Norland High Debate Prompts Riptide Critic

This morning, Riptide posted a blog about a former pot smuggler's plan to organize a Norland Senior High reunion. It notes Bruce Perlowin -- the west coast's biggest marijuana importer in the seventies -- has been planning a 40-year reunion-festival for the class of 1969. He has gotten some opposition from Ron Sachs, an opinionated former Miami Herald reporter and Spokesperson for Governor Lawton Chiles. (Check out the blog here.)

After reading the article, Sachs -- who believes Riptide should have been harder on the hippie-turned-criminal -- wrote a letter New Times. He noted Perlowin's reunion has since been canceled, and that we should have reported that. (Perlowin, however, counters the event is still on. He says it has gone from "official" to "unofficial" and has changed locations.)

Sach's e-mail reads:

"It is unfortunate that the real facts run counter to the perspective [Riptide] wanted to provide your readers...to the point of ignoring them and romanticizing Bruce for, essentially, trying to scam his class. To call him an 'idealist' is the most pathetic stretch of all. I am sorely disappointed in this major shortfall in your paper's journalism.

Norland Class of 1969 IS having a reunion....Far more simple and traditional than Bruce's scheme-turned-scam.....I know this isn't some major piece for Miami New Times, but when a reporter goes out of her way to get a simple story wrong -- for the sake of making it a better yarn -- it makes one wonder about the bigger stories that really do matter. Honest mistakes are one thing -- but an intentional deception for turning a good line or popping out a hoped-for amusing piece of fictionalized news reporting is not journalism at it best."

We'd like to hear thoughts from Norland High Alumi.

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