Letters

The Marine Mammal Conservancy is continuing the expensive legal battle to give Luther, Buck, and Jake a chance to rejoin their families in their home waters off Mississippi. The conservancy is committed to fulfilling the promise of returning as many dolphins as possible to their families. Ego battles have delayed this mission for some dolphins and destroyed it for those who have already succumbed to the misery of captivity. Following our federal and state court battles, we hope to regain public support for our efforts on behalf of these citizens of the sea and our attempt to leave their world and ours a little better than we found it.

Rick Trout, director of husbandry
Marine Mammal Conservancy
Key Largo

With Peacekeepers Like These, Who Needs Outlaws?
The Miami Beach Police Department's motto is "to protect and serve." It is their promise, their responsibility, something to take pride in. But where is the pride when one of their own, Ofcr. Ron Shimko, allegedly works over an innocent citizen, and not only brutalizes him but seems to enjoy it? According to Elise Ackerman's story ("Lawsuit? What Lawsuit?" April 24), it would be an oxymoron to call Shimko a peacekeeper.

Those officers who like to draw blood, who like to bully, who abuse their sacred trust, reflect on the force as a whole and affect the way the public views the police. Would they rather see smiles or fear when they approach someone? Some of them enjoy causing fear.

How many muggings and assaults were occurring in the vicinity that day as Officer Shimko sat in a parking lot on dangerous duty: "gay watching"? Where is the protect-and-serve in that? And what kind of pride can an officer take in beating up the defenseless? If there is a sub-rosa agenda of gay bashing among Miami Beach police, then they have a sickness of the soul.

The Beach isn't Yahoo Junction. It's a big-time, diverse city. We've all come through a lot to be here, and we deserve to live free of intolerance, where we are protected and served. But if small minds prevail, Miami Beach will get an international reputation as redneck territory.

People once looked up to the police force. We trusted them with our lives. To Chief Barreto: Bring your personnel back to task, back to "protect and serve."

James Martin
Miami Beach

Is There a Guru in the House?
Lynda Edwards must have been out of her wits when she suggested ("Wings and Prayers," April 17) that Catholic chaplains and Catholic chapels were once operating at Miami International Airport. How could a Roman Catholic priest comfort the hearts of grieving Muslims or Jews or even Hare Krishnas? Seventh Day Adventists and most Protestants do not believe in Roman Catholic priests. They do not pray in places where there are images and crosses. And what about atheists and agnostics?

A neutral place with all the holy scriptures in it -- the Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, Bhagavad-Gita, et cetera -- would be an ideal place where everybody could feel comfortable meditating, praying, worshipping, or even mourning, no matter what his or her beliefs. Airlines should exert extra effort to learn the particular beliefs or religions of the loved ones of crash victims before approaching them, and then assign appropriate priests, pastors, ministers, chaplains, rabbis, or gurus. This personal touch could make a big difference in dealing with sensitive issues, not only in Miami but in every airport around the globe.

The airlines may never improve the quality of food they serve, but they can certainly make improvements in satisfying their customers' individual beliefs, especially after a tragic accident.

Brih Mendiola
Coconut Grove

Just Don't Let It Degenerate into Name-Calling
It is laughable to hear the word "morals" coming from a moral midget like Mr. Ira Kurzban (or is it Mr. Montiel-Davis?) in response to my letter to the editor of April 3.

Everyone with a double-digit IQ knows that Kurzban is a hired gun of the government of Cuba. His accusations of terrorism can't be backed by any proof, yet it is a fact that Fidel Castro has murdered, tortured, and jailed tens of thousands of human beings for simply not agreeing with his tyrannical government.

Mr. Kurzban asks what planet I live on. I've lived on this planet long enough to know that he has the scruples of a five-dollar-a-trick hooker.

Emiliano Antunez
Miami Beach

Erratum
Ray Martinez's article "Rabbi with a Cause" (April 17) incorrectly described Loring Frank's astrological sign. Rabbi Frank is an Aquarius, not a Pisces. New Times regrets the error.

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