Regarding your "Search for the Lost Mojito" (December 11): I had my first mojito at the now-defunct Havana Clipper several years ago and instantly became a mojitoist, scouring all sources for recipes like some sort of "buzzed" alchemist. I now have an herb garden with four kinds of yerbabuena and a liquor cabinet with rum from all over the world -- sorry, Bacardi.

Having experimented by combining the above items with different citrus fruits, sugars, and bottled waters, I've come to one conclusion. I don't know if I make the best mojitos this side of Havana, but my friends and I had a great time trying (and we've got the lapses in memory to prove it).

Victor Valcarce

Concerning "Gambler's Paradise" in your December 11 edition, first it was: Fix up your hotels, and tourists will come. We did. But they didn't. Then it was: Let's build condos for retired people with money. They died or moved to Palm Beach County. Then it was: Let's bring in the young person, the "yuppie." The demise of Eastern, CenTrust, Southeast Bank, PanAm, and 100 other businesses made them leave Florida. So now it's the South Pointe neighborhood: Yeah, that's the ticket!

Look, it's nice to try, but the only gambler's paradise Miami Beach will ever be is a resort with casinos. Mr. Fisher planned it that way when he developed it in the early Twenties. Casinos are coming, so forget new condos. Forget "the Beach is back," and forget the neighborhood (via the late Mr. Bloom). Somewhere between the Seminoles, Havana, and other states are the casinos of South Florida, because casinos are economic answers to economic problems.

Stan Wertheimer

Reporter Mary Ann Esquivel-Gibbs's story about South Pointe redevelopment was generally on target, but she made a serious error in saying that no master developer came forth in the early years.

Indeed, Earl Worsham was selected as the master developer early on and served as such until he formed a partnership with First Boston Corporation. That combination (clients of mine at the time) helped win the spirited 1980 citywide election referendum, which affirmed public support for redevelopment.

Unfortunately, by the time the issue passed and the city commission was ready and able to move forward, interest rates skyrocketed and it no longer was possible for developers to build with such finances. Worsham and First Boston then had a major dispute, the partnership fell apart, and since then, the entire project has suffered exactly because there is no master developer.

Without one, the city is really spinning its wheels and should move its redevelopment district up the beach to Collins Avenue (on the ocean) between 14th Street and 24th Street so that the city can get new hotels able to serve as headquarters for large conventions.

In the interim, the city could do worse than simply designate the Fontainebleau Hilton as the city's official headquarters hotel. It's far better equipped than other cities' headquarters, and express buses can make the trip to the convention center in ten minutes or less.

Gerald Schwartz
Miami Beach

In reference to Mark Cleary's letter of December 11, I must offer a counterrebuttal. Mr. Cleary's premise bemoaned the singular lack of thought given to the arguments presented in the December 4 letters to the editor. Included among those letters was one from my husband, who outlined in a concise manner several property crimes that had occurred against me within a one-year period. Mr. Cleary came to some outlandish conclusions in his rebuttal, and in doing so, invalidated his whole premise.

A few observations are definitely in order:
1) My husband did not make any racist comments. Mr. Cleary evidently drew that conclusion from the comment relating to "five-dollar rocks of crack." Nowhere in that statement did my husband single out any one race of people. The last statistics that I read stated drug use was pervasive among both sexes, all races, and all socioeconomic groups in our society. In the last presidential election, my husband voted for Jesse Jackson, while I meekly followed the herd and voted for Michael Dukakis.

2) In regard to the value of my property: I am a teacher in a private school. Please do not cry elitist; as a new teacher in Dade County, I was fortunate to find employment during such difficult economic times. My yearly salary does not equal the estimate Mr. Cleary placed on my automobile. I drive a 1986 VW convertible (not a Beemer), which still sports the slit top. The present value of the car is approximately $5000. While it is not an '81 Citation, it is a popular car for those people in the business of taking automobiles without offering compensation to the owner.

3) In regard to preventive measures, I have implemented the ones that are affordable to me. A pull-out radio was lost while I was parked inside the grounds of one of our public high schools, substituting. Yes, the car was locked.

4) While I have only resided in Miami for one year, I have been a South Floridian for 25 years. "The northern pest hole" from which we came is Marathon, Florida, hardly Yankee territory.

5) Lastly, in regard to my "jewels": I do not have the need for a safety deposit box. The valuable jewels that were stolen happened to be a pair of diamond earrings, left to me by my deceased mother.

I am not determined to stay in Miami. I have found I do not adapt easily to the "big city." If I have had an excessive amount of crime perpetrated against me, it is probably because of mynaivete and inherent faith in mankind...or maybe it's just my karma.

