Our Promise: Leave No Perverted Agenda Unexposed
Jim DeFede's piece on Alex Penelas was great ("Style: 10, Substance: 0," January 1). But he was a bit too kind. Penelas is less qualified to be Miami-Dade County mayor than was the late rag popper Doctor Cool. Please continue to expose local politicians, prosecutors, mayors, and city managers who are bullies with perverted agendas not in the public interest -- while the shameful mainstream media concentrate on superficial nonsense.

Advice to former FBI man Paul Philip: Nothing new here, just hark back to your training at Quantico. Stay low and watch your back. Make tactical decisions promptly to cut your losses.

Steven M. Harris

Sing the Praises of West Grove's Unsung
Kirk Nielsen did a superb job chronicling our efforts to establish an enterprise in West Coconut Grove ("The Rashids' Last Stand," December 25). Our personal exploits make just one story; there are others here who also wish to see positive change in our community. We accept any recognition and credit not only for ourselves but for other unsung participants in the community who work tirelessly to create an environment in which entrepreneurs like us will want to stay and will prosper.

Rick Holton, president of the Coconut Grove Local Development Corporation (CGLDC), is the glue that has held together the various constituencies in West Grove that are sometimes at odds with each other. He has ably presided over a ship called progress and kept order so that we have enjoyed some positive movement toward establishing a revitalized West Coconut Grove.

David Alexander, executive director of CGLDC, has fostered change over fourteen years. He has been intrepid and dogged in pursuing a vision of a self-sufficient, economically vibrant West Grove. He is often maligned, misunderstood, and vilified, and he never receives just recognition.

The Coconut Grove Homeowners and Tenants Association, led by Dr. David White, has become a most important player in promoting public policy, consistent code enforcement, and he is an effective advocate for establishing a better quality of life for the residents of West Grove. Another is Yvonne McDonald, executive director of the Coconut Grove Family and Youth Intervention Center, who works in a collaborative manner with many social agencies to improve family life.

There are many more contributors whose names are not mentioned in this letter, some of whom don't seek the spotlight. We salute them and thank New Times for the opportunity to acknowledge them.

Jihad and Aisha Rashid
Coconut Grove

From Primate to Inmate
Monkey Jungle's Sharon DuMond needs to realize that imprisoning an innocent ape and giving the excuse that she hasn't enough money to make King's life more comfortable -- able to breathe outdoor air, touch the natural earth, see sunlight and other members of his own species -- is unacceptable ("A King and His Not-Quite Castle," December 25).

Although she means well, her Monkey Jungle deserves a bad rap.
Raelene Mercer
Miami Beach

ConnieConnie HicksHicks ReportingReporting
Robert Andrew Powell's "Sweeps Unchained" (December 18) was most interesting. Local news on TV, with its less than erudite newsreaders, has chased many people to radio.

Incorrectly spelled words are ever present. Mispronunciation is the order of the day. Personal comments by newsreaders, especially about Republican politicians (usually snide remarks), do not belong in newscasts. Facial contortions prove immaturity. Comments by weathermen, such as "And now for the weather outside," have me wondering if it's raining inside! I laugh when a reporter, questioning a husband and wife, says, "You guys." When the box-office receipts of Hollywood movies are duly reported as news, one wonders how low this vast wasteland can sink.

Let us clone Connie Hicks for sincerity, integrity, and factual news reporting.

Ronald C. Rickey
Miami Beach

Tomorrow Is Yesterday's News
I often find feature stories in New Times long, rambling, overly detailed, and somewhat boring, so I always anticipated the breath of fresh air that was Tom Tomorrow's strip This Modern World. Your dropping the strip gives rise to speculation. Is New Times as chicken as the Herald? Is New Times aping the Cuban exile community's censorship tactics?

Tomorrow's command of social commentary complemented his art. The strip was visually and mentally stimulating, intelligent, and unique. Tomorrow is sorely missed, and New Times owes his fans an explanation.

Albert Perez


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