May I suggest that an advertising-supported publication like New Times should tread lightly when reporting on the standards of the telemarketing industry? The indignant tone of Tristram Korten's story about Richard Bronson ("Bull in the Market," September 10) and his alleged practices at Biltmore Securities gave me a good laugh. What, no drugs? No alcohol? Where is the sex?
Bronson's new magazine, Channel, will be in the marketplace trying to compete with New Times and every other media property. And Bronson has got bucks. Want some?
Our Famous Motto: Up with Drunks, Down with Cops
I have very strong doubts about the following cavalier headline that accompanied Kirk Nielsen's "A Collision Course" (September 10): "Drunk drivers are getting away with it these days." Hasn't Mr. Nielsen heard about the roadblocks and checkpoints that spring up all over Miami-Dade County on any given evening? Undoubtedly these have been one major reason for a reduction in DUI arrests. Drivers know that if they are under the influence, the price to pay can be monumental.
And doesn't New Times think all the warnings on radio and TV informing possibly inebriated individuals of the consequences -- huge fines, loss of driving rights, impounding of one's vehicle -- also make many of them think twice about overindulging? How about the ads for a designated driver among a group out on the town for an evening of partying? Don't these ads mean anything? Of course they do.
Why do columnists and newspapers in general take delight in trashing our police? Has New Times ever thought what it would be like not to have police in a community? That would be what we call anarchy!
Enough of this sensationalism.
Ronald C. Rickey
Miami Beach Politicos Shine on Ethics Test
Thank you Ted B. Kissell for the article "Parking and Politics" (September 3). It's time the truth is printed about the corruption between the towing companies and our elected officials in Miami Beach. Did these people ever take a class in ethics? You cannot prohibit private property owners from hiring their own parking enforcement.
Did they forget the past so easily? This is just another Thomas Kramer deal. I will remember this and vote against every one of these officials who will not allow businesses to compete in the same market.
I wish Tremont and Beach towing companies had to abide by the same rules Commissioner Nancy Liebman is requesting for Florida Parking Enforcement.
Public Facilities, Private Profits
Living in South Beach, I found "Parking and Politics" very interesting and very good. When I was living in Antibes (between Nice and Cannes in France), everybody knew the local towing company was the property of the mayor's wife. I guess he could not legally own it. My guess was there was so much money involved that everyone had to get his share.
Anyway, the reason I decided to write is because "Parking and Politics" reminded me of another problem related to parking in Miami Beach: valet parking businesses. Here is my question: Is it legal for privately owned companies to use public property such as curbside parking spaces in order to make money? How can they simply put a cover with a lock on the meter and transform a public facility into a private facility?
Ted B. Kissell replies: Private valet companies operating in Miami Beach pay a fee to the city for use of public parking spaces. Valets who use metered spaces for loading and unloading cars pay seven dollars per space per twelve-hour period. According to city parking director Jackie Gonzalez, metered spaces are used only rarely for storing valet-parked cars. Using a city-owned space for storage costs a valet company ten dollars per space per twelve-hour period. Gonzalez says the vast majority of valet companies store vehicles in private lots owned either by their client or leased from other private property owners (banks, for example). Two entities, the Delano Hotel and Celebrity Parking, lease spaces in the city's Seventeenth Street parking garage at the rate of $50 per space per month.
Gwen Gets the Pope, Neighbors Get the Shaft
After reading Ted B. Kissell's "Divine Right of Way" (September 3), I first thought he must have been munching on magic mushrooms when he implicated Miami-Dade County Commissioner Gwen Margolis in a plot to rob her constituents of the only waterfront green space in the Belmar neighborhood and give it to Archbishop John Favalora. Then I read that she'd had a private audience with the pope last summer arranged by -- you guessed it! It's quid pro quo as usual in Miami.