Memo to Tree-huggers: Get a Horse
Regarding Jacob Bernstein's article ("The Polo Wars," March 19), it's about time someone invested in a project that will make Miami even more interesting -- a polo club. Environmentalists should view this as being quite beneficial. What do they prefer: 60 houses on a track of wetlands, or 20 houses and fields for horses?

I'm looking forward to some polo games!
Thomas Baugh
Coral Gables

Condos for Castro: Welcome to Freedom Tower Estates
Kathy Glasgow's story "La Vida Dura" (March 12) prompted me to propose a historic reconciliation to end the sad plight of that unfortunate island lying across the Florida Straits.

As punishment for Fidel Castro's lengthy misrule of Cuba, let the World Court sentence him to lifetime confinement in the campanile of Freedom Tower on Biscayne Boulevard. Here the maximum leader will be on top, as he has always preferred. He can dictate his colorful memoirs to Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, henceforth his private stenotypist. These duties shall absorb her day and night as she documents a cavalcade of formidable soliloquies. Sadly, the congresswoman will be forced to relinquish her post in Washington to fulfill this momentous task.

Our proud tropical Bastille will also be home to Raśl Castro, former head of Cuba's military forces. His experience in these matters will qualify him to be honorary chief of building security. Disguised as a quincenera, Raśl will station himself at the reception desk in the lobby to screen potential visitors. Bacardi will provide him with an endless supply of fine rums to soften the blow of this lifestyle change. As his assistant, Sen. Jesse Helms will be a most capable night watchman, guarding the perimeter from unsavory and especially foreign-looking types.

Variety will be added to Fidel's new life by nostalgic outings to Belle Glade, where he may, when moved by the spirit, wield a machete alongside his working brethren. Raśl's nights may be punctuated by the occasional wild foray to South Beach, where the clever denizens of the wee hours will provide him with fashion tips.

The Diaz-Balart brothers would be talented resident managers of this exclusive retirement center, forever renouncing their interests in politics and the media. Absorbed in this microcosm of intrigue, slander, and gossip, they will blissfully pass their days. The Holy Father in Rome will be given the only set of keys to this miraculous edifice.

Perhaps after the establishment of this true Little Havana, Cuba can rise like the phoenix and her people will finally be free to choose their own destiny.

(Unfortunately I must use a pseudonym owing to the inflamed political climate of our city, even though this is a humorous fantasy.)

Pier Tomasz Machote
Coral Gables

What's a Little Barricade Between Good Friends?
I have been a homeowner and a resident of Miami's Upper Eastside for four years. My first three were spent in Belle Meade; the last year I have resided at Shorecrest's northern boundary. The changes to Shorecrest in that time have been astonishing. This neighborhood has gone from abandoned and forgotten to rediscovered and hot. Three homes within a block of mine have sold within two weeks of going on the market. Most weekends, while I'm working in my yard, cars repeatedly go by looking for available homes. Our streets are no longer desolate and scary. Residents are jogging, Rollerblading, and walking their pets, and children are becoming less scared of playing outside. I credit this to two things: the Shorecrest Homeowners Association and street closures.

In her article "The Great Barrier Beef" (March 12), Kathy Glasgow refers to the barrier at NE Seventh Avenue and 80th Street as the barricade from hell. I consider them all barricades from heaven. Crime and unwanted nonresident traffic have been reduced to such a degree that we are once again a residential neighborhood, not someone's shortcut. I am in agreement with association officers Heikki Talvitie and Jorge Zuloaga that moving the Seventh Avenue barricade to the north side of 80th Street would be very detrimental to the entire area.

I also do not understand what the big deal is about having to drive a block or two to enter the Little River Club at its rear. Has anyone pointed out to Bob H. and Frank Y. that there is plenty of free parking available on 79th Street in front of the club?

I didn't get to vote on the barricades issue because it predates my arrival in Shorecrest, but if it were brought before me today, I would vote yes and ask for even more barricades.

Ernest M. Gonzalez

Miami High: Be True to Your School
Robert Andrew Powell's story "Dream Team" (March 5) is nothing new for basketball programs in Dade County. There have been several high school basketball programs that had "dream teams" and won state championships: Jackson, Carol City, Central, and Hialeah-Miami Lakes. These teams had players who did not live in their designated school zones, but nothing was said about it. The current rules allowing students to travel outside their designated zones to attend the schools of their choice were set up by the Florida legislature, not Miami Senior High School.

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