Two days after denouncing, with the sword of the pen, this gross misjudgment by city inspectors, municipal authorities — seeing a media nightmare headed their way — claimed it was all a misunderstanding. Since then, I keep in my cellphone’s voicemail two messages from the convent’s mother superior that are more valuable to me than any prestigious journalism award.
In 2009, a source told me the Miami-Dade County School District was charging thousands of dollars for the use of classrooms to a nonprofit orchestra that gives free music lessons in public schools located in low-income neighborhoods. The directors of The American Children’s Orchestra for Peace had tried, even approached school board members, to obtain a waiver, but to no avail. In the end, they were forced to drop or reduce the program in some schools.
Because the press is the Fourth Estate, several days after the publication of the column that exposed this shameful district decision, school authorities sent a letter to the orchestra apologizing. It was immediately exempted from payment and the music lessons were saved.
Outcomes like these are the incentives that inspire us journalists to continue this hard work despite long hours and light paychecks.
This platform also allows us to occasionally share with the public personal stories. Many readers still remember the passionate column about my friendship with Morris Rosen, a Jewish centenarian whom I accompanied for years as a volunteer until his death. The impact was so marvelous that a cable-television team from Hallmark Channel proposed taping a segment about this unusual intergenerational friendship.
When producers rang the bell at Morris’s Sunny Isles Beach apartment, he enthusiastically opened the door and said: “I have waited 100 years to be on television.”
My friends, Shalom!