Letters from the Issue of April 3, 2003

I Agree: Miami Is Ugly

But I say we have only ourselves to blame: Bravo for Alfredo Triff's article "Ugly Out There" (March 27)! I'm an environmental-science major and it's here that two disciplines merge. Environmental aesthetics makes a case for beautiful ecosystems. But I may disagree with Triff on one thing: Yes, our city is ugly, but it's all our fault for having those politicians representing us.

We lack involvement and commitment to change our landscape. Until we have that commitment, we will remain much the same: a poor and depleted tourist trap with plenty of condos for the rich.

Teresa Gonzalez

Coral Gables

Capitalism at 130 Beats Per Minute

Money makes the turntables go 'round: I want to thank the New Times because it is the only media outlet in Miami that is really independent. Case in point: Celeste Fraser Delgado and David Holthouse's article "Beach Head," about the Winter Music Conference (March 27). On March 22 I had the opportunity to attend the Ultra music festival. It was my first and it will be my last.

The music and the DJs? They were excellent. The organization and services? They were a disaster. We were informed we could not carry backpacks, photographic cameras, glow sticks, food, or beverages into the venue. I agree with this as a matter of security, but not as a mafia attitude. I say this because all those prohibited items were for sale inside the party area.

I'm very sad to see how an underground movement has turned into a big business. Remember: DJs aren't rock and roll stars.

Victor Madariaga

Miami Beach

If I Say It's Brilliant, It's Brilliant

Regardless of what some free-weekly nitwit may think:I am compelled to write to the editor and to writer Gregory Weinkauf about his incredibly mean-spirited review of the film Irréversible ("Bass Ackwards," March 27), which, in my opinion and apparently to many revered and well-respected film critics and festivals, was an outstanding film. He laughably calls the director a "wannabe" when he is merely a film reviewer for a free -- and to many -- a second-rate newspaper that makes its money from plastic surgery and stripper ads.

I doubt very seriously if this director set out to do anything except make a film he is passionate about. The rape scene seems to excite Mr. Weinkauf more than anyone else I know who has seen the movie, and his focusing on this, enticing his readers to go see it as if that is its only merit, is downright despicable. Only an outstanding director would be able to extract such performances out of an actress who makes Catherine Zeta-Jones look like a replacement on The New Mickey Mouse Club.

If there is a wannabe here, it's Mr. Weinkauf, who obviously is jealous that a film outside the trite Hollywood garbage could be making such a stir. I am hardly a casual filmgoer, and I can say this movie is brilliant on many levels. Luckily, anyone who reads New Times takes it for what it's worth -- nothing.

Buck Winthrop

Miami Beach

He Doesn't Trust the Trust

And you wouldn't either if they disappeared your insurance: Kudos to Tristram Korten for his column on Michael Kosnitzky and his aggressive force for change at the county's Public Health Trust ("Welcome to the Brawl," March 20). Jackson Memorial Hospital, controlled by the Public Health Trust, is the reason I am one of 450,000 uninsured people in Miami-Dade County. Until the end of 2001 I had been for three years a private-paying HMO member of the JMH Health Plan -- that is, until Jackson decided to no longer offer coverage to individuals (as opposed to groups).

If the Public Health Trust is redefined, its responsibilities should not include Jackson, as the Trust is part of the problem. If Jackson cannot afford paying members, how can it remain part of a new trust with nonpaying members, and still succeed?

Charles Tien

Miami

Americana's Last Gasp

Not a soul cares: Celeste Fraser Delgado wrote a great story about the Lido Spa ("How Sweet It Was," March 20). What a shame that the current residents of Miami and Miami Beach probably know nothing of, nor have any respect for, this slice of Americana.

Keep up the good work.

Jonathan Newell

North Miami

Soccer Suckers

And you thought we'd stupidly believe your bogus rant? Frank Resillez, in his letter regarding soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona ("Argentina's Self-Inflicted Misery," March 20), needs to get his facts straight -- especially when he says Maradona never won a World Cup. Frank, try visiting the following Website: www.vivadiego.com. After looking at this, please recognize your error, correct it, and then publish it.

Agustina Faija

Surfside

MIA's Language Problem

You deplane, you enter the terminal, you ask for directions. Good luck, Bubba!In reference to John Robert McCord III's letter about Francisco Alvarado's article on Miami International Airport ("MIA: A User's Manual," March 13), I had to comment on his statement that "MIA mirrors our global city in its size as well as the fact that perhaps not everyone speaks English as a first language." That may be, but given that MIA is in the United States, its workers should be prepared to deal with people whose first language is English, not Spanish, and treat them as well as Spanish-speaking travelers. It's called good customer service, and frankly, given that airport personnel are usually the first locals one encounters when arriving somewhere, the poor service mentioned by Alvarado's interviewees isn't going to endear them to Miami or encourage them to stay or return.

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