concentrated presence of more than 5000 men in tank tops, Peacock Park in Coconut Grove could well have been the scene for mass chaos, even a riot -- but The Bitch was disappointed again. The Sunday-night concert featuring Paul Van Dyk, Motorcycle, Rabbit in the Moon, and other DJs was just good, loud (albeit hirsute) fun.
Thus Party 93.1 (WPYM-FM) should sponsor more such events, with a few modifications: Babies, including infants -- actually all children young enough to be interested in Tootsie Pops for the suckers' own merits -- should be left at home, or somewhere. No strollers, even those transporting beers. Same thing with pets. Dogs, especially pitbulls and dachshunds, do not belong at concerts. No tambourines. And, needless to say, no mimes, clowns, or magicians.
Though the concert was ostensibly in honor of American independence, maybe nightclub Space and 93.1 should chip in next time to revivify the Concorde and fly some clubbers over here, just for the event, from Amsterdam, Mykonos, Munich, or wherever to demonstrate modern rave etiquette. It's a big job and The Bitch is only one canine.
Finally, and even despite a presidential edict, The Bitch is still seeing flags flown at half-mast all over town. Admittedly it is difficult to say how long a mourning period should be for icons such as Marlon Brando and Ray Charles, but maybe it's time for some closure.
You're Just Kidding About the Taliban Part, Right?
The first sentence of the first installment of Miami Herald sportswriter Dan Le Batard's series on Michael Jordan ("Awed by Asia," June 27) reads: "So much happened before Michael Jordan reached the top of the mountain." A writer by the same name penned the following lead for a Michael Jordan story in ESPN The Magazine: "So much happened before Michael Jordan reached the mountaintop." That story appeared online, at ESPN.com, about a week before the Herald piece. Local readers had no idea they were getting Le Batard leftovers, as Miami's Only Daily failed to note that what's printed in the paper, as well as the paper it's printed on, is partially recycled material.
Given Bitch-referencing executive editor Tom Fiedler's recent manifesto in a Sunday editorial guaranteeing that "articles in the Herald are fresh and timely unless it's otherwise made clear," it seems Le Batard has been given special dispensation. In June, Herald arts and culture writer Octavio Roca was fired for "recycling" some of his earlier dance criticism from the San Francisco Chronicle; no different from what the sports personality does, save that Le Batard apparently "self plagiarizes" with his boss's blessing and has done so repeatedly.
Le Batard, for his part, is a sassy fellow, as indicated in his e-mailed response to The Bitch's inquiries: "Nothing personal, but my relationship with the Herald and ESPN is good, healthy, honest, and entirely between us. But feel free to report, in splashy New Times style, that I'm an active crack smoker and Taliban member."
Of the many, many affronts to The Bitch's sensibilities, hippies in general and those connected to the Grateful Dead in particular are certainly some of the most egregious. So it is not surprising that tie-dye capitalist Ben Cohen, founder of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and creator of flavors such as Phish Food and Cherry Garcia, earns a suspicious canine sneer for the faux-cially conscious parade-o-pigs inflicted on Miamians this week.
Three trucks tricked out to look like piggy banks (check this, Pimp My Ride!) are the rolling emissaries of Cohen's True Majority political group, the message being that U.S. defense spending starves social programs. The first pig, representing the $200 billion Americans have spent razing and rebuilding Iraq, is a Chevy van armored with fleshy pink jowls, ears, and snout, with clear sides stuffed with fake cash. Behind it rolls a trailer carrying a smaller, $34 billion pig representing K-12 education spending, and a wee "World Hunger and Poverty" pig worth just $10 billion.
"People can't conceive of $200 billion," Cohen said while visiting South Florida this past week. Most people might not be able to, but Cohen -- who with partner Jerry Greenfield actually sold his Vermont company in 2000 to Dutch megacorporation Unilever for $326 million -- probably can.
Swine of the nonmotorized variety probably have little love for Unilever, which owns American concerns such as Dove soap and has frequently been criticized in the European press for its practice of testing its products on animals, including rabbits and pigs. The Bitch further wonders about the wisdom of parading three modified SUVs up and down Biscayne Boulevard during a congested, ozone-infected July ... doesn't that create a lot of pollution and waste a lot of (Middle East-produced) petroleum?
Haven't These People Seen Caddyshack?
Real estate investor Joseph Chetrit, whose most recent purchase is the Sears Tower in Chicago, may wish to retreat to the solace of a box of the Windy City's famed Fango Mints after dealing with the condo commandos of the Roney Palace Beach Resort.
If Chetrit completes his $153.5 million purchase of the Collins Avenue condominium-hotel, he will be faced with the snobbery and legal firepower of Roney residents who don't want to share their swimming pool with the hotel's guests.
Chetrit is buying the resort from Roney Associates, which filed for bankruptcy protection after the company principals disagreed on the direction of the 35-year-old hotel's future. The bankruptcy occurred just as the squabbling owners embarked on a multimillion-dollar renovation of the building. The Roney's main pool, normally used by hotel guests only, has been closed.
Condo owners are miffed that their pool is overrun with those bottom feeders who can only afford to pay $149 to $199 for a night's stay at the 585-room inn. "My clients have an exclusive right to that pool," asserts Miami attorney Robert Schatzman, representing the Roney Condo Association.
Roney Associates' hired legal gun disagrees. "They say they do," says lawyer Brian Rich. "We say they don't."
Yes, Sadly: More News from NBV
Now that former North Bay Village Mayor Alan Dorne and ex-police Chief Irving Heller are out of publicly funded jobs, they may want to forgo second careers in private investigations, considering the two long-time friends are not very good at keeping their dirt-digging escapades a secret.
That is the impression left by a Florida Department of Law Enforcement report into Heller's alleged official misconduct. In February the FDLE began investigating charges that Heller authored disparaging pornographic cartoons of civic agitator Fane Lozman, and then mailed the pictures to the local activist and other city residents. Heller resigned in March shortly after New Times reported on the then-blooming scandal. Dorne resigned in April after being busted for violating Florida's Government in the Sunshine Law.
Though the State Attorney's Office determined there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Heller, FDLE special agent Ed Fortune wrote that Heller may have unlawfully used state and national databases "to obtain criminal history information" on Lozman.
Dorne and Heller did not return phone calls seeking comment. Lozman, who does have a 1992 arrest in Las Vegas that has been expunged from judicial records, promises to pursue a civil lawsuit against the city and has asked Gov. Jeb Bush to assign a special prosecutor to review the Heller investigation.
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