Letters from the Issue of April 24, 2008
Grabbing Eyeballs Is a Two-Way Street
I, like most readers, was morally outraged by last week's cover illustration ("Lambs to Slaughter," April 17). Though it's easy to call for the heads of everyone from the artist to the editor, I doubt that many of us even considered looking within, at the article itself.
The information contained in the story was not breaking news. For years, alarm bells have rung about the abuses of the Catholic Church and the ensuing coverups. How many of us felt the fury of personal offense then? If you weren't a Catholic, then it was their problem. If you were a Catholic, then it was just a few isolated incidents.
We all like to believe we are victims of what the media bombards us with on a daily basis. But the media is reflective of what we're responsive to; in this case, what we haven't been responding to enough.
We all have a responsibility. The public needs to be valiant in its efforts to be informed, just as the media should strive to provide accurate testimony about our community. The more we value entertainment over information, the more the media has to reach to get us involved. By the same token, going nuclear on an issue should be a last-resort tactic; such controversy risks alienating the same party that needs to be engaged.
So the question I ask is: Are you the type who likes to be woken up by an alarm or a bomb?
Villainy at Versailles
Bravo to New Times and Isaiah Thompson for printing "A Felony with that Croqueta?" (April 10). It exposes the culture of crime at an otherwise good restaurant and the center of the Cuban exile community.
Some of the victims in the past six months include respectable and regular patrons, and many others who have had their cars vandalized or burned, with valuable objects stolen from inside. Yet no one has come forward to denounce these hoodlums, because everyone is afraid of them!
Many Versailles customers, especially women, have become increasingly reluctant to enter the restaurant, particularly at night.
I congratulate Maritza Beato for bravely denouncing what everybody there knows but is too scared to tell. As a woman, she has a lot more courage and integrity than many of the cowardly viejos at Versailles.
Here's an Assignment
I enjoyed reading "Che Who?" (by Chuck Strouse, April 3) and your experience with the T-shirts around the neighborhoods of Miami-Dade. By now you know the feelings Cuban-Americans have regarding Che Guevara, and I hope you get to do deeper research on who "Ernestico" really was, if you haven't by now. I would like to suggest that for your next culture shock experience wearing your Che T-shirt, you head over to Westland Mall in Hialeah and write an article about your encounters there ... that is if the old Cuban-Americans pardon your life, of course.
Via web commentary
Where's the Gratitude?
In Francisco Alvarado's article "Kid Stuff," (March 27), I was mentioned as a former instructional supervisor. To set the record straight, I served Miami-Dade schools for 35 years as a teacher, district administrator, and multilevel assistant principal. I possessed all relevant degrees, experience, and certification for every position I held. I left the school system as a retired employee satisfied with my career — not disgruntled, as Carlos Manrique claimed.
The placement of personnel lacking necessary requirements is not in the best interest of children and/or adult learners. If you are going to be an educator, go to school and secure the certifications necessary to qualify for the job.
Ten years ago, as an administrator, I challenged my staff to seek supplemental funding. Over the following years, we earned more than $60 million in grants for the district. During my tenure, not a single one of my supervisors ever said thank you. Though Mr. Manrique never mentioned in the article the funds I brought into the system, I have no ax to grind.
If we are to challenge the learners in our system, do so with trained educational professionals and financial diligence. By the way, Mr. Manrique's salary would hire two full-time, certified classroom teachers.
Via web commentary
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