Lean and Green
It's the future: As the owner of EuroProspect Alternative Energy, a wholesale supplier of renewable energy equipment, I applaud and agree with 100 percent of "Clever Green" (Emily Witt, June 21). We are based in Miami, yet 98 percent of our business is with Latin America and the Caribbean, owing to the disastrous lack of qualified local installers. While up at the Florida Solar Energy Center a couple of weeks ago, we tried to get contacts for more installers here in Miami. But we were unsuccessful in reaching anyone because the contractors listed on the FSEC Website (and I took the time to do this one day) have mostly disconnected phones or don't work this region. The green house Ms. Witt described in the article is similar to the one my husband and I are building on a small Caribbean island called Roatan, where electricity is the second-most expensive in the world (after Denmark). Our house will be a zero-energy house with solar panels, a solar water heater, and, yes, cisterns! I encourage Floridians to follow our example. Not only does it make sense as an investment, but also you will not be burning or contributing to the burning of fossil fuels. And that, for us, is the number one reason we are doing this. I seriously think that in the near future, solar will be the way to go, as is now the case in Europe. Whoever gets on the bandwagon now will find a huge untapped niche in the market, as well as a rewarding career.
Tamara Oyarzabal, director
EuroProspect Alternative Energy
Chongas are universal: Regarding "Chongas!" (June 14) by Tamara Lush: Your chonga article is hilarious and right on! I read it yesterday, alone on the S bus going from the Government Center to Miami Beach, and I was laughing out loud during the ride. People must have thought I was one crazy chonga, but I didn't care; yours is the best piece I've read in New Times since I moved here a year ago. You are right on top of the trend. I'm originally from Brooklyn, and there we have our own version of "chonga," called "guidette," defined in the Urban Dictionary online as "a female guido; characteristic for having an absurdly long Italian name, breast implants, and tight clothing."
My new music video -- "Do You Have a Lover?" -- shows the guidette in action at a mostly lesbian bar in Noo Yawk. I invite you to check it out (youtube.com/watch?v=dkQHn6gMaxI), because it shows that every community has its own version of the chonga.
Shame on the chongas: I read your article and found it to be fascinating and interesting. I came from Cuba in 1961 and have been residing in Miami for the past 46 years. This article gives insight into and background about Cuban immigrants who moved to the United States after 1980. It is pathetic and sad that these girls act and portray themselves as street whores. Their parents should be ashamed. No wonder the greater Miami area is in a sad state of affairs.
Policing the Police
Good luck, Mike: Regarding "Exposé Fray" (Francisco Alvarado, June 21): As a broadcaster, I can understand both sides. There's a new general manager at CBS 4, but the station must have known that when reporter Mike Kirsch did that story about the police, the police would do something like this.
As someone who grew up watching CBS 4 and still watches it, I am disappointed about Kirsch's firing and wish him success in finding a new job in South Florida.
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You've got cojones, kid: I was in jail the day Miami-Dade Police spokesperson Linda O'Brien went to the news media as if the charges against me were fact, and I was never able to tell my side of the story till now. Those charges have since been dropped. Your courageous reporting might bring this whole thing to a head. You established that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is aware of Miami-Dade Police Dir. Robert Parker's statement, and you brought the county mayor into it as one of the public officials who must request an investigation of Parker, in addition to the county commissioners and Florida's governor requesting Parker be investigated. Why aren't they doing it? Why isn't Parker being investigated? The public should know. I think this is a very significant story for the community. Perjury is a second-degree felony. You've got a police director who has perjured himself and county and state leaders "covering" for him. I hope you stay on this. Nobody else seems to have the balls to do it.
Awash in Awards
This past weekend Miami New Times received several awards in the Florida Press Association's Better Weekly Newspaper contest, including first place in General Excellence for the second year in a row. Michael Shavalier won second place in Overall Graphic Design. Emily Witt garnered three awards: first place in the Feature Story category for "Band of Outsiders" (April 13, 2006); second in Business Reporting for "Never Forget You" (March 2, 2006); and third in In-Depth News Reporting for "Mock Trial" (October 19, 2006). Chuck Strouse took first in Serious Column Writing for "Listen Up, McClatchy" (July 27) and "No Garden Party" (November 16). Josh Schonwald's "A Fish Farmer's Tale" (January 19, 2006) came in first place in Agricultural Writing, and his "Koi Crazy" (March 16, 2006) won second in Outdoors Writing. Joanne Green garnered second place in Investigative Reporting for "Rough Love" (June 22, 2006). Food critic Lee Klein took third place in Criticism. And Mariah Blake's "Jesus Redux" (February 9, 2006) won third in Religion Writing.