Those people you berate in the Guardian Ad Litem program and HRS are trying to protect these children from further damage. They are operating under laws of confidentiality and can't respond to the unfair allegations in the article.

I've really lost much of the respect that I had for your newspaper.
Barbara C. Lee

After one week of reflection upon your article about Dugent Publishing ("Tie Me Up! Tone Me Down!" September 11), I have come to a conclusion that this world is truly mad. Open-minded people and people who respect freedom should leave the United States and move where individual rights are protected, like maybe the newest bastion of democracy, the Soviet Union.

Whether Cavalier magazine shows pictures of Mother Teresa praying or pictures of Mother Teresa giving real good oral sex to a Shetland pony is not of consequence. What is of utmost concern is the right of individual citizens to discern what magazines they want to buy with their hard-earned, overtaxed, and quickly devaluating dollar. Thank George Bush for the last two adjectives. True that the particular magazines that Dugent publishes are masturbatory in content and intent, but that can be said of many magazines deemed much tamer. I am sure there are a few husbands who buy Cosmopolitan and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue for more than the pleasure of perusing good articles and photography.

We the people are not learning from our forefathers' mistakes and ignorance, we are only repeating these transgressions. Truly the blind leading the blind. I know my vision is not perfect; but cloudy as my vision is, I am not blind. My only question is, am I the only person who can see the difference between right and wrong, between personal freedom and personal tyranny? I pray to God that I am not alone.

Wayne Saichi Uwate
Coral Gables

We liked your story on Miami's mini parks ("Dog's Little Half-Acre," September 4). You mentioned our park and we want your readers to know how we feel.

The Miami city commissioners acted cruelly when they gave away the Allapattah Mini Park. The developer waited until a weekday after we went to school to cut down our oak trees and bulldoze the swings and seesaws and crush our basketball hoop. What is worse is that they did it before our summer recess when we usually enjoy our park so much.

We were told that they had to do this terrible thing to us because a day nursery was needed here. We are kids, but we are not dumb; we know that there are two vacant day nurseries within two blocks.

Our fun is gone. We play in the street, and we could get hurt. Sometimes we play in a doctor's parking lot until he chases us away. Our parents rent our apartments, so we have no back yard. We could become hoodlums because our playground is gone and we feel so much anger. Two families have moved because there is no place for their kids to play.

Our parents told us not to write to you because the park is gone and politicians don't care about what kids think. We can't forget it. We feel cheated and robbed. We want another park with all the things we had in Allapattah Mini Park. We feel we should have an even better park and perhaps somebody will help us get a new park.

All the kids at Civic Center and Danny Pacheco

I don't think your paper should give coverage to music groups such as Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids ("On the Beat," September 4) or Bergasse 19. These bands should not be promoting the use of LSD, government revolts, or bizarre sex acts. Marilyn Manson must be the sickest band I've ever seen live and Bergasse 19 attracts more acid freaks than a rehab center. The flyers both these bands pass out always contain questionable material and are detrimental to society's youth.

At 25 years of age, I have seen dozens of local bands and feel that you are scraping the bottom of the bucket by promoting bands such as Marilyn Manson. Please ask Todd Anthony to promote a more normal and moral local music scene.

Kathy Johnson

"Swelter" is wonderful! I am really enjoying reading Tom Austin's new column about the fun and not-so-fun happenings on South Beach. Keep up the "Swelter" so you can keep me laughing.

Doris Maya

I was delighted to pick up New Times the other day to find Tom Austin's hilarious nightlife column. In using his clever wit to describe the tragically hip South Beach scene, Tom Austin had me laughing out loud.

In addition to being funny, "Swelter" is also informative. With all the openings and closings of clubs on South Beach lately, I'm glad someone is keeping track of what's going on for me. Thank you, New Times, for bringing us Tom Austin and "Swelter." But couldn't you have thought of a better name for the column than "Swelter"? Also, why the pornographic pictures? That is uncalled for. The column is both "fun and fabulous" on its own.

Meg Smith


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