Letters from the Issue of November 18-24, 2004

Raging ravers, bad hires, shocked Goths, and authentic swagger

Space Cadets, Don't Mess with My Music

In a word, it's c-r-a-z-y to try competing with Ultra: I am a loyal electronica junkie and have been to every Ultra Music Festival since year three (I was out of town for both one and two). Ultra was, is, and always will be the best electronic music festival in the U.S. So I was floored when I read the article in "The Bitch" regarding Spacefest ("Rave Robbers," November 11) and the bullshit situation DJs are being put in by Space, DJs who just want to share their music with everyone and anyone who will listen.

Space takes the electronic music culture for granted. It's precisely as Ardis Robles said: They do it for a living. Ultra does it for the love of the music and to bring the world together for one moment in time. To me there is nothing greater than the rush you feel in the main stage area at Ultra in the middle of your fave DJ's set. I remember looking behind me at the first Ultra I went to -- a sea of people were all moving in unison. It was beautiful.

I was a Space attendee in its early days, but when I began to realize the direction in which the club was going, I decided I didn't want to fatten the wallets of people who showcase the music for the sole purpose of profits.

With all the DJs showcased at Space during the week of the Winter Music Conference, the club makes an obscene amount of cash. Everyone goes to Space during WMC. I have a ton of friends in the scene, and I know firsthand that 99.9 percent of them go to Space right after Ultra.

That Space would want to throw its own version of Ultra is crazy. Ultra is original and unique. In my opinion, it is a sign of extreme jealousy that Space wants to force DJs to sign a contract with a noncompete clause, prohibiting them from performing at Ultra if they also want to perform at Spacefest. Space is Space and Ultra is Ultra. Why can't Space exist alongside Ultra instead of trying to destroy the one thing Miami has that unites us as a community? If owners, promoters, and everyone else involved with Spacefest insist on being dicks, then I hope they choke on it.

See you all on March 26, 2005, at the only place I would ever be for the year's best electronic music fest -- Ultra.

Iva Poduje


Students Wanted! Special DiscountsAvailable! Sign Up Now!

Alas, there was a time when St. Stephen's didn't need to go begging for full enrollment: We believe Tristram Korten's column concerning St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School and the dismissal of its principal, Carol Shabe, was very one-sided and, in our view, inaccurate ("The Principal, the Pedophile, His Pastor, Her Parish," November 4). Our oldest child attended St. Stephen's for eight years and our second-oldest for six years. The school was great until Ms. Shabe arrived.

We found her to be disorganized, unfriendly, and something of a buffoon. She did not even take the time to learn the names of the kids or their parents -- and it's a small school! We can recall several occasions on which she called the sixth-grade class president by the wrong name. This was a far cry from the previous head-of-school, who knew students' and parents' names, as well as how the kids were doing academically.

Ms. Shabe earned the nickname "Barney," a result of her nursery-school way of addressing the students during morning announcements. We used joke that the only reason they hired her is that she physically resembled the previous head-of-school. We could see no other redeeming factors to justify employing this lady to be head of such a fine school and to follow such a great lady as Lynn Allen. Ms. Shabe's first year was so bad that we pulled our kids out of the school, and she was the reason why. We wish her no ill-will; she was simply a bad hire -- a decision made by the same people quoted in the article, we might add.

In the three years Carol Shabe was at the helm of St. Stephen's, the school went from one with a waiting list to one that now must advertise to get enough students. We think that says it all.

William and Darla Wyler

Coral Gables

So You Think You Want to Help Out as a Volunteer

Fine, just fill out these forms and cough up twenty bucks: I was looking through the November 4 edition of New Times and came across "Get 'em Dirty," a brief article by Terra Sullivan regarding the volunteer Hands on Miami Day. Living as I do in a residential substance-abuse facility, and learning that I need to be more selfless than selfish, I requested and received permission to attend the event. I showed up promptly at Bayfront Park to give my time and effort to a worthy cause and was delighted to see so many other people also looking to get involved.

I sought out the registration table and was presented with paperwork to complete. While I was filling it out, a volunteer advised me that I would need to pay twenty dollars to be involved. I discreetly attempted to explain my situation and inability to pay. Once she grasped what I was trying to relay, she huddled with a couple of people, then came back and advised me to wait around till all registrations were completed. If a need for volunteers still existed, they would "appreciate my help."

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