Kropola: Retirement for the Ethically Challenged
I read with great interest Ted B. Kissell's article "The Naming Game" (October 22) regarding school board member Dr. Michael M. Krop. Perhaps Dr. Krop should designate Krop High School as a dental magnet academy. That way he could collect an extra salary as chairman of the dental department.

Dr. Krop talks about his sacrifices. My opinion about all these ethically challenged politicians who believe their sacrifices justify their corruption is that they should retire. There are many other altruistic egomaniacs who would be willing to take their place.

Hector Hirigoyen's remarks "I know how decisions are made in this system" and "After 30 years in the system, I'm done with politics" are so pathetically accurate. The most depressing aspect of the political corruption in Miami is that even when these scumbags are caught in the act and prosecuted, they get a slap on the hand or probation. Just look at the U.S. Attorney's Office, which recently renegotiated its deals so that corrupt politicos [Manohar Surana and Howard Gary] can stay out of jail and keep the millions for which they peddled their influence.

Apparently in Miami a public office is a private trust account.
Alberto Victor Batista

Kropola: Quite the Classy Guy
The naming of a high school for Michael Krop was only the latest in a series of embarrassing episodes involving this county's school board. Krop's meddling in school operations and personnel decisions was matched by his self-aggrandizement in first promoting the naming scheme and then showing the lack of class to vote for it even though its passage was assured. His feelings are hurt? How about the feelings of the people in that community who wanted a voice in the matter?

Consider what we have here. Thanks to New Times, we know that our superintendent of schools boasts a mail-order degree and his chief deputy tries to promote himself as a male model. The board's senior member, G. Holmes Braddock, is a mean-spirited character who has expressed nothing but contempt for the people he supposedly serves. Naturally he also has a high school named for him. His most recent accomplishment, by which he managed to embarrass this community nationwide, was to insist that teachers be required to have their students recite the Pledge of Allegiance with no pause between "one nation" and "under God." This idiotic measure passed. Krop voted for it, as did almost every other member of the board.

The school system managed to have a $980 million bond issue passed in 1988. I regret having supported that even more than I regret having helped Krop campaign in Miami Beach in 1980. The district now has three separate administration buildings conveniently linked by costly walkways, while teachers continue dipping into their own pockets for daily supplies.

Having been involved in area political campaigns for twenty years, I am well aware that our school system is the employer of last resort for politicians who are trying to get their friends, relatives, and proteges jobs on the public payroll even though they've been turned down everywhere else.

We now have schools named after four current board members, but none named after George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps Solomon Stinson, another loser on the board and its chief promoter of these renamings, will now concentrate on all the elementary and middle schools named after respected and heroic figures of the past. Then, in true South Florida fashion, he will have them renamed after political hacks and convicted criminals.

Richard H. Rosichan
Miami Beach

Kropola: Giving New Meaning to Indentured Servitude
The naming of Dr. Michael M. Krop High School begets the question of their mascot. Will it be the Fightin' Orthodontists? The Raging Egos? The Back Scratchers? (Sample cheer: I'll vote for you, you vote for me, together we'll achieve victory!)

Perhaps we should honor all Dade politicos with the Greedy Greenbacks or the Unindicted Co-conspirators. (Sample cheer: Our team is great, we're on fire, we can't be beat unless you're wearing a wire!)

Hey, instead of politicians, why not honor locals who've made it big in entertainment. We could then have Estefan High with their mascot the St. Glorias, or the Fighting Demonspawn of the Marilyn Manson Troubled Youth Magnet School. (Sample cheer: You can't win, this game you'll be hatin', 'cause we've already sacrificed your cheerleaders to Satan!)

Errol Portman
Coral Gables

Kropola: Chasing Fame
I believe school board members have spent too much time arguing about the name of the school and not enough time concerning themselves with the important issue: the students at Krop High. They should put their negative energy to good use and try to ensure that the students there get the highest-quality education possible.

After all, what is the value of a name on a high school? I went through elementary and middle school without ever learning about the person for whom the school was named. I am almost certain the majority of students at Dr. Michael M. Krop Sr. High School do not know who Dr. Krop is and really do not care.

When students identify with a school, they think of their instructors, friends, and personal experiences, not the person whose name appears on the front of the school. Is this really a good way to be memorialized?

If members of the school board are looking for recognition, they should not be there. We should elect members who genuinely care about the students, not their own fame. The best members of the board are probably those who have never had their name on a school and don't care if they ever do.

Danny Leal
Miami Beach

Kropola: You Voted for Him, You Got Him
"The Naming Game" was an interesting story about the people who are responsible for educating our children, the future of our community. The arrogance of the school board -- the supposed leaders of our schools -- filters down to administrators and principals. Parents become inconveniences in their lives, along with the students they are charged with educating.

Instead of tackling issues that directly affect the quality of education such as class size or teacher qualifications, they would rather debate issues that sound good at the polls, like uniforms. Typical for Miami-Dade County, though. Voters get what they deserve.

W. Hoyt

Kropola: Right Up There with Joey and Humbertico
Congratulations again on a very complete and thorough story, Ted B. Kissell's "The Naming Game." Once again we get an inside look at how the game is played in Miami-Dade.

To Dr. Krop, I don't care that you have never been mentioned in a negative manner by any local newspaper. That does not make you better than anybody else for consideration in the naming of a high school. I also believe that you did try and were successful in meeting your goal of maneuvering the school board votes. I put you in the same league with the pros: Joe Gersten, Manohar Surana, and Humberto Hernandez.

Keep doing that good job, smell the flowers you did not deserve while you're alive, and don't you dare piss off the Miami Herald. They might destroy your reputation.

