Letters from the Issue of May 6, 2004

Tallahassee, tips, unsung musicians, and daughterly advice

And while we're at it, let me plug my show: Thanks to Lee Zimmerman for the article on Rod MacDonald ("Southern Comfort," April 22). I believe he is one of the best folk musicians in South Florida, and since he moved here, I think the quality of all folk musicians here has improved. It's refreshing, too, that he doesn't mind being called a "folk" musician, a term many marketers avoid.

Rod deserves to be heard, and I'm convinced his popularity would increase with more exposure. Mr. Zimmerman might have mentioned (assuming he knew) that the only exposure Rod receives on South Florida's airwaves is on my radio show, Folk and Acoustic Music, heard every Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on WLRN-FM (91.3).

Rod has an open invitation to come on my show whenever he wants.

Michael Stock

Miami

Daddy Not So Dearest

My father should reconsider his decision to trade with Cuba: John Parke Wright is my father, and I am writing in response to Kirk Nielsen's article about his endeavors in Cuba ("Cows to Cuba," April 8). I noticed the article failed to mention that he was once married to a Cuban American, my mother, Carolina Garcia-Aguilera. Interestingly my father references the Cuban-American community with distance, despite his intimate connection with one of its prominent members. My mother is a resident of Miami, author of eight books, and a board member of Amnesty International, and within Amnesty, one of the leaders in the crusade to help the dissidents who've been unjustly imprisoned by the Cuban government. I also have been actively involved in the fight for human rights on the island and am disappointed that my father dismissed the issue.

It is wrong to legitimize the Castro regime through direct trade. Any government that executes by firing squad its fellow citizens for allegedly committing nonviolent crimes should not be trusted. I strongly question whether the cattle making it to the island are trickling down to the Cuban people, or whether they are only for the enjoyment of foreign tourists and government officials. Sadly it is the Cuban people who are being used as pawns to justify trade with the Castro government.

To my father and the other American businessmen who are champing at the bit to profit from trade with Cuba, I have a message: The next time you're enjoying a Cohiba in your deluxe suite at the Hotel Nacional, or partaking of a wonderful meal with the Castros and other members of the regime, please do the following: Think about the poor Cuban people who are suffering as a result of the government you are engaging. Feel free to ask Cuban officials to show you the filthy holes where they are currently incarcerating the 75 dissidents. Press these officials to reveal who will be receiving your goods.

Please do not turn a blind eye toward these grim realities. You say you want to bring food to Cuba in order to help the starving people. So make sure it gets to them.

Sarah Almeria Wright

New York, New York

Erin Was Twitchy

And the offended mother had to be Cuban: Wow! According to "Ass Good As It Gets," some woman with children took offense at the beautiful sight of Erin, a bare ass that made some parts of my body twitch ("The Bitch," April 8). Well, I'd guess the insulted lady must be a dork, frustrated at her mate's indifference to her, and she's likely Cuban (my own countryfolk, so no offense, but that explains it). I predict that her children will wind up on the wrong side of their gender, or certainly in need of a psychiatrist very early on.

Please do not disclose the woman's name, but could you just confirm she was from Cuba, as I suspect? That way we will all understand.

Michael Hidalgo

Miami

Ticked-off Tradesmen

Exactly what do lap dances have to do with quality construction? I would like to express my disappointment in New Times regarding Nina Korman's article titled "Construction Funkshion" (April 8). As a project manager for a subcontractor on the Performing Arts Center project, I would like to know what sources she used in obtaining her information. I question her ability to report the PAC construction story with any accuracy or true knowledge of what has transpired through all phases of the project.

I take offense at her comment about "shoddy workmanship." Through many years of hard work and quality work, we have earned an admirable reputation in the construction industry. Her article may have damaged our reputation and the reputation of many other quality contractors on the project. The article was also offensive in its stereotyping of construction workers as morons who would build a better building if only they were given a monthly strip show with lap dances.

If it was Ms. Korman's intention to stir controversy, consider her effort a success.

Eric A. Smith

Miami

Drag Queens in Denial

Hey you guys, it's over -- nightlife is dead, time to get a life: Seems like the ghosts and ghouls of Beach nightlife at last have something to howl about: Thanks to Humberto Guida's "BuzzIn" column, they are finally getting their names in print ("Dark Obsession," April 8).

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