Letters from the Issue of March 30, 2006

“An up or down vote is all we ask”

Recall the Pro and Con

She gotta go: Regarding Francisco Alvarado's "Total the Recall" (March 16): For government to work, elected public officials need to know they are supposed to serve the people, not the other way around. If we the people do not like the way he/she is conducting government business, then we have the right to replace that person, either by electing someone else or recall.

Those who are being recalled have no business getting in the way of the recall process. Usually negative comments and roadblocks like those being exhibited by Commissioner Natacha Seijas are made just a few days before an actual election. The fact she is doing this months before the vote shows we are on the right track.

The people of Northwest Miami-Dade should have the opportunity to decide, yes or no, if Seijas is the type of person we want representing us on the Miami-Dade County Commission.

An up or down vote is all we ask.

Phil Secada
Hialeah

She gotta stay: I'd like to respond to the Francisco Alvarado's article about the recall of county Commissioner Natacha Seijas. The lack of research into Commissioner Seijas's background displays both a prejudice against her and a lazy approach to research. I thought you people were supposed to report the facts, not your personal prejudices.

First, Commissioner Seijas was never a radio announcer. I think you are mistaking her years of service with the Switchboard of Miami, which aids battered women and their children in escaping from their abusive environment.

Commissioner Seijas is the only Hispanic woman on the county commission, and that grates on many people — most of those people being male. Luis Sanchez is a man, and Cuban men are notorious for the belief that women belong at home and are only to be seen, never heard. What about good ol' Roberto Casas? Does anyone care to recall his loss to Commissioner Seijas in the 2000 election? Or what about his loss of composure at a press conference during the campaign when Raul Martinez, his then-supporter, had to step in and take over the microphone before Casas stuck his foot down his throat? Remember that after his loss to Commissioner Seijas, Casas had to settle for her old seat on the Hialeah City Council.

Above all you must consider there has never been any taint or accusation of misuse of public funds to mar the commissioner's good name. That cannot be said for most who have held, and some who still hold, seats on the county commission.

Commissioner Seijas is notorious for her outspoken personality, and she is tough. Politics isn't pretty, but at least Commissioner Seijas has the spine to face her battles head-on. As a Hispanic woman in a county still ruled by men, she sets an example. She has had to be harder, faster, and smarter.

Yvette Mazanowicz
Hialeah


Spin Fair

Gotta watch 'em live: In reference to the WMG '06 issue (March 16): I am surprised and very disappointed with Miami New Times for selecting the DJ for this region solely off the demos submitted. Daily I browsed your Website looking for an announcement for some sort of spin-off between the top demos (as some of the other New Times papers did).

Now it could be easily assumed that someone had the "hookup" and got selected that way, which is common in the DJ circle in Miami. I have a few thoughts for you:

1. Demos: A demo these days cannot be trusted to be a very accurate gauge for a DJ. Computer programs make it easy for novices or non-DJs to produce mixes with ease.

2. Demos vs. live: The way a DJ plays live is usually very different from the style in which demos are made. For example, when I play live, I have no "set" — the crowd directs me by their reaction. When a DJ and the crowd are together, that's when the magic happens, and you cannot see that on a demo.

3. DJ energy: The great DJs sell it from the booth. Some do not. It makes a big difference.

4. Mastering: Bad volume control especially is something in which playing live separates the good from the excellent DJs.

5. Genre: At this time more than ever, you can see what genre gets the people moving by watching real clubbers.

The best test to see everything would have been for you to take the best 4/5 and had a spin-off at a club like crobar/Mansion/Space — any larger venue that attracts clubbers — and selected on performance and crowd response.

Just my opinion.

John Lowe
Miami Beach

Editor's note: Expect a spin-off next year, bucko.


Gross Guy

But he's tough: The story by Mariah Blake, "Manly, Yes" (March 9) shows the truly hypocritical nature of the religious right. While gleefully bashing everyone Doug Giles doesn't like, he cloaks himself in hymns to God and flowery-sounding prose. These people make me sick more than anyone else, and all you do is glorify them. Disgusting.

