Letters from the Issue of January 20-26,2005

Flack attacks, newspaper scoops, American fascism, and drug-addled Miami

If That Was a Flack Attack...

...then we need more of them: It is most unfortunate that, while castigating the Artécity condominium project and DindyCo PR for throwing a great party around an art-show opening, The Bitch neglected to address the real news in her "Condoflage" piece (January 13).

The news? Artécity sponsored a full-scale art competition with real prizes awarded directly to the artists, while also supporting one of the region's most devoted and highly regarded arts organizations -- ArtCenter South Florida. If only more of our community leaders would participate in such "flack attacks."

Poke fun all you want, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

Paul Woehrle

Oakland Park

Don't Call Me a Flack!

It's infantile people like The Bitch who keep Miami in arrested development: After I got wind of The Bitch's "Condoflage" item, I wanted to state my piece. The January 7 opening party was not a "flack attack" on behalf of the Artécity condominium on Miami Beach. For that matter, I have never considered myself a "flack."

We did not disguise anything about the event, though I am glad The Bitch found it "clever." From the first announcement of the art competition, we have been up-front about the sponsor -- this was a program Artécity created in conjunction with ArtCenter South Florida. And why shouldn't there be a competition for the ArtCenter's resident artists? They deserve recognition for their work as well as funding to continue what they do. Throughout history artists have had patrons, which is a good thing as they would not have survived otherwise, or would have been forced to work a day job in order to pay their bills.

The part about the "jet-fuel" vodka martinis being the only beverage available also isn't completely true. In addition to the Grey Goose, we served Izze sparkling juices, sparkling and still water, and we had a variety of juices and sodas as mixers. There was plenty to drink that was not alcoholic and we weren't forcing people to pick a vodka drink.

As far as the event being "chaos" and a "free-for-all," it most certainly was not. We managed the door and check-in as we always do. It was invitation-only, very calm, easy to navigate, and we had no complaints.

What Artécity is doing for the community is good. Since June of last year, my client has spent nearly half a million dollars sponsoring arts programs and institutions, and hasn't even begun the condo sales process. All this money has gone out without a cent in return. Of course my client hopes to reap the benefits when sales begin, but aren't Artécity's activities far better than just throwing parties? The community and the condo purchasers do benefit, and in a solid way. The Artécity Card each buyer will receive is valued at $475 and provides membership in five important cultural institutions.

Newspaper coverage like this could influence people away from community support. A wise man once said no good deed goes unpunished. This is certainly an example of that. Citizens, both private and corporate, should be celebrated for their good deeds instead of chastised. No wonder this city is still in its infancy -- it's populated by immature people like The Bitch, people who fail to check facts and can't wait to cast aspersions.

Dindy Yokel, president

DindyCo PR & Marketing

Miami Beach

Don't Overlook My Newspaper's Scoops

As The Bitch should know, if it's about the Grove, we'll have it first: It's interesting that The Bitch would say the Home Depot media rise has been limited to a couple of reports in the Sun Post and the Miami Herald's "Neighbors" section ("Winter White," January 6). The Coconut Grove Times not only broke the story about a proposed Home Depot in the West Grove but has been reporting on it for more than three months, plus printing letters from the community -- way before it moved onto the radar of the Sun Post and the Herald.

Most of the time, if a story has to do with anything in the Grove, we're going to report it long before anybody else. The Bitch should know that by now. Perhaps she will correct that in the next issue of New Times. Meanwhile, I must say that The Bitch's column is catty, campy, and cantankerous enough to be totally delightful. It's well written, fun, interesting, and even on occasion erudite. Not bad!

Elena V. Carpenter, publisher

Coconut Grove Times, Brickell Post, South Miami Times

Why I Battled Bush

America's rising fascism brought me out of retirement: I read with interest the letter from Anne Cameron (January 13) in response to Forrest Norman's article "Kicked While Down" (December 9). Like Anne, I worked for Grassroots Campaigns under the directorship of Chris Goldberg and on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. Let me set the record straight.

I'm 62 years old and have not been politically active since the late Sixties, when I was protesting the Vietnam War. I joined Grassroots Campaigns because I saw our country was rapidly sliding into fascism -- more rapidly and more dramatically than I ever could have imagined. This rapid slide is directed by "W" and the group of thugs with which he surrounds himself. These unscrupulous, war-mongering, right-wing radicals do not care about our civil liberties and freedom here at home. Sadly they've adopted an attitude that was prevalent back in the Sixties: "America, love it or leave it!" Everything they think and do is the right thought and the right thing to do. In fact they can do no wrong. Their ends justifies their means -- at all costs, in every way, in every shape, and in every form.

So I joined the Miami Grassroots Campaigns organization headed by Chris Goldberg. He was the perfect man for the job. Chris was spectacular and was able to organize, develop, and motivate a raggedy group of folks who were dedicated to making things better for all of us, not just the rich. Chris had a thankless job: riding heard over 80 people, covering the entire metropolitan Miami area with people canvassing hour after hour, day after day, rain or shine.

Chris deserves a major round of applause and thanks from all Miami residents who care about the conditions and fate of the working man and woman, unlike our dubious governor, who in 2002 single-handedly ordered the destruction the Florida's Department of Labor. Yes, that's right: Florida now has the distinction of being the only state in the union with no labor commissioner.

Like any grass-roots organization, we had minor problems at the end of the work cycle -- election day -- and the confusion that came with it. The bottom line: We had a problem getting our very last paycheck, but it was an e-mail from Chris Goldberg directed to the payroll office in Boston that liberated my final check. As I said, Chris was a dedicated champion for human rights, dignity, and the protection of all civil rights. He certainly would never intentionally do anything to hurt the canvassers.

I would work for Chris again in an instant. I'd do it tomorrow! He's a strong, dedicated, highly motivating leader who deserves my thanks and the thanks of every person residing in South Florida for his undying efforts on our behalf.

Dan Aaronson

North Bay Village

Miami Miracle: Not All of Us Are on Drugs

I know it's hard to believe, but it's true: Jonathan Zwickel's article about DJ Gabriel Fain ("Bring It Back," January 6) was insightful except for one part. Why is it every time there's an article on Club Space in New Times, a drug reference needs to be made? I refer to this line: "By the summer of 2003, he ruled the patio of Club Space ... spinning after-hours sets on Saturday mornings to chemically enhanced dancers...."

That joke got old two years ago. I think New Times's writers need a new punch line for Space, and Miami nightlife in general. Not all of us are on drugs.

Dan Vidal

Miami Beach

Roe Woe

Caviar fanatics, brace yourselves: I read Pamela Robin Brandt's review of Marky's, the Russian gourmet market ("Crazy for Caviar," December 30) and wanted to say that on January 11 I purchased one ounce of fresh paddlefish caviar from Marky's. The cost: $16. I showed the clerk Pamela's article indicating the cost to be in the $8.80 to $11 range. He then produced a printout showing the $16 price. I think New Times should advise readers of the revised price.

Incidentally, I had asked for hackleback at the store but was told they had none as it was "out of season." In a follow-up phone call, I was told they indeed did have hackleback!

James Frank

Aventura

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