No Reservations Regarding Empathy for Native Americans
I am writing in response to Paula Park's informative story about the Miccosukee Tribe in the Everglades ("The Last of the Indian Wars," December 12).
I have done a lot of research on the plight of American Indians. They are unnecessarily confined to reservations because they are mistreated and classified as second-class citizens, when they actually represent the original Native Americans.
Locally, I can't help but feel sorry for the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes in the Everglades. They have had to supplement their meager incomes by hosting bingo games and by having some young, brave Indians wrestle alligators and crocodiles.
The Conservation Club of the Everglades, in collaboration with the Miccosukees and Seminoles, used to charter swamp-buggy rides, host barbecue parties, and charter airboat rides to let the people explore and discover the Big Cypress National Preserve, as well as the bigger Everglades National Park.
Driving a recreational vehicle down 40-Mile Bend or Alligator Alley might be a wonderful sightseeing ride for tourists, but remember the Miccosukee and Seminole Indians have been living there before Marjory Stoneman Douglas dedicated her life to help save the Everglades from pollution.
Nationally, I can't understand why the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C., doesn't exercise power and influence to help the Indian tribes all over the United States by initiating some positive ways to stop the rampant drinking on reservations and give these Native Americans what they truly deserve: a big break, a second chance, and an uplifting renaissance stemming from their cultural heritage, and more recognition as Native Americans. The reservations are too overcrowded and the Indians have their right to complain about the sordid, depressing, and terrible conditions that have made them suffer so much.
In retrospect, if Christopher Columbus hadn't sailed west ...
Robert Stewart Denchfield
First the Writing, Then the Grumbling
Kirk Semple is a real card with his satirical article "First the Bumbling, Then the Crumbling," of November 28. But there isn't anyone left who still believes that the Miami Beach city government wants preservation, is there? Exploitation, euphemistically called development, is the name of the game. Just look around. I never met Nancy Liebman, "long an advocate of historic preservation." I do know Nancy Liebman, the demolition-voting commissioner, and her fellow redevelopment agents who commonly refer to it as creating a new city. In my book actions still speak louder than words.
Speaking of books, in Orwell's 1984, isn't the government always rewriting history?
That's It, Nina, You're Fired!
Congratulations on taking one step closer to becoming McNewspaper. I refer to your once-enjoyable movie section, which now is about as palatable as a Happy Meal -- minus the toy. In short, installing a few national big wigs to provide generic movie reviews for each of the "distinctive" New Times publications in place of a local movie critic's voice is an egregious error, especially when said critic is Todd Anthony.
I have read Anthony's writing as long as he has been working for you. Every week I looked forward to his unassuming, illuminating, and elegantly written reviews, which were always girded by his impeccable knowledge of cinema and often peppered with witty references to local events and characters. In fact, I perused them whether I wanted to see the movie at issue or not. In time I came to trust his judgment implicitly. If Todd said a flick was great, it usually was; if he said it stank, keeping away was a good idea.
Now, after reading the pretentious, tedious, irrelevant writing of Klein, Sragow, et al., not only do I not want to see movies, I don't even want to read the reviews!
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There is more to the movie world than national blockbuster releases. Who is going to cover the local film festivals and any fledgling local releases? Someone ignorant of the Miami scene? Or will local cinematic events now be ignored in favor of your paper's continuing quest for greater community coverage? Yeah, I'm really dying to read one more self-righteous piece on a corrupt politician or an arrogant billionaire.
I'm mildly heartened to see that Anthony's name is still among your list of contributors. I can only wish him luck and sincerely hope he will move on to greater things -- meaning a publication that appreciates his exceptional talent.
My aforementioned remarks do not apply to the recent review of The Day the Sun Turned Cold ("Sins of the Mother," December 5) by Michael Yockel. Now, that guy can write! But you don't feature his work on any regular basis either, do you? Do I detect a pattern here?