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Letters from the Issue of February 23, 2006

Chief Complaint

Never, ever happened: It came to my attention there were quotes in The Bitch's story "Never, or Then" (February 16) that were attributed to me which I did not say. These comments (which I did not make) were derogatory to the Cuban community and may damage the relations of this department with the Cuban community that we have worked so hard to develop. It should be noted that during the event, my executive assistant, Angel Calzadilla, was with me the entire time, and he attests that those words were not uttered. I have nothing but respect for the Cuban community as well as the other communities of Miami. I am very proud to serve this diverse city and would not engage in any conversation that would disparage any group.

Chief John F. Timoney
Miami Police Department

Editor's note: Calzadilla, a Cuban American who was in charge of the chief's security at the Ocean Drive magazine party described in the column, confirms the chief's claim. "We were together the whole friggin' night. He did not say it, does not feel it, does not think it." Two New Times reporters, however, contend they witnessed the outburst and that Calzadilla was not present.


Eat, Drink, But

Don't do it on weekends: Another great review by Lee Klein ("Glamo-R-ous," February 16)! I've been dying to try out o-R-o but, as always, was waiting on Mr. Klein for the final word. Now, instead of getting cranky while waiting on a Saturday night, we'll check it out on a Thursday. Looking forward to the next one.

Carolina Gelber
Miami Beach


Jeez Louise

He saved her kid: Concerning Mariah Blake's article about the man claiming to be Jesus Christ, "Jesus Redux" (February 9): My name is Belinda Mondui, and I am 47 years old and from Honduras. I am very happy to belong to the ministry Growing in Grace. I am prosperous and have a giant family of faith. Many of the things documented in Mariah Blake's article about Jesus Christ the man (José Luis De Jesus) are true. I can say with great pride I have lived and seen the changes in my life and in my family. I have four children ages 18 to 26, and one of them suffered from leukemia. But now we are free of all suffering. My daughter is happy. I, like many others, enjoy the Truth as proclaimed by Him. Listen and you will see it is the only truth, and it will make you happy.

Belinda Mondui
Via the Internet

But he never claimed to be Paul: This is a brief note congratulating you on an article well written. I am a successful mortgage director for a company here in Miami, and I have been attending the church in question for more than eleven years. I have to tell you that I am not a Bible thumper, but I do know how to read. The great thing about Growing in Grace is that everything that is preached is written in the Bible. It is not interpretation, mind you; it is what is written ("The Devil has been destroyed," Heb 2:14, et cetera.) I don't want to tire you by citing biblical scriptures, but there are countless in the doctrine.

José Luis De Jesus Miranda always tells the congregation: "Don't say that I am God; not José Luis. I am a man and have the same flesh or worse than you. If you want to hear the word of God, close your eyes and the words you hear will be unmistakable."

By the way, he has never stated he is the reincarnation of Paul. What he has said is he is the only one (and please attempt to prove him wrong) who is preaching the exact doctrine as written by Paul in his fourteen epistles (Romans to Hebrews).

A question I would ask myself if I weren't a part of this church is: How could churches spring up around the world without this guy even visiting? Congregations in Italy, Australia, Spain, and Cuba, to name a few, are places that are flourishing and they have never had the pleasure of seeing this guy in person. Yet they are convinced the words he speaks are the true Gospel as was meant for the gentiles. The problem is that the Gospel given to Peter was meant for the Jews and taught by Jesus of Nazareth, himself a Jew and who was preaching to God's chosen people, the Jews.

They turned their back on him, and to this day they are still awaiting the Messiah. Prior to that, all the teachings were for God's chosen people, the Jews, through the Holy Bible. That is really pretty easy to comprehend.

Andy Soberon
Miami

He has clean hands: I think born-again Christians should leave De Jesus alone and let him play Daddy. You have to have common sense. They probably do not believe he is Christ. The fact is that one hand washes the other. Daddy does this for you, and you do this for Daddy. Also, anything for the press, if you know what I mean.

I do have to say, your newspaper is pretty interesting, especially now more than ever before. Your ratings are definitely going higher with the Puerto Rican Jesus Christ! Compliments to the press.

Vincent La Manna
North Miami Beach


Good Critic

Good eye: Regarding Gina Kaufmann's "She's a Brick House" (February 2): Real nice story. I have heard the lady sing and concur with the author. I am a record producer and am thankful when journalists are able to identify talent. Unhappily that is not always the case. Hope to hear from that writer again; she also is a talent!

Gerald Belnavis
Miramar


Bad, Bad Leroy ...

Baddest man in the whole damn town: Thank you for Forrest Norman's insightful "The Battle of Biscayne" (February 2), which, as an inadvertent but pleasant aside, clearly illustrates the poetic irony of Leroy Griffith's Miami business life. He's been responsible for creating the seamier side of Miami's smut business — including strip clubs, titty bars, raunchy advertising, and making Miami a true "excitation destination" for untold millions of conventioneers (by his own vague admission). Now he faces the paradoxical appreciation of the land under his venues and thus the greedy vulture eyes of the municipality that hypocritically causes him nothing less than sheer harassment.

The proof of this is very easy to spot — just confront city commissioners with the blunt question, "Sir, have you ever visited any of Mr. Griffith's clubs?" and then stand firm. Their reaction will be comically intense — nothing less than fumbling, bumbling, and tripping over themselves to make tracks and vanish. Especially when they notice the handheld camera and tape recorder.

Perhaps a picture of one of them stuffing his kids' college money into the garter belt of a "beautiful" strip dancer while large bosoms are slapping him in the face would bring tears of happiness to his loving wife. We know who you are.

Then we have the "nonreality" reason for the intended strategic demise of Mr. Griffith's establishment (at 79th Street) — the "upgrading" of the area. Wow! It looks like the king of the figurative Related Phallic Development Group wants to erect another $450 million monument to his prowess while tossing in $13.2 million in taxpayer funds.

Let's forget, for a moment, the unacceptable inconvenience of disrupted traffic, construction noise, and pollution — the potholes the size of daisy-cutter craters. How about the area itself? I'll bet with 2450 new condos going up, many of the local residents are lined up to purchase $650,000 one-bedrooms. They sure look like the right crowd. Many of them are probably saving up now. Perhaps Mr. Perez could just put a hotel in the lobby and centralize the area's nocturnal business.

No, it's simply another bullshit promise of a better life — all flash and no cash (other than the taxpayers' pork barrel). Looking at the dubious history of Miami, it is apparent the only thing that matters here is money — no matter how you get it. Why Mr. Griffith holds on and tolerates such abuse from the very people he has supported over the decades is truly bizarre.

Nobody here seems to get it. Miami is a Third-World holding tank/springboard for transients of the globe. And it always will be. No speeky eengflitscht. Habla español?

Ernesto Sandoval
Miami


Staff Writer

Miami New Times has an immediate opening for a full-time staff writer. We're looking for a journalist with at least two years of professional experience who has the ability to create in-depth and compelling stories that explore the issues, events, and personalities of Miami. Qualified applicants should send cover letter, resumé, and clips to:

Chuck Strouse
Editor
Miami New Times
2800 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33137

No phone calls or e-mails, please.


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