Walk the Black Point Plank, You Scurvy Dog
Sean Rowe missed an important point in his article "The Pirate of Black Point" (July 3). It may be true that the Dade County Park and Recreation Department has occasional management problems, but the Black Point Marina lease is not one of them. The parks department does a lot with very little money. Blame the Black Point problem on voters.

The Dade County Home Rule Amendment and Charter is the county's "constitution." It was amended by voters in March 1993 (the "Save Our Parks" amendment) to prohibit the county from leasing out regional park areas such as Black Point without an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the county's voters. Existing leases were not affected.

If the existing Black Point lease to Marine Management, Inc. (MMI) is terminated owing to nonperformance, a new lease would need voter approval. This is not an easy task to accomplish. I cannot remember Dade County ever seeking countywide voter approval under the Save Our Parks amendment. If the lease is terminated and no new lease is approved, the services of MMI, as poor as they may have been, will have to be performed by county employees. It is like walking the plank in the days of pirates -- the buccaneer's swords or the shark's teeth, with Black Point as the hostage.

As Sean Rowe pointed out, today's swashbucklers call themselves members of the Bar. They fight with motions, petitions, writs, and the like in courtrooms throughout the land. How fitting that this battle concerns property whose history is enmeshed with real pirate lore.

Dade County can hope that, among MMI's creditors, there will emerge a strong, responsible party to vanquish the cutthroats and save the princess that is Black Point. By approving a lease assumption with a financially strong and competent marina operator, the citizens of the land can once again enjoy their park. But be forewarned: A lease assumption does not need approval of the Board of County Commissioners, but a lease amendment would. An amendment would bring the dark clouds of politics -- and more stories for New Times readers.

Jacob Dorn

The Cosmic Message: Grow Flowers
Rob O'Connor has a valid point in his article about Lollapalooza '97 ("Hellfest," June 19), but there is a side to this year's fest he might have overlooked amid all of the neo-angst. If you were smart enough to stick around, you saw Orbital give quite a show. Thank heaven the organizers had enough insight to put Orbital on last; that way all the sweaty, angry, confused kids could be replaced by intelligent sweaty people, thus allowing for the most incredible display of light, sound, and yes, positive imagery. That's right, the band actually put forth a real message. Scenes of tyrannical chaos and mayhem accompanied by the words Monsters Exist were eloquently followed by images of bright spring days and green fields with the words Grow Flowers.

The ending of their set was tops -- pure white light, gliding white doves, and an image of the Earth receding as a woman's hands flowed sensuously around it. I definitely got the message: Love your Mother Earth. She is the mother of all of us, and we are truly all one.

Jason Schurger

Early-Warning Radar Detects Large Shaft Hurtling Toward South Dade
In the article about Homestead Air Force Base by Kirk Semple and Jim DeFede ("It'll Never Get Off the Ground," June 12), the writers failed to mention Miami Times columnist and South Dade businesswoman Rosa Reed, who has been warning Dade County and Homestead about the shaft the developer -- HABDI -- was going to give them ever since the proposal was made public. Among other things, she warned in a December 1994 column about HABDI's lack of commitment to South Dade and its residents: "It is doubtful that Hispanic and African-American residents of South Dade will be active participants in this economic boom."

Mark Valdes

Put Carlino in the Kitchen?
After reading Jen Karetnick's review of El Padrinito ("Positively Eighth Street," May 15), my boyfriend and I decided to try the restaurant. We enjoyed the atmosphere and the lovely music provided by Carlino. But I have to tell you, the meal was the worst dinner we have ever had.

I had the chicharron de pollo, which was awful, and my boyfriend had the grouper with coconut sauce, which smelled worse than it tasted. We paid for our uneaten dinner and left to go downtown to the Fishbone Grille and share a dinner of jerk chicken to satisfy our hunger.

We have tried other restaurants recommended by Jen, but this one we felt strongly enough about to let you know. Maybe the chef was having a bad night?

Linda Mowrer


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