Art a Go-Go
Judy Cantor's clear and evenhanded expose on the South Florida Art Center was a great read ("The Long and Winding Road," November 30). If the SFAC wants to continue leading greater Miami in helping its artists and promoting the cultural life of this city (which it sincerely has done in the past), perhaps the organization should consider selling some of its Lincoln Road real estate, buying a little property in Overtown, and lobbying the Metro-Dade government for the most effective, direct, all-hour public transportation system to link the two areas. Imagine, a 2001 Miami Film Festival featuring the Gusman, the Colony, and the Lyric theaters, a nonconfrontational bicycle police presence on the well-lighted streets of our city, and Euro-hippies breakfasting in Little Havana again. Yes, but is it art?
A Thief by Any Other Name . . .
Robert Andrew Powell's article "Cadillac Combat" (November 23) presented the view that it is acceptable to conspire with a fellow employee to steal information from an employer, for that is what Fred Rosenberg did when he asked Ronna Rose to help him out by secretly removing those invoices from Ocean Cadillac for him to copy. It was an illegal act. There is no question about this.
To add further to this, had Rosenberg removed those items himself and copied them, even when he was still employed by Ocean Cadillac, this too would have been an illegal act. There would be information on those invoices that would not be a matter of public record.
Rosenberg could not even make copies of invoices of sales that he personally oversaw, as that information is the property of Ocean Cadillac. I would also offer the opinion that even "personal" files of related information maintained by Rosenberg of details gained from sales made while he was an employee of Ocean Cadillac -- presumably on company time and on company paper -- belong to Ocean Cadillac, and therefore Rosenberg would not be entitled to take them with him when he left that company's employ. Had he maintained truly private files outside working hours and on his own stationery, he could probably avoid the theft charge, although I've seen contracts of employment that specifically prohibit such record-keeping. Customer lists or hot prospects are valuable items, especially when they contain phone numbers, service records, and sales dates.
To sum up, something of value was stolen by two people acting in a criminal conspiracy. The owner was entitled to claim for the loss and to pursue the thieves. Fred Rosenberg is probably a really nice guy, but he is also a thief. Robert Andrew Powell's article presented the view that Rosenberg had done nothing wrong. Not so!
From Cadillacs to Cockroaches
Ocean Cadillac general manager Alan Mandel is the lowest cockroach crawling on the floor of any U.S. automobile dealership. Meanwhile, his reprehensible boss, the unnamed owner of Ocean Cadillac, lurks in the shadows. Mandel deliberately set out to ruin salesman Fred Rosenberg's livelihood and reputation for no other motives than greed and professional jealousy. Mandel should be barred from ever again working in any car dealership anywhere in the U.S., although his slimy tactics undoubtedly would enable him to survive A like most roaches. Too bad real Combat spray couldn't have been used on several of the participants in this scrimmage, which wasted the legal system's time. Fred Rosenberg is a gentleman who will rise above it all. I encourage him to file a countersuit against Ocean Cadillac and Alan Mandel.
Bay Harbor Islands
Kramer: A Lump on the Miami Beach Landscape
I have advised Miami Beach Mayor Seymour Gelber and the Miami Beach City Commission to read Elise Ackerman's article on Thomas Kramer ("The Continuing Adventures of Thomas Kramer," November 23). It is an very informative piece by a good writer.
This Thomas Kramer is a lump on the Miami Beach landscape, and in spite of his millions, he's just for the birds. He's denied all these accusations made against him. As we all know by now, however, money talks. Do we need someone like him here? He lives in luxury in his Star Island mansion, but the best thing he could do is go back to Germany and stay there!
Name withheld by request
It's So Hard to Find Good Help
Let me please add my voice to the chorus of people astounded by the rude and abusive behavior displayed by Miami Beach's finest. Locals beware, you are living in a police state! I recently relocated to Miami Beach from New York City. In the seven weeks I have been here, I have seen such a misuse of power and experienced such a poor attitude by members of the Miami Beach police force that I think that their motto should be "To Protect Ourselves from Being Involved in Real Crime and to Serve Our Best Interests." They are certainly not serving those citizens who pay their salaries.
My first incident with the police occurred while I was on my way home from Alton Road to Drexel Avenue. En route I walked through Flamingo Park. This, according to police, is now a felony. Upon exiting the park on Meridian Avenue, a police officer informed me that the park was closed. As there were many homeless sleeping there -- and there was no sign where I entered the park stating it was off-limits -- I apologized, adding I was new to the area. I was about to continue home when . . . I was arrested! I spent the next six hours being transferred to the county jail and locked up like a mass murderer. To make matters worse, not once were my rights read. Does the Constitution of the United States not apply in Miami Beach?
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My second incident occurred when a friend was asked by an officer to please park his car out of a loading zone, which he promptly did. Instead of the officer leaving to fight real crime, however, he noticed that the car's tags were expired and began to arrest my friend, who informed the cop that the car was not even his. The officer agreed not to put him in jail. Jail for an expired tag! Maybe that's why the prisons are overcrowded. Did I mention that while all this was occurring I was witnessing a drug sale across the street? I guess small-time drug dealers don't provide as much revenue as car owners.
Incident number three: While waiting for a friend who had forgotten something in his apartment, I sat in my car, double-parked out front. Not a car in sight until a policeman approached in a van and told me to move the vehicle. I explained I was just waiting and would be gone in a second. He so eloquently replied, "Am I inconvenient? Move it now or I'll have it moved." Nothing like being harassed by an ignorant police officer on a power trip.
Now, either I have rotten luck or I have just gotten a dose of what the police are like in this city. Hey guys, I hear Mark Fuhrman is looking for work. I know where he'll fit right in.
Name withheld by request