Letters for November 8, 2001

Cut the bureaucrats some slack

Watch out for that client:I read "A Potemkin Lawyer"(Jim Gaines, October 25) with shock. During my recent divorce proceedings, my ex-husband's lawyer gave me the number for Legal Aid because I couldn't afford to pay an expensive retainer and she insisted I needed an attorney. I called what I therefore thought was Legal Aid, left a message on a machine, and got a return call from Jorge Fernandez. He quoted me a price of $350 to look over the legal papers and to make suggestions.

After having been quoted $1500 and up from other lawyers, I figured it was a bargain. A young woman came to my office to pick up a check from me, and I faxed off my divorce papers. Jorge had told me he would e-mail me his comments, but I never heard from him again. In the meantime, the divorce went through, and I didn't need any further legal help, so his name was just listed on the papers as representing me. After reading this article and realizing that I had been taken, I decided to report him to the Florida Bar and the City of Miami Police and to file a claim in small-claims court to try to get my money back.

Sarah Burger
Fort Lauderdale

Cut the bureaucrats some slack:Bob Norman's recent story "Admitting Terror"(October 18) revealed the ineptitude of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. It shocked me beyond belief.

Unequivocally, most people in the U.S. have no inkling how incompetently the INS functions. Norman's story on this subject is an illuminating contribution. The public should not accept any excuses for the immigration service's behavior. It won't do much good to spend lots of time excoriating the INS for what it did or should have done. It won't bring back the thousands of lives that were lost in New York, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania.

Our emphasis should be on many corrections of their policies, so that terrorist acts cannot occur again. We should demand it. G-d bless America.

Lee Margolis
Miami Beach

Out of Africa:I found "Admitting Terror" quite fascinating. When I, along with millions of Americans and people all over the world, saw the terror unfold on the WTC on September 11, I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams how this happened. Now, as information from New Times and many other sources is revealed, it seems apparent. It was only a matter of time before this happened.

On October 10, I flew from MIA to Logan Airport in Boston to see my family and was rather suspicious and uncomfortable about the lack of security at MIA. I realize it was only a domestic flight, but still, I would think that at this time, we would see security personnel everywhere. My fear and anxiety continues in this regard. I recently spent four months in Africa doing volunteer work, and the entire time, I was thinking that when my plane touched down in Miami, I would get down and kiss the ground, since America was my home and I would feel safe again. (I felt as though I had taken an emotional beating passing in and out of the Congo.)

All these NY, DC, and PA events have put a different light on this subject. I certainly appreciate your article. Hopefully, it will fuel the start of some changes to protect our great nation. God Bless America !

Sharon Milinazzo
Key Biscayne

How'd you know about Jeff's Britney thang?Seems to me New Times has put a small, feeble-minded opinion within its pages, while in the process alienating some of its potential new readers. In October 18's "Bandwidth,"Jeff Stratton criticizes the fans, not the people he is there to review, Tool.

I'm happy that Stratton has an opinion and that he has shared it with us. But he showed his intelligence once he tore apart Tool and then praised the Fantomas. That in itself is ridiculous.

Then, saying that another band (King Crimson) helped cultivate Tool's sound is laughable. It shows Stratton is an uneducated reporter. Does New Timeseven do background checks on its employees?

To point out the attendance shows you're not from around here. It was pretty packed for a Tuesday night in a town that doesn't sell out for even Miami Dolphins playoff games.

Thank you. As a fan of Tool, thank you. Thank you for making me realize how much more I am a fan of Tool after reading your pathetic, uninformed article. One last thing: Maynard James Keenan did spend the entire evening parallel with the drummer, which I found interesting due to the fact that I was there to see Tool; it was not the Maynard James Keenan show. What are you, Stratton, a Britney Spears fan? Better yet, I bet you're an 'N Sync fan. And if you think you're underground and cool, don't be fooled.

Kurt Vroon
Miami

Cucina candor:I am writing this in response to an article I found on-line trashing one of my favorite places to eat, Conca D'Oro. ("Discomfort Food,"Jen Karetnick, October 18). I have been a fan of the establishment for over 17 years. I practically grew up on their food, and it is one of the only Italian restaurants I will step foot in. I am Italian, and it is hard for me to find a place that is acceptable compared to my mother's cooking. Conca D'Oro's is pretty damn good.

I have never had a waitress cut me off in the middle of ordering and happen to love the fresh olives that come in the house salad. The atmosphere is very friendly, and the food is definitely comforting. I don't know, maybe you have to be a different kind of person to appreciate good Italian food. I know that I know how to eat, and I am not headed for anorexia or obesity; I plan to stay balanced.

Maybe the person who wrote the article has too many other things on her mind? I don't know, that's just my opinion. Thank you for your time.

Colette Varese
via the Internet

No retraction here:I recently read an unpleasant article published by your newspaper regarding Conca D'Oro. I found it to be overly critical and unnecessarily unfavorable.

I am requesting that this article be retracted from your newspaper. I believe that the critic's remarks are exaggerated and unfounded. It's unfair to the hard-working family that owns the establishment and to the staff.

Genevieve Rupelli
via the Internet

Bonding in the audience:Thank you for printing Ronald Mangravite's deeply felt article about the healing power of live theater ("Getting Personal," October 11). New York Mayor Giuliani has asked people to "go see a show," and your writer not only did so but wrote about the experience for all of us in South Florida.

Live theater is relevant, meaningful, and healing in times of strife. Caldwell Theatre Company in Boca Raton will soon pay tribute to our local firemen, policemen, and paramedics at performances of Concertina's Rainbow, a new play concerned with the effects of war and how people give one another hope for the future. Producing a new and important play, and praising our own courageous citizens at the same time, is the least we can do.

Playwright Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive) says theater has the "immediacy of flesh talking to flesh, of actors sharing space, time, and breath with a living audience." Your writer says people "rush to one another" in the theater to find hope and understanding. Theater gives us a sense of community and a bonding experience. Thanks, New Times, for devoting ample space to the arts and to theater in particular. Especially now.

Michael Hall, Artistic Director
Caldwell Theatre Company
Boca Raton

Erratum:Because of a reporting error, we incorrectly stated last week that the Immigration and Naturalization Service hid inmates inside Krome Detention Center during a 1995 Congressional visit. The inmates were actually transferred to other federal facilities.

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