Haiti -- Kurzban's Cash Cow
Regarding Elise Ackerman's article "Perilous Journey" (February 8), attorney Ira Kurzban's efforts on behalf of Haitians are hardly altruistic. He has been retained as Haiti's general counsel [in the United States]. According to the Miami Herald, Kurzban "paid his own firm $298,798 for services in the first six months [of 1995], an average of $48,299 a month, Justice Department filings show."
North Miami Beach
A Vote for Victor's Victory
Haitian affairs can only be approached by culturally sensitive specialists with great vision, devotion, courage, determination, and commitment. Guy Victor [executive director of the Haitian Refugee Center] seems to reunite and justify all these characters (not characteristics). We trust this man can keep the Haitian Refugee Center from sinking.
The Wolfsonian: Jobs for Snobs
Regarding Kirk Semple's article "Terms of Enragement" (January 11): It is encouraging to see that the feelings of disdain and contempt the administrators of the Wolfsonian hold for the local community are finally coming to light.
Peggy Loar and Wendy Kaplan, respectively the director and the curator of the Wolfsonian, are paragons of the institution they have created and over which they rule. In my opinion, both consider South Florida to be an intellectual and cultural wasteland and both have used mean-spirited and negative methods to sustain their positions. Under the guise of intellectualism, they have actually managed to stifle creativity and create an atmosphere of intolerance, instability, and fear.
The positions taken by Wolfsonian administrators have caused them to retreat more and more into their ivory-tower fortress on Washington Avenue. They defend their actions by couching their decisions in exaggerated claims that are in essence elitist and anti-intellectual. In the process, they have managed to alienate the entire community. They then have the audacity to solicit public and private funds from the very same community they disparage and hold in contempt.
James A. Findlay
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Deco? Moderne? Why Can't We All Just Get Along?
Miami Beach has always been long on loudmouths and short on diplomats. It makes for minimal continuing negotiations. Use of the term Deco versus Moderne is just the tip of the iceberg.
Now that South Beach and Miami are in vogue, why doesn't the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) take advantage of the talent and the names of the new wave of stellar residents? For instance, think of how amazing Art Deco Weekend could be -- just a few name drops alone could get stars in a parade, real Art Deco autos, vintage airplanes, boats! Why isn't the "Miami Modernism" show held in one of the Art Deco hotels on Ocean Drive so collectors could make this a destination and revel in a re-creation of the whole period, arts and all? More theater, more film, more choices, more tourists, more locals, and more fun. The more people working together, the bigger the success.
Jim Mullin's column last week incorrectly reported that the Miami Herald had not published the names of members of an ad hoc sports arena committee headed by Knight-Ridder chairman Tony Ridder. In fact, a partial list of names was published February 7 in a late edition of the paper, which did not reach all subscribers. A full list of members was published February 17. No known felons were included.