Miami Mayor Joe Carollo's response to his critics? Throw the bums, er, commissioners, out. On Purple-Heart hero/radio host Emilio Milian's show Que Opina Usted? (What Do You Think?), which is broadcast on La Poderosa (WWFE-AM 670), thus spoke his vituperativeness: "If you want to improve the City of Miami, then do not vote for any of the incumbents." Three of them are up for election in November: Willy Gort, J.L. Plummer, and Tomas Regalado. Then Carollo subtly alluded to the financial problems of Commissioner Arthur Teele and Regalado as evidence of the pair's inability to responsibly handle taxpayer dollars. Regalado's response: "With friends like that I don't need enemies." The commissioner also contends that, on the same show, Carollo referred to him and Commissioner Joe Sanchez as Dumb and Dumber. Not long ago, on announcer Marta Flores's show, La Noche y Usted (The Night and You) on Radio Mambí (WAQI-AM 710), the elected leader of our subtropical metropolis referred to colleagues Teele and Regalado as Beavis and Butthead, Regalado adds.

Then again maybe Carollo has a point when it comes to cleaning house. Only thing is, educated candidates aren't exactly clamoring to enter Dinner Key. According to the recent Herald spread on the nine city commission candidates, only three -- incumbent Gort and challengers Gus Garcia and Manolo Reyes -- finished college.

The megaplex movie theater and Banana Republic may already be old hat on Lincoln Road, but a New Times reporter recently spotted a new yuppie attraction: a hooker. At about 1:30 a.m. on a weekday a young black woman in a short, slit skirt and stiletto heels offered her services to our intrepid writer, who politely declined. Her next caller refused as well, and nearly caused an accident while speeding off in a red Honda.

Maybe he was just too public. Or maybe the Miami Herald's readership slide was too intimidating. In any case, just last week Robert Rivard, editor and senior vice president of the San Antonio News-Express, was the crown prince, first in line for the job of executive editor at the Pulitzer Prize-winning Herald. Now his candidacy is dead. In San Antonio his staff had been chattering about the possibility for months. A few weeks ago he discussed the idea in an editors' meeting. The town's alternative paper, the Current, ran a story about Rivard's wide-open job search. At the Herald an electronic staff bulletin board dubbed Rivard the executive editor "we don't need" -- because the paper has been functioning fine without a top man since Doug Clifton headed off to Cleveland four months ago. Then on Monday the New York Times ran a story terming Rivard the "leading contender for top editor at the Miami Herald." By Tuesday morning the deal was off. In an e-mail Rivard told his newsroom he had turned down the offer. Publisher Alberto Ibargüen issued a terse memo confirming that Rivard was out. Now Ibargüen is in a bind. He told the Times: "I intend to wrap this up soon." A recommendation from Riptide: Look in your own newsroom for a candidate. There's no place like home.

New Times food critic Jen Karetnick has won first place in a national competition sponsored by the Association of Food Journalists. Karetnick's reviews, designated as columns, were rated the best published in a paper with less than 200,000 circulation. Among other winners in the competition were food writers from the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the Minneapolis Tribune. Felicidades!

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse