Punish the Victim

Letters from the Issue of March 31 , 2005

Sounds all wrong, which is why the cops and prosecutors need scrutiny: I believe Tristram Korten's story "How to Get Away with Murder" (March 24), in which homicide charges were dropped against a defendant after the eyewitness initially was not completely truthful with detectives, raises serious questions about training, policies, and operating procedures at the Miami-Dade Police Department and the State Attorney's Office. [Editor's note: Witness Celia Lola, who says she was raped after attackers murdered her boyfriend, was later charged with three counts of "false report of a crime to law enforcement," all misdemeanors with sentences of up to a year in jail.]

Without having studied the case in detail and without having heard the perspectives of the police and prosecutors involved, I do not wish to jump to conclusions. But to raise just one of the many questions that should be asked: Why was Ms. Lola not referred immediately to a treatment program like the Victim Services Center? The matter of kidnapping and rape aside, it was evident from the start that she was a victim in that she had witnessed up close the fatal beating of a person with whom she had an intimate relationship. Had she received timely assistance, it is likely that a number of problems down the line could have been averted.

Santiago Leon


Smear Frontier

Free weekly columnist takes abuse to unparalleled new heights: In the March 17 edition of New Times, The Bitch included among her gossip items a piece about my life partner, Arthur Liebhaber, director of adult services at the Miami Beach Library ("The Power of Refusal").

My partner and his staff are hard-working, dedicated people who have put in long, difficult hours opening our new library. He is well known to be a polite and considerate professional. I have been with him on many occasions when people who've been library patrons for years have recognized and thanked him for his work.

The Bitch's characterization of "his favorite tone poem about alienated labor" is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read. It doesn't even mean anything. Perhaps if she had listened to him or bothered to ask, she would have discovered that, through prior experience, he and his staff have learned that sending voter registrations through interoffice mail to the main library with the hope they would reach the elections office has resulted in missing registrations and complaints.

If this unsigned gossip column is intended as journalism, then perhaps The Bitch should be required to follow at least the minimum conventions of reporting, including offering the subject a chance to respond. It seems to me that her "favorite tone poem" is abusing the power of the press to smear a good man.

Jeffrey Falick

Miami Beach

WLRN-FM: Broadcast


Ital-K won't back down -- not now, not ever: Regarding The Bitch's column "A Great Disturbance in the Force, Continued" (February 17), Kevin "Ital-K" Smith continues his battle against the management at WLRN-FM (91.3) to regain his position as host of Sounds of the Caribbean, which is perhaps the best show of its kind in the entire world.

Regardless of what management says, they are intent on eliminating all music programming at the station. Kevin is extremely talented and dedicated to carrying on the legacy of Clint O'Neil, who originated the program 26 years ago.

Kevin is now taking a back seat, on the air only one night per week. This is a result of his being outspoken about discriminatory and unlawful practices on the part of management. They keep trying to get rid of him but he refuses to bow out. Kevin is a true asset to our community, a father of five who works seven days a week. Please help keep his story alive.

Chuck Sussman

Boca Raton

WLRN-FM: Massacred Music

Oh great, just what we need -- more idiotic chat shows: Long-time reader, first-time writer. I take issue with a couple of items in The Bitch's column "A Great Disturbance in the Force, Continued." First, I totally agree with her take on WLRN-FM's revamped weekend programming (with one exception; see below). Because of the inexorable "corporatization" of public radio (and TV), I had not renewed my membership before this Saturday-night massacre took place (daytime Saturday and Sunday were also massacres). Had I not done so, I definitely would have cancelled my membership after all those inane shows were put on the weekend schedule.

However, A Prairie Home Companion is not only bearable, it's very well written and well performed and is the one bright spot left on WLRN's weekend schedule.

Speaking of scheduling, I'm growing a bit weary of the complaining I read in New Times about the previous seven nights of Caribbean music (Sounds of the Caribbean) having been cut back to five. (And contrary to Mr. Kevin Smith's claim, the Tavis Smiley Show dealt with black and Latino issues, but NPR didn't see fit to continue its relationship with Mr. Smiley.)

That's still some 25 hours per week of Caribbean music compared to zero minutes of classical music. With the death of South Florida's only full-time classical music station a couple of years ago, WLRN could have stepped up and offered regular classical-music programming as many public radio stations do. Instead we got two hours (two hours!) of classical music on Sunday night's Performance Today program. Now that program has been dropped too. So if WLRN is reaching out to affluent listeners, it's to those affluent listeners who hate classical music. As an associate faculty member at one of the local universities, I'm certainly not one of those affluent listeners.

I miss listening to public radio. It used to be a welcome alternative to corporate media, but with sponsors like Wal-Mart and oil companies, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting I'm afraid has worked overtime to put the corporate back in CPB. Today I get most of my news from international sites on the Internet and most of my classical music listening from live performances and my own collection.

Ross Barentyne-Truluck


Food Critic Chewed Out

Delicious food meets foolish writer: I read Lee Klein's "Low Prices, Low Prospects" (February 3) and think he should find a new line of work. Tinello Cucina Italiana is one of the loveliest neighborhood restaurants you could find. The food is freshly prepared, well proportioned, and seasoned to perfection. My husband and I lunch and dine there often in our efforts to be healthy.

I have my old high school friends get together at Tinello's and everybody thinks it is delicious -- and the service is wonderful. We could not be treated better at the Ritz!

Negative reviews should not be printed without validation.

Kathy Wolfarth

Miami Beach


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