Letters from the Issue of May 19, 2005

Shark killers, whimpering liberals, and demanding drag queens

And how about our government? The Bush regime is killing off innocent young men, women, and children for -- let's just say it -- for money. Well, I got to say Mark the Shark kills for money too.

A little history on me. I've been a captain since 1971 and ran every boat out of the Haulover and Castaways marinas. I'm still running boats, but now in North Carolina. Two species of fish that will be here when we are long gone: the not-so-well-known thresher shark and the more popular snook. Both are species that only a select few fishermen can catch with rod and reel. Think about it: If they were so easy to catch, there would be none left.

From Miami-Dade to Broward County in the spring there are maybe 30 threshers caught. This time of year they're passing through, following the bluefish schools headed north. Mark Quartiano is the only person on the East Coast who has figured out how to catch them consistently. Its a very secretive fish -- filmed only once underwater and never caught on long-line boats (which, by the way, are still fishing here). Out of the billion out there, look how few are caught.

I've been wanting to say this for years: Who is the person who plays God and tells us that because it's pretty, it jumps, and it's different, it has more right to life than a ballyhoo, pilchard, goggle-eye, or mullet?

Bill Strudwick

Calabash, North Carolina

Whimpering Liberals

If you don't like profiling, try fighting crime yourself:After reading Rebecca Wakefield's article "Racial-Profiling Study Liberated" (May 5), I must ask: When will liberals realize they cannot have it both ways? While cowering in their corners whimpering about terrorists, pedophiles, and other criminal types threatening their liberties, they take issue with "profiling," adamantly dismissing a proven theory: If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck....

Liberals need to take a stand to prove they actually have the balls and/or ovaries they were given at birth. Quit vacillating and cut our cops some slack. They might not be perfect, but compared to law enforcement in other lands, we have filet mignon while they have only hamburger.

Come on, people. If you really want to tie law enforcement's hands, next time you find yourself strong-armed or burglarized, don't wimp out and call 911. Demonstrate absolute bravery and courage: Handle the problem yourself. Then you can talk about "profiling."

Peter A. Blum

Miami

Demanding Drag Queens

Give them the credit they deserve -- or else: Thanks to Brett Sokol for the hilarious story on Robert "Desi" Desiderio's photographs documenting the real pioneers of South Beach nightlife ("When Drag Queens Ruled the World," May 5). As he so colorfully pointed out, these girls don't simply deserve credit, they demand it.

As fate would have it, the closing of the show has been scheduled alongside the MiMo-related screening of Lady in Cement at the next "Shelley Novak's Hollywood" May 30. Believe it or not, Shelley in all her glory is actually an occasionally erudite film buff, with her very own monthly night at the Cinematheque. As Sokol witnessed, she still means business after all these years. It's nice to see a drag queen who supports the arts.

Dana Keith, director

Miami Beach Cinematheque

South Beach

Queenly Nostalgia

From hard-core to genteel: Wow! That's all I have to say about Brett Sokol's "When Drag Queens Ruled the World." It seems like a lifetime ago. An era like that will never happen again. It was (forgive the cheesiness) magical. I saw this and wanted to thank New Times for a look at South Beach when it was on fire. And an overdue thank you to Miami Beach itself for providing the wildest time and some of the best friends I ever had (and still do). Desi and Shelley are brilliant!

Although I was probably the most, um, hard-core maniac at the time, I was still voted your best drag queen for 1995 and 1997 (or 1998?), an award I felt ruined me at the time.

As a manager for Guerlain in Denver, I would say my life has done a complete 180. Again, thank you!

Gary-Michael, a.k.a. Taffy Lynn

Denver, Colorado

The Sound of Glitches

Marc Anthony's vocals were perfect, and I should know: I feel compelled to address comments made by Fernando Ruano, Jr. in his story about the Billboard Latin Music Awards ("Stars on Parade," May 5). I am not writing this with any anger but rather with genuine curiosity. I am a co-owner of the audio company that for several years has provided the live sound for the awards program. I was very puzzled by Ruano's statement that the vocals of Cristian Castro, Marc Anthony, and Juanes were several decibels lower than normal owing to a sound system "glitch." Did he have firsthand knowledge that a glitch occurred? I can say that no such glitch occurred and would be interested to know if someone told him otherwise or had specific knowledge otherwise.

Furthermore each of the three artists he noted had his personal sound engineer present with our engineer during both rehearsals and performances. Their input was solicited and they appeared satisfied with the sound levels. Also there were no glitches in the system that affected the vocal balance within those mixes. Their only priority is their artist's vocal performance; they are there to ensure it is correct or to their approval.

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