By Michael E. Miller
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Munzenrieder
By Sabrina Rodriguez
By Michael E. Miller
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Luther Campbell
By Kyle Munzenrieder
I found the story to be full of misinformation, quotes taken entirely out of context, and a negative slant on an ongoing project that has benefited the marine environment and people of Dade County at no expense to taxpayers. It has been entirely funded by state grants, private funding, and seaport mitigation funds.
I have been involved with many projects since 1982, and was with Ben Mostkoff when he first looked at the missile towers. We were at a meeting negotiating with the National Park Service on the issue of permit renewals (one of the permits in question was mine) and making some progress. Afterward, we went with Sam Porco to see the missile towers. We were both of the opinion that the expense of transporting them to the Miami River for deployment far exceeded their value as viable reef material and that the only way for DERM to deploy them was if Mr. Wayne Kennedy and Mr. Porco could figure out a way to get them to the county staging area. The $45,000 Mr. Rowe mentions in his story is state grant money, part of a larger sum available statewide to permit holders for artificial reef construction, and was never earmarked for this particular material. The notion that DERM will have $45,000 and nothing to sink is preposterous.
I have known and worked with Ben Mostkoff for almost fifteen years and have never met a more dedicated, honest, and admirable man. He has had to deal with political pressures and resistance within his own department, persevering to do what he has known to be right and what the people of his community want!
When Sean Rowe's story about Ron McManmon was published, my first thought was "Why do a story about a man who has repeatedly given the diving industry a black eye? Why not do a positive story giving credit to someone who deserves it, like Ben Mostkoff?"
Within the scientific community, the jury is still out on the issue of artificial reefs, but surely if Mr. Rowe wished to portray the overall picture to his readers, he could have at least found one expert with something positive to say on the subject.
Shame on Sean Rowe for this story, and particularly for his comment "Members of a Metro-Dade police demolitions squad will blow up the barges and sink the whole mess to a depth of approximately 160 feet."
If I ran New Times, he would never write for me again.
Robert J. Arnova
Best Acceptance Speech by a Thespian
I am astonished and appreciative of the honor New Times bestowed on me, Best Actor in a Drama ("Best of Miami," May 16). Much of the kudos must go to the team that worked to bring life to Faith Healer. The credibility of the portrait derives ultimately from Brian Friel's writing and the cumulative effect of the accounts delivered by Frank's wife (Cynthia Caquelin) and manager (David Kwiat) and the unobtrusive sensitivity of Patrice Bailey's direction.
Best Acceptance Speech by a Retailer
We want to take this opportunity to thank New Times for all the support you've given our store. The unbelievable struggle we went through to get the store open was enough to make ten movies, but we stuck it out for the greater good of the community, and now for the second year in a row New Times votes us Best Place to Rent Foreign Videos. Thank you so much.
We get other video store owners who walk in and say, "It's too dark, not enough signage, the racks are mismatched," but we thought what was more important was what was on those racks rather than how they looked.
Once again, thank you for choosing us this year. Sorry we didn't write last year, but we were still in shock over winning.
Isaac Santos and Leonardo Acebo
Best Bow from a Baubler
As owner of Elegant Accents, I was delighted to review the "Best of Miami" issue and excited to be selected Best Costume Jewelry. I'd like to thank New Times for allowing me to be included in this flattering issue. Of course, I will continue to provide not only fun merchandise, but also the highest quality available in the industry. I really love the publication; keep up the good work!
Best Defense of a Mural
I am writing on behalf of the many people involved in the Camillus House Mural Project who learned (via a nasty parenthetical remark in the Best Charity category of the "Best of Miami" issue) that Brother Paul Johnson is publicly promising to "get rid of that horrible mural on the side of the building." The context of the statement suggests that the destruction of the mural is Johnson's first priority in soliciting six million dollars in corporate funding for rehab of the current structure and future expansion of the physical plant.