The E. Howard Hunt Grading Curve
Concerning Jim Kelly's mostly excellent article on the CIA's South Florida presence("The Fidel Fixation,"April 17), I'm sorry he didn't check with me about the alleged "wild and all-too-public night on the town" involving Guatemalan exiles. If it ever took place, I was not involved in it. The genesis of the canard is this:

I was in Eglin prison camp when a copy of David Atlee Phillip's book, The Night Watch, reached me. I was dismayed to read that he had fabricated a tale concerning my supposedly having treated a group of Guatemalans to a wild evening of nightclubbing on Miami Beach. I had never heard of the episode until reading Dave's fabricated account.

Because Dave had been a long-time friend -- I had actually approved his conversion from contract agent to career Agency status -- I wrote him, asking why on earth he found it necessary to demean me. His sheepish reply was that his editor had asked him to include "something salty" about Hunt in his book. And he did.

But a tale once begun is impossible to stifle, and I'm sorry Jim Kelly saw fit to perpetuate the apocryphal account. So he gets an A for the overall article, but an F for the uncorroborated tale.

E. Howard Hunt
Biscayne Park

Show Him the Parks!
As Robert Andrew Powell reported ("Show Them the Money!" April 10), Coral Gables appears determined to swap the well-being of merchants and residents for tax dollars. The Rouse Company's proposal to develop twenty acres along Le Jeune Road may generate four times more tax dollars than the only other proposal being considered, but the area already struggles with too much traffic, and it is bounded by residential neighborhoods and Coral Gables High School.

Blinded by big-tax promises, city planners seem to have overlooked the failures of the nearby Bakery Centre and the upscale Mayfair in Coconut Grove. Surely these failed shops received the same type of optimistic marketing analysis that is being waved in front of Coral Gables commissioners.

Hello, commissioners! We don't need more shops; we need more parks. Miracle Mile is your responsibility, and it is struggling. There are dozens of retail centers nearby that satisfy our shopping needs, but there are no green spaces in the area.

It's wrong to disrupt the residents who choose Coral Gables for its serenity. It's irresponsible to allow the project to proceed next to the high school. Coral Gables should maintain the existing retail areas and strive to retain what we're famous for: quiet, tree-lined streets and quality of life.

Mark Bushnell
Coral Gables

Recalling the NBA's First Seven-Footer
What Jack Shaber told Robert Andrew Powell about Elmore Morgenthaler is right ("Mr. Basketball," March 27). I played against him. Elmore scored twenty points to my twelve, but my team, Colby College, defeated Boston College (1947). At six- two I was hardly a match for Morgenthaler. My job was to guard him; I couldn't prevent him from making a number of slam dunks, but he couldn't take charge and best our team.

My brother "Chet" Jaworski, an All-American, led the nation in scoring while he was at Rhode Island State.

Mitchell Jaworski

Last of the Hard-core Troubadors
I am greatly puzzled by John Floyd's article about Townes Van Zandt ("Rethinking Townes," March 27). How can Mr. Floyd understand Townes's life but at the same time completely miss the point of his music? Townes was a classic troubadour whose music was pure in its reflection of life's dark side -- and oftentimes its redemption.

To raise the issue of his voice or ability to lead a band is ludicrous. It's like saying Bob Dylan doesn't have a good voice; it misses the point. Townes's legacy is the songs, and his voice is those songs' truest interpretation. Floyd also fails to mention that Townes's influence goes beyond pioneers Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and Merle Haggard and includes new innovative artists such as Raul Malo, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Margo Timmins, Gillian Welch, and Steve Earle.

Floyd can keep listening to the overproduced, Son Volt soon-to-be lite-FM junk. I'll stick with Townes. His life was a chronicle of pain romanticized in song. Floyd connects with the life and the message but fails to understand the essence of Townes.

Marc Zand
Miami Beach

Bust Vidal? Bad Bet
Jim DeFede's article "A Primer on Prosecuting Corruption" (March 20) was very nicely done, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for our State Attorney's Office to act. It's quite obvious County Manager Armando Vidal has political connections. I'm making book (excuse the pun) there'll be a little smoke and mirrors and nothing else. Any takers?

John A. Brennan


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