Letters from the Issue of February 2, 2006

Website woes

Web Wallow

It's getting better, bucko: The new layout of your Website blows. I realize it was a decision made by the corporate people, but now almost all New Times Websites are essentially unusable. Tell me, does anyone really click on any of those banner ads that are now so inescapably displayed?

The Village Voice's site remains undisturbed, for now. I can't wait to see what the New Times brain trust does to screw that up beyond recognition.

In trying to mimic every move of mainstream media, you people are going to kill yourselves. Seriously. Goddamn it.

Chuck Fields
Miami Beach

Save da Pets

Pounding the truth: I thought Francisco Alvarado's "Death by the Pound" (January 26) was excellent. Thanks for providing an honest and fair view of Animal Services. I do believe that Sara Pizano is doing her best to improve the shelter conditions, but it takes time, money, and support from the community.

Marti Snyder
Miami

Snap to It

Hazards galore: We are puzzled by Josh Schonwald's characterization of the Snapperfarm aquaculture facility as being "eco-sensitive" in the story "A Fish Farmer's Tale" (January 19). One need only go to Snapperfarm's Website to read about the environmental hazards associated with this operation.

Researchers from the University of Miami and elsewhere found that it could take several years to reverse the "significant" reduction in certain sea life near the cages; that the ecosystem could be harmed because opportunistic wild fish are drawn to the cages; and that excess feed and waste could cause sea-life-killing algae blooms. In general, the researchers said open-ocean aquaculture facilities can destroy habitat, spread parasites and disease, alter biodiversity, and damage coral reefs.

The researchers concluded that the "precautionary approach" should be adopted to this technology — "where the polluter is not allowed to continue his operation."

Florida's coastal waters have been abused for decades — by fertilizer runoff from sugar farms, developers who destroy mangrove forests and marshes, reef-ripping and sewage-dumping cruise ships, dioxin from paper mills, mercury from coal-fired power plants, and countless other pollutants from countless other human and industrial sources.

However novel open-ocean aquaculture may seem, the risks far outweigh the benefits. A truly precautionary approach would spare Florida from yet another attack on its environment by forbidding this industry from proliferating until its potential problems are further studied and resolved.

Wenonah Hauter
Executive Director
Food & Water Watch
Washington, D.C.

Paris Is Grateful

Abel nailed it: I'm the guitarist for Paris Is Burning, and I'm writing to you in reference to the January 19 "Live Wire" piece by Abel Folgar. On behalf of the band, I would like to express our gratitude for your kind words. I have to tell you that we were all shocked and at a loss for words when we found out about the article.

We are a completely independent and self-sufficient band and have worked our asses off for everything we've accomplished. It's so rewarding to see our name in a paper such as the Miami New Times. Thank you for the motivation and helping us promote the show. You hit the nail right on the head!

Tony Mercadal
Via the Internet

Hop to It, Recruit

Get the title right, sir!: Emily Witt's January 12 story about basic training at Parris Island, "The Few, the Proud," was outstanding. She really captured the "why" of the place. I have been to PI three times: the first as a recruit, then on a trip similar to hers, and as a visitor over a period of 50 years. Except for new facilities, it is the same place it was when I graduated in December 1956.

Most important, it was a life-changing experience for me, as it will be for the recruits she talked with. I would like to make one correction to the story: On the graduation day Ms. Witt attended, 511 Marines graduated, not soldiers. Marines are not soldiers. They have earned the title; please don't take it away.

Frank Real
Palmer, Massachusetts

Diesel This

Bitch and extol: I read The Bitch's piece, "Remedy" (January 5). I loved the bit about Vin Diesel. It was a pleasure to read. Excellent job and keep up the good work.

Ray Testa
Miami Beach

Kuba Equals Cuba, I Think

Unless you like Kaos: I loved Francisco Alvarado's January 5 personal piece about returning to his native country, "Soy Nicaragüense." We Kuban exiles have been harped upon by everybody for nearly half a century with the same stupidity: "We will never return to live there, that our country will never be the same, that we will never have a say in it, and that we will never make a difference in our country."

I have heard that bullshit for more than 40 years from every Kuban hater and Kuban Uncle Tom.

It is great to be able to go back and face your country and your past without having to kiss ass to the same dictatorship that caused you to leave 47 years before.

Good luck to you, pal. I strongly suggest you sell your condo and invest in your country. Work here and vacation there. Retire there, and do the same stuff there you have done here for so long. More power to you! Maybe one day I can do the same 90 miles from here.

Frank Resillez
Key Largo

Music Editor

Miami New Times has an opening for a music editor. This full-time position entails planning and editing the weekly music section, writing feature stories and a weekly column, and working with freelancers. Qualified candidates must have strong writing and organizational skills and be well versed in Latin, hip-hop, DJ/dance, and indie rock. Applicants should send a cover letter, resumé, and five clips to Jean Carey, managing editor, 2800 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137.

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