Born Again Voodooist
For reasons unknown it was a banner year for errata brimming with political intrigue, even paranoia. Any number of conspiracy theories spring to mind while reading them. For example an El Nuevo Herald story that ran July 20, 2000, reported that fallout from the Elian saga had caused a decline in Republican Party membership in these parts. Wait a minute. That's impossible! Everyone knows the Democrats take their orders from Fidel. The correction, which editors craftily dubbed a "clarification," affirmed that the Democratic Party (you know, Janet Reno's people) suffered the loss.

Another intriguing erratum ran after an article by Miami Herald reporter Elinor J. Brecher this past April contained a curious case of mistaken identity. The story was an account of a Bay of Pigs conference in Cuba that brought together veterans from the revolutionary army and five open-minded members of Brigade 2506, the anti-Castro invasion force. Like the invasion, the story had problems. It reported that a real-life relative of John F. Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and Pierre Salinger were among the participants. It should have said Jean Kennedy Smith (JFK's sister) and Richard Goodwin (a JFK advisor) attended. Thanks to operatives deep inside the Knight Ridder organization, Anthony Shriver, who is considering launching a political career in Miami Beach, may have lost the Brigade 2506 vote. Unlike most of its corrections, this one did not include the phrase "The Herald regrets the error." Hmmm.

But the weirdest erratum resulted from an El Nuevo Herald story by Rui Ferreira about Radio Martí, the U.S. government station that broadcasts to Cuba. Angelica Mora, a Chilean journalist, filed a discrimination complaint after station management replaced her with a Cuban-American reporter. The original story read: "According to the testimony of Ramon Cotta -- at the time news director of Radio Martí -- [Office of Cuban Broadcasting director] San Roman [said] that the journalist's departure resulted from suspicions about her professional integrity." For unknown reasons the February 28, 2001, correction presented entirely new information, particularly allegations that the Cuban government had planted stories on Radio Martí and quotes from station employees about an open FBI investigation that was supposed to be kept quiet. "The paragraph that mentions ... Ramon Cotta should have said: “Cotta contacted the office of the Inspector General and reported that San Roman had told him the FBI was conducting an investigation about five reports transmitted by Radio Martí that were planted by the Cuban government. San Roman also told Cotta that Radio Martí employees could be involved in the conspiracy.... San Roman told Cotta not to talk to anyone about the FBI investigation." Oops.

Last December the school board brushed aside a proposal by its maverick member, Marta Perez, to create an ethics commission that would act as a watchdog over the district. Why? Millions squandered on questionable land purchases. Fortunes spent to settle sexual-harassment lawsuits. Administrators with diploma-mill degrees. Overcrowded classrooms. Underpaid teachers. Unwelcome parents. But in rejecting the measure, Perez's colleagues argued that they didn't need an ethics commission because there weren't any problems. Now, that takes chutzpah.
"Hence! Wilt thou lift up Florida?"

"Great Gore --"

"Doth not Alex bootless kneel?"

"Speak, hands for me!"

"Et tu, Alex? Then fall, Gore."

If you want to get back together good and fast, just spend a half-hour or so together in this dark, desolate zone of urban destitution. Seven years ago a huge homeless encampment known as the Mud Flats was spread out here, and despite a multimillion-dollar cleanup and relocation, the area is still a haven for people with serious problems: window-washers, panhandlers, all manner of lame and halt. They don't so much live here anymore as work here -- there's money in those SUVs trapped in lines at the traffic lights leading to the expressway entrance ramps. This is the time and the place where you and your estranged need each other most. You need, at all costs, to escape from these looming shadows, and this you can do with the help of that wonderful person next to you, clutching your arm like a tourniquet, who will never let you go again.
Maybe it's the unobstructed view of the Intracoastal Waterway one gets driving along this winding strip of road that connects Bay Harbor Islands to North Miami. Perhaps it's the fact that, with relatively little traffic coming through, the tollbooth operators will take not only your money but the time to wish you a nice day or a good evening. Whatever the reason we don't mind that it costs 50 cents each way. Really.
Mango's Tropical Cafe
Courtesy of Mango's Tropical Cafe
The frozen drinks and spicy merengue beat have a way of shaking loose a girl's inhibitions. This Ocean Drive patio bar is full of out-of-town women looking for a Miami adventure. Slick back your hair, splash on the alluring cologne, and join the local Lotharios on the dance floor. Don't worry if you don't know how to salsa. If you can fake it well enough, you'll be a mambo king in the eyes of that little blond sales rep from South Jersey.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®