Coming Up Next, 1000 Little Eco-Artists
Regarding Kirk Semple's article "A Whiter Shade of Green" (March 28): I am unapologetically responding to the statements made and sentiments held by Mary Barley and her people regarding the Hispanic community's so-called lack of support for the arts and social causes. Artist Enrique Sierra, who happens to be Hispanic, has presented to the city his project entitled One-Mile-Long Heart. On May 23, 1996, 1000 Dade County school children will collaborate with Mr. Sierra on a painting that will stretch one mile along the coast of Miami Beach. The focus of the event is threefold: art, community, and the environment. Through a dialogue of expression, an artist and 1000 builders of the future will convene in nature's studio and experience the potential of a unique collective creation. This effort breaks down the walls of division so clearly illustrated in the article.
Yes, it is time to go beyond personal and political interests and work together supporting projects based on a more inclusive definition of community.
Dade Commissioners: Book 'Em!
Hats off to Jim DeFede for an interesting expose of what goes on in the Dade County correctional system ("Jailhouse Rumble," March 21). My question is this: Why can't Dade County's commissioners control their employees? Commissioners play politics and let the taxpayers be damned.
Bravo to Sean Rowe on his article "There Oughta Be a Law!" (March 21) [regarding cruise industry efforts to seek congressional approval of laws that would make it more difficult for seamen and passengers to sue cruise ship operators]. It's high time someone focused on this ridiculous suck of money and jobs away from South Florida citizens. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) and Sen. Larry Pressler (R-South Dakota) should be ashamed to consider such legislation.
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John D. Hungerford
Where Have All the Refugees Gone?
Aside from the administrative problems confronted by the Haitian Refugee Center (HRC), as pointed out by Elise Ackerman, I think part of the reason for its decline is that it has outlived itself ("Perilous Journey," February 8). In the last four years, the HRC, its directors, its members, and its personnel supported the return of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Once that became a reality, HRC became captive to its own rhetoric. They could no longer ask for political asylum because they had said that if Aristide returned, all would be well in Haiti. They were so busy pushing their own political agendas that they ignored the real reasons people were leaving Haiti and continue to do so: random repression, national bankruptcy, the replacement of the old repressive army by the new repressive national police, and the total degradation of Haiti's infrastructure.
It is unfortunate that HRC is so weak at a time when immigrants from oppressed countries are under such severe attack. This year the Clinton administration earned the dubious distinction of deporting the most immigrants in one year. And one of this year's campaign issues is how to make life even more miserable for immigrants. Some politicians want to go after all immigrants -- documented and undocumented -- while at the same time attacking American workers, affirmative action, single mothers, and youth through massive budget cuts. Now more than ever there is a need to pull together to face these attacks.