Take a Bow, Marcus and Elsie
I would like to express my appreciation to Elise Ackerman for her interesting article about Marcus Garcia and Elsie Etheart ("Cause for Return," July 10), two members of Miami's Haitian community whose commitment to the betterment of the lives of their fellow men and women is a very inspiring example. I wish them all the best in their continuing efforts on behalf of freedom of expression and the development of an informed public.
Not to Worry, It Was Only a Personal Attack
As I read Jim DeFede's slam against Ronald Book ("Dear Chief Justice: Throw the Book at Him," July 10), it mystified me. Was this journalism or just a personal attack?
In lieu of attacking someone with a tainted past but a prosperous future, why doesn't DeFede attack the many more corrupt attorneys out there who are really hurting society?
In the past several months, I have read and heard numerous stories about Mr. Book's endless hours of helping our local charities to raise funds, to help our children and the homeless in our community. Without Mr. Book's help, our local society would be in bigger trouble than it already is.
God forbid I should ever need an Alzheimer's care center for any of my family members, but should I, my thanks will go out to Mr. Book, as I feel he would be partially responsible for the facility in my area.
Before one chooses to slam another, perhaps he should be looking at the complete story instead of a past for which a price has already been paid.
Doing the Equine Just Fine
Thanks to Robert Andrew Powell for the great article "Horse Attitudes" (June 26). People from all over the country have called to tell me they enjoyed reading it and feel that they were enlightened. (People from Miami mailed them copies of the story.)
The article was accurate and very well written. In a few pages, a great deal of information was presented. I hope that Robert Andrew Powell also gained a new appreciation of the beautiful paso fino horse.
Castro Loves the Sound of Money
Having been actively involved in the production of Cuban music before Castro, I read with great interest Judy Cantor's article "Bring On the Cubans!" (June 19), which describes -- very accurately and in great detail -- what is going on with music in communist Cuba. After thoroughly destroying a thriving record business that, in the Forties and Fifties, brought in substantial dollars through the export of records and royalties, the Castro regime (as usual reinventing the wheel) has now awakened to the fact that Cuban music can bring in money.
They are now busily promoting Cuban music by allowing their artists to perform outside of Cuba and by "encouraging foreign record companies to reissue existing recordings held by the state record company, Egrem." These are undoubtedly the confiscated recordings made by Panart, Puchito, and Kubaney. Attention Helms-Burton!
Julia R. Sabat
Unheard in Miami
I hope to see Judy Cantor's article reprinted in other forums. I've always enjoyed her writings on music and am fortunate to have a friend in Miami who sends me her articles if I don't catch them myself when I'm there.
Contemporary music from Cuba is even arriving here in Texas, where in Austin we recently heard Chucho Valdes performing with Roy Hargrove. Unfortunately, in Miami I had to cross picket lines to see Gonzalo Rubalcaba.
What a pity that Miami is still the last place in the U.S. one will probably see the musicians Ms. Cantor speaks of in her article. It also has the population most deserving of hearing them.
Keep up the good work, Judy.
Where Have All the Music Columnists Gone?
Having just returned from vacation, I was catching up on the two issues of New Times I had missed. They felt suspiciously light, hollow, empty. I soon discovered the reason for my unease -- no "Reverb" column. Seeking out an earlier issue at your Website, I then discovered the reason for no "Reverb" -- no John Floyd.
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John soothed the pain inflicted by Greg Baker's departure. I came to marvel at the extent of his knowledge -- what doesn't this man know? And how gracefully he conveys it.
No more, alas. Who will soothe this pain? One can only hope.
Editor's note: We are searching for a new music editor, but in the meantime former staff writer Steven Almond has returned to fill the position on an interim basis.