Michael S. Raines
Seattle, Washington


Clean It Up, Joey

Or was that Gersten? In reference to "Arriola Resign? Fuhgeddaboutit!" by Francisco Alvarado (March 9): There is an odor most foul over the City of Miami. It comes directly from city hall. The fire fee debacle wasn't enough. Now we discover that City Manager Joe Arriola has entered into a real-estate deal with the mayor and a commissioner who many thought would be a breath of fresh air, so to speak. Oops, mistake!

Here we go again: Arriola worked at the right hand of former Miami-Dade School Superintendent Merrett Stierheim. We can't say Arriola bit the hand that fed him, 'cause he took no salary or gave it away to some charity as he does currently. A question: If Joe is so wealthy, giving up hundreds of thousands of dollars of salary, why enter into any real-estate deals, let alone this one with its political or criminal stink? In business, isn't the fire fee fiasco called crime? Here we call it politics.

I believe it's time for fumigation. There is too much of an incestuous relationship here among all the connected folk: politicians, high-level bureaucrats, lobbyists, developers, wealthy businessmen and women. Perhaps it's time for fumigation at the federal level, as in a grand jury investigation.

Oh, and that was a great photo of radio raconteur, City of Miami Commissioner Tomás Regalado calling on Joe to leave the city. Perhaps Joe can gas up at Regalado's house — that is, if the commissioner has any of the 2000 gallons of gasoline around that he used in one month on city business.

Alan Rigerman
Palm Springs North


Soapy Response

In Rio: Regarding Emily Witt's article "Never Forget You" (March 2) about the telenovela Olvidarte Jamás: A monumental and fundamental distinction has to be known by all — both Florida Latinos as well as curios "Anglos." The despicably dreadful telenovelas made by Mexicans and Venezuelans are a numbing repetition of doll-face bimbos and slick gigolo-"executives." The Latino dream is to be a wealthy gentleman rancher with lots of mistresses. Of course, there are no actors involved, only "personalidades" — relatives of producers or TV general managers, or grandchildren of mid-twentieth-century movie stars.

The Brazilian-made TV-drama series are totally different. They include stunningly talented actors and directors and genius script writers. Of course, Brazil has a larger demographic pool and a wider variety of ethnic types.

It's almost as if Shakespeare were reincarnated in nineteenth-century Venezuela and wrote the lyrics to Venezuela's unofficial anthem, "Alma Llanera" ("Soul of the Prairie"): "I sing, I love, I dream, I weep." It's human life explained in one sentence — as profound as the Bard's "To be or not to be."

John Raspey
Hallandale Beach


Ban on the Run

Nude should not mean sober: Regarding "Booze Ban in Babylon" by Forrest Norman (February 16): As a world traveler, I'm perplexed regarding the drinking laws in Miami Beach. On one hand, the city is promoted around the world as the international hub of nightlife, nightclubs, restaurants, and of course its annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Yet within Miami Beach city limits, there is only one adult club (Club Madonna), and that club is not permitted to sell its adult patrons an alcoholic drink.

As a single, adult Miami Beach resident, I finally began to inquire as to why I cannot enjoy a beer while visiting Club Madonna (sometimes with visiting business associates), and I learned that the Miami Beach City Commission seems stuck on the very odd notion that "grown-up" patrons visiting an adult club will automatically become out of control and break laws if they are to have a drink while being around nudity.

Frankly I'm stunned to hear such an unsupported reason. Is the City of Miami Beach actually suggesting we (the adults who live in and visit Miami Beach) are too irresponsible to be able to handle having a drink while seeing a girl dance topless? Does the city commission view us as borderline rapists or thugs, or simply as children who can handle going to only so-called upscale and expensive Miami Beach clubs that constantly promote sexually charged theme nights on their flyers?

There must be a more sinister and perhaps corrupt reason at play — someone in some way must be making money keeping Club Madonna from conducting an honest and accepted business. Perhaps it's someone in the real-estate-speculating business who has the power to repeatedly deny Madonna a license. Maybe our city commissioners do in fact view their voters and tourists as dangerous, unstable sex offenders.

Salvatore Capozucca
Miami Beach

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