Letters from the Issue of October 23, 2003

Utopia in Three Easy Steps

Here's how I would fix Miami: In response to Rebecca Wakefield's October 16 report on Miami's poverty rating ("We're Still Number One!"): An all-inclusive national healthcare policy, plus work programs similar to FDR's New Deal, would get the homeless off our streets.

And real documentation and/or removal of all illegal immigrants and the prosecution of businesses that hire them for slashed wages under the table would bring back working citizens interested in building viable communities.

In addition, city governments made up of holistic community planners, preservationists, and law enforcers -- as opposed to pandering fat cats and Smiling Jack real estate developers who are erecting glass high-rises in an environmentally fragile hurricane zone while selling off our homes -- would turn us into a model community for the whole nation.

Mark Buckley

Miami Beach

Beach Nightlife Convulsed by Radical Change

Intrepid columnist chronicles transformation: Okay, so I've been reading "BuzzIn," the new nightlife column, in hopes of gaining new insight to the "scene" with the "fresh new approach" being delivered by Humberto Guida. After reading his "Fresh Mynt" column (October 16), I realize that one of the ten things below must have occurred since I left Miami a short time ago:

Ocean Drive magazine bought New Times, smothered it with schmooze and ooze, and rendered it useless with regard to nightlife coverage.

Miami New Times is now most certainly full of club advertisements and is now dedicated to pandering to its advertisers in the same way it has accused Street of pandering. (I read the paper online so I have no choice but to assume this.)

Humberto is single and is seeing women in clubs for the very first time in his life.

Humberto is newly released from prison. I picture him wandering through clubland sniffing women's fake breasts much like Anthony Hopkins would.

Humberto is truly "buzzin" from all the free drinks he must be getting from Michael Capponi for writing this stuff.

The "scene" has really changed and Our Lord Savior Jesus Christ is on the Night Owl right now on his way to South Beach. There actually being a "scene" in Miami worth writing about once again is being heralded as a sign of His return.

The Trend Tracker is out of a job and Humberto is showing off his sucking-up skills to be first in line to fill her shoes.

The nightlife column is now serving as a directory listing so readers only need to browse through the names in bold. It makes it easier for people when they're looking for nightlife services to find out who does what (or nothing at all) in the industry. (The fact that Humberto has so many "good friends" and "buddies" is a riot. I'm tickled by that.)

Humberto is simply (and sadly) in awe of it all. (Can this be true?)

The nightlife column is a poor substitute for nightlife reality.

Ironically this fine piece of work by Humberto, which served as my proverbial last straw, ran with the "We're Still Number One!" issue. Arghhhh! Humberto needs to balance the column a bit and recognize the divide between truth and perception (alcohol).

Lee Williams

New York City

Editor's note: Lee Williams formerly wrote the New Times nightlife column "Clubbed."

Maybe I Should've

Stayed in the Coast Guard

Especially now that you can get $100,000 to live in Cocoplum: David Villano's exposé of Coast Guard Rear Admiral Harvey Johnson ("The High Cost of Homeland Defense," October 9), who appears to have (as the song goes) "gotten a hit on the radio, made his first million, and moved to Cocoplum...," was quite telling on several fronts.

First, hats off to the present Coast Guard district staff for finally realizing that Coast Guard housing at Richmond Heights (by Metrozoo) is ridiculously far from all the Coast Guard facilities in the downtown area, and for doing something about it by closing it down.

Second, how many Cocoplum residents are doctors who signed the Hippocratic oath to serve humanity?

Third, if the admiral needs $100,000 per year just for housing expenses, maybe it's time to admit the American middle class is dead.

I was a Coast Guard Officer, got out, and took a job in the private sector. Now, twenty years later, I make more than the national average salary. But my wife doesn't work, we've got two kids, and I must support two cars to maintain "normal" transportation for myself and my family. Consequently we can't afford health insurance.

Name withheld by request


Out with Ingrate Immigrants

And out with the political correctness that muzzles critics: I read Steven Dudley's story "Free as a Jailbird in Havana" (October 9) concerning poor Mario Mora Medina, a refugee who was jailed here, then shipped back to Cuba. Just imagine little Mario, arriving here with his mommy at the tender age of two. By the time his brothers got here on the Mariel boatlift, he was old enough to start selling drugs with his siblings, eventually moving up to cocaine and heroin.

I'm sure the food stamps were inadequate and Miami High just wasn't up to par with Cuba's educational system. Being an industrious refugee (à la Carnegie, Pulitzer, and yes, Schwarzenegger), Mario made the most of this democracy, building up a rap sheet for burglary, sexual assault, escape, and more. The prison uprising in Louisiana? Hey, he wasn't violent. And he even released his hostages. Whadda ya want? Just a poor exile from Castro's tyranny.

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