Letters from the Issue of August 20, 2009
Jesus in Shades
So sorry: "In the Name of the King" (Gus Garcia Roberts, August 13) is a well-written investigative report. It is unbiased and straight to the point. But the front page is a disaster. Why in the name of God are you pimping Jesus Christ? Will you next use a picture of Mohammed with some TNT sticks in his hands? For sure, many of my Muslim friends would boycott your newspaper. But you attack peaceful Christians by insulting the image of our savior. It is a shame that what is on your front page does not do justice to the content inside your newspaper. I hope an apology is written and published in your paper. Your sponsors would be very impressed, as would Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, who is a devoted Christian and part of the story.
Antonio Perez Sr.
Miami-Dade County Hall
Really sorry: The cover of New Times took a picture of Jesus and added a suit, eyeglasses, and a changed expression. You have modified the same shot I have seen many times in my prayer books. I am sure you did not mean to offend Catholics, but please do not do this again. For you, this is nothing, but for us Catholics, it is offensive. It deeply hurt my feelings. I respect your beliefs and would appreciate if you would also respect mine. God bless.
With a thing about the fuzz: "Jailhouse Blues" (David Cázares, August 13), the story about that young South Miami woman arrested for nothing, is just the start. Florida has a major problem with its legal system, beginning with the thugs in uniform we call police. When cops approach you, they usually fail to recognize you are innocent until proven guilty. If your conduct is in any way similar to theirs, they arrest you.
I have on three occasions observed police officers verbally and/or physically abusing people they have detained. In one case, on Alton Road and Fifth Street in Miami Beach, I intervened because a car was pulled over and the occupants were not resisting, but the officer was verbally abusing them and slammed them on the hood of their car. When I verbally protested, the officer threatened me, saying, "They were thrown on the car; you will be smashed on the pavement and then arrested. Get the f*** out of here and mind your business." On two other occasions, I reported abuse to the desk of Miami Beach Police but never heard back.
I came here from New York in 1987 and can say that by comparison, the police in Florida today are criminals. It might help if we changed the system: As soon as people are arrested, they should be brought to detention and advised that if not convicted, they would receive $200, and if detained overnight, $500 — of which 50 percent would come out of the officer's pocket. Abuse would pay a minimum of $10,000, with the officer paying half. This would certainly give these thugs something to think about.
Worth a What?
A county vet speaks: It's about time somebody noticed the situation described in "Big Money on Top" (Francisco Alvarado, August 13). Not only are county leaders not cutting from the top, but also they have moved useless high-paid employees around instead of getting rid of them. I should know because I worked there 26 years.
The salaries listed do not even include executive benefit packages — cars, big retirements, etc. It's disgusting as usual. Morally, they should not even consider cutting the salaries of employees earning less than $50,000. The cuts will burden many lower-level employees and might cause them to lose their homes. Why is George Burgess still the county manager when he can't manage the budget worth a sh**?
That was a long time ago: "Counting Crows' Traveling Circus" (John Hood, August 13) got it wrong. The Band was not on "The Rolling Thunder Revue." I saw the tour on Easter Sunday 1976 at the Lakeland Civic Center, right in front of the stage. It was Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn, Joan Baez, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, David Mansfield, Mick Ronson, T-Bone Burnett, Rob Stoner, etc. None of the members of The Band was there. It was an amazing show, by the way. Joan Baez led a version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," with everybody in the audience singing along and not a dry eye in the house.
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