Letters to the Editor

From the issue of December 14, 2000

Today I subscribe to democratic multiparty elections, as in Europe, and to a humane social and economic structure, as in Scandinavia. As for the United States, it is hopeless in many aspects: political, social, cultural. As for Cuba, I think it should be permitted to ease into a democratic, multiparty system with freedom of expression, and it should retain its social ideals and its cultural autonomy. As for the Socialist Workers Party in Miami, they have a clean record and play an important role in the movement toward the emergence of a genuine multiparty system in the United States.

Ron Mally
Sunny Isles

The Graham Conspiracy
Now let's turn DeFede loose on that weirdness at Area 51: Despite Jim DeFede's speculations in "Collision Course"(November 23), I doubt that Sen. Bob Graham favors a commercial airport at Homestead solely out of a desire to protect his family's interests in Miami Lakes. Report after report has indicated that Opa-locka Airport is not a suitable alternative to the Homestead site for various reasons, including lack of space for expansion, potentially "competing" flight paths with MIA and Fort Lauderdale, and the fact that about 80,000 human beings live practically next door to it.

Report after report also has indicated that the Homestead airport will not have a negative impact on the surrounding national parks. Let's face reality here. The supposed alternative plan [known as the Collier-Hoover plan] is not going to provide the economic boost the airport will. Tourists are not going to flock to Homestead to play golf or stay at a hotel, nor will business people flock there to set up an office. The airport will provide thousands more jobs. Not only that, but the airport will provide many more better-paying jobs than will the Collier-Hoover plan. People working for airports and airlines generally earn much more money than those working in hotels as maids and desk clerks.

As it is, airplanes fly in and out of MIA right over the Everglades, and I don't see any so-called environmentalists railing against that. These folks are such hypocrites. If they care so much about the environment, why don't they do the single most important thing they can do to save it: Give up their private cars and use public transportation. Cars, not airplanes, are the true polluters as far as transportation is concerned. Yes, airplanes are noisy, but are the crocodiles, anhingas, and egrets going to go deaf? No. So on with Homestead Regional Airport, or whatever the name will be!

Richard D. Rodriguez
Miami Lakes

HABDI, a Paragon of Inclusiveness
Fred can't wait to get his job offer: Most citizens living in South Miami-Dade are rethinking the real intent of the airport proposed by Homestead Air Base Developers, Inc. (HABDI), which received a no-bid development contract from the Miami-Dade County Commission. The true answer is in Jim DeFede's sidebar to "Collision Course," titled "Who Owns HABDI?"

It is obvious that some powerful Cubans are behind it. As has been proven many times in recent history, the potential benefits -- thousands of jobs -- will be only for those who are bilingual and from a preferred place. We should discard any development idea that will benefit just one segment of our community at the expense of others.

Fred Millan

The Illegals: 38 and Counting
Here's how to turn an eyesore into a cash cow: Kirk Nielsen's article "Packed, Stacked, and Hijacked" (November 23) seems to have counted only the number of illegal billboard poles. Some of those poles hold two or more billboards.

On a recent trip up I-95 while scanning the I-195 and SR 836 expressways, I counted a total of exactly 38 illegal billboards (plus the ten legal ones) up to the Miami city limits, wherein the visual pollution ceased. This does not include the illegal Hampton Inn sign (SW Seventeenth Road and Third Avenue) or the beer ad draping the 79th Street Days Inn.

This amounts to the construction and erection of one illegal billboard every month in the city along the I-95 corridor during these last three years of city government. Also please note that when driving up this expressway, you are forced to spot a billboard every six seconds while traveling at 55 miles per hour.

Most important, the city penalty for illegal billboards is $150 per day for each illegal sign. That would amount to the City of Miami taking in a whopping $2,136,000 per year that would help to decrease the payments of the highest-property-taxed residents in Miami-Dade County. When the city commissioners were informed about these facts at the September public budget hearing, not one elected official expressed interest in enforcing our zoning laws.

Don Deresz

Choreographer: 10 Role Model: 0
Has Suzy Stone left you a voice-mail message lately? Several years ago, at the end of a Hip Hop Kidz dance class, I handed director Suzy Stone an envelope, which I am sure she thought was her monthly tuition check. In fact it contained a two-page letter of withdrawal on behalf of my daughter from the Hip Hop Kidz Performance Troupe. I made it clear no response was needed, but by the time I arrived home, there were two screaming messages on my answering machine. Recently I saw Ms. Stone at a distance, and she went out of her way to let me know that the "kidz" were doing great since we left.

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