Letters from the Issue of , 2002

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

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

Hollywood

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

Homestead

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.

Nick Medina

Miami Beach

Lincoln Road: Unfriendly and Dangerous

No public facilities but plenty of collisions: First let me say that we love Miami Beach and really enjoy our winters here. As a Canadian snowbird, I too have some Lincoln Road observations to make.

I agree with Lee Klein's complaint about several beautiful public fountains and waterfalls being completely closed off to public access by restaurant tables and storage facilities. There should be a safe zone around them for the public to enjoy.

For a major Miami Beach tourist attraction, Lincoln Road has not one public washroom that I'm aware of. Shops and restaurants either say their washrooms are for patrons only, they don't have one, or theirs is out of service. A public washroom should be built somewhere about halfway along the Road. A security guard hired by Lincoln Road businesses would keep out the homeless. There should also be more public benches for people to stop awhile and enjoy the sights.

I can't believe that cyclists, Rollerbladers, and skateboards are allowed on the pedestrian walkway. They even insist on riding their bikes on packed weekends when even pedestrians have a hard time moving. I've seen several collisions. Some cyclists ride quite fast, and all it takes for a pedestrian to be run down is to change direction or stop. Or worse yet, for a small child to bolt out a doorway from his mother's hand and be seriously injured by a cyclist. People who use bikes on Lincoln Road clearly are not trying to get to another place quickly; they just want to be seen.

B. King

Ontario, Canada

Our Unfunny Homeboy

Which is the least of Pitbull's problems: I understand both sides of this silly argument about Miami's Pitbull ("Letters," February 10). Pitbull is not a good rapper. Below average. He looks more like a ferret with blue eyes than a pitbull. His voice needs to be doubled to make up for his lack of a commanding voice. Ninety-nine percent of his lyrical punch lines are not funny, even when he laughs in the background.

But you know what? He has a following down here. Though I don't understand it, I have to accept it. Maybe they like him just because he's from Miami. I won't support any local artist just because they're from Miami. The music has to be good.

Wil Hendricks

Miami Lakes

Rodeos from Hell

That, of course, would be the animals' point of view: I'm glad The Bitch hates the circus ("Loves the Kids, Hates the Circus," January 27) but I'm confused as to why a rodeo would be promoted just a few pages later in the same issue of New Times.

Before moving to South Florida this past summer, I helped Mercy for Animals with an investigation into traveling rodeos that came through Ohio. Our investigation caught on video animals being kicked, beaten with metal rods, shocked, and having their tails twisted. Instances of such abuse occurred at every single event we attended. The rodeos we investigated travel through many states, including Florida.

If you attend rodeos, you are supporting animal cruelty. To view the videos and investigation reports, visit www.RodeoAbuse.com.

Jen Foley

Miami Beach

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