Letters from the Issue of April 8, 2004

Miamiís corruption, midwivesí training, Cobainís legacy

Miami: Third World

Role Model

Thanks to upstanding leaders like Ralph Arza: I read the great article by Rebecca Wakefield about state Rep. Ralph Arza over and over and over, and I could not believe how deep is the corruption within our system ("Meet Mr. Arza," March 25). I thought only in Third World countries, like my beloved Dominican Republic, could things like this happen. But the Dominican Republic seems like a little baby in comparison to Miami-Dade County.

Ralph Arza, like many of our elected officials, seems to forget those people who put their trust in him to do what is good for the community. Once elected, he and others are beholden only to their friends and their own private agendas. We must get rid of people like that.

We voters must inform ourselves, get to the core of this rotting disease, and not only shake the tree but chop it to pieces. Only then can we start anew and make Miami-Dade County a nice place to live and educate our children.

As an angry and fed-up citizen of Miami-Dade County, I ask you to continue exposing corruption and to keep voters informed.

Juan G. Romero

Miami Beach

Arza: Too Manipulative?

You bet -- and he'd have my head if I signed this: Rebecca Wakefield's report on state Rep. Ralph Arza was well researched and very well written. It presented me with the evidence I needed to understand that Mr. Arza is too politically manipulative to hold the position of schools superintendent -- or any political office for that matter.

Thank you for an informative article in a style of writing that was enjoyable to read. Please withhold my name because, as a teacher in the Miami-Dade County public schools, I fear retribution.

Name Withheld by Request


The World's

Oldest Profession?

Think about it -- before any of that stuff, there were midwives: Regarding Samantha Roher's letter about the article "Cuts You Up" by Celeste Fraser Delgado (March 18), she is absolutely right about one thing: the need to educate. And I respectfully ask her to educate herself before passing on incorrect information to the general public.

First, the correct term for a nonnurse midwife is a licensed, not a lay, midwife. A midwife is licensed only after attending formal medical training in a three-year midwifery program. The prerequisites for this program are the same as the requirements for nursing school. In order to obtain her license, the midwifery student must fulfill certain clinical requirements, including the delivery of 50 babies (nurse-midwives are required to deliver 20 babies for their licensure), the completion of 75 prenatal visits, 50 newborn exams, and 50 postpartum visits. Once she has completed these requirements she must take a state licensing exam. We do not provide care for high-risk women, and we are required to carry malpractice insurance. We are highly trained to recognize early signs of complications, and we are skilled in both adult and neonatal resuscitation. We carry oxygen and anti-hemorrhagic medications to all births.

I can understand why Ms. Roher would have a negative perspective, because as a nurse all she sees are the bad outcomes. But for every negative case, there are 99 others with healthy, happy, and safe outcomes. All the studies that have been done comparing planned home birth with a skilled attendant to hospital birth have demonstrated that home birth is just as safe, and many times is actually safer, for low-risk women. In fact the countries with the lowest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world (the United States is not even in the top fifteen for either category) have midwives as the primary caregivers for all pregnant women, and have home-birth rates as high as 50 percent.

To respond to Ms. Roher's observation about Cher Durham's delivery, x-ray vision is unnecessary in diagnosing a nuchal hand. In this case I merely placed my hand inside the birth canal to determine the brief holdup in the birth of the baby's shoulders. Based on the position of the baby, I was able to determine which hand was crossed over her chest, and with a gentle maneuver, I dislodged the baby's left elbow, which was, as Celeste wrote, "snagging her mother's insides." Sometimes midwives "see" with their hands, a useful skill in any setting.

Midwifery was here long before doctors and hospitals existed. And despite all obstacles, somehow we have managed to survive. It would be a lot easier and more pleasant if we didn't get such antagonism from the "medical" community. But regardless, get used to us because we're here to stay.

Corina Fitch, licensed midwife, RN


How Kurt Cobain

Changed My Life

Only after his death did I come to know him: In response to "All Apologies" by Mosi Reeves ("Basshead," March 4), I was seven years old when Kurt Cobain died. I didn't know anything about him then. In fact I didn't discover Nirvana till I was fifteen years old, in 2001. We were taking photographs for the school newspaper (for which I wrote) in the media center. Someone was playing music and a song came on that I had heard once or twice before but couldn't place. I asked a couple of people about it. Surprised and sardonic, they replied it was "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the ever-popular Nirvana anthem.

Next Page »
My Voice Nation Help
Miami Concert Tickets