Thought to be a celestial measuring device or possibly a religious monument of long-gone ancestors, the site would be sealed and left for people to wonder about for another millennium or so. "Who needs yet another spaceport?" asked the preservationists. "The past is much more important to our future.

Bill Adams

Circle Jerks: Hypocrites' Delight
I agree with everything Jim DeFede said about the Miami Circle. These politicians have to be the most hypocritical I've ever seen. They are more concerned about dying animals and this freaking circle than they are about human beings. They should put their efforts into making Miami into a better city instead of wasting their time in such a self-serving cause.

Mr. DeFede is one of the few people who make sense in this godforsaken city.
Al Boateng

Circle Jerks: Rush Limbaugh Would Have Been Proud
Damn carbon dating! As Jim DeFede suggested, a buried '63 Chevy would have been a much cooler downtown tourist attraction. DeFede's excellent parody of Rush Limbaugh writing about the Miami Circle was a stitch. Who else but our very own local couch-potato journalist, the man who openly admits that his idea of investigative reporting is sitting around watching old county commission videotapes, could deliver such clever satire?

Some weeks it seems like every columnist at the Herald is doing his or her best Dave Barry imitation. It's great to read a straight-ahead Limbaugh knockoff for a change. Good job, Jimbo! Claiming to be the very first guy in town to say the new Heat arena is ugly and completely out of proportion was classic Rush braggadocio! The tasteless American Indian comments and that bit at the end about a child with a shiny new penny were delightfully twisted.

Mayor Alex Penelas tells us he is frantically trying to get in touch with Mr. Eco-Groovy, Al Gore. The commission meets and votes, and the next day the veep is in Miami Beach talking to labor unions about, among other things, pension money. Any in-your-face rescue-the-circle, save-union-pensioners, new-national-monument, federal-buyout questions from the press corp? Not while there's chips and dip around.

Earth to DeFede: There is no such thing as bad press. Keep writing about the Circle, Jimbo. You're cracking us up!

Paul Berry

Circle Jerks: True Facts Uncovered by Testy Editor
Jim DeFede's onanistic article "Circle Jerks" incorrectly attributes the "very first story" written about the circle to the Miami Herald. A little fact-checking would have uncovered that the story was actually broken by Danielle Serino on The Times on November 20, 1998.

Matti Leshem, editor-in-chief
Miami Beach

Circle Jerks: To Preserv It Is to Hide It
DeFede's article took me back to the mid-Eighties, when similar attention was drawn to South Dade's Deering Estate Annex, where a similar group of people were digging around and discovering 10,000-year-old artifacts and fossils. The property was then put up for sale and Finlay Matheson wanted to purchase it to use as his own personal home. He also agreed to allow public access to those interested in seeing the archaeological site.

I helped lobby for the use of state CARL funds to purchase and keep the property out of private hands, thereby preserving the treasures. But for what purpose I am not certain. The public has never been able to enjoy or see these cultural jewels, and after the money was allocated to buy the Deering annex, the archeological site was posted, fenced, and the caves buried under tons of sand. So much for preservation.

Maybe the public needs to know that preserving the Miami Circle means isolating it from the public. This club of preservationists does not want this archeological site or any other site like it to be in private hands. More important they do not want the public's grubby hands on the circle either. They do, however, want your money to pay for it.

Let the developer put a condo over it. One hundred years from now, when the building has lost its value, it will be torn down. Then local government may have the technology to determine the circle's origin, purpose, and its value to mankind. Then we may also have the public interest and funds to appreciate the true value of such a find.

J. Byron Jordan

Virginia Key Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!
Regarding Jacob Bernstein's article "Who's Afraid of Virginia Key?" (March 4), another piece of pristine property belonging to the people of Miami-Dade County is under siege once again. Virginia Key does not exist for the greedy, personal exploitation of the five dickheads commonly known as the Miami City Commission. Virginia Key is not theirs to sell to the highest bidder. Virginia Key needs no commercial development; we can bring our own sandwiches and soda, thank you very much! We don't need any stinking hot dog stands and boat rentals and the noise of watercraft.

In 1995 the vote was no. What part of no don't those five incompetent mental retards understand? And what law permits my no vote to be turned into yes by these insipid, untrustworthy bastards?

Charles Travaglio

Miami: Proud of Its Foreign Policy
Timba, timba, timba, with each beat of the rhythmic drums, city officials see shades of red. As Kirk Nielsen offered in "Miracle on 29th Street" (February 25), welcome to Miami, welcome to the world of the gumshoe bureaucrat.

Don't waste your time trying to explain that Miami is a world-class city or that the world is changing fast, and those cities that don't get onboard will get run over. It's difficult to deal with a city government whose manner is road kill.

Clyde Cates
South Miami

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