Letters from the Issue of February 21, 2008
In the Zone
Sarnoff's vision is narrow: Regarding Francisco Alvarado's February 14 article "Combat Zone": I wonder if my district's commissioner, Marc Sarnoff, would consider his aide, Ryan Alexander, for the job of constructing a timed security fence that would exclude ordinary middle-class revelers from patronizing Coconut Grove bars after 3 a.m. Sarnoff, if his website is to be believed, holds himself out as one who strives "to attain goals that speak to all residents in Miami." His goals speak only to a select few and fail to embody an especially important aspect of public service: accountability. It is inconceivable that Sarnoff, who claims park creation and preservation is one of his strong issues, had no knowledge his aide sought to bill the City of Miami $14,500 in reimbursement for erecting a fence around a park in the commissioner's own district.
Sarnoff has gone to great lengths to create an exclusive community — one based on elitist self-absorption that has no tolerance for those from different walks of life, or those who hold different perspectives on what is best for Coconut Grove. The Grove has always been fertile ground for diversity, where citizens with fancