Letters to the Editor

From the issue of December 21, 2000

Ben Jimenez

Grandpa Knows Best
Muzzle this unwholesome moral sludge with a beat! As I read the letter from DanceSafe executive director Emanuel Sferios (December 7), I found myself wondering what he thinks is his real mission in life. He gets all excited over splitting hairs about the degrees of harm being done by different drugs but admits that we will never eradicate recreational drug use from our communities. On this point I agree. So then what about eliminating the venues where these activities are prevalent?

It's my belief, as a grandfather of fourteen, that kids today already spend too much time listening to music, playing video games, and watching TV. Once they're old enough to go out at night, the focus changes. Dancing takes on a new and often unnecessary importance. Much of the music being propagated these days is of a basically unwholesome nature. Too much emphasis on angst, death, and anarchy is often found in techno pop and Goth. A great percentage of rap lyrics are filthy, degrading, and illiterate. And to think your child is "safe" in such a disgusting mix of moral sludge. How would Mr. Sferios like his daughter to date Marilyn Manson?

Most high school kids get up early. I have five fifteen-year-old grandkids, and they all head out to school at 7:00 a.m. Staying out till the wee small hours and enduring all the temptations Mr. Sferios describes in his misplaced efforts only serves to screw up a kid's body rhythms and make attention to school more difficult. We're already running behind much of the world in comparative education scores. I don't see the rave lifestyle making a positive contribution to our national good. Mostly it provides an income for rave promoters who've found a way to access a kid's spendable income without the background checks that would follow applications for a liquor license. In short we don't know who these people are.

Emanuel Sferios's energy and enthusiasm to help young people might be better utilized if he started an organization called studysmart.org and let the parents of all these dance-crazed teenagers take more control over the safety of their own kids!

John E. Brown

A Star Is Born at Howard Johnson's
Gaspar is his name and fame is his game: Congratulations to Gaspar González. His article "Can't Play It Again, Sam" (November 30) was fabulous. I enjoyed his description of the bar, the people, and the situations at the place I work, the Roof Top Lounge at the Howard Johnson's on Alton Road in Miami Beach. It was exciting to be mentioned by a good writer like him.

All the customers were talking about how good his article was. He impressed us. I wish him very good luck, which is the only one thing he needs. He already has lots of talent.

On that Friday night, the star of the Roof Top Lounge was Gaspar González.

Maria Lara
Hialeah Gardens

Even Though I'm from Wisconsin, Let Me Tell You What I Think
I think DeFede belongs on the radio: I want to thank Jim DeFede for his fine article "Collision Course" (November 23). It did a great job of defining the environmental, business, and political dynamics surrounding the controversial proposal for a commercial airport at Homestead Air Force Base.

I am strongly opposed to the creation of an airport on this former air base and will do everything in my power to voice my opinion and persuade others to adopt a similar position.

I do hope Jim will someday write a book on this fascinating subject and be a guest on our Wisconsin public radio.

Stephen Koermer
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Nader Supporter Justifies Self
Guess what? I will not accept responsibility if something bad happens: In his letter responding to "Collision Course," Chris Fulmer of Homestead states that if the airport gets developed, the idealists who voted for Ralph Nader will have only themselves to blame. His logic escapes me. Nader opposed the development. Gore refused to oppose it. How can voting for a candidate who opposes something make one responsible if it happens anyway?

Mr. Fulmer seems to be saying that voters should not concern themselves with issues, especially in cases where the major candidates more or less agree, but should always vote for one of the majors because only one of them can "win."

In this scenario, which seems to dominate U.S. voter thinking these days, the real winners are always the sponsors of the major candidates, and the real losers are always the voters themselves.

Tom Crumpacker
Miami Beach

Writer Produces Brilliant Article
Reader demands salary boost: Susan Eastman's "Why Not Hit 'Em Where It Hurts?" (October 19) is an excellent, brilliant article. She should get a raise. I fully agree that a test case should be brought to stick it to owners of condemned tenement buildings and encumber their properties until the judgment is paid. If the suit fails (or even if it succeeds), state and local elected officials should get off their butts and enact a statute or ordinance that expressly grants to local governments and displaced tenants broad compensatory and punitive remedies against such landowners and their properties. In egregious cases the government should have the right to seize the property and declare a forfeiture, just as it seizes property used in criminal activities.

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