Here’s My Vote for a Sculpture You Should Toss Into the Ocean!

Newspaper: SunPost
Title: Here’s My Vote for a Sculpture You Should Toss Into the Ocean!
Author/Reporter: Jose Carlos Diaz
Date: 08/02/2008
Article: Ex-Miami Police Chief Weighs in on Domestic Violence Issues

Hi. I read your recent story on domestic violence [Domestic Wellness, published Aug. 2]. I am a former police chief of the city of Miami. My daughter, Jodi, was murdered on Easter Sunday in Pennsylvania by her husband. He then killed himself. Needless to say, it is the worst tragedy our family has ever experienced. They were separated at the time, but he was a man on a mission and was not going to be stopped. Anything I can ever do to help as you continue to cover domestic violence issues, please let me know. My daughter did everything right (restraining orders, no-contact orders) but, still, it happened. Too many women are not aware of what to do, where to go, etc. Most people will not resort to murder. Statistically, my daughter was a very unfortunate one of those and lost her life. However, help is available, and this murder should not discourage women from aggressively seeking help and guidance, because there are ways to escape the horror of domestic abuse.

Just wanted to share my thoughts with you. Keep up the good work. High-rise development is credited for allowing this city to cut property tax rates without too much pain. At least that’s how the mayor describes it.

Beach Volunteer to County: Great! More Trash for Us to Pick Up!

Eliminating the 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. cleaning crew between the South Pointe jetty and 21st Street in order to save a paltry $280,000 is ludicrous [Residents to County Mayor: Don’t Cut Beach Cleaning Services, published Aug. 2].

To the contrary, the existing cleanups of this area are inadequate. We don’t need fewer cleanups; we need MORE.

Hundreds of ECOMB volunteers clean up this area several times a year in order to compensate for the failure of the Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department to keep our precious beach clean.

Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Public Information Officer Edith Torres’ statement that the shift proposed to be eliminated is, A swing shift that, all they do is get rid of cans and debris, implies that cans and debris are welcome on our beaches.

Perhaps the cleaning of our beaches should be controlled by the offices of public safety, which are not affected by the proposed county budget cuts.

Paul Orofino, member of the board

ECOMB (Environmental Coalition of Miami Beach)

Congrats on Exposing Our Big Secret, Oscar. By the Way, El Nuevo Herald Did It Years Ago

Rebecca:

I was disappointed in your recent interview with Herald reporter Oscar Corral (I Am Not a Communist) [published July 26]. It was a fluff piece. As an objective and discerning journalist it would be better to be less accepting of Mr. Corral’s views and not take his comments at face value (especially his self-serving I am only looking for the truth nonsense).

Mr. Corral’s controversial article regarding the Miami journalists who openly freelanced for TV Mart (which included me) was a hit piece and just plain bad journalism. It is sad that you essentially repeated the very words Mr. Corral employed in his story that we accepted money or were taking pay from the U.S. government for producing reports for TV MartÌ.

That choice use of words seemed intended to be repeated and provide an implication of wrongdoing which was simply not supported by the facts.

The truth is we all openly freelanced for TV MartÌ ó usually as commentators or analysts on TV MartÌ shows (for the record I was not a reporter or journalist at the time ó I was a pundit). And none of us ìaccepted money or took pay ó which incorrectly implies something clandestine or underhanded. We were simply paid consultants to TV MartÌ.
And this was no secret. But apparently writing that we were freelancing for TV MartÌ was simply not damning enough for Mr. Corral.

In that specific story (and others as well) Mr. Corral’s journalism was both unethical and shoddy. His assistant only contacted us for comment hours before going to print, long after the article had been written. The one-line responses of those of us who were actually reached were included separately in the article ó basically as afterthoughts.

Significantly, Clark Hoyt, the Heraldís Ombudsman (contracted to review that specific article) concluded after a thorough review that Corralís story was flawed in many ways.

Among those flaws, wrote Hoyt, was that the story’s hard and accusatory tone and the large and breathless headline suggested something more sinister than the story actually reported.î And Hoyt added: The story failed to note that the Miami Herald had already reported in 2002 that one of the journalists on the list of 10, a free-lance writer for El Nuevo Herald, was on the Radio MartÌ payroll.

He continued, A similar story ran at the same time in El Nuevo Herald journalists in a way that made it clear that he had an ongoing relationship with Radio MartÌ.

Hoyt further added, ìThese references raised an obvious question: If the Herald publishing company frowned on Radio MartÌ payments to its journalists, why didn’t management investigate and respond in some way in 2002? And what was so new in 2006?

Of course, the fact is there was nothing new, nothing sinister and certainly nothing deserving front page coverage. Which is why so many believed that Mr. Corral and the Herald had a political agenda in publishing this smear beyond just ìlooking for the truth.

Perhaps in the future you could provide a more fair and balanced perspective on Mr. Corral and his reporting.

All the best,
Paul Crespo, former Miami Herald editorial writer
Coral Gables

Not a Communist, Huh? How About Naive to the Workings of Castro’s Regime?

After reading your recent interview of Oscar Corral (I Am Not a Communist), in which once again he made his best effort to portray the Cuban community as retrograde, here’s my take on it.

While I was not surprised, after all that’s his MO, nevertheless, I was taken aback by his chutzpah.

I believe many a thing about Sr. Corral, but excluded is him being naive.

A journalist, an investigative reporter to boot, Sr. Corral must certainly know that one of the tools utilized by the many hundreds of Castro’s agents living among us is to threaten, and even carry out their threats to discredit the Cuban community.

That is not fiction. Quite the contrary, it is a proven fact as depicted at the declassified FBI’s documents during the federal court proceedings of the infamous La Red Avispa spy ring.

If Sr. Corral really is what he thinks, or portrays himself to be, he would have mentioned the distinct possibility that the source of the received threats could have come from Castro’s agents.

Instead and unfortunately, Sr. Corral opted to fuel the innuendo, allowing the smear to paint us all as terrorists hell-bent on a mission to intimidate and to maim him and his family.

After multiple instances of that nature, it is not difficult to ascertain the reasons of the great schism that exists between the vast majority of the Cuban community in exile and Sr. Corral.

The disdain and contempt he has earned is well deserved

One final thought. Until well into 1961, Fidel Castro emphatically denied he was a communist. I’m not moved by Sr. Corral’s denials.

Let time and history be the judge of that.

Comments? E-mail letters@miamisunpost.com.