A Pat on the Back for Patrick
And a swat in the behind for the principal: I'm not surprised to read about all the discriminatory acts in Francisco Alvarado's November 8 story about Patrick Williams, "Good Teacher, Bad Principal." I recently graduated from Turner Tech and have personally been through some harsh moments myself. But to put a great teacher like Mr. Williams through so much is completely unacceptable. Mr. Williams is not only a teacher to his Spanish classes but also a teacher to every and anybody who is willing to learn about life. I was never lucky enough to get into his class, but certain short conversations we had in the hallway always made me think. It went from his saying "pull your pants up" to my reading his doctoral assignments. He taught me things that some of these robot teachers would never dare. Principal Valmarie Rhoden should be stripped of her cushy position and given a swift reality check on what's really going on in Turner's halls. Mr. Williams is just another black man who tried to make a difference and ended up a casualty.
Via Web commentary
Bad Choice of Words
New Times eats its words: Regarding Francisco Alvarado's November 8 feature, "The Grow Me State": How could you publish that "Miami Cubans, the same demographic group that made the Magic City a cocaine mecca in the Eighties," are also responsible for growing marijuana? Oh, please! How could you let a mediocre writer without talent offend a whole community when only some people are involved in an illegal business? Mr. Alvarado is a disgusting snake who is using this paper to attack an entire community. Do you really think Cubans are the only group that produces drugs? Or are you too scared to name all the other ethnic groups that make drugs? Of course you are, because you're cowards. Typical of people like you and your commercial paper.
Osama Paints the Town
C'mon, Luis is no Osama: It is a shame that a known terrorist and murderer is being glorified by Cuban-American extremists, as Janine Zeitlin mentioned in her November 1 article, "Cuban Painters and Fugitives." Luis Posada Carriles is a man who blew up an airplane, killing 76 innocent people. He also "slept like a baby" after claiming responsibility for arranging to have a bomb placed in a Havana hotel, killing an Italian tourist. Can you imagine Saudi Arabian exiles sponsoring an Osama bin Laden art show, or Iraqis in America having a Saddam Hussein exhibit? However, I do admire Cuban dissidents such as Eloy Gutiérrez Menoyo and Osvaldo Payá, who advocate a peaceful solution to the situation in Cuba.
Via Web commentary
Or at least that's what Jay says: Francisco Alvarado's October 4 article "Welcome to Surfside" missed the point.
Police officers who lie are dangerous to every one of us. Politics have no place in dealing with untruthful cops. Numerous public documents and sworn statements from former Surfside Police Ofcr. John Davis's personnel files and private employer statements clearly show him to be a chronic liar. Davis lied on his Surfside employment application. Florida Department of Law Enforcement standards term this a serious violation that must be reported. It is an offense considered so serious that the FDLE is considering revocation of his police credentials. He omitted an Adult Abuse Ex Parte Order of Protection requested by his wife and served against him (Marion County CV394-172DR) and further failed to include the fact that he was detained by police in Quincy, Illinois, for kidnapping his child the day the protection order was granted (April, 19, 1994). Then there are the charges of brutality and discharging of a firearm. Had any of those been revealed, he never would have been hired, according to the sworn statement of former Chief Shawn O'Reilly. How safe would your wife or daughter be if she were pulled over by this admitted womanizer?
Who knows what a danger and liability Davis is for the town. In the state attorney's investigation of drug-planting charges, he took the Fifth.
Not the Red Baron
Münchhausen, you silly rabbit!: I had a blast reading Janine Zeitlin's portrait of the guarimbero en jefe Robert Alonso in her October 11 article "Guarimba!" It seems Alonso has a bit of the Baron Münchhausen in him. Perhaps not, but Münchhausens are thick on the ground in the exile ghettos.
En todo caso, muchas cosas buenas.
Ramón A. Mestre
Timoney Is Tops
Says Norman da man!: I was outraged at Tamara Lush's article about Miami Police Chief John Timoney that appeared in your September 20 issue, "America's Worst Cop."
The City of Miami hired Timoney because he had the reputation for being a no-nonsense chief who could rid the town of the nonprofessionalism, corrupt practices, race-laden allegations, and general ineffectiveness. At the time of his hiring, the city knew Timoney was very active in national and international police organizations and was requested to give seminars and advice about police actions and security. In fact I believe Timoney's reputation was the most significant factor in his being hired. To now attempt to besmirch his character by using his business travel against him is, in a word, ridiculous. Criminals do not wait for the police chief to leave town before committing illegal acts.
Portions of your article are predicated upon unproven allegations from the police union, whose leadership, of course, has an ax to grind with this outstanding public servant. Where is the proof?
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Your article decries the MPD's planning and conduct during the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit. Still, the fact remains that under Timoney's watch, the City of Miami suffered none of the outlandish riots and property damage that Seattle and other places saw. I believe the precautions taken were directly responsible for the relative order maintained during the FTAA.
Chief Timoney has the respect of the officials and the community in general. I doubt your intended hatchet job will affect this. Nor should it.