The Long and the Short of It
Your story about the yacht Lone Ranger ("Mystery Cruise," June 19) was interesting and informative, but there were a couple of small errors. She is 255 feet long, and the overhaul has been going on since early March.

It has been our pleasure to get to know the captain and crew of the ship, who come from all over the world. We will miss them, and wish them Godspeed wherever they may go. It's been a pleasure having them in town.

Thomas Evans, captain, tug Cape May
Hightstown, New Jersey

Blummer: Like the Headline Said
Regarding "Free to Speak Her Mind" (June 12): The answer to Ms. Blumner's rhetorical question, "I don't know what to do to make more Hispanics join us," is contained within her further statement: "Freedom of expression doesn't seem to be a value that is culturally relevant [to Hispanics]."

As a First Amendment purist, I fully support Ms. Blumner's right to openly express her bias, free from the radical pitfalls of those less "liberal" than she.

Pablo Casasnovas

Extra Credit
Congratulations on Jim Mullin's story about Dan Cook ("The Man Who Caught Carmen," June 12). The news business spends too little time singing the praises of the writers who expose the people who work at destroying our community for their own profit.

You get extra credit for also praising Cook's editor, Susan Postlewaite, without whose permission and support his story would never have been printed. Then-Port of Miami director Carmen Lunetta would still be a hero, and the county of Dade would be going deeper into debt.

It was appropriate to point out that the Miami Herald dragged its feet on a proper researching and reporting of the story from November till April.

The salvation of this nation (not just the county) in many ways will be in the hands not of our so-called leaders but of those who have the courage to expose them. Three cheers for the free press.

John A. Brennan

Extra Extra Credit
Kudos to Jim Mullin for some smart journalism. Carmen Lunetta's shady dealings were discovered by the Daily Business Review back in 1996. Credit is due to Wasserman, Postlewaite, and Cook. If New Times hadn't published the editorial, the naive and gullible would still be naive and gullible.

The Miami Herald doesn't have a monopoly on publishing, and Miami needs other independent newspapers to find out who's doing what and what's going on that we don't know about. Can you imagine if Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post had disclosed who Deep Throat was? The Watergate scandal might have taken a different turn. In good faith, reporters don't disclose who their sources are, as long as they are reliable. The Miami Herald staff should acknowledge that a lot of people knew there was graft and corruption at the seaport way before the Herald got into the picture.

I'm sick and tired of reading about dishonest, untrustworthy government officials; Cesar Odio, for example. Why aren't these officials in positions of power and influence law-abiding citizens? The graft and corruption must be stopped for the sake of taxpayers. People like Lunetta should be discredited; no compensation or benefits should be awarded him upon termination.

Robert Stewart Denchfield
Miami Beach

Losner's Letter: A Misleading Smokescreen
We have noted that one of the proponents of turning federal land in Homestead into a large commercial airport has tried to create the impression of division within the environmental organizations working to protect Biscayne Bay and Everglades National Park ("Letters," June 5). In some cases airport supporters like William Losner claim that environmental groups that insist on compliance with environmental laws are extremist, in comparison to other groups that are not parties to legal or administrative proceedings about development of this federal property. In other cases, local environmental groups are portrayed as opponents of expedited permitting for development, in contrast to unnamed national groups that supposedly favor the permits.

As a coalition of Florida and national environmental groups working to protect Everglades and Biscayne National parks, the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary, and the rest of the greater Everglades ecosystem, we wish to refute any implication of internal division over proposals that would damage national parks belonging to all Americans. Our organizations believe that the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal laws, and all state environmental and planning laws, should be rigorously enforced to ensure that proposed development in South Dade does not harm the Everglades or Biscayne National parks. We also support a healthy economy for South Dade but believe that the area's development must be carefully planned so as not to degrade our vital public lands and waters.

We are all supportive of the particular groups that have become parties to specific legal and administrative processes. Some of our organizations concentrate on science and planning; others participate in planning and negotiations but also initiate legal and administrative action when necessary to make sure the planning process operates fairly and effectively. The absence of some of our groups from some of the proceedings is not a signal that we support the development of a large commercial airport at Homestead Air Reserve Base, or that we support the issuance of permits being challenged by other environmental groups. And all of us strongly believe that citizens are right to ensure that all federal and state environmental and planning laws and procedures are faithfully followed as postbase policy is developed. These laws were developed to protect the health and viability of our national parks so that present and future generations may enjoy them.

Patti Webster, et al.
The Everglades Coalition

Losner's Letter: The Thinking Man's Emetic
William "I Never Met a Developer I Didn't Like" Losner's ridiculous letter concerning the redevelopment of Homestead Air Force Base by HABDI (Hispanics Against Better Development Ideas) should make any thinking person puke. Mr. Losner always has something to say when it comes to logical environmental concerns (this time raised by Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson) that stall proposed development in Dade.

Mr. Losner is president of First National Bank of Homestead, so he is obviously more than willing to fork over big loans to big developers (and farmers) to plow under what meager vestiges of nature still remain in South Florida, and to hell with the local citizens. Now he has us believe that he knows what's best for Homestead Air Force Base and South Dade.

South Dade is doing fine, Mr. Losner, and the majority of people who live here don't give a crap about HABDI's, or your, ideas about the redevelopment of the air base. What we do give a crap about is the health and well-being of Biscayne National Park, Everglades National Park, and all the other natural resources that make South Florida a nice place to live. No, we do not have to compromise on environmental issues or growth or economic development, for you, HABDI, or anyone else.

Bill Bartram

Best French ... Harp?
We want to thank you for acknowledging our efforts to offer the highest-quality food products to our very chic clientele (Best Bakery, "Best of Miami").

We will spare nothing in continuing to improve and maintain good service and the greatest flaky croissants and tasty lunches (and also to gradually extend our service with evening hours).

Just think of an early dinner, a sip of wine, the sound of our French harp. What was that? A French moment at Ducs, of course.

Andree Rioux Doyle, president
Ducs de France
Coral Gables


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