Reader Mail: Critical Mass Hurts Biker Rights Movements

Cubano Crime

Marielito mayhem: Your story argues that a recent gold heist shows how Cuban gangs are still running Miami ("Golden Heist," Francisco Alvarado, July 11), but that does not mean Cubans are unique in dominating crime in Dade County. Some ethnically identifiable group always predominates in a city, for good and for bad, and it just happens to be the Cubans in Miami. Back in the 1980s, if then-Gov. Bob Graham had not told Miami Beach to basically go to hell when the mayor requested state assistance in combating the Marielito flush of tens of thousands of Castro's prisoners into the area, a criminal foothold would never have taken place as it did. Besides, America has a history of ethnic groups beginning as crime syndicates until resources allow them to live comfortably legally and their future generations can become the lawyers and politicians and legislators of that age. frankd4

Liberal bias: So a handful of bad people combined with a progressive, liberal justice system makes all Cubans bad? The pretentious left is so racist. Anthonyvop1

High-Fives to Hova

Jay's on the money: At first, I thought ­Jay-Z's new album, Magna Carta... Holy Grail, was mediocre and not particularly socially conscious, but Uncle Luke cites some good verses that changed my mind ("Jay-Z's Grail," Luther Campbell, July 11). Luke writes, "America will accept an accomplished, intelligent black man as long as he keeps his mouth shut and accepts the status quo," which is the whole truth. Honestly, it doesn't matter if the man is intelligent or not, as long as they can make money off him. You see how white America hates to see NFL players dance in the end zone or even talk trash. It's humble this, humble that, while they play a child's game for millions of dollars. People love to say Jay-Z is teaching kids to sell drugs. Let's not forget who started drugs and gangs and violence — it wasn't black Americans. executnr29

Bicycle Beatdown

Respect the law: Plain and simple, if the thousands participating in Critical Mass want to attract respect and consideration for cyclists, don't get in a huge mob and act like degenerates on the streets of Miami ("Critical Mass Chaos," Michael E. Miller, July 11). I'm always mindful of cyclists and gladly support them. But when a garrison of cyclists runs red lights for a period of more than 40 minutes in the Gables area, I can't see how anyone could warp that into a progressive movement. Alan Gribble

Time to organize: I don't get why people are complaining so much when the Critical Mass rides happen only once a month. The tradition of this ride won't change in this city or other cities because of the complaint of traffic congestion. Let me make a public service announcement to the readers and say this ride occurs the last Friday of every month, rain or shine.

I do agree the ride is turning into a mess and needs to be better organized, though. There are more and more riders joining the ride, which means more idiot riders who get into altercations with motorists and act like morons. We need the police department's help to prevent problems with cars and overseeing the general safety of the whole ride.

The organizers also need to change the ending location. If we continue ending at the Filling Station downtown, we'll consistently have trouble with police now that the ride is growing larger. Maybe a couple of years ago, when the ride consisted of only a few hundred people, that was a good place to stop, but the ride now includes up to 2,000 people who can't all fit on that tiny-ass street.

As for the arguments about stopping at red lights, the other commenters are right — cyclist do have to follow the same rules as cars. But 2,000 people on bikes stopping at every intersection isn't going to happen. The whole point of the ride is to simply remind motorists one day of the whole month to share the road with cyclists. needs_to_be_more_organized

We're Number One!

Both Miami and Broward Palm Beach New Times cleaned up at two prestigious contests last week. At the Society of Professional Journalists' Sunshine State Awards, Miami Staff Writer Michael E. Miller was honored as Florida Journalist of the Year. Managing Editor Tim Elfrink took first place for feature writing.

At the national Association of Alternative News Media contest, Elfrink won for best political columns; Web Editor Jose Duran, Music Editor Sean Pajot, Digital Reporter Kyle Munzenrieder, and contributor Arielle Castillo won for best music blog; and Elfrink, Munzenrieder, Staff Writer Francisco Alvarado, and former Staff Writer Gus Garcia-Roberts were honored for best breaking-news coverage. New Times Broward-Palm Beach took first place in cover design, and Staff Writer Kyle Swenson took top honors in long-form news writing.

 
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