And the winner is Alberto "the Cuban Crusher" Milian!
The hotshot prosecutor, who has a portrait of Rocky Marciano hanging in his office (see "A Pugilist in PinstripesNew Times, May 20, Paul Demko), walked away the clear winner over defense attorney Ty "Punching Bag" Terrell in their much-publicized bout in the Broward courthouse last week. In a unanimous decision, our judges scored it 111-10, Milian.
Andrea Shelowitz, Terrell's defense co-counsel, was there for the entire bout and helped us judge the fight. According to her blow-by-blow account, it really got started outside an elevator when Milian approached Terrell before the opening bell and some jawing ensued.
As soon as the fight began, Milian scored first with a swift right to the head that sent Terrell reeling. Once on the offensive, Milian kept pushing the stunned lawyer, knocking him on top of a table and then onto the floor, and while not exactly abiding by Marquis of Queensberry rules, Milian scored points for the takedown. Smelling blood, he pounced on the hapless attorney, who couldn't muster a counterpunch much less score points.
Onlookers stopped the fight at approximately the one-minute mark of the first round, pulling the two apart. Terrell didn't know what had hit him -- his book bag never left his hand during the fracas -- and because of that he lost points for lack of style. His corner was screaming foul (hey, they're public defenders) and Terrell received ten sympathy points for some swelling under the eye. Milian claims he got a bruise on his shin (is kicking allowed?) and so lost points for whining.
The next day, a flabbergasted Shelowitz claims, the Cuban Crusher walked into court as if nothing had happened. Of course Milian did: A true professional never carries his bad blood into the ring, er, courtroom. But with the resulting threat of criminal charges and the possibility of a sanction by the Florida Bar, it may have been a costly win for the champ.
It is not often that one unearths a relic of truly historic proportions in Broward County, where indices of a previous civilization (before 1940) are difficult to find.
Through the many years of Tent City's existence, it was the subject of political fighting, scorn, and countless news stories. A symbol of the transient nature of this place, the tent structure, after six valiant years of service, vanished as quickly as a Canadian tourist in May. Beyond the sudden disappearance of a Fort Lauderdale icon, we also missed the rampant drugs and alcohol, the fights, the flooded shower stalls. But what of the tents themselves, where in the hell had they gone? Were those four white giants that kept the sun and rain off thousands of poor individuals simply cast aside, buried, and forgotten?
Not so. They're now in the service of the Lord.
We found the canopies at the West Lauderdale Baptist Church, where they are covering children and teenagers who were previously getting baked by the sun. Pastor Jimmy Cox asked for, and received, the tents from the city for the Matthew Project. Instead of sheltering cantankerous Vietnam Vets, the tents are now covering students in a day treatment center who are taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, which will, we hope, help them lead a life devoid of panhandling.
Cox got permission to use the tents from the city commission but then had to have the patience of Job. It took city archeologists two weeks to find the giant tarps in the depths of a parks and recreation department building.
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