Even as a twerp: I just read Julienne Gage's article regarding Michelle Forman, "Animal Collective" (August 10). I have known her since we were in tenth grade. I have seen her sing many times and always knew she would find her way in the music industry. She has this voice that can make a crowd stop what they are doing and listen to her. I am very proud of her, and I know she will be successful. Thanks for taking the time to interview a great woman.
Who cares? He's a red! I read the story "Commie Book Ban" by Rob Jordan (August 10) at altweeklies.com. As an impartial observer with no ties to Miami or Cuba, I found the story interesting, but there was one thing missing: the point of view of the author and/or publisher of Vamos a Cuba. I would have liked to have read an explanation for why the controversial photo was chosen for the cover, for instance. It also would have been good to know the background of those who wrote the book and their reaction to this controversy.
They are not nephews: Regarding "Commie Book Ban": The problem for me is not just that there is a "vocal and extreme minority speaking for all Cuban-Americans," as Coky Michel said. It is also that this same minority is ramming its agenda down everyone else's throats: banning books, scaring Cuban artists and performers away from coming to Miami, blocking visas for recognized scholars, and, most outrageously of all, depriving other Americans of our constitutional right to travel where we please. This last is gratuitously cruel when applied to Cuban and Cuban-American families.
Who in hell do they think they are? I'm really sorry about what happened to many of them, but it's time to move on! How ironic that those most responsible for this are a handful of local politicians led by the Diaz-Balart brothers, Fidel's nephews family feud here? and "liberal Democrats" such as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who pander to them while voting against an exemption to allow Cubans in Miami to send soap and toilet paper to family members.
L'il Wally ruled that floor: Thank you so much for Robert Andrew Powell's brief article about L'il Wally, "Polka Mania!" (December 9, 1999). It's difficult to express how much he meant to so many people. Division Street is far wider than its actual boundaries, much like New York's 52nd Street. Wally meant as much to those of us who love polka as Bird meant to jazz. He really was that revolutionary. I never met the man, but I'll always miss him.
Ward Abronski San Francisco, California
Editor's note: L'il Wally Jagiello passed away this past August 17. He was a Miami hero.
No More Foie Gras
But now the Chicago ban has taken effect: I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up the issue of New Times that had "Foie Wars" (July 13) by Lee Klein on the cover. The treatment of these animals, the force-feeding, et cetera, has bothered me for some time. I was glad to see someone finally writing about it. I think you covered both sides fairly; it was a good article.
I have campaigned and sent out flyers to some restaurants, asking them to rethink their menu choices. I was happy to see that some places are choosing to not include foie gras on their menus. I will definitely be frequenting those restaurants over the ones who choose to keep serving it.
So many people are unaware of the treatment of these animals. Thank you again for helping to bring this issue to light.