Miguel Fernandez

Are the Marlins Deaf or What?
I want to take this opportunity to thank staff writer Robert Andrew Powell and staff photographer Steve Satterwhite for their terrific job in putting together the story about left-handed catching ("Lou's Last Pitch," October 22). I also want to congratulate New Times for having the courage to publish this story, which the Miami Herald was afraid to print. I am still hoping that Major League Baseball will give left-handed catchers the same chance as right-handers.

I am also hoping the Florida Marlins give Raul Hernandez, the 59-year-old pitching genius, the same opportunity the Yankees gave "El Duque" Hernandez.

I met another staff writer, Ted B. Kissell, who also impressed me while we were watching Raul pitch in the over-30 league. Raul had previously pitched a perfect no-hitter and immediately after that pitched another no-hitter. Two in a row.

Florida Marlins, are you listening? Raul can be your best pitcher and a pitching coach.

Lou Haneles

Puzzling Pomposity
While I was amused at the pompous anti-Jen Karetnick letters (October 15) written in response to her review of Victor's Cafe, I began to wonder: Why are these people unclear on the concept of criticism? Criticism is personal, and not always positive.

I was puzzled why certain people presented dubious credentials for critiquing restaurants, particularly the ex-associate producer of a TV news station. I asked myself why this person had never made it to producer. Perhaps he or she recommended one too many bad restaurants to the president of the station.

Then there was the couple who ate out four times a week. Where do they eat? Perhaps they think Victor's beats Taco Bell.

And then there were the 60 professionals. Personally, I find that dining out with more than ten professionals gets very tricky when it comes to dividing the check.

I'd be more impressed if someone wrote, "I'm the food editor of Gourmet magazine." Even "I'm assistant manager at Pizza Hut but I dream of being a sommelier at Four Seasons" would be more relevant.

Let Jen do her thing! She is so much better than the film and music critics, and she is well versed in her subject.

Lili Chambers

Perhaps a Peculiar Palate
You can't imagine how gratifying it was to open the October 15 issue of New Times and see that the public finally had a chance to speak up and be heard about a most dissatisfying and disturbing feature of your publication: restaurant critic Jen Karetnick.

There is something to freedom of the press, but not at the expense of other people's businesses and livelihoods, especially with no justification. The presses should stop rolling and one should consider the values that make this country of ours so great. They're called free enterprise and the power of small business.

What would happen if all America went totally corporate? Even worse, what if all restaurants in the near future became corporately owned chain restaurants? The culinary arts would suffer greatly. No more great mom-and-pop restaurants, no more chef-owners with a passion for food, no more quaint little bistros off the beaten path.

Keep reviewing restaurants in the manner that Ms. Karetnick reviewed a fine establishment like Victor's Cafe (along with many other past negative reviews) and many small restaurateurs will suffer and go out of business.

One has to wonder, what kind of palate does this woman have? And what are her culinary credentials to match the often confusing, false remarks she makes about food?

Caroline Segui
Miami Beach

Pooch: Keeping the Streets Safe for Normal Folks
In response to John Lantigua's article "Deconstructing Tommy" (October 8), what must South Beach pied piper extraordinaire Tommy Pooch do to get a little respect from New Times?

The man resuscitates comatose clubs and restaurants, grins and greets nonstop from dusk to dawn, does crust-quality control at three pizzerias, and then goes home to address the needs of an eighteen-year-old girlfriend, for Pete's sake! Where would this friendly felon find time to be a gangster (as Lantigua obviously hoped he was)?

So what if he's got it wrong in thinking he is "selling sex" in the club business. Lantigua didn't look any deeper. Why should Pooch?

Tommy Pooch keeps the bored, idle rich off the streets. And that is a public service!

R. Jerome
Miami Beach

The Music World According to Brih
It was quite hard to read Adam St. James's "Live Music: Dead on Arrival" (September 24). The article failed in so many ways.

First, you don't tell bar owners how to run their business. They know the real problems. These people -- especially the owners of Churchill's, the Hungry Sailor, and Tobacco Road -- have tried all kinds of formulas, and all of them still have their own unique problems.

Second, you never say the musician's or group's name is unimportant. One of the reasons musicians play is that being heard and known is very important to them. Same with writers. How would Mr. St. James feel if "Live Music: Dead on Arrival" came out without his unimportant name on it?

Third, you don't go out and ask questions of a former music editor if you are the current music editor. Greg Baker may have had his share of shining moments, but they definitely weren't at New Times when he was music editor. The last article of his I read was about Ted Nugent, who actually thought (and I'm not making this up) he was greater and better than Paul McCartney ("A Few Bones to Pick," June 9, 1994). The worst part was that Baker was a complete sucker for Nugent's antics.

Last but not least, the local music scene would have benefited more if the energy, time, and paper used in producing "Live Music: Dead on Arrival" had been spent on musicians' flyers instead.

Brih Mendiola
Coconut Grove

Alien Hordes Mock Gutless Gringos
Regarding Kathy Glasgow's story "The Smuggler as Savior" (September 17), smugglers of illegal aliens, such as Juan Garcia Pino, have been mocking gutless gringos and milking the spineless justice system with impunity -- for three decades! Law-abiding residents and decent citizens of Miami-Dade County insist on stricter immigration controls. As members of Americans for Immigration Control, we demand the immediate deportation of Juan Garcia Pino and all other lawbreakers!

It is typical that the U.S. attorney and the state attorney decline to prosecute him in federal or state court. That his transmission shop may be violating zoning and DERM/EPA regulations is glossed over as well, along with his frequent lawbreaking escapades.

The invasion of America by hordes of aliens took place without firing a shot. Fellow Americans, it is time to get a grip and grow some cojones instead of just lying down and taking it. No more coddling and rewarding of criminals, or else!

Howard Williamson


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