Letters to the Editor

From the issue of May 24, 2001

Best Citizen
He didn't come to play; he came to stay: In "Best of Miami"(May 17) you paid homage to pitcher Rene Arocha as Best Cuban Baseball Player (Recently Retired) and noted that he was the first Cuban ballplayer to come to the United States and make it in the pros. You failed to mention that he also was the last player to come to the United States for freedom. Virtually every player since then, including the Hernandez brothers, has sought residency in a third country so as to avoid the baseball draft and therefore be eligible to sign immediately as a free agent.

The United States is the country where they have the freedom to make a lot of money, but it is not where they have chosen to have political freedom. Mr. Arocha may not have made millions of dollars his first season, but he is now able to apply for citizenship in the country that gave him refuge from Castro's communism. The others are simply highly paid baseball players who think that freedom means money.

Chris Fulmer
Homestead

Best Tantrum
And the queen shrieked, "Off with their heads!": I can't believe it. After I spend a decade making the Miami Beach drag scene what it is today (and I feel that I have the right to say so, considering that Adora and I are the only two original queens left on the Beach), you choose Ivana as Best Drag Queen. Ivana? No offense, but who is Ivana?

Every queen in town can say they've won this title -- but not me! Maybe if I hang around another decade, host another three cabarets, another television and radio show, and another community-oriented awards program, then maybe, just maybe, you'll recognize the star that I am.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to line my birdcage. (Oh, by the way, I was also in that movie.) Love and kisses.

Shelley Novak(Tom Strangie)
Miami Beach

Best Taunt
If you're not up to the challenge, we'll help: I can only assume that the lack of recognition for my band the Square Egg means that your staff has yet to find a "defining label" for us. How about: Best Band to Defy Categorization. Maybe that will help next time.

Lee Williams
Miami Beach

Editor's note: Williams was named Best New Rap Artist in "Best of Miami" 2000.

Best Boast
With numbers like these, how could I be overlooked? I'm the Webmaster for www.ragonline.com. First, I'd like to say thank you for naming Rag Best Local Zine and including the Web address in the recent "Best of Miami." But in the item you didn't mention the Website. I just visited the Website you named as Best Local Website (www.booksandbooks.com). After seeing it I had to express my disappointment with your decision. In just two months I turned around Rag online, from receiving only about 1500 hits per month to nearly 50,000 for the month of April. I am proud to say I'm personally responsible for increasing the interest and traffic to www.ragonline.com.

Gregg Pechenik
via the Internet

Best Bravado
Station embraces primitive chest-thumping ritual: We were named Best Radio Stationin South Florida, an accomplishment that has made us very proud. We have worked hard to bring to listeners the best that talk radio has to offer. This is the only -- and I emphasize the word only -- radio station in South Florida that totally respects freedom of speech.

Yes, we are very happy today, and we are pounding our chests proudly. There are more than 40 radio stations in this market. To be selected as the best is just awesome.

Richard Vega
Union Radio
WOCN-AM (1450)
Miami

Best Outrage
Go ahead, just call it Best Butcher: Best Botánica? Your winner and others like it should be listed under a new category. Maybe this: Best Sociopathic Religious Knickknacks and Pet Shop. Do they really think their god wants or needs these fools to slaughter the innocent? Give me some air!

Unfortunately your fine weekly is helping to perpetuate this myth by even mentioning the availability of such innocent animals.

Bob Ronco
Miami

Best Goof
Right guy, wrong oeuvre: While I was thrilled to see my brother, Rich Simone, receive much-deserved recognition for Best Stage Design, I was appalled at the outrageous mistakes that were printed. He does merit countless kudos for his body of work, but please credit him with the right work, not that of someone else. I hope a public apology is planned.

Perhaps I just seem like an outraged sister, but I also know how embarrassing this incident has been for Rich. Please make it right.

Michele(Simone) Johnson
Lebanon, Indiana

Editor's note: When we named Rich Simone for Best Set Design, we mistakenly attributed to him the designs for GableStage's The Real Thing and Miracle Theatre's Things We Do for Love. Those noteworthy sets were designed by Jeff Quinn and Gene Seyffer, respectively. We apologize for the mixup. Simone is still New Times's pick for Best Set Design, having created innovative sets for, among others, GableStage's Tape, Popcorn, and Adam Baum and the Jew Movie; New Theatre's The Legacy; and City Theatre's Winter Shorts and Summer Shorts series.

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