Letters from the Issue of June 14, 2007

"We are led by nonpark professionals in executing a $400 million bond issue"

Shoot Straight

Politics screws up your aim: Regarding "Target Identified" (June 7) by Francisco Alvarado: As a soon-to-be ex-employee of Miami-Dade Parks, I can testify that this is business as usual here. We have many parks that commissioners hold on to like jewels so they can use them at re-election time or repay political favors (i.e., Tropical, Amelia Earhart, and many of the larger parks). Leadership is sorely lacking here. We are led by nonpark professionals in executing a $400 million bond issue ... which has already cost a fortune in cost overruns. Just plain less-than-experienced project managers oversee and implement changes that are very expensive and sometimes not part of the designers' intention. This is having a negative effect within our department on all levels.

Lawrence Reed
Via the Internet

Bring back Bugbee: It is a shame what political infighting has done to the Trail Glades range. I used to drive or fly down annually from Connecticut to Miami to shoot at Glen Bugbee's Caribbean Cup. Several hundred competitive clay target shooters attended. We stayed at the Miccosukee Resort and other nearby accommodations, ate at local restaurants, and had a wonderful vacation. Each year the targets were set by a famous British clay target champion whom Bugbee brought in so we could enjoy a truly challenging competition. The range has been closed for several years now. Instead of going to Miami, I now attend competitions in Gainesville, Ocala, and Fort Pierce. The Miami community has lost a premier public sport shooting facility and a substantial tourism draw. What a pity!

Frances Gallogly
Via the Internet

Misidentified: "Target Identified" quoted me as being from Miami. I'm from Jacksonville. I was retained by the parks department architect to make a recommendation on how to site a 600-yard sniper range for the airport police who have to make that long of a shot, and if possible, a 600-yard competition range. The west side of the site is made up of low-value wetlands melaleuca, et cetera. So that is where the range should go.

Clark Vargas
Jacksonville

Art as Truth

Free Ed Bobb!: Regarding "Artist as Prisoner" (May 31) by Rob Jordan: When we become slaves to the same laws we created, we become blind to exploring each individual case. To judge Ed Bobb because of an existing law becomes irrational when you think of this: How else is an artist to study the material and collect info on it? Images are the main tools visual artists use. Are we going to get to the point where artists must file applications asking for permission to view "illegal" images? And then because of the law, automatically be turned down?

Is there not a Catch-22 set up here?

Or are artists simply expected to not touch on delicate or controversial topics?

Quite a contradiction when often it is the job of the artist to shed light on those topics and cause us all to discuss and question them.

Without completing his project, it seems that Mr. Bobb has already succeeded in causing us to discuss topics that need to be discussed.

Yet, while already succeeding, I would very much like to see where he was taking his work and what statement he wanted to make concerning the topic of child sexual exploitation/abuse. Should he, as all of us, not be allowed to have his say, and to present it in the manner in which he can best express himself?

I do not know Mr. Bobb, nor have I seen any of his works, yet I support his right as an artist (and also as a plain citizen) to explore the undesirable or taboo topics.

Liz Hernandez
Via the Internet

Black Think

Fair doesn't get it: Regarding "Unfair" (June 7) by Isaiah Thompson: That an African-American should be against amnesty for illegal immigrants or any immigrant reform, for that matter, is completely ridiculous. Does this individual, T. Willard Fair, believe that his ancestors wrote the American Constitution, or were they part of some obscure Native American tribe that just so happened to have West African features? If I recall, African-Americans were also immigrants who were working in conditions similar to those of many of the illegal immigrants today, such as heavy farm labor or domestic services. It was a fight for them to be recognized as American citizens, and when they were finally given the same rights as those of European descent, they were able to succeed and have the opportunity to become productive members of society. I think Mr. Fair's opinions are typical of many angry African-Americans. He places the blame on immigrants, especially Hispanics, for the African-American community's failure to succeed and become fully integrated into mainstream American society. And as far as the "educability" of Hispanics (I know it wasn't Mr. Fair who said this), I think that every American needs to understand that the vast majority of Hispanics coming into this country -- whites, Native Americans, and mestizos -- were never enslaved and were always free. They come from some of the most advanced civilizations in the world, and even the lesser quantities of black Hispanics entering the nation were liberated when their nations were liberated and never had to experience anything remotely similar to Jim Crow.

In other words, many Hispanics entering this country lack one thing that many African-Americans have: slave mentality. So next time Mr. Fair thinks about a "slap in the face to black Americans," he should think about his own people and the white Americans already in this country before he starts thinking about immigrants.

Carlos C. Olaechea
Miami

Correction
An item in the June 7 Night & Day section contained errors about two upcoming shows at Churchill's. Blitzkid played there June 8. The Psychobilly Festival will take place there Saturday, June 16.

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