I am fully aware of the social and economic inequities in our country. According to Mr. Cleary's "Holmesian deductions," my husband and I are insensitive or unaware of the abject conditions that lead some people to commit criminal acts. I realize that our government, in many ways, has disappointed and abandoned the citizens of our country who are most needy, and instead embraced greed and expediency.

I urge Mr. Cleary to reconsider his judgments against me and my husband. His assumptions and deductions are totally inaccurate. To a certain extent, I support my husband's opinions regarding criminals, as I truly doubt that needy single mothers and their children, or needy families, are committing these crimes. I do not believe that poverty necessarily leads a person to a life of crime. That, Mr. Cleary, is a racist opinion.

Patrice Geary

Several weeks ago I was shocked to read an attack on a poor demented individual. I had hoped someone would have written about Ben Greenman's attack on this obviously sick soul ("Fax or Fiction?" November 27) but since no letters have been printed about Jack Thompson, I feel I must do it myself.

How calloused have you become to devote five pages to making fun of such an emotionally and mentally disabled (possibly even brain-damaged) creature? To mock a moral degenerate like Jack Thompson is easy -- to insult such an incompetent is both mean-spirited and repugnant to those of us who are concerned with the welfare of the mentally disabled.

Would you make fun of a cancer sufferer, or of an AIDS victim? Isn't mental retardation as much beyond the control of poor Mr. Thompson as being a quadriplegic would be? Do you really believe that emotional problems (deep psychosis? extreme paranoia? dementia praecox?) are fit subjects for humor?

To humiliate in print this sad moron, so obviously out of touch with reality, this childlike homunculus with the reasoning power of a three-year-old and all the moral grandeur of a Barbie doll (no, better make that a Ken doll) is beyond contempt.

I would rather have expected New Times to express pity for the Jack Thompsons of the world. They need immediate help, and -- if Mr. Thompson had no health insurance -- I propose the creation of a fund to provide him with immediate psychiatric treatment. If, as seems likely, institutionalization is necessary, I am willing to do my share.

Oh what the hell, I'll pay for it all. A mind like his is a terrible thing to waste. I am personally willing to cover the full cost of all treatment necessary to restore his mind to its full capacity, all $1.17 worth, if you'll let me know where to send the check.

Hersh L. Adlerstein

In response to Richard Kent's letter regarding the South Florida Rock Awards and certain people in general (December 11), I would like to state that although I agree with some of his comments, I must disagree with others.

Our lead singer, Diane Ward, has no managerial ties to anyone. Not only was she nominated for Best Female Vocalist along with Tovar-managed and Richards-associated artists, but she also won the award. For the record, I would also like to say that John Tovar and Frank Callari of TCA management have gone out of their way to see that our product was given to people in the music industry. Last, Glenn Richards has, without solicitation, played our songs on his local show on WSHE many times. These people are wanted and needed in this business.

Louis K. Lowy
The Wait
Miami Lakes

Mr. Kent's letter appears to be as much of a scam as he claims the South Florida Rock Awards to be! I think that while the awards show was far from perfect, it does promote local talent. Why would he put down other scene supporters and other bands? This only proves his immaturity, narrow-mindedness, and lack of credibility.

Although I might not agree with everyone Glenn Richards or John Tovar supports, at least they are doing something positive for the scene without trying to polarize it. Finally, maybe if Mr. Kent listened to Glenn's show, he would hear some of the bands he mentioned in his letter. As for the awards for those bands, maybe if he had helped with the South Florida Rock Awards instead of boycotting it, some of those bands would have been nominated! On the other hand, some probably don't deserve a nomination.

Danny Shamon

Thank you for reminding me to recycle my newspapers, so my latest New Times, instead of being tossed away, will be saved for next Wednesday, Miami Beach's recycling day.

Minnie Mondschein
Miami Beach

...OR LAY IT OUT FOR LITTLE FIDO...OR -- WHOA! WILLYA CHECK OUT THOSE ADS! Even though many people have written to you about your sexist and explicit ads, I have yet to see any change in your advertising. You have managed to set women back 100 years. The best use I find for New Times is to paper train my dogs!

As for the women who pose in your "newspaper": not only do they degrade themselves, but they degrade all women. They are a disgrace, and they disrespect the thousands of women who fought, and are still fighting, for equal rights. Until women stop degrading themselves we cannot expect men to stop.

When women use their bodies as sex objects, they are treated as such. Aside from degrading women, these ads show where the advertisers think men's intelligence lies. Unfortunately, they are right!

Melanie Kent


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