Letters from the Issue of November 27, 2003

Anarchists and baseball and parrots and jazz

We heard little about the massive exodus of jobs from the United States to other countries and less still about the exploitation of workers throughout the hemisphere. Little or no attention was paid to the environmental catastrophe going on in the Amazon basin and other threatened areas. The systematic corporate takeover of agriculture and the dire straits of education were ignored. Rampant corruption, privatization, and exploitation across the hemisphere were completely forgotten.

Go ahead, ask someone about the FTAA and its impact. You'll see that the shift of focus was very effective. FTAA? Oh yeah, you mean that riot thing downtown, right?

Pablo Gomez-Rivas

Miami

FTAA: Offenders Without Borders

No country is above insult:Kudos for "Free Trade Miami." It was the best collection of feature articles of 2003. Maybe of the decade. Award-worthy! Long live Miami New Times, the only alternative, politically incorrect, equal-opportunity offender for the Magic City's unconventional lifestylers.

Joanne Tomarchio

Coconut Grove

FTAA: Cliffs Notes

Protester gets up to speed:I really appreciated "Fair Trade Hot Buttons" in the FTAA issue. It was the clearest document on this subject I have found. Thank you very much for helping me see why I should be protesting.

Mike Fink

Miami

Merrick Park Profile

A place so ritzy only drug dealers can afford it: In reading Pamela Robin Brandt's comments regarding the very high-priced Merrick Park, I'd say she hit the nail on the head ("Graze Merrick Park," November 13). My wife went there one afternoon and brought back her survey.

My opinion: The shopping center was built and marketed to Miami-Dade County's elite groups, particularly drug dealers, high-priced doctors and attorneys, and those born with golden spoons in their mouths.

Roy O'Nan

Palmetto Bay

Extend Palm, Apply Grease

Essential steps in selecting the site for a new Marlins ballpark: Francisco Alvarado's article about the search for a site on which to build a new Marlins baseball stadium was right on the mark ("Neighborhood Bully," November 6). Remember that the $73 million being contributed by Miami-Dade County applies to the entire county, not just the downtown Miami movers and shakers who'll make money from a new stadium.

I hope the Marlins, Marlins fans, and taxpayers get the best deal possible for a state-of-the-art ballpark, but I'm very, very worried that Miami politics will put an overpriced and underperforming stadium in a location that is hard to get to and less than the best choice. Given all the interest in this subject, we need to let some sunshine into the process before the right grease is applied in the right place and the big guys make up their minds for all of us.

So why not create a Website with chat rooms that will open the decision-making and provide a one-stop shop for suggestions and criticisms of potential locations. Bring power back to the people while helping local leaders understand that this is a serious decision with political and financial consequences if they screw up.

The downtown Park West site and the Orange Bowl area are receiving most of the attention, but I'd like to see many other areas given consideration. For example, maybe the Miccosukee tribe or the Seminoles would want to become players. Personally I'd like to suggest:

The transportation hub being planned just east of Miami International Airport (known as the Miami Intermodal Center), and including Grapeland Heights Park and the publicly owned Mel Reese golf course.

The southeast corner of the Opa-locka Airport.

The apparently abandoned Hialeah Race Track.

These three sites have good and bad points for both the stadium and the community, all of which should be considered in a fair and impartial decision matrix -- along with Park West, the Orange Bowl, and the many others I've not thought of.

Michael A. Uhorchak

Palmetto Bay

Squawk: Problem Parrots

We're here to set you straight: I write to express our appreciation for Humberto Guida's article "Our Feathered Friends" (October 30), which highlighted the inherent problems associated with keeping exotic wild birds as pets. This issue is one of the Animal Protection Institute's main advocacy areas, and we have several available resources (http://www.api4animals.org/doc.asp?ID=996).

We would be happy to provide any materials needed in the event of follow-up coverage of this or any other animal-related issue. Thanks again to New Timesfor its great journalism!

David DeWitt, communications coordinator

Animal Protection Institute

Sacramento, California

Squawk: Politicized Parrots

When money is on the table, anything can happen: I can only assume that Humberto Guida has given us a general picture of the new Parrot Jungle. Jungle? It sounds more like a Third World zoo. Nothing good can be said about allowing this sort of thing not only to be built but to be legitimized by politicians looking for the almighty dollar. Anyone caring about animals must be appalled at this clear disregard for their welfare. I urge the citizens of Miami to rise up in protest of this inhumane treatment of intelligent creatures. Where is the Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals?

Dr. Bern Levine, like any other citizen, should be held accountable for any cruelty to animals. Shame on the local government for letting this happen in the first place, and then condoning it by giving in to Dr. Levine's demands. This is a sad reflection on our times in this country.

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