Gentle Words of Wisdom from the Safe and Racially Harmonious Big Apple
I've lived in Coconut Grove off and on for about twelve years, and after reading Kirk Nielsen's story ("The Wall," February 5), I have only one thing to say: Ask David White and his friends if they've ever been mugged at gunpoint by whites, or if he's had friends of his beaten senseless because they were black.

The fence [between the black Grove and white neighborhoods] may be a nuisance to him, but so would stitches, a broken arm, and empty pockets!

Ron Mann
New York, New York

Socks Up and Hats Off
Regarding Robert Andrew Powell's article about Brickell Village ("Taking a Name for Herself," February 5), socks up to Antonia Gerstaker for her unorthodox and creative methods of dealing with the City of Miami bureaucracy. Ms. Gerstaker and others will find that dueling with the city from abstract angles will open windows of opportunity.

Clyde Cates
South Miami

Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's X Man!
It wasn't until reading Robert Andrew Powell's article "X Mayor" (January 29) that I finally had a full grasp of this latest imbroglio in Miami politics. For this knowledge I thank you, but now I am filled with a sense of doom that we have sunk to an all-time low as a city, and Suarez is at the helm.

Just recently, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Miami Heat's new arena, Mayor Suarez was in attendance and was accompanied by someone in a parrot suit toting an "I Support the Mayor" sign. It was shameless. Someone must stop this man. With any luck, he'll just fly away.

Stephanie Kewish
Miami Beach

Yet More Airborne Evidence!
So Mayor Suarez can break into tears or fly into a rage. This is not weirdly erratic behavior; it shows only that he is a human being. So he does not have the bland sort of personality that most people find acceptable -- no joys, no sorrows, submissive, obedient, emotionless, dull. Well, at least he is sufficiently alive and interested enough in life to run the City of Miami.

Patricia Matheson

Quintana Plan? What Quintana Plan?
Paula Park's article "The Quintana Plan" (January 22) contains some omissions, and some inaccuracies I would like to correct. My father, Eugenio Batista, was a professor at Santo Tomas de Villanueva University, not the University of Havana, where Nicolas Quintana studied. Therefore Quintana was not a student of Eugenio Batista.

The exhibition "Patios, Portales y Persianas" was named after an article written by Eugenio Batista. Originally published in Cuba in Artes Plasticas (vol. 2, 1960), it was translated into English and published in the Cuban National Heritage's Herencia (vol. 3, no. 1, 1997). My father never "encouraged his students to add traditional Cuban motifs to the austere geometric façades that characterized modern architecture." He thought these elements were architectural solutions to the Cuban climate, not decorative additions.

Despite its title (which must have come as a surprise to the others on the Cuban National Heritage architectural committee), the article gives no clear explanation of what the "Quintana Plan" actually is.

Matilde Batista
Key Biscayne

The Herald's Secret Source
A sign of the times: The Miami Herald credits New Times for investigative reporting twice in different articles on the same page (January 4), then quotes a New Times report three weeks later in a front-page story (January 31). The Herald is giving credit where credit is overdue. Here's hoping they continue the gesture whenever appropriate in the exciting days ahead.

Truth be told, New Times has rendered this community a service in recent years by focusing a perspicacious eye on the masquerading sludge that passes for various elected, appointed, and self-anointed power brokers intent on quick cash, cozy contracts, and sweet retirement deals behind the public's back.

Your reporting has awakened the attention of not only the Herald but also federal prosecutors and even, just possibly, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. (Credit to your reporter Jim DeFede for supplying her with directions!)

Amid a tawdry local scene devoid of ethics, your investigative staff is to be commended for their efforts. Keep up the good work, and the Miami Herald and others will continue to mine your pages for ideas.

Louis Jurika

East of Overblown
Regarding Ted B. Kissell's article "There's a Riot Going On" (January 15), I read with interest about the peripatetic struggles of a group of local Miami filmmakers to produce a film dealing with Miami's historic racial tensions, alternatively called East of Overtown or Liberty City. Unfortunately, the principals involved all sound like a bunch of alley cats fighting over refuse.

It's very hard to get a movie made about difficult subject matter such as the Overtown and Liberty City riots. I should know. I shopped my own project about the riots, called Overtown, ten years before Leo Casino, Bob Ingria, et al. Written by me and Parnes Cartwright, the film was a dramatic retelling of the events leading up to the riots. Similar in tone and style to Mississippi Burning or JFK, the script (copyright 1985, well before Casino/Ingria) was based on our own scrupulous research, including interviews we conducted with many of the actual participants.

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