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Anyone know if the Miami Herald employs the same accountants Wayne Huizenga used for the Marlins' books when they were "losing" all that money? According to Jacob Bernstein's article ("It's Money That Matters," November 19), Herald executives say they're closing Tropic magazine because it's losing two million dollars per year. Granted I never took any accounting classes in college, but Tropic is sold as part of the Sunday Herald, not independently. So if the paper as a whole is making money, how is Tropic losing money?
If we separated out every part of the paper that wasn't making money in and of itself, we'd be left with the classifieds, sales flyers, and a bunch of ads for Burdines.
Heck, I'll bet all those reporters are costing the Herald lots of money each year, so let's dump them too.
And don't get me started on how much those money-grubbing columnists like Barry, Hiaasen, and Steinback must be costing the Herald, so let's kick their butts to the curb with a few long-overdue pink slips.
That's the way we can end up with a well-oiled money-making juggernaut. No costly news or sports or comics. Oh, and then we might change the name to the Miami Pennysaver, which would be more appropriate.
By the way, anyone know where I can pick up the Washington Post on Sundays?
Pliant Publisher Obeys Supercilious CEO, Trashs Tropic
Kudos to New Times staff writer Jacob Bernstein for his account of the demise of Tropic magazine. I strongly agree with former Tropic editor Gene Weingarten that the decision to ax the magazine is a betrayal of hundreds of thousands of loyal readers.
Corporate decisions by arrogant, supercilious publishing magnates such as Knight Ridder's Tony Ridder dictate that the bottom line is profit. So new Miami Herald publisher Alberto IbargYen acquiesces, and Tropic is shelved.
If I had enough time, I would collect a petition of signatures from all corners of Miami-Dade County to have Tropic reinstated as a regular feature of the Sunday edition of the Herald.
Can you imagine the uproar that would ensue in New York City if the New York Times Sunday Magazine were discontinued? The denizens of the Big Apple would put serious pressure on the Times to reverse the decision, effective immediately.
I hope this letter will influence management of the Miami Herald to change plans and let its readers enjoy a magazine that does not dwell on news but rather on entertaining stories that are literary masterpieces.
Robert Stewart Denchfield
His Heart Was in The Right Place, but His Head Ended Upon a Platter
Bernardo Benes is right about the resentment described by Jacob Bernstein in his article "Twice Exiled" (November 12). I have met some of those released Cuban prisoners, and they felt they should have been consulted about their release. They did not want to become a PR ploy for Fidel Castro.
Unfortunately for Bernardo an old saying applies here: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." When Cuban exile groups protest human rights violations in Cuba, this incident from twenty years ago is invoked over and over. I have always thought Bernardo's heart was in the right place, but he played into Castro's hands. The atrocities performed by Castro can't be brushed away by well-photographed acts of kindness!
Miame To Haitians: Time to Make Ammends and Extend on Overdue Welcome
Kathy Glasgow is to be commended for her articulately written piece about Haitian activist Marleine Bastien ("The Catalyst," November 5). This article is way overdue considering we live in a city where, for the most part, the message to Haitians has been: You're not welcome.
As one who works in a school which is predominately Haitian-American, I can tell you that Haitian children are beautiful, intelligent, and trusting. Unfortunately much of that innocence has been shattered by a society that links personal worth to economic prosperity. And yet it has taken our scientifically sophisticated society more than 200 years to realize what Haitians knew long ago: The spiritual (something that cannot be fully comprehended) plays a big role in the shaping of personality.
And if we should ever be tempted to blame Haitians for their own economic woes, we have only to compare the salary of a maker of baseballs with the salary of a hitter of baseballs.
It's just nice to know that all those who went through trauma on the ocean did not die in vain.
Miami to Haitian: You Rude People Don't Deserve Any Help
I'm sure that what I'm about to write will never appear in New Times, but I feel I just have to say it. In regards to Kathy Glasgow's "The Catalyst," it is really starting to anger me how the Haitian community feels that just because their boat made it to our coast, they deserve special treatment by the United States. They do nothing to contribute to the betterment of our country. All they do is take, take, take, then demand more.
