The Write Stuff
In his article "First Draft" (November 13), Mike Clary did an incredible job portraying a woman who will be a literary force to be reckoned with. Miami is finally able to recognize what a group of us has known for years: Ivonne Lamazares is a talented and determined young writer.
The community deserves to know, however, that her determination and impassioned voice are not limited to the literary world. Ivonne Lamazares is and always has been an inspiration to her students as well. It is because of her that I am a teacher today.
In 1986 I was a student of Ivonne. I was shy and unsure of my talents; she sensed my inhibitions, took me under her wing, and pointed me in the right direction. She told me that I was a good writer and that I should share my knowledge with less fortunate students in our writing lab. It was a brilliant move on her part. I came out of my shell while helping others, and I finally had my future in focus. She even encouraged me to apply for the job I now hold at Miami-Dade Community College.
I now call my former professor a colleague and friend, and I spend every day trying to be the kind of teacher and inspiration she was to me and many, many others.
Where There's Smoke, There's Kramer
According to Jacob Bernstein's article ("My Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, My Fist Gets in Your Mouth," November 13), Thomas Kramer is at it again. New Times deserves credit for continuing to expose the disgusting actions of this noxious and boorish creature.
Kramer's continuing antics are not surprising. What is surprising is the refusal of the INS to bar him from the United States once and for all. Kramer has been accused by several women of sexual assault and/or battery. Numerous people, including journalists, have attributed racist and/or anti-Semitic utterances to him. He repeatedly violated federal election laws, and was obliged to pay the largest fine in the history of the Federal Elections Commission.
He's been involved in several public brawls. Unresolved questions remain about the source of his funds, his past activities in his native Germany, and his apparent unwillingness to return there voluntarily.
There are many worthy candidates for U.S. residency in this community who lack funds and political clout and who have suffered for it. The case of high-schooler Cindy Martinez, who after eight years of residency here was yanked from a sickbed and thrown into the Krome Avenue detention center comes to mind. Wouldn't we be better off with people like her instead of Thomas Kramer? While she rotted in Krome, Kramer was slobbered over by politicians and lobbyists. Where is the justice in that?
Richard H. Rosichan
Don't Make Me Vote from and Early Grave
This letter is in response to Kirk Semple's article "The Rise and Fall of Miamiland" (November 6) and the subsequent letter to the editor from Marcelo Lecours.
While I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Lecours's sentiments that there are numerous honest, taxpaying, Constitution-obeying Cubans in our community who are an asset to Miami and this nation, what I'm wondering is why almost none of them run for or are elected to public office.
Instead we have oft indicted, never quite convicted Raul Martinez re-elected for life in Hialeah, ambulance chaser Humberto Hernandez overwhelmingly re-elected to the Miami City Commission while facing federal criminal charges, and Xavier Suarez elected mayor of Miami after advocating the repeal of several of those pesky Constitutional amendments known as the Bill of Rights.
This collection of half-wits and thieves is certainly not representative of the Cuban or Hispanic community as a whole, so is it too much to ask that we, as citizens, demand more integrity and vision from our politicians? That struck me as one of the points of Mr. Semple's article.
Please don't publish my name and address as I work for a public agency and I don't want to be posthumously voting by absentee ballot for any mayoral candidates in the near future.
Name Withheld by Request
Miamiland's Pledge of Unallegiance
I take umbrage that a new pledge of allegiance was not included in Kirk Semple's "The Rise and Fall of Miamiland." It would read: "I pledge a political donation to the Marlins pennant of this disunited Dade County and to the divisiveness into which it is slowly sinking from one huge melting pot, completely divided, with intolerance for most and injustice for the rest."
With billions spent on school construction, Metrorail, busways, and other boondoggles that are bankrupting us morally and financially, we have no alternative: We must deport, not secede from, the entire county.
Ronald C. Rickey
Out of a Job and Out of Patience
In response to Kirk Semple's "First the Homeless, Now the Jobless" (October 9), I challenge a staff writer from New Times to get the "real scoop" about Camillus House. In a letter to the editor about the article, Brother Paul Johnson was described as an "angel" for the homeless. Perhaps Brother Paul and other administrators from Camillus House and Camillus Health Concern have taken themselves and their positions too lightly. Fiscal responsibility is a must for any organization to succeed. I particularly liked the explanation from board chairman Andy Del Valle about the operating-fund shortfall: "It was a real, real goofup."
So who is accountable? Certainly not the seventeen people who were laid off, the people who provided direct services to the homeless, the true "angels" whom we rarely hear anything about. Though there were no administrative positions deleted (and there are many of those), do not believe for a minute that administrators are providing one-on-one care to the homeless.
Furthermore, the notion held by Dr. Pedro Jose Greer, Jr., [medical director of Camillus Health Concern] and Brother Paul that services have not been affected is preposterous and untrue. Ask any homeless client who is trying to get services at the Health Concern. Speak to the employees who remain or to other homeless agencies that have attempted to secure services through Camillus.
As a strong advocate for the homeless, and after six and a half years as the nurse manager, I fear that Camillus has sorely compromised its mission. I am saddened that a supposed social institution has adopted such a cold, corporate attitude. (I was called at home while on vacation and informed that I no longer had a position.) To suggest that operations are normal has totally invalidated me and sixteen other employees who were let go.
To the homeless who have touched my heart and soul, and to the others who were laid off: Godspeed! To New Times: There are always two sides to every story.
Ruth S. Tyler
Editor's note: For new information about Camillus House's financial situation, see Jim DeFede's column on page thirteen of this issue.
Incoherent in Any Language
Jorge O. Diaz's letter about Commissioner Javier Souto and Jim DeFede's quoting him verbatim ("The Rational, Eloquent, and Persuasive Mr. Souto," October 2) just goes to show that if you are non-Latin, you'd better never criticize anyone with a Hispanic name for anything. You will always be called racist and your points, however justified, will be called "a cheap ad hominem attack." You will be insulting an entire culture, "a not-too-clever direct attack on Hispanics." (Golly, Jethro, I've heard Mr. Souto speak a few times, and he sure seems to ramble in any language.)
I understand the only people qualified to criticize Latins are other Latins. Since Mr. DeFede is non-Latin, he obviously cannot make any observations about Latin human nature; he's qualified to assess only Anglos.
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