A steamy Latin dance becomes the focus of a superheated cyberbattle

No amount of money can buy that kind of institutional memory. "There is no mathematical substitute," says Herald editor Tom Fiedler. "[We] cannot replicate that experience no matter how many people we throw at it."

Payne, who is 56 years old, got a juicy buyout offer and figured it was as good a time as any for a career change. "I'm too young to get old doing the same thing," she says.

Undercurrents bids adios to Frank Vargas, who died August 6 of a heart attack at age 42.

Vargas appeared in these pages many times and always for the right reasons -- as a crusader for equal-opportunity housing, a consumer advocate, a leader, and a successful entrepreneur. He was direct and fair and dealt with people as a man who fully understood that time is a finite resource not to be wasted on chicanery. When the Latin Builders Association wanted to expand from Miami-Dade County into Broward, it chose Vargas to lead the charge. But he didn't like the political folderol that is integral to that organization, so he quit. Same story after he was appointed to the Broward County Charter Review Commission last April -- too much insiderism, too many egos, too few good intentions.

We'll miss Vargas every time politics gets in the way of common sense.

Last, the National Association of Black Journalists has awarded New Times staff writer Bob Norman's tale "The Miseducation of Wesley Armstrong" first place in an enterprise reporting contest for small newspapers. Way to go, Bob.

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