Reefer Badness
Regarding Sean Rowe's article "If You Sink It, They Will Come" (June 6): After diving the natural and artificial reefs of South Florida for twelve years, I can attest to the fact that all reefs attract marine life. They provide a habitat for every juvenile marine organism seeking a vacant space to grow and for every adult seeking a place to raise a brood.

Biologists are understandably concerned about harmful ocean dumping. A good example of ocean dumping disguised as an artificial reef can be seen off Broward, where thousands of used tires have been dumped at about 60 feet. And many of us have seen the brown algae covering the corals by Port Everglades inlet. Also, every time I see a yard being sprayed, I think of where the toxic runoff must be going.

Still, natural reefs get some relief from fishing and diving pressures through artificial reefs. Many of us have seen barrel sponges on the natural reefs sheared off by anchor lines and lobster trap lines, and reefs so covered with monofilament lines that they look like giant spiderwebs. Diverting such activities can't hurt.

Fortunately for us and for many marine species, South Florida has inlets that make enforcement of species-protection laws easy. The marine patrol can easily check boats entering the inlets for illegal harvesting of marine life. Good marine population census and regulation, coupled with properly deployed artificial reefs, can help alleviate the mounting pressures on natural reefs by increasing marine habitat. Habitat loss is, after all, the greatest threat to species loss.

Enrique G. Petrovich
Pompano Beach

Big Mouth Upchuck
I am writing in response to Elise Ackerman's "Insult to Injury" (June 6). If I hear or read one more thing about how some poor law-abiding citizen is wronged by police, I'm gonna puke.

I'm not a cop. I don't think I even know any. But I do know this: My parents brought me up to respect and cooperate with police. Too many police are hindered in one of the toughest jobs there is by people just trying to get away with something. If you are pulled over and you act belligerent and disrespectful, what you get is on you! If I'm pulled over, I take the ticket and fight with my head, not my mouth. I'll bet the next time Gina Cunningham is pulled over she thinks twice about lipping off.

Guy Eavenson
North Miami

Brutally Juicy -- Just What We Love
I fail to see why Gina Cunningham's story was newsworthy and mine was not when, two years ago, I was thrown in jail for no reason and made to feel powerless and humiliated by Beach cops. I guess I was supposed to wait for them to brutalize me on the MacArthur Causeway before I started yelling for help. That would have made for a juicier story. Still, more attention has been brought to what seems to be an ongoing problem. Maybe one day we'll have a police force comparable to the progressive culture that is Miami Beach.

Michael Stephen McFarland
Miami Beach

Mission: Impalpable
Todd Anthony's rave over Brian De Palma and Tom Cruise for Mission: Impossible is totally undeserved ("May the Force Be with You," May 30). This movie is a mess. The TV series featured clever plots of deception, neatly resolved in each episode's final minutes. Psychological warfare rather than brute force always prevailed. Rather than taking a risk with an intelligent script, however, De Palma resorted to the cheapest special effects, a hazy story, and a violent ending so unrealistic it only makes a bad movie worse. A chopper chasing a choo-choo through a tunnel? Don't be duped. This dud is moo doo.

Alan Ngim


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