Pillars of Prosperity:
O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Thomas Kramer
What will it take for the Miami Beach City Commission and other local cronies, hangers-on, flunkies, recipients of two-bit contributions, casinoheads, rationalizing lawyers, suddenly converted "mediators," the INS, and unscrupulous big-shot newspaper editors to wake up and smell the coffee about Thomas Kramer ("The Continuing Adventures of Thomas Kramer," November 23). Of course we all know what's going on here A enough money will buy almost anything. But then Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson could have told you that.
Several years ago Tropic ran a mostly laudatory piece about Kramer. New Times ran thorough, critical coverage ("Tycoon Thomas," December 16, 1992). New Times also thoroughly covered Kramer's wine-in-the-face incident ("Blamer vs. Kramer," June 23, 1994); the Herald barely mentioned it. The Herald never mentioned the incident involving alleged repeated anti-Semitic slurs, even though fists flew and the police were called. Earlier this year there was Dave Lawrence's piece on his encounter with the misunderstood mogul. The Herald has never mentioned Kramer's repeated attempts to make sizable political campaign contributions, which are in violation of federal law. These were covered by New Times last fall. Then the Herald resolutely defended Miami Beach's deal with Kramer's Portofino organization. What's really intriguing is why the Miami Herald continues to kowtow to Kramer and absolutely refuses to cover his escapades.
Richard H. Rosichan
Hear That Suckin' Sound? It's Jacob's Brain, Headin' South
How comforting to know that self-righteous serial writer Jacob Dorn is on guard against non-Dorn-approved English, county animal shelter workers who want to provide free and low-cost spaying and neutering instead of killing abandoned animals, persons who have the audacity to think they are entitled to care for their family pet when their financial situations change for the worse (what would Dorn do with his dog should he find himself unemployed?), and assorted other things giving hope that humans are still capable of being humane ("Letters," November 9). But how did he overlook public libraries (which compete with bookstores, movie theaters, and video outlets), public schools and universities (which compete with private institutions), public transportation, public health clinics and hospitals, and so on?
Also, how did he overlook those tax laws allowing deductible contributions to "beggar" charities that don't meet Mr. Dorn's standards for self-reliance? Mr. Dorn obviously lives in a vacuum. Which would explain why his logic sucks.
Sweetheart, Will You Be
In response to Jen Karetnick's review of Cafe Primola ("Know Matter," October 19), the sister restaurant to Cafe Prima Pasta, I would like to make a few important points. Let me begin by saying that my fiancee and I have been going to Cafe Prima Pasta for more than a year. In fact, we became engaged there. We have never had anything but an exceptional meal and excellent, attentive service.
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As far as the "snubbing" Ms. Karetnick claimed to have been subjected to, I was surprised that this was a new experience for her. As a resident of Miami for many years, I have become all too familiar with the preferential treatment that can occur at various restaurants, clubs, and bars; no one who has ventured to Miami Beach is a stranger to this practice. Often, however, there is a reason behind it, especially in the case of a restaurant on 71st Street with no pedestrian traffic to rely upon.
After it became apparent that my fiancee and I were frequenting Cafe Prima Pasta at least once or twice a month, we began to be greeted with enthusiasm and were seated promptly at a cozy table. It is not hard to comprehend that in a seasonal city it is the regular customers who keep a business operating during the slow months. If appreciating steady patronage by showing preferential treatment is a crime, then almost every restaurateur would have been convicted years ago. Besides, shouldn't the real issue be the cuisine, which is always superb? Perhaps Ms. Karetnick should get to know the owner better by becoming a regular.
Carlos M. Lastra
Sheri L. Turnbow