KIRSTEN TO JOHN: MEET ME ON THE DOCK, BUDDY
I wish to thank Kathy Glasgow for writing a very good article about the complicated efforts being expended to ship hurricane tree debris to Haiti ("The Idea and the Bureaucrats," October 28). Some of the facts and figures given were not given in correct context, and Kathy got her information from several sources besides shipper Rodney Goins and myself.
The letter by John E. Brown (November 4) reflects a small proportion of a wide variety of problems and figures that were thrown at us and surmounted weeks ago. Like so many before him, Brown is a cynic with an appalling lack of information and imagination. He is among the people who would find hurdles that confound his objectives and give up without exploring other avenues. What is most curious is his venom. Brown does not see that a humanitarian effort of this magnitude has many friends in powerful places.
Those who comprehend the enormity of the debris problem and the benefits that are to be gained for both sides by shipping the wood have lent me their expertise and support, not the least of whom is Dr. Noel Brown, regional director of the United Nations Environmental Project. He is currently working to have a large barge or two donated by the City of New York and is planning to help with funding. The U.N. or one of the hundreds of charities in Haiti will oversee the operation to see that the wood is handled as planned. There is an enormous work force anxious for jobs waiting to unload in Haiti.
Shipping has the advantage that when the wood leaves the Florida coast, there is no further cost to Dade County -- and hence to taxpayers -- for trucking, fences, cleanup, and disposal of ash. The county has promised us delivery. Neither has your pistol-penned writer taken into account the future savings to our public hospitals, schools, and other social services by providing charcoal to create a foundation to preserve the Haitian forests and agriculture. Many in Miami would like to see a more humane, cost effective, and intelligent policy toward Haiti.
We are limited by the size of the boats that are available until the barges arrive, but this is just a beginning, given birth by an emergency. We hope to help relieve whatever part of the burden possible, large or small. We are hammering out the problems so that it will go more quickly after the first load.
Groups like the Sierra Club have expressed interest in the possibility that other Florida cities may consider the idea as an alternative to building more incinerators and Mount Trashmores for disposal of yard waste.
Yes, as the letter writer suggested, it is good that I don't run a bank. I am more interested in people than money. Anyway, the best answer to cynics is a done deal. Meet us on the docks!
FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BUREAUCRAT
We represent the Miami Beach Fraternal Order of Police. Kirk Semple's story, "Roger Dodger," in your October 21 edition, contains some inaccuracies we wish to correct.
Miami Beach City Manager Roger Carlton's suggestion that Officer Carlos De Varona's chase of him with a subsequent stopping for speeding was somehow the fault of the FOP is a masterly kind of magician's misdirection. While the FOP can do all kinds of wonderful things, it has absolutely no power to make Mr. Carlton speed across the MacArthur Causeway.
In addition, De Varona could not have been acting on behalf of the FOP when he stopped the manager, because the police officer is neither a member nor an officer of the FOP.
Finally, the manager's dark musing that the incident happened because the city and the FOP have been in some kind of pension negotiations is, simply put, not so. There are no negotiations going on.
We guess that the manager's response to this event is designed to direct our attention to the FOP and away from his own speeding habits. How clever!
Joseph H. Kaplan
Kaplan & Bloom, P.A.
LASHING AT A TRASHING
It is truly unfortunate that a "hard-bitten" and sophisticated New Yorker such as Roberta Morgan could not make it in the Big Apple (where everything is obviously bigger and better and more to her liking) and has found her poor little self in the demanding position of theater critic within the vulgar cultural wasteland of South Florida ("A Plan for All Seasons," October 21). I feel for her.
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SHOW ME HOW
I also feel for the many new area theaters that are desperately trying to overcome the overwhelming obstacles involved with producing a show. One of the greatest obstacles these theaters are trying to hurdle, aside from low budgets and high royalties, is that of the haughty critic who, after a scathing review, can leave the house empty for the duration of the run. Does Morgan truly know what goes into a production? Has she ever lived through the experience of auditions, a grueling rehearsal period, or worked behind the scenes only to be slammed by a supposed doyenne of theater, and then lived the reality of playing to empty seats and the loss of thousands of dollars? I think not.
Her urging the "hipper" (where did that word come from?) readers to "support the gifted and shun the disabled" will only help to close many of the area theaters, and in turn change the title of her theater page to "Helpful Gardening Tips by Roberta Morgan."