Letters from the Issue of April 6, 2006
Come marchando in: In reference to Patrice E.G. Yursik's story "Totally Jazzed" (March 30): I lived in New Orleans for three years until Katrina came to town. I chose to live there to do research on jazz and to experience the music in the place where it was born.
Jazz is the only authentic indigenous art form in the United States and perhaps the most important cultural contribution America has given to the world. It's played in almost every corner of the globe. Unfortunately this wonderful music has lost popularity in the U.S., and that is sad.
The opening of the great maestro Arturo Sandoval's jazz club in the city is news of major proportion. It would be the equivalent of Jimi Hendrix (RIP) opening a rock club, B.B. King a blues club, James Brown (RIP) a funk club, Tisto an electronic club, or Mozart (RIP) a classical club.
This opening alone will send Miami to new levels. We can now say proudly we have a premier jazz club, where the best jazz musicians will play, just as it happens in New Orleans, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
It seems that finally Miami is moving from a cocaine, Miami Vice, drug-trafficking, nasty-politics, superfluous, hollow, materialistic, decadent, party city to a cultural metropolis. It is about time.
Thanks and support should be given to the living legend, a man who has co-written jazz history, the great Cuban trumpet player Arturo Sandoval.
Let's hope the youth who have made the electronic music scene such a booming industry here understand that variety is also applicable to music, not only to sex. I am in my forties, yet I appreciate electronic music, especially house and drum 'n' bass. I especially love my Mexican youth from Mexicool, who are incorporating instruments into their DJ acts and who received great reviews during the recent music conference.
Let's hope for more extensive coverage of Arturo Sandoval's great venue from Miami News Times.
Pavel Claudio Patino
Not so good: Lee Klein's review "From Martini to Marhaba" (March 23) was right on target about Martini Bar. My boyfriend and I decided to check it out when it first opened, and we had the same exact experience. We were standing around, not knowing where to go or who to see about being seated. Inside there was no one except an extremely loud band. Outside it appeared all the tables were taken. There was neither a host/hostess nor waiters walking around inside. When we approached the bouncer, he said we could sit anywhere we wanted, and if all the tables were taken, we would have to sit inside and wait for service. We smelled trouble and knew if we sat inside, we would be there all night long waiting for a server, so we hightailed it out of there, only to discover Origins Asian Bistro, which was fantastic.
Dry and delightful: As the operating partner of Martini Bar in South Miami, my heart sank as I read Lee Klein's witty but somewhat scathing review of our bar. After reading and re-reading it, I realized most of the facts are accurate: We are very busy, the music is quite loud particularly the live music and people do like to dance here. We're not, however, a restaurant, and we've never claimed to be one.
As the name implies, Martini Bar derives more than 90 percent of its sales from alcohol and, like any good neighborhood bar, offers food. Our goal is to offer the best bar food anywhere. Our chef, Frank Jeannetti, is not just a name on the menu. To suggest he's tarnishing his reputation for a little side work is so unfair. Investing hundreds of hours of his time, he has trained and molded our kitchen staff over the past eight months into a very strong and capable team that hand-preps and serves great food every day from noon till 5:00 a.m. They were dismayed to get such a review without anyone actually trying the food.
I read many of your reviews, and I've always found them to be fair and balanced. Please give our food and our signature martinis a chance. If you prefer a mellower setting, stop by for lunch, happy hour, or brunch on Sunday.
It was right on: Regarding Jeff Stratton's story "Calling All Cars" (March 23): Please find yourself corrected. The Miami Police Department was not the only one to furnish citizens with complaint forms. If you recall the TV news piece correctly, Homestead and Florida City Police departments complied. Please give the fine men and women of these police organizations the kudos they deserve. Thank you.
We want none of you, Bakuninist dog: Hey y'all. You can print my letter or not; I don't give a rat's ass one way or the other. Originally I had another letter to send you, until I read your dumb-ass rules about letters being relevant to articles in the paper and the hell with the rest of the issues that bug the shit out of us, which you all have conveniently sidestepped.
Maybe you ought to think about taking the blinders off for a couple of pages of opinions on stuff that's important to the rest of us and drop a couple of pages of ads (Sorry, God forbid we would want to mess with the people paying the freight), or perhaps terminate one of your liberal "journalists" Lord knows you have enough of those to squeeze in a couple of pages for the proletariat.
Finally in print: As a practicing small-animal veterinarian, I felt the need to respond to the persecution of Miami-Dade Animal Services in Francisco Alvarado's article "Death by the Pound" (January 26). I have worked in Miami Humane Society facilities; small animal hospitals in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Tampa; a Tampa-area animal control facility; and a feral cat spay/neuter program. After reading the sensationalized piece, I felt a strong need to present some facts and observations I think point the finger of blame for the "death-by-Miami demise" at the community: Miami-Dade Animal Services is simply finalizing the death sentence that society has placed on these animals through neglect and decreased willingness to spay and neuter.
1. County-run shelters must take all stray, abandoned, relinquished, and sick or dangerous animals. The Humane Society and other privately owned shelters can deny pets that cannot be adopted because of temperament, illness, or lack of space to properly house them. Therefore they have the option not to have to euthanize nearly as many animals.
Animal Services removes unwanted animals from the streets, provides medical services, spays and neuters, and finds suitable homes if possible. Something has to happen to those that aren't "adoptable."
2. Why are there so many pets entering Miami-Dade Animal Services? This is because of the combined effect of a warm tropical climate and cultural reluctance to spay and neuter pets. In the tropics a female cat can have a litter of kittens, and before the end of the year, her kittens can already be having kittens! I have seen more mammary gland cancer, pyometra (life-threatening infection in the uterus), testicular cancer, and prostatic cancer in the Miami area than I ever saw in Tampa. These life-threatening diseases and offspring could have been prevented in most cases by spaying or neutering pets at a young age.
In conclusion, I want people to realize that when society points a finger at Miami-Dade Animal Services for euthanizing unwanted animals, it points three fingers back at itself. Ask yourself: What have I done to help or hinder this problem within my community? Is my pet spayed or neutered? Did I purchase a pet from a breeder or pet store versus adopting one from a shelter or rescue group? Have I volunteered to help clean cages or wash or walk dogs at a local shelter? Have I made a financial donation to Animal Services, a rescue group, or the Humane Society?
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