Letters from the Issue of November 11-17, 2004

Public-radio lovefest, parks and mounted police, humans as panther bait

William Keddell

Miami

I Am Goth

And to my critics I say, Come to me and learn: As a DJ and club patron of the Goth scene in South Florida since 1991, I must say that I was quite embarrassed to be included with most of the people in Ted B. Kissell's article "Coffin Classics" (October 28), with all respect to Ted, of course. Aiden, the Count, and their girls are not part of the Goth club scene here in Florida. All they ever do is criticize the club scene, and when Goth-related events do take place they choose not to support them and then criticize them even when they don't attend.

I have done much for the Goth scene here by bringing down bands (Mors Syphilitica, The Wake, Christian Death, Switchblade Symphony, Black Tape For Blue Girl) and hosting promo parties for new bands. To all the critics, I am DJ-ing new and old Gothic music, so if you want to hear some, get off your computers and come on out to one of the various clubs where I DJ. I know a Goth scene does exist down here in Florida. It's just underground. For more info about me or my parties, please visit www.bloodykids.com.

Carlos Saint Germain

Miami

You Are Panther Bait

New entrée on the menu -- tourist tartare: Forrest Norman's article about the collared panther that killed livestock described only the tip of the iceberg ("Wild and Crazy," October 7). There is lethal danger below. Having roamed the Everglades in excess of 40 years, I'll share a few thoughts and facts with your readers.

Compliments are in order for Mr. Norman for the "Wild and Crazy" story about the marauding, deranged panther, cougar, puma, or whatever terrorized the Trail Lakes Campground out on the Tamiami Trail some 50 miles west of Krome Avenue. The slow (twenty-day) response to remove this Dahmer-style serial killer was the result of a federal and state bureaucratic interface imposed upon us all by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). State agencies cannot legally take unilateral action to protect people on a federally listed creature. One little known fact is that Section 6 of the ESA contains instructions and financial incentives (bribes) so as to seduce a state into turning over state sovereignty to the federal government. Florida has entered into at least two of these. Our state agencies currently are forced to seek permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) before protecting you and me from lethal threats, whether from animals or defective US 41 road design. Basically the public safety of Florida's residents has been outsourced to the federal government.

In South Florida, panthers and alligators are overpopulated (with crocodiles soon to join them) and are the deadly threat below the tip of the iceberg. If you don't believe it, ask the relatives of four people shredded by alligators near Fort Myers since July. Luckily panthers haven't done it yet in South Florida, but it's worth thinking about as one visits Shark Valley, Loop Road, Big Cypress, or anywhere else in our dense, wild, and crazy swamps. These predators are watching you as you walk, canoe, and ride bikes. And they may be sizing you up for dinner.

Frank F. Denninger

Hialeah

We've All Been Fooled

What do Florida panthers and Bigfoot have in common? There are no Florida panthers. According to historic records, there have been no sightings of Florida panthers south of Lake Okeechobee since the late Twenties. It was reported was that a bankrupt circus had its winter headquarters in Sweetwater. The circus was unable to feed and care for its South American pumas and so turned them loose in the Everglades. Genetic sampling has proved that the current "Florida panthers" are descended from these animals.

Another story: There was a Bigfoot [Skunk Ape] sighting in the Everglades in the Seventies. I had taken my two boys on a Cub Scout camping trip with their troop to Everglades National Park. The boys and I returned to camp one evening and there was a large turmoil. Everyone was packing to leave. I asked what happened. The Scoutmaster said he and the scouts had seen Big Foot, down by the prehistoric canal, in a driving rain and lightning storm. The monster was eight feet tall, had two heads and six arms. It threatened them and made horrible screeching noises.

I told him that what he saw was me with my two boys sitting on my shoulders in our raincoats. They had gotten tired and I was carrying them. We all had a good laugh.

Harold Cobb

Native of Miami Beach 1934

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