Steering clear of Opa-locka: I gotta say dude, I loved your story ("Baghdad West" by Calvin Godfrey, April 26). Everything about it was so on point. I'd love it if your next story was about the city officials who just show up to collect government checks and pretend there's no poverty in the area. I know they are low on funds and cop morale is low too, but what are we talking about here eight city blocks? It's pretty sad. I can't blame Mr. Rojas for getting the hell outta dodge. It don't pay to get killed on the job. Keep up the good work. Guys like you are a dying breed; everybody is always playing it safe. Nobody tells it like it is anymore. I'll be looking forward to your insight on stories to come. I'm a professional photographer I shoot rappers and rock bands all over Miami-Dade and Broward counties. I thought there was no place I couldn't handle, and I've photographed some shady cats in some crazy, dangerous neighborhoods. But I sure as hell won't set foot in "Baghdad West," that's fo sho!
He fits right in: Regarding "Bruno the Absent," by Frank Alvarado (April 26): Sounds like Bruno has all the necessary attributes to be a life-long Miami-Dade Commissioner. No wonder we can't wade out of the sewer.
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Poor kids: Regarding "Don't Even Mullet," by Niki D'Andrea (April 26): I was so impressed with the piece ... I am now taking my family of six boys to get new haircuts. Yup, they will all be mullet heads!
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A hog by any other name: I was pointed to this review ("Having Seconds" by Lee Klein, April 19) by the great blog Ethicurean.com, and they were right on target: Bravo for one of the best restaurant reviews I've read in a long time. Good writing on the food, some great one-liners and please keep up the good work exposing the misuse of labels and brand names (e.g., White Marble Farms). If only every restaurant reviewer did that kind of research. I hate to think of shady suppliers and chefs making extra profit by falsely jumping on (and exploiting) the gourmet/local/organic/whatever bandwagon while honest, hardworking producers get left behind.
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No comparison: Frankly the rivalry among fans of Engelbert Humperdinck and Tom Jones ("The Devil in Mr. Jones" by Greg Baker, April 12) has been going on for decades and it never ceases to be annoying.... A true music critic would know that the two entertainers only shared the same manager at one time and nothing else. Each has his own separate style, demeanor, and appearance. Personally I find Engelbert's performances much more enjoyable, as he is more than a singer: He is an entertainer. This is his 40th year in the entertainment industry and frankly, the press could be a little kinder and give applause to his remarkable career, which has endured longer than some of Tom Jones's plastic surgeries. Engelbert has aged gracefully and without the cosmetic contouring ... and he has nearly five years on Tom Jones, unbelievable as it seems. Today's music contributors are sadly off-key when it comes to recognizing real talent ... talent that only Engelbert Humperdinck owns and delivers.
OK, we will!: I read Emily Witt's article, "Frotesters" (April 5), and I have to wonder ... are you just writing this for the prurient value, or is there a purpose to it?
What no one seems to ask, including the New Times, is where is the discipline and oversight supposed to begin? In 2001, officers were investigated and reassigned when an inmate advised the State Attorney's office that food, drugs, and personal items were being smuggled in through correctional officers. Perhaps the public has forgotten about the inmate who was murdered in July 2000 while at TGK, because the correctional officer was outside shooting hoops with the inmates while the victim was being murdered by a fellow inmate.
You want titillation, how about facts stuff that really exposes a problem? You wrote an article with a disrespectful caricature of the director; how about a photo of the black corrections officers who treat the department like their own private ghetto? Dressing like the hood, with their fancy dental work sorry, but the United States Marines even put an end to visible tattoos last month. Improving the professional look of a department begins on the top, by cleaning up the bottom.
Put that in your letter to the editor.
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New Times staff writers Rob Jordan and Emily Witt won honorable mentions in this year's Edgar A. Poe Award, which is administered by the White House Correspondents' Association and recognizes excellence in coverage of news with national or regional significance. Jordan was cited for his "wrenching accounts of the daily lives of illegal immigrants" ("Deconstruction," June 29, 2006), Witt for her "meticulous reporting about the lives of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo" ("Pearl of the Antilles," June 8, 2006), and about the "insurmountable odds facing those who seek a fair trial from federal immigration judges" ("Mock Trial," October 19, 2006).