Letters from the Issue of March 21, 2002

The heartless sea claimed the Fantome and crew

The truth is, all athletes have to be double majors, succeeding in their academic major and their chosen sport. A good portion of the hours a regular student spends studying his one major, athletes spend practicing, or, if you will, studying their other major. In fairness, if football players have to be able to play well and write like English majors, perhaps in order to graduate English majors should be required to catch a 30-yard bullet while sprinting down a field in tight coverage in front of thousands of screaming fans.

By playing UM football, Mr. Johnson has not only increased his worth in the job market, he has also achieved the other goal of attending college: He got smarter. For even if he never worked on a single assignment on his own, just being exposed to the ideas floated in Professor Petersen's class five out of ten days undoubtedly expanded his mind in some way.

If Andre Johnson doesn't make it in pro football for some reason, then yes, he may end up selling cars for a living. But I'd be willing to bet there are at least as many former sociology majors selling cars as there are former football players doing the same.

Doug Keller

Cutler Ridge

Now Onstage: It's Music!

Ask me about putting the live in Billboardlive: I just read Brett Sokol's "Kulchur" column "Meet Nightlife's Mr. Fix-It" (February 28) and want to thank him for the inside scoop on Billboardlive. Many of us around town were wondering what was happening to that place. So far it just hasn't lived up to its potential. Word on the street about the place is pretty weak, at least among the music scenes. Most people seem to enjoy boycotting it more than attending it.

Can you imagine opening a club called Rolling Stone Live and then just hosting DJ music? It's pretty silly. Hopefully this guy Rudolf Pieper will actually do something to bring hipness back to South Beach. I have some suggestions, notably in the area of hosting a night or two of actual music. In case Rudolf has missed this, the music scene here in Miami is getting ready to explode. There are functions popping up all over town at clubs of all sizes. People are flocking to see live music of all kinds right now. He should grab at it. They have the perfect venue. Some say not, but I would disagree. I believe he could make it work.

Ed Hale

Miami Beach

They Didn't Tell Us They Were Greedy

Maybe it was somewhere in the fine print? Regarding Rebecca Wakefield's article about Sunset Harbour condominiums ("Get It in Writing," February 28), we bought a unit in the townhomes a year ago directly from Groupe Pacific. We are more than 50 years old and this was not the first time we bought a home.

An eleven-year veteran salesperson from Pacific showed us the unit and premises. She indicated to us that the open-air pool belonged to the townhomes and was also used by the marina. She took us to the space where the spa/gym was being built and indicated it belonged to the two towers and the townhomes. We were shown the parking lot of the towers where the townhomes would be able to use valet for guests or extra cars. We received brochures that had all of this and more in writing. We also received the condo documents, all ten pounds of them.

We are not lawyers and yes, we did not read ten pounds of documents. Did we rely on oral representation? Guilty. But we had bought homes in the past, including a unit at the Yacht Club at Portofino, and we received exactly what we were shown. The difference is that we had always dealt with honorable, decent business people. Who would believe that a developer would keep the pool, the gym, and the parking lot for himself and then try to sell or lease it back to the owners? Only the greedy and unscrupulous developers of Groupe Pacific.

Michael Bedzow does not return phone calls and does not meet with people. He has his pawns, like Alan David, to do that. In one of the few meetings where Mr. Bedzow was present, he said, "Fairness is not a business term."

It is too late for us, but Groupe Pacific and its related companies continue to build in Miami Beach. To all prospective buyers out there: Buyer beware!

The only place to hit people like these is where it hurts: in the pocketbook. And if you are foolish enough to do business with them anyway, my advice is that after you shake their hand, count your fingers.

Marilyn Espinosa

Miami Beach

Forget the Fine Print

It was all there in the glossy brochures: Thanks to Rebecca Wakefield for her article on Sunset Harbour. I see that a tiger does not change its stripes. I noticed in reading the article that Michael Bedzow did not return Ms. Wakefield's calls but instead had one of his hired guns, Alan David, do it for him.

Bedzow blames the sales people for misleading buyers. His answer is: Read the fine print. But even when the print isn't fine (as in advertisements in various publications), he still changes his tune. Just look at the advertising for the Sunset Harbour retail shops.

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