Letters from the Issue of , 2002

Garrison Keillor, elitist farmers, Lincoln Road hazards, and rodeo hell

Garrison Keillor Is God

Which is why I pray at the altar of WLRN: I disagree vehemently with the columnist who shares her name with the description of a female dog ("The Bitch"). I find much to enjoy about WLRN-FM (91.3) and the shows she cited in her February 17 diatribe: A Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk, and Folk & Acoustic Music. As for What D'Ya Know with Michael Feldman, I don't know that it's so "blandly interchangeable" with Weekend America and The Next Big Thing.

All one has to do is listen to Garrison Keillor and his spoof advertisements, satires of radio serials from the golden age of the medium, and eclectic music from all corners of the world to know that PHC is an intelligent, funny program.

Obviously, The B***h doesn't own a car or she would listen to the Magliozzi brothers expound on cars, driving, cell phones, and the like. Folk music sometimes has a sense of humor -- dark on occasion, often stinging. Mr. Feldman's opening monologues and his entire program are quite hilarious, except, of course, for the jazz interludes from the house pianist and bass player. Jazz has a soothing quality, and listening to it after dark just makes me want to sleep.

I gladly give cash to Friends of WLRN to keep the station on the air, even for those who don't like to use their thinking processes during the day.

Jeffrey D. Knight


Rural Reverie

Welcome to the Redland, where the greenery is money: In response to Francisco Alvarado's article "The Redland Menace" (January 27), it's a shame New Times did not include the arguments against Redland incorporation. The premise for incorporation is to protect from development the 64-square-mile rural area in unincorporated South Miami-Dade County. Sure, let's zone and regulate agriculture so we can maintain our rural lifestyle.

I lived in Broward County for nearly twenty years. I watched what happened when a handful of residents tried to protect their rural lifestyle. Communities like Southwest Ranches incorporated, and commercial agriculture as we knew it disappeared. Now small-scale nurseries and horse-boarding facilities comprise the bulk of Broward County's remaining agriculture industry. I've heard supporters of Redland incorporation point to Southwest Ranches as a model for their future. Is that how pro-incorporation advocates want to support agriculture? To Friends of the Redland and the Redland Citizens Association, "Keep It Rural" means zoning of one house per five acres will ensure that only the select few can have a piece of heaven.

I applaud county Commissioner Dennis Moss for his objectivity and fairness throughout the Redland incorporation study process. Commissioner Moss wants the people to decide their fate. By raising the percentage of votes needed to place incorporation on the ballot, he is sending a clear message that he is listening to all residents, not just a vocal minority.

If it is truly the will of Redland residents, then surely those who support incorporation will not object to allowing the majority to have their say.

Katie A. Edwards, executive director

Dade County Farm Bureau


Lincoln Road: Unsafe and Unclean

Too much stuff too close together: Lee Klein's article on Lincoln Road ("Sidewalk Scofflaws," January 27) is right on the money. I am glad to see New Times point out what is so obvious: In Miami, as long as you are making bucks, you should be exempt from criticism or compliance with community standards.

Yes, I support the new ventures and venues on Lincoln Road. I remember when Lyon Freres and Pacific Time opened up years ago. It was a delightful and optimistic time marking the rebirth of Lincoln Road, a moment when the doors to greater economic opportunities opened for many people who wanted to live and work in South Beach. And we can't have too much money flowing into the area.

But the fact is that with all those new stores and restaurants the area began changing for both good and bad. As Klein points out, there are many unnecessary, unusual, and uncontrolled seating and service situations (and possibly illegal code violations) to be found in many of the restaurants that now line both sides of Lincoln Road. There are too many chairs and tables too close together, unwieldy food stations, rain tarps, heaters, umbrellas, and waitpersons running back and forth across both vehicle lanes and foot-traffic paths. Add to that the dogs on leashes, dogs not on leashes, skaters, baby carriages, bicycle riders, and pedestrians. The place is often chaotic, noisy, and impenetrable.

In order for Lincoln Road to become a long-term resource for South Beach, there needs to be a balance that includes income-producing businesses and compliance with positive, quality-of-life standards. There needs to be both commerce and consideration for those things we think of when we hear the word "civilized." Other cities have done it with outdoor restaurants and malls -- Paris, Nice, Buenos Aires, Seattle, San Francisco.

It is really depressing to hear these three individuals -- David Kelsey, Judith Berson-Levinson, and James Cohen ("Letters," February 10) -- rag on Klein for pointing out what in any other city would have been taken care of long ago: noise, crowds, confusion, dog shit, and subpar dining and seating. They support an extreme version of Lincoln Road, and don't display an inkling of comprehension as to what's happening today -- obvious safety and hygiene problems that need to be addressed. I hope none of them suffers a sudden medical crisis while having lunch on the Road. By the time paramedics get to them, it will be too late.

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