I recently had to move from my home at 125th Street and Eighth Avenue in North Miami. Why? Because the Haitians living in my neighborhood threw all their garbage on the streets. The area looked and smelled like a huge dump. The homes around me had all been robbed by Haitian teenagers allowed to run the streets in packs. You couldn't even go to the grocery store because these packs of kids were constantly hanging around, doing nothing but causing trouble. And the worst thing is their total and complete disregard for common courtesy. Their rudeness toward everyone who isn't Haitian is legendary.
I don't believe that Haitians deserve special treatment by the U.S. government until they can prove they have something to offer my country. Yes, that's right. My country. I am a born-and-bred white American from Ohio.
We Americans take care of our country, but Haitians do not. They have no respect for the United States. They are only here to take what they can, demand more when they can, and destroy everything they lay their hands on.
I know this letter has a strong view, and if I had ever had the opportunity to meet one decent Haitian person, I would never have had to write this letter. But if you were to do a poll on the street, you wouldn't find many others who had found a decent one either.
In response to Kirk Nielsen's story "Going Under" (October 29), Steve Polatnick wrote a letter to the editor condemning the University of Miami billfish research project. That letter warrants some clarification.
His concern that the research team's "... plucking [billfish] babies from the water" will result in "thousands of beautiful adult marlins, sailfish, and spearfish not [being] there" suggests some confusion on his part.
A reality for almost all marine fishes is that when just two individuals reproduce, literally millions of larvae result each year. Most people understand that 99.999 percent of these "babies" are destined to be eaten by a host of other animals that are employing the same lottery-type survival strategy. By analogy it's rather like collecting a few hundred acorns to understand an oak forest.
If we were catching hundreds of mature billfish (i.e., chopping down trees), Mr. Polatnick would have a point. But removing a few hundred billfish larvae from the Gulf Stream for study constitutes the proverbial drop in the ocean. Fortunately this is something scientists and most fishermen understand. The impetus for this study is our concern for the long-term declining trend of the populations of these beautiful creatures. Our ultimate goal is to understand their dynamics in the least harmful way and to provide fisheries managers with the necessary information to lessen the damage to these populations.
Joseph E. Serafy
Nasseer A.S. Idrisi
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
University of Miami
Expert Says Classy, Stylish Club-Crawling is Not an Oxymoron
Over eleven years of being involved in South Beach's ever-changing nightlife, I've seen quite a lot of people, clubs, and trends come and go. (I pray bell bottoms do not make another comeback.) Same with business ideas. (Foam party, anyone?)
But, like a fine Italian suit, the most memorable events for social caterpillars are the ones with a fair degree of class and style. Class and style survive over time. As John Lantigua reported, few people have been able to integrate these two essential elements with as much grace, congeniality, and sheer fun as Tommy Pooch ("Deconstructing Tommy," October 8).
Those of us who relate to him on our regular nocturnal club crawls know to thank him. In South Beach, where a new promoter is born at every beat of a strobe light, Pooch's classy touch has continued to prevail while many fly-by-night hype artists have slipped out of the spotlight.
Thanks for profiling my good friend (everyone's good friend) Tommy Pooch, and for sharing one of our best-kept secrets with the rest of South Florida.
And now back to the party.
Another Mess Left by Hurricane Georges
Regrettably Jim DeFede's carefully researched and finely crafted article about our neighborhood's zoning battle against Williamson Cadillac and the county commission ("How to Save the Neighborhood," September 24) did not receive its merited exposure, as most New Times readers were preparing for a hurricane on the publication date.
Interestingly, however, several Miami-Dade employees later mentioned to me that they had heard about the article and were trying to obtain copies. I was also approached at county hall by complete strangers who asked if I was the lady in the New Times article and who wished our neighborhood well in its effort to prevent a politically connected auto dealer from manipulating Miami-Dade County's master plan and zoning code.
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As mentioned in DeFede's article, we have filed a court appeal of the commission's approval of the dealer's massive auto sales/repair/rental/parking facility only fifteen feet from residential zoning. We intend to include a copy of the article as part of that appeal.
Mary F. Williams, president
Continental Park Homeowners' Association
Editor's note: "How to Save the Neighborhood" is available free of charge through our Website's archive feature: www.miaminewtimes.com.