Letters to the Editor

Letters from the issue of April 13, 2000

A Life in Jeopardy!
Ever dreamed of being on the brainy game show? Think you could sweep the board? Yeah, Ted B. Kissell did too.
By Ted B. Kissell

And Now We Pause for this Message from Those Who Still Have a Life
Ted B. Kissell's "A Life in Jeopardy!" (April 6), a great lighthearted read, proves that even without Elian, high school sports, and Alex Penelas, there's still life at New Times.

Jim Gordon
North Miami

What Is a Mitzel?
It just so happens I saw that episode of Jeopardy! and I remember the introduction of "a journalist from Miami." I was hoping to see Marilyn Mitzel or even Michael Putney. But Ted B. Kissell? I had no idea who he was, and even wondered if he were a real journalist.

The article, which was full of humor, wit, and intelligence, was enjoyable and informative. Ted definitely is a journalist.

Jose E. Cabrera
via the Internet

Who Is Mr. Embarrassed?
"A Life in Jeopardy!" brought back memories. I also tried out last May in Miami and passed the test. They scheduled me for taping in early August, and my show aired October 19. I finished second, like Ted, and won a trip to Jamaica, which we took just last month.

One interesting anecdote: The defending champion was from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. We had a $1000 clue in a category in which all answers included the letters eau. The answer was: "This Wisconsin city ..." and the correct question was: "What is Eau Claire?" I beat the champ to the buzzer, which must have caused immense embarrassment for him when he returned home (counting his money, of course).

Paul Sharman
Fort Lauderdale

Alex Trebek, You've Been Dissed
I'll take "Wastes of Time" for $300, Alex. And the correct question is: "What is a slow news week?"

Why were we unwillingly subjected to the drivel that was Ted B. Kissell's losing account of his life on Jeopardy!? What's up, New Times? Were you really that hard up for news that you had to feature such a lame story? If Mr. Kissell had been on Who Wants to Marry a Journalist?, then maybe. But reading about Jeopardy! is as interesting as reading about what Elian ate for breakfast. Stick to the stories you're good at and leave the cheesy game-show stories for the other rags.

Samantha Lee
Miami Beach

Speaking of Cheese ...
As a concierge at one of the leading hotels on South Beach, I always try to catch your informative restaurant reviews. I was very amused and entertained by Lee Klein's recent review of Mark's South Beach ("On the Mark," March 30). Since he and I obviously share a love for details, I feel compelled to point out a very important detail about the origins of one of the world's most famous cheeses: Gruyère.

This beloved sharp and yet very delicate cheese is one of Switzerland's many prides. Authentic Gruyère is only produced in Switzerland, and therefore will never come out of a French cave (as Mr. Klein wrote), unless it was brought from Switzerland to France. Gruyère is made in romantically beautiful Gruyères, a Medieval hill town in the canton of Fribourg, Switzerland. (The town is correctly spelled with a s at the end, but the cheese ends with an e.) For the ultimate cheese enthusiast, there is even a cheese museum with an on-site "cheesery."

One more detail: I cordially write as a Swiss expatriate.

Martin Anker
Miami Beach

On the Block
In an act of audacious short-sightedness, Miami is offering its finest bayfront property to the highest bidder
By Jose Luis Jimťnez

The Little Convention Center That Could
Please let this letter serve to correct some misinformation concerning the Coconut Grove Convention Center, described in Jose Luis Jiménez's article "On the Block" (March 16).

Mr. Jiménez described the center as "the little-used Coconut Grove Convention Center on Dinner Key," and then used a picture showing just one exhibitor parked in front of the building in order to prove that point.

The truth is that the Coconut Grove Convention Center is one of the most popular public-assembly facilities in Miami-Dade County. The center hosted 67 events last year, an average of more than 5 per month. The "little-used" center already has 43 events scheduled for this year.

The article went on to describe the facility as a commercial disaster from the day it opened. Two facts Mr. Jiménez needs to be aware of:

1) Convention centers are not intended to be profit-making entities. The purpose of a convention center is to be a magnet for the local economy. Convention centers are supposed to attract events and activities (e.g., conventions) that will draw in visitors who will then patronize local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and entertainment outlets, thereby enriching our citizens (waiters, cab drivers, maids) and local businesses. Most convention centers are subsidized by special taxes such as bed tax or some other tax on tourism. There is little concern for their profitability. Of greater importance is the number of visitors the facility draws to the area and its impact on the local economy.

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