Crying shame: This is so sad and horrible ("Seized," Monica Alonzo, August 12). I am crying just reading about the kidnapping and torture of Mexicans being smuggled into the States. Can you ever imagine anyone having to live through this? Something needs to be done.
In Spanish, por favor: Boo-hoo, pass me a tissue. Marie and her co-illegal aliens deserve the terror bestowed upon them for their illegal entry into the USA. If New Times wants to help these people, it should publish this article in Spanish and have it printed in every newspaper in Central America and Mexico.
Informed decision: I'm sorry, but the victims in this story are part of the problem. They pay the coyotes knowing what their fate might be. The victims know exactly what can happen to them, yet they insist on coming in illegally. This is nothing new, and it will not stop because we (Hispanics) feed into the promises these so-called coyotes make.
Point the finger south: I feel very sad for all the people who must go through this. But the reality is that the United States has the right to protect its borders. Instead of criticizing the U.S., maybe you should criticize the countries where most of these immigrants come from for having such a corrupt government.
Put kids first: Thank you for bringing to the public eye Miami-Dade's disgraceful act of closing charter school Rise Academy ("School's Out," Michael E. Miller, August 12). Principal Gemma Torcivia has led the way and taken the first brave steps toward supporting many students' academic and social development. Ms. Torcivia, congratulations on leading your school to success, and shame on the county for not putting kids first. This is a truly misinformed and morally wrong decision. I hope the school board is able to see its mistake and approach future decisions that affect children's lives in an informed, rational manner, seeking facts and listening to supporting evidence before jumping to faulty conclusions.
Right on: Shame on Miami-Dade. The whole issue is supposed to be about benefiting kids, not screwing them over. For all the naysayers out there attacking charter schools, here is an example of one that was kicking serious butt.
Uninformed vote: As a person who was close to Rise during the start-up phase and into its first year, I was outraged by what I read in the report on which the board based its vote. The majority of claims made in it are false. I have never been more disgusted with the school board and with the staff of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Put board on couch: The entire school board ought to be fired. At the least, they ought to be required to have a psychiatric evaluation, each and every one of them. This is a travesty.
Black and White
God bless: I served time in the same federal prison as the late Miami Commissioner Miller Dawkins ("Luke's Gospel," Luther Campbell, August 12). He was a great African-American, a shining example of courage, compassion, and forgiveness. When I had no money for commissary food, Miller every week had ice cream, nacho chips, and priestly advice. "Jim, don't wreck what's left of your life in rage over a chicken-s**t charge of wire fraud that you didn't commit. Use your skills to help," he would say. I can still see him standing on bad legs to clean slop from trays, sweating yet smiling, and looking at me and saying, "Jim, how does it feel for an Irishman to be in with and treated like a black man?'' Miller's stories of kindness and humor still inspire me today. Some of my best memories of a 78-month sentence were sitting with Miller and five other black men at lunch and listening to a great and holy guy give all of us inspiration. I cried when I heard the news of his death. If only more Miller Dawkinses held office in Miami.
Be damned: Miller Dawkins was a crook. Of course he pleaded guilty fast — there were dozens more charges. Arthur Teele, Dorrin Rolle, Michelle Spence-Jones, and Barbara Carey-Schuler — a long line of crooks. Luther Campbell needs to do a Google search before he writes.
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The Skinny on Eatery
Food for thought: You obviously went to Hakkasan and had a nice dinner ("Best of Miami Spice," Lee Klein, August 12). Although I loved the atmosphere and the tasty treats, the portions are very far from generous, as your article mentions. After dinner at this restaurant last week, all I could think about was running to the nearest jumbo Chinese buffet. I would suggest dinner here only for anorexics or those on Weight Watchers.