Black, White, Red Over All
Thank you, thank you, thank you Kathy Glasgow and New Times for presenting the other side of the story of the Cuban revolution ("La Vida Dura," March 12). It's called racial oppression, and it doesn't take place only in communist countries. In fact, there is much less such oppression in Cuba since the revolution. I love this country and I love democracy, but that's just the grim reality. Who the hell wouldn't prefer communism -- or for that matter insurrection, anarchy, or tyranny -- over having to wait until the white Catholic mass was finished, or over being classified as too dark, or over having to clean a rich woman's floors by virtue of one's color?

Manny Losada

The Pioneers of South Pointe
Hortense Leon and Ted B. Kissell's article "Builder Beware" (March 12) did a fine job of explaining the complexities of the current Miami Beach development battle. Your readers should know, however, that there are other players who laid the foundation for today's development drama.

Before John Shubin and Jeff Bass, before Save Miami Beach, there were Gary Held and Tucker Gibbs, two exceptional land-use attorneys who gave generously of their time and professional skills to assist a small, rag-tag group of "professional malcontents" (as we were often called by our opposition) in the first wave of high-rise battles in South Pointe.

Beginning in July 1993, Citizens Against Tall Buildings (CATS) soon gave birth to the South Pointe Citizens Coalition (SPCC). It was CATS and SPCC that valiantly waged a series of battles against inappropriate development, culminating in the long, lonely fight with the City of Miami Beach and Portofino to stop the city from entering into the ill-conceived Portofino Development Agreement. On the day the agreement was approved, Mark Needle, an SPCC board member, promised the mayor and commission that the citizens would prevail at the ballot box. Tucker Gibbs initiated the first draft of the referendum petition, and from there Save Miami Beach was born.

Ilona Wiss
Tamara Hendershot, cofounders
South Pointe Citizens Coalition

Hoop Schemes: Truthful Rumors
I commend Robert Andrew Powell on an insightful, objective investigation of the corrupt practices of the Miami Senior High School basketball program ("Dream Team," March 5). What has been rumored to have been going on for years has now been brought to light by what was obviously a thorough and reasonable investigation by Mr. Powell. Although Miami High is not the only school guilty of such practices, it certainly is the most guilty.

Evan Morgenstern, co-sports editor
The Cougar's Roar
Killian Senior High

Hoop Schemes: Just Blame Nike
I read Robert Andrew Powell's article and I knew it was bad, but not that bad. But what can you do? You can't blame the kids (I'd want to play for whatever school could get me the attention I need to get into a Division I college too). You can't blame the parents (I'd want my son to have the best chance at becoming a millionaire too). You can't blame the coach (at Miami High, you win or you're out of a job, and quite frankly, unemployed life sucks).

So who do you blame? What do you do? Attack Nike! Big endorsements have all but destroyed professional sports. Now they're destroying collegiate sports. Remember when it was just the Rose, the Orange, or the Sugar bowl? Not the Poulan Weedeater Bowl. They could at least leave us with a pure high school sports system.

Victor Vasconcelos

Hoop Schemes: Just Blame Anyone but Us
As a student at Miami Senior High, I must inform you that these types of actions do not occur only at Miami High. Other schools violate Florida High School Activities Association rules. I guess since Miami High School isn't as rich as these other schools, you don't care.

I am so tired of Miami High and other minority schools getting such bad reputations. Why don't you investigate Coral Gables or some other ritzy school? I'm sure they violate many more rules than Miami High.

Marysabel Merino

Killian Nine: Freedom of Intolerance!
I am dumbfounded by the double standard shown in this community regarding Ted B. Kissell's article about First Amendment rights ("Reading, Writing, and ... Ohmygod!" March 5). Why are so many quick to defend the Killian Nine when just last year a highly respected consultant was removed from her position on an advisory board simply because she suggested that Cuban musicians should be included at the MIDEM music conference? Would those people who think the Killian Nine are so courageous also think the same of a group of students who circulated a pro-Castro newsletter? I don't think so.

I found the Killian Nine pamphlet to be hostile, threatening, and very, very racist. I wonder about the kinds of homes in which these children are being reared, and I find it curious that these students have nothing better to do than send personal threats to their principal. What happened to writing editorials in the school newspaper? Certainly the Dade County school system is lacking in many ways, but mean-spirited, poorly written tirades won't change that system. Let's hope these students find more productive ways of voicing their concerns at their new high schools.

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