He Paid Top Dollar
School board guys don't break rules: We wish to respond to Francisco Alvarado's September 4 item in Riptide, "Forget Rudy Crew." Once Agustin Barrera became aware that an e-mail was circulated to the press containing the innuendo that he had received a "special deal" for work on his house by Howard Dison (who independently owns a construction company, D2 Construction, and is an employee of Jasco Construction Co.) because of his position as school board chair, Mr. Barrera immediately and voluntarily submitted all of hisdocuments on this matter to the office of the Inspector General of Miami-Dade County, Chris Mazzella, for review. These documents included plans, contracts, bank statements, loans, and permits.
Mr. Barrera's comment on this matter is "Not only did I pay for the services performed by D2 Construction Co. on my house, I paid top dollar!"
We are sorry that Mr. Barrera did not return your reporter's call. However, we wish to inform you that he reacted immediately and responsibly to this innuendo.
VP Public Relations, Leo A Daly
Carol City Ain't Miami Lakes
And Uncle Luke ain't Britney Spears: In response to Jason Handelsman's "Uncle Luke Knows Best" (September 4): Luther Campbell has never lived in a home in Miami Lakes. He might think he lives in Miami Lakes, but he is several miles north of Miami Lakes and probably closer in distance to Carol City.
Nor is he popular: I went to the 2 Live Crew show and the group was great without you, Uncle Luke. So you wrote the hooks. Big deal. You're full of yourself. Stick to raising your family, and if you are so experienced, WTF have you been doing? There's a lot of talent in Miami, and I haven't seen you help anyone blow up. So, less talk, more rock.
Via web commentary
Or hometown heroes?: Gus Garcia-Robert's story "Yer Out!" (August 14) clearly shows how envied a team can be. It's not those kids' fault they're so good. If the other baseball teams had the same dedication, maybe they'd be at least half as good as the Kendall team. Mad props to them!
Nas Is Nice
Ben is not: Ben Westhoff's review of Nas's new album (August 7) really caught my attention. I have followed Nas throughout his entire career and own every album. I am let down by what you wrote. Of all the pathetic rappers with absolutely no message or educated opinions, you go after Nas? Does it intimidate you that a black man from Queens could be compared to other musicians such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Bruce Springsteen?
As a journalist for a cutting-edge newspaper, you should be appalled by the fact that Nas wasn't allowed to call his album Ni**er, and that the artist from Panama, Nigga, had to change his name to Flex. This is the real problem. Keeping the word ni**er and not cracker as an obscenity keeps the black man isolated.
Your sarcastic remarks about him calling his next album Nazi truly offend me and millions of other intelligent hip-hop fans around the world. It is because of you that I have to put two little stars on that word every time I write it.
You do not have to agree with his message, but at least give him credit for taking the risk to call his album that and for having strong opinions about all the issues that other rappers don't even comprehend or know exist. Try to title your article "Ni**er," and I'm sure you will lose your job. This is what Nas is fighting for: freedom of speech, freedom of press, and equal rights for all.
Rodrigo Diaz McVeigh
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Miami New Times calendar editor Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik garnered three awards in this year's Black Weblog Awards. Her beauty blog, Afrobella, won the popular vote in the categories of Best Culture, Best Style and Fashion, and Best Writing in a Blog.