I wish to compliment Jim DeFede's treatment of the complex litigation in his article "Battle of the Exes" (January 1).

One matter I feel compelled to draw to your readers' attention, is that Mrs. Feinberg's tape recording, that I recommended, was done legally. In fact, the State Attorney's Office researched the issue and advised the Florida Bar that the tape is legal and admissable. However, there is some danger in tape recording private communications as there are laws that make recording private conversations a felony in most situations. I would strongly urge that private conversations not be secretly recorded without the advice of an attorney, to be safe.

Peter Ticktin
Coral Gables

Too bad nobody offered a New Year's solution for the ongoing solid waste crisis, though Chief Medical Examiner Joseph Davis cut neatly through a lot of the garbage ("New Year, Old Peeves," January 1). The obvious solution to Mount Trashmore and the poison-spewing incinerators is to offer people a financial incentive to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Instead of including a uniform solid waste charge in the property tax, target trash weights could be established for each household size and type (houses and condos/apartments) and bar-coded trash cans issued to everyone. The trash would be weighed and recorded by scanning computers on the back of the garbage trucks or at the Dumpsters in condos (which would open to receive trash only after reading the bar code). This solution would be economically fair as it would bill each household according to how trashy it is, and encourage saving on taxes by composting and mulching at home. It would solve the problem of how to motivate people who do not fit the stereotypical "environmentalist" demographics, and provide a compelling nonlegislative incentive for manufacturers and vendors to reduce packaging or choose reusable/recyclable containers.

To promote the idea and build community spirit, the county could have a competition to determine who generates the least trash within each household category. The winners would get their pictures in the paper, an awards banquet, plus material rewards such as cars, boats, and houses seized from convicted criminals. It could be called Lotto Trash and it would be fun, and the odds to win would be much better than with the state-run Lotto (especially for our ecosystems!).

Of course, this simple solution does not incorporate any financial incentive for commissioners and trashmongering lobbyists, as does the present system.

I loved Charles Dusseau's suggestion of trashing the coat and tie in summer! Way to go for bioregionalism, Charles!

Maria Quintana
Everglades Earth First!

I'm glad Lesli McChesney does not tend bar in any of my favorite restaurants. She says the only difference between a Manhattan and a dry Manhattan ("The Cocktail Hour," December 25) is a twist of lemon peel instead of a cherry. In fact, a dry Manhattan is made with dry vermouth rather than sweet.

I don't consider it being a showoff to order dry, either - I just don't like sweet drinks. In fact, I don't even want the lemon peel in mine; it just messes up the good taste!

Jim Pasco
Coconut Grove

I am writing in response to Richard Kent's unfair attack on Glenn Richards ("Letters," December 11). The only thing Mr. Richards uses the local show on WSHE for is to expose local bands to the mass audience. Yes, he does play bands managed by John Tovar on a semi-regular basis; however, he also regularly plays bands such as Farrcry, Hellwitch, Forget the Name, Amazing Grace, David and Goliath, and Velvet Taxi, along with countless others, and those bands have absolutely nothing to do with John Tovar and TCA group. As long as a band sends him a good-quality tape, they will get airplay - if bands send him cassettes that sound as though they've been recorded on a Walkman in someone's bathroom, obviously that won't make it on the air, even if John Tovar or Glenn's own mother is the band's manager.

Everyone cannot be satisfied when it comes to events such as the rock awards; however, if the unhappy parties resort to childish personal attacks to try to change things, they will ultimately wind up hurting, not helping, the local music scene.

Isa Shulman

In response to all those whiners who didn't get nominated at the South Florida Music Awards and are trying to blame their hard luck on John Tovar and Co.:

I'm the bass player in a local band that's been playing the scene for more than a year, and last year we were panned by TCA. Despite that minor setback, and the loss of three consecutive guitarists due to such diverse reasons as deportation, hearing loss, and the obligatory musical differences, we have managed to remain busy. Through all the turmoil we have suffered, we never once hinged our fate as a band on any one South Florida music scenemeister. Instead we rely on our sole belief in the South Florida music fan, and in our own abilities and imaginations.

So if Glenn Richards doesn't play your songs every Sunday, or a club owner keeps telling you to call him back, or Miami Rocks II sends you a "no thank you" note, keep playing, keep recording, keep making that noise you call the sound of the future. Eventually all the Glenns, Johns, and Franks of the South Florida scene will either take notice or put a contract out on your collective lives (what a gimmick!). Don't blame these dudes for your misfortunes, blame yourself for your lack of will to show them up!

Joe Dante, a/k/a Picasso Trigger


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