SWEETWATER TELLS LOCAL TALK-SHOW RADIO HOST TO BUTTON HIS LIP (December 20, 1984)

SWEETWATER TELLS LOCAL TALK-SHOW RADIO HOST TO BUTTON HIS LIP
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Miami Herald, The (FL) December 20, 1984
Author: PETER HAMM Herald Staff Writer

The Sweetwater City Council Monday sent a terse message to South
Florida’s most argumentative radio talk show host. It said, in essence, “Shut
up.”

The seven member council voted to send WINZ host Neil

Rogers a strongly worded letter of protest written by Councilman Hugo
Alvarez about Rogers’ “Save Our South Florida” radio campaign.

The campaign attacks a Reagan administration decision to begin accepting
immigrants from Cuba. It is “pouring oil on the fires of polarization already
burning here,” said Alvarez in his letter.

“I have been appalled the past two weeks,” he wrote, “by the constant
barrage of hate against the Hispanic community spewing forth from the callers on
your radio program.”

Alvarez said Rogers is a “philosophical liberal who has tied himself to
the roller coaster of prejudice and bigotry.”

He offered to debate Rogers on the immigration move.

Other council members applauded Alvarez’s move.

“Add something to the letter,” said Council President Jose “Pepe”
Merida. “I don’t waste my time listening to your radio station.”

Endorsing the letter to Rogers was the only item on Monday night’s
agenda that every council member agreed on. Even the city’s monthly financial
reports, normally given a quick rubber stamp by the council, weren’t approved
unanimously.

Councilman Irain Gonzalez voted against them because Mayor Armando
Penedo presented them. The two men were still angry over their Sunday night
scuffle outside City Hall. They had argued over turning on some lights. Words
turned to action and police had to separate the officials.

Each man says the other started the fight.

Monday night, the two started to argue over the financial reports.

Gonzalez asked Penedo a question.

“I don’t understand what you’re saying,” said Penedo.

“Do you speak Chinese?” asked Gonzalez.

“Gentlemen,” said Merida, “We’re going to try to conduct this meeting as
gentlemen.”

Councilman Isidoro Cuevas got up and left. “I have a headache,” he said.

Edition: FINALSection: NEIGHBORS SEPage: 10
Record Number: 8404030072 Copyright (c) 1984 The Miami Herald

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