Letters to the Editor

From the issue of January 4, 2001

Cringe at the Story, Embrace the Storyteller
It wasn't just a tale, it was life:I very much enjoyed Celeste Fraser Delgado's article "Tales of the Hood" (December 21). Her experience in that Little Haiti neighborhood seemed very interesting. I don't know if I would have handled it as well as she did. I give her props for that.

But I wonder why she left. Was her life there just on a trial basis to write something for New Times? Whatever it was, thank God she's out of there. It didn't seem like she was in paradise.

Once again I congratulate Ms. Delgado on her article. I love the way she writes.

Mariela Aquino
Coconut Grove

A Cause Worthy of Our Times
Extend a helping hand to those in need ... of a luxury skybox: Good for Jim Mullin. His "Spitball" column about the Marlins baseball stadium plan was right (December 21). One would do well to note that a similarly funded, but better placed, inner-city stadium was built in Cleveland. On opening day -- and ever since then -- the 43,000-seat facility offers very few tickets to the general public. Nearly all seats are claimed by season-ticket holders, those on the good end of the trickle-down lollipop.

It's unfortunate that the only cause carrying any weight these days is the matter of profit and convenience for the wealthy. Such, unfortunately, are the times in which we live.

Paul Waters
Miami Beach

It's Ripped to Deep Right, It's Going, Going ...
It's gone! To the bottom of the Miami River! The Miami River site favored by the Miami River Commission seems to be the only logical place for construction of a baseball stadium. That it is privately owned and may cost $45 million should not be the main factor in deciding on location. Proximity to the downtown business district and the Metrorail are logistically much more important; they're really the main reason for the stadium to be built there.

The wishes of John Henry should take second place in this issue. The city, its residents, and the baseball fans must come first.

Alberto L. Mederos-Artigas
Miami Beach

We Regret to Announce That the Price Has Tripled
Free parkland is starting to look pretty good, right? Given his experience and knack for self-preservation, it is inconceivable that Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas would put forward a universally unpopular baseball-stadium plan without some hope of success. Either he's some kind of masochist and enjoys being crucified (well, at least it keeps his name in print), or he has already counted seven votes on the county commission (unlikely). The only other explanation is that we're being lowballed.

Any plan to give away Bicentennial Park along with millions in tax dollars would be dead on arrival. But if another location meant a half-billion-dollar public handout, the park giveaway would seem downright reasonable.

Jack Gurganus
via the Internet

Green Dream
Forget a ballpark, we need a people's park: Every great city has a great urban park. We are about to lose our last opportunity for Miami's great downtown park. Twenty years from now, forty years from now, a hundred years from now, what will be the value of saving that last waterfront property for our future?

A baseball stadium in Bicentennial Park will not always be new. In 40 years what will the area look like? Will a stadium help everyone in the surrounding area or will it just make a few people wealthier? What about the traffic, especially during day games?

Now imagine a setting like Fairchild Tropical Garden, with tree-lined walkways that meander between Bayside Marketplace, the American Airlines Arena, and on up to the future Performing Arts Center. Imagine a place where people come to jog, walk their dogs, and enjoy the views of the cruise ships. What if this space had a science museum or children's museum or a sculpture garden? What if it were designed and patrolled so as to be safe and accessible? Imagine if we created a noncommercial space where people could unwind and finally appreciate our downtown. How would that translate into increasing the value of real estate for everyone in the city, not just a few parking-lot owners and the other immediate beneficiaries of a downtown stadium?

And why should tax dollars that could be used to build schools and to make our streets (and parks) safer be used to help a private, for-profit entertainment company have an unfair advantage in a capitalist market? The city or state did not offer to give me tax breaks when I started my company!

Citizens of Miami-Dade County, Miamians, voters, city and county commissioners, think of the bigger picture. A great urban park is a great idea. A stadium in an area that cannot manage the traffic, a stadium that will detract from the aesthetics and vision for the area, a stadium financed by inappropriately allocated tax dollars is a bad idea.

Save our downtown area and oppose the stadium. Save our downtown area and support the development of a great park.

Peter Rabbino
Miami

Editor's note: Owing to a reporting error, the state-mandated group exploring options for a baseball stadium in Miami-Dade County was misidentified as the Community Improvement Trust. The correct name is Community Improvement Authority.

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