Letters from the Issue of December 21, 2006
The Hialeah one, of course: In reference to "Wicked" (December 14) by Francisco Alvarado: I am one of the "activists" who seeks to remove Seijas from office. She has repeatedly demonstrated gross incompetence. Consider, for example, articles related to Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Authority, over which she maintained committee chair control; rock blasting; the Urban Development Boundary; and other issues ad infinitum. She has raised a substantial sum of money in just a few weeks to fight the recall effort. From whom does this largesse come? Working-class citizens of Miami-Dade County, or the vested interests that Seijas has so diligently served?
On the matter of whether the commissioner is the victim of an "anti-Cuban" effort: That ignorant claim is the epitome of gutter politics in which Seijas so effectively engages daily. This recall is all about Seijas's lack of competence and service to special interests, not about her heritage.
Not Seraphic: Regarding Emily Witt's "Executing Angel" (December 14): Flawed trial? Unfair appeal decisions? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know all the blather about the justice system having to protect even the worst offenders ... but we're all way better off without this vermin. Good riddance, Angel. See you in Hell.
Jeb Bush needs to read: "Executing Angel," about the case of Angel Diaz, unfortunately pandered to the prosecution and the detective (Greg Smith) who lied to the jury, and coerced a witness by threatening her with jail time and taking her children. The prosecution, including Mr. Kastrenakis, withheld evidence from the defense, such as the addresses of key witnesses who could testify how the detective coerced the witness into fingering Angel Diaz. Judge Amy Steele Donner treated Angel Diaz with disrespect throughout the trial, ignored his pretrial motions, and sandbagged his every attempt to call witnesses. During the sentencing, she gave the jury improper instructions, declared aggravating factors that were illegal, and invited the state to write the sentencing brief, of course slanting to its favor.
As was your article. As a former prosecutor who has studied Angel's transcript for more than a year, I can tell you that if one took the time to read it, and the prosecutor's memorandum, one would clearly find hard evidence of witness tampering, hiding key evidence, and perjury by the police.
Now Angel has been killed by the state in an excruciating manner (it took 36 minutes for him to die), and there is no evidence beyond any reasonable doubt that he is guilty of the Velvet Swing crime. Your paper missed the big story how a "throwaway" can be used as a pawn by trusted government officials to advance their careers. I felt sick reading it.
The governor was no better. Fifteen thousand citizens sent individually stamped and mailed letters that were ignored by Jeb Bush's office. Angel's family got an insincere apology from the governor of Florida's office saying it "appreciated" the pain the family feels.
Thanks but no thanks, they told me to say; they would rather Bush had read the trial transcript.
White Plains, New York
Franco-crap: Regarding your Art Basel coverage (December 7): I attended an after-party event for Art Basel at a club located on Collins around 23rd Street. I am not 100 percent sure of the location. The venue used to be called Rain; however, because of the event, the club changed its name to a French word. Either way, the significance of this e-mail is to berate the festivities and events of Art Basel. Last night at midnight there was an enormous line outside this event, which was open to the public. The place was like a zoo. People were elbowing and screaming vulgarities at one another. The event was disorganized and very disrespectful to everyone.
I used to criticize Miami natives for rudeness, but for the first time I feel proud of living here because our "friendly" French visitors acted like farm animals. The local crowd was treated like garbage at the club, while the French visitors were able to get in with no hassle. Some of our friendly visitors fiercely pushed one of my friends toward the wall. She ended up with a bruise. No one did anything. Furthermore, our visitors continued to step all over us. They didn't understand any English, so they provided fake smiles to push everyone away.
Also, the press was badmouthed. There was a gentleman from British Vogue who was told to f*** off because the host of the event didn't give a s*** about the press. He says he didn't care for any person because he was from New York and New Yorkers don't care about the Miami Herald. He said the Herald because he thought the gentleman was from the Herald. The funny thing is that he had a huge press pass that said British Vogue. With all the hype and propaganda the Herald is giving to the event, I think you should look into the bad side. It's sad that in our own back yard we are discriminated against and our "friendly" and "kindly" visitors from France are treated like royalty. I appreciate the art, but not the way it's exhibited with these people around. I am proud to be a native, and we proved to them that we have manners.
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