Letters from the Issue of September 13, 2007
Accuracy Is Our Bond
We are numb: While I commend Miami New Times and Joanne Green for the coverage of Filipina comfort women, "Comfortably Numb" (August 30), I need to point out a number of inaccurate facts and misleading ideas:
1. The island of Luzon is misspelled.
2. Narcisa Claveria never testified she was "playing" when the Japanese soldiers arrived at her home, nor did she say she was raped 40 times a day.
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3. Although it is true that three Korean comfort women were the first to go public in 1991, Maria Rosa Henson was the first surviving Filipina comfort woman to speak out, on September 18, 1992.
4. I never taught creative writing in Minnesota. I was at a conference for the Filipina American Women's Network with other artists and writers like dancer/activist Pearl Ubungen, whose performance of Bamboo Women explored the issue of the Filipina comfort women.
5. My Fulbright in 2001 was a series of interviews to follow up the 1999 interviews with 15 of the women of LILA Pilipina, which — by the way — is the correct acronym for Liga ng mga Lolang Pilipina, League of Filipina Grandmothers. Its acronym is not LILA Filipina, as the article stated.
6. Perhaps this is the worst error of all: "Cristeta Alcober, now a sprightly 81-year-old...." Lola Cristeta Alcober passed away in June 2006.
Professor M. Evelina Galang, English
University of Miami
Editor's note: We apologize for errors both in fact and lack of clarity. The corrected article can be read in its entirety here.
They Work Hard
At county hall: Of course the big deal in Frank Alvarado's "Dade Disclosure" (August 23) is that Benigna Marko is a woman. Had it been a man who had done such things, it would have been business as usual. No one out there should throw the first stone unless they are spotless.
We are all hard workers out here. This is a factory and not the country club environment portrayed in your story. No one here would ever have five minutes to study homework on the job, let alone time to fool around. And that includes our supervisors!
We would like the ethics committee to recheck our salary reclassification. It is only fair!
Help the Soldiers
They're saving our behinds: Isaiah Thompson did an excellent job in his August 23 article "Ramadi Madness." Truly this story touches a very dear part of me. I served in Desert Shield/Storm. I personally know Junior Telfort. We are comrades at VFW Post 8195.
I will bring this issue to the attention of the state commander of the VFW and even to President Bush. This unit should be praised for surviving the Ar Ramadi war zone. That these soldiers returned to civilian territory and were treated in such a way is truly an embarrassment.
Overall one's self-discipline and willingness is the key to living with posttraumatic stress disorder. The Veterans Administration medicine, medical staff, and therapy can sometimes work on a negative state of mind. That is my opinion.
Veterans of World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and Desert Storm, as well as current conflicts, have all told me the following: We are often rushed to war and return wounded, and authorities are slow to fix our injuries.
Via the Internet
Wish It Weren't So
Dang smart letter: Thanks for the wake-up call and the way in which Lee Klein delivered the message in his review "Wishful Thinking" (August 23). Thanks also for your support in the past.
There is truly no place for complacency when striving for excellence. In nearly 10 years of operation, we have never failed to earn high marks for food, service, and ambience. Complacency sometimes does creep into even the most driven and most well-meaning team of professionals. I take from Mr. Klein's review that it is our time now to sharpen up and pay even closer attention to every detail in order to stay at the top of the list.
Please do come back again to experience our enlarged menu, new uniforms, the fabulous (and well-described) tropical fruit dessert, and the total Wish experience that we all expect.
All the best, be well, until next time.
Owner of Wish
More on the Crewmeister
Promoting his book rather than his kids: In response to Joseph Garcia's letter regarding Superintendent Rudy Crew in your August 23 issue, I would like to offer my impressions. Upon Dr. Crew's arrival, I, too, had hopes he would improve our educational system and was encouraged by his initial actions and eloquent speeches. Somewhere along the way, Dr. Crew lost focus and has not provided the leadership we all expected. There was the Northwestern scandal. And his costly School Improvement Zone initiative has not yielded any impressive results. We now have 26 F schools instead of five. As for Mr. Garcia's excuse for Dr. Crew's "disinterest" when meeting with a board member as simply being "half asleep," I concur. Dr. Crew is definitely "half asleep," because he rarely attends committee meetings, rudely leaves public hearings, and most definitely is half asleep in improving the education of our students.
Yet apologists like Mr. Garcia and the board members who voted for Crew's bonus continue to provide excuses and misleading figures to justify his ineffective leadership. The superintendent who leads our school system today is more interested in promoting his book than in promoting our students to higher education.
End the Embargo
And begin the boom: Poor Miami. It has a Fidel fixation. Which proves the need for your August 16 article "The Greatest Generation." Get rid of the embargo; then get ready for boom time. Part of the reason Miami has been termed America's poorest city is that our elected officials in Washington have exchanged political favors to maintain a useless embargo against Cuba instead of bringing badly needed federal funds to our area.
Obviously the era of Claude Pepper and Dante Fascell is gone. It is time these elected officials work toward eliminating the Cuba embargo. When it is gone, I can safely forecast a boom in South Florida's economy.
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