Well, everyone, in
the next few days you will see a new Miami site. After 4 and
1/2 years and thousands of hours of volunteer work for Salsaweb,
they are pulling some underhanded moves and replacing me.
I've heard this through the grapevine for a couple of months now,
but in spite of my letter to the Salsa Freak herself, Edie Lewis,
and a copy of it to the CEO, Mr. Leon Zemel and the Webmaster, Mr.
Benjamin Rappoport, I have not even received the common courtesy
of a response. So, I am moving on to greener pastures. Search the
web... you will find me nearby!!!
To all my fans through the years,
thank you for your support and letters. You can reach me
from now on!
Now, here's my unanswered letter
(it has been about a month now) [originally this letter was sent
in October, 2000]:
As you may recall, four years ago
I came across the Salsaweb while surfing the internet one night.
At that time there wasn't much more on the Cityguides section
except some club listings in New York, Washington and LA. So I
decided to help out a little, and I cut and pasted the Latin Clubs
listings from the Miami Herald site and sent it to you. You wrote
back and asked if I would like to be the Local Correspondent for
Miami, and that is how I got started with you and Salsaweb.
Over the years that list has expanded
to include many more clubs, I put together a comprehensive list
of salsa schools, and then I began to do artist interviews, a
Local Events page, which is updated at least twice weekly, and
concert reviews. Recently I created a new page of Favorite Places
for visitors to check out, and facilitated some 300 free tickets
to the Marc Anthony taping for the Red Cross Benefit Concert this
past Wednesday night, to be shown on the Fox network as a Christmas
Special on December 23rd.
I organized an international meeting of Salsaweb
readers for the Calle Ocho event last March, as well as taking
money from my own pocket to have t-shirts made for the event.
In addition, I created (through
my own personal contacts) the local Cityguide pages for Chile,
Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Rio de
Janeiro. I routinely update Sicily (Italy) and Spain and the Bahamas,
as well as any multi-lingual postings for the website. In addition,
I also supervise other Florida listings such as Tampa, Orlando
and West Palm Beach, and all listings for the Caribbean.
Through all the years I have always supported
the Salsa community in South Florida, and around the world, in
a totally professional manner.
So why is it that I feel you are
trying to pull the proverbial rug out from underneath my feet,
after all I have done for you and Salsaweb? You no longer contact
me to tell me you are coming into town... I hear it from others.
What I am also hearing from others is that you are setting it
all up to replace me with XXX and YYY. I have heard this from
4 different sources.... and some of these people have been directly
contacted by you...this is not third party information.
What's up with this kind of underhanded
business practice... is this how you "pay" someone who
has selflessly committed thousands of hours of high quality work
to your organization? Is this how you "thank" someone
who has single-handedly built practically your entire Latin American
Cityguide section, recruiting the local correspondents from my
own personal contacts? If you have a problem with the quality
of my work, why don't you come and talk to me directly and tell
me what it is?
You should open up your eyes,
Edie, and check out Miami a bit more thoroughly. You need to stop
listening to XXX so much and get in contact with the many other
excellent schools here. Salsa Racing, for instance, just got chosen
to represent Miami in a huge event in Paris. Regnier's Dance Studio
wins competitions over XXX and his folks all the time. The shows
that they put on are very innovative and creative...leagues beyond
what XXX does. There are so many really great schools in Miami
and Ft. Lauderdale, and all you are familiar with is XXXX XXX,
which is not the best, it is simply the most COMMERCIAL. I can
personally testify that all the other schools get xxx'x students
in droves...just as soon as they get fed up with the crowded classes,
the lack of individual attention and the elitist attitude...and
I'm only repeating what the students have told me when they leave
there and go to other schools.
XXX'S "Modus Operandi"
for years has been to try to squelch other schools, instead of
using that same (negative) energy toward making Salsa grow for
the entire community. If you put XXX in charge of the Salsaweb
in Miami, you will have the entire community in an uproar because
of his isolationist tactics. He is incapable of being impartial
and fair. You have been so hoodwinked by XXX that you are out
of touch with what is going on in Miami.
Please, Edie, try to contact some
of these other schools, visit them, see what else is going on
here. Don't try to impose the NY or LA style here (YYY is an awesome
dancer, but she is just now taking Casino style salsa lessons
from Carlos Telles of Salsa Heat Wave Dance Studios) The Miami
style is unique and creative and dynamic, and valid in it's own
right. Don't put someone in the position of being the Broward
correspondent who doesn't even dance like the rest of the south
Florida Community.... when in Rome, do as the Romans.
Ultimately, it is not my site,
even though I have built a huge section of it for you. Do as you
wish, but you may be very sorry if you continue down this particular
path. The long term repercussions could be devastating for Salsaweb...and
I'm not just talking about losing me as a Local Correspondent
for Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, and World Cityguide Supervisor for
Since you are going to be in Miami,
perhaps you could make the time to sit down and discuss this face
to face with me, which I think is long overdue. Please give me
a call at 954-XXX-XXXX.