Letters from the Issue of July 14, 2005

Dying newspapers, ATV defenders, and tough-talking college deans

Miami Is Not Seattle

Which is why reggaeton crushes indie rock:In his article "Out of Step" (July 7), Mosi Reeves writes that Miami, unlike most cities, lacks a "vibrant indie culture." Translation: White people are not the majority in Miami. But is this a bad thing? Miami is like no other city in the nation, so why aspire to be a bad copy of NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, or Seattle?

Let's face it, indie rock is never going to have the same impact here as in other American cities. And it's going to take a lot more than a new record store and a few indie club nights to change that. Followers of indie should be happy Miami offers them clubs and other social outlets for their music. But they also have to come to terms with the truth: They are fighting a losing battle.

The sound that has taken hold of Miami is reggaeton. Listen as it pours out of every car stereo in every corner of the city. I know New Times assumes its readership consists of homesick white kids listening to the White Stripes and dreaming of sunny days in hipster Williamsburg. But that's dead wrong.

Please, cover reggaeton. Better yet, put it on the cover as other progressive publications have done. Ignoring reggaeton in Miami is not only offensive, it's just wrong.

José Davila

Miami Beach

Change or Die

If you were Rachel Reeves, which would you choose?Thank you to New Times and Rebecca Wakefield for her story about the [black-oriented] Miami Times ("Changing Times," June 30). It was a historically significant piece of reporting and a real wake-up call for publisher Rachel Reeves. Hopefully she will see it in a constructive light -- because if not, the paper is doomed. That would be a very big shame, since the importance and social relevance of this newspaper to the black community is immeasurable.

I like to believe it is never too late to "teach an old dog new tricks," and that if Ms. Reeves puts arrogance aside and really wants to leave a lasting legacy, she can choose today to begin down a different road. She doesn't have to be known as the person who ran Miami Times into the ground, but can be seen as an intelligent woman who listened to the voices of the changing times.

Susan Root

African Village Gifts

Miami

ATVs: Not Just Arsonists and Thieves

Take my husband -- please: If those people are causing a ruckus by riding their ATVs in the agricultural areas mentioned by Kris Conesa in "Rural Ruckus" (June 30), I assume it is illegal. So where isit legal to ride ATVs in the Homestead area?

I think it should also be noted not all ATV riders are destructive of property and possessions that don't belong to them. Some ATV riders, like my husband, ride for the sport and fun of it. They stay on the trails that have been created by previous riders and don't set other people's land afire or steal their tractors.

The article made out all ATV riders to be careless and evil people. That is simply not the case.

Corinne Baez

Homestead

ATVs: A Family Affair

Trust me, my wife and kids are not pyros: I own four ATVs -- one for me, one for my wife, and two for my children, who are nine and seven. We don't go around setting farmland on fire or stealing tractors. Just how did the "ATV gang" steal a trailer? I find it hard to believe you can tow a big trailer with an ATV. And if anyone tries to throw gas out of a can while driving an ATV, in order to set a farm on fire, he is probably going to set himself on fire.

Not everyone on an ATV is a thief or a pyromaniac. Everyone I ride with has a respectable job; we pay for what we own. Several friends I ride ATVs with are in law enforcement and on the fire department, so do not generalize about the sport if you don't know what you're talking about.

Ismael Trujillo

Miami

Weeds Keep Me Awake at Night

Yes, I worry about them smothering us all: A big thumbs-up to New Times and Wyatt Olson for his article on the Old World climbing fern ("Die, Weed, Die," June 23). It is important to me and many other biologists and land managers that the public know what Old World climbing fern and the myriad other invasive exotic plants and animals are doing to the natural areas of our fair state. We need to do everything we can to stop, or at least stymie, the worst of them. It's chilling to know that right behind the wholesale destruction and development of our natural areas, the invasion of what's left by exotic species is the greatest threat to our native plant and animal communities.

I work as a biologist at a wildlife refuge on the west side of the Everglades. My refuge is closed to the public and it's about as undisturbed as it gets, and yet I find Old World climbing fern growing in even the most remote swamps. The biological control work being done by the Invasive Plant Research Laboratory helps me sleep at night.

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