Might That Be Tediously Close to Poetry?
Miami Herald staff writers, who tediously gather and compose the Neighbors's "Police Report," appreciate the kudos awarded in Robert Andrew Powell's article "Life Sentences" (February 6).
Although nothing was stolen and no one was hurt, "Police Report" is as close to poetry as it gets.
Debra Franco, staff writer
Warshaw and and the Coffey Connection
E. Howard Hunt raises a very good question as to Miami Police Chief Donald Warshaw's conduct in Operation Greenpalm ("Letters," February 6).
Another question begging to be asked is: Why was Warshaw invited by ex-U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey to be an active participant in a federal investigation of Warshaw's own boss? Especially when, according to Jim DeFede's story "Deep Inside the Scandal" (November 21), Warshaw himself concluded that "it would be inappropriate for his department to investigate corruption within the city administration."
Relations between Coffey and Warshaw were so good that Warshaw was an active participant in Coffey's farewell soiree at Monty's Bayshore back in June -- after Coffey's nude-dancer escapade.
Is it not interesting that Chief Warshaw, ever since Operation Greenpalm broke, has been a fixture in the pages of the Miami Herald in a multitude of stories? It is as if the Herald has become Warshaw's public relations firm in building up his image. Why?
New Times readers wait for the answers to these and many other questions in this latest scandal.
With Watchdogs Like Howard, Who Needs Burglars?
It's great to see E. Howard Hunt still looking out for us. He is a loyal soldier in every sense of the phrase. God bless him and [late fellow Watergate burglar] Frank Sturgis.
He painted a watercolor that had a cross projecting from a beach. He called it Covenant. We promised the Cubans three air strikes and abandoned them.
It was the first time I was ashamed of my uniform.
North Miami Beach
Even Under Castro, the Beat Goes On
As a lifetime fan of Panart Records, I commend Judy Cantor on an excellent story informing me on the life and times of Ramon Sabat, who has done so much for Cuban culture ("When Cuba Sang," December 26). I am very fortunate to have just about every recording issued by Panart; many are original Cuban pressings on LPs, as well as 45s and even 78 singles. I also have an LP recorded in Cuba of Afro-Cuban folklore rhythms supervised by Ramon Sabat for the Capitol label.
I was elated with the subsequent letters of praise for Judy Cantor by the widow and daughter of Mr. Sabat as she earned them with her outstanding profile. I must, however, correct a common misconception voiced by Julie Alvarez, Ramon's daughter. I am sure Mrs. Alvarez's intentions were well founded and benign but, just like so many others, she is misinformed about the current Latin music scene.
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Politics aside, Cuba was and continues to be the main source of inspiration of salsa/Latino music. Prior to 1959 in New York, Latin bands routinely remade the latest hits of Cuba, from "El Manicero" in 1929 to "La Pachanga" in 1959. Musicians always have had their ears pointed south. This custom continued throughout the Sixties, Seventies, and still does in the Nineties. Many of salsa's biggest hits are nothing more than covers of songs made in contemporary Cuba by contemporary Cuban groups, obtained by musicians through countries that sell Cuban music or heard on shortwave radio. It is sad that, here in Miami, Cuban musical history has been discarded. Where are the sextetos or the musica tipica (charanga) bands?
Meanwhile, Cuban musicians have maintained the evolution, creating and innovating rhythms and styles that are duplicated by Latin bands the world over. After the Mariel boatlift, newly arrived musicians were amazed how behind the times their exile contemporaries were. Their presence revolutionized the music of New York, Puerto Rico, and beyond. Exiled Cuban musicians maintain close ties with their counterparts in Cuba in order to keep up with the latest trends, which is done not only through recordings but by interacting with touring Cuban groups in Europe, Latin America, or the United States (outside of Miami).
I live for the day when La Orquesta Aragon and Los Van Van play in Miami one weekend, and Celia Cruz and Arturo Sandoval play the following weekend in La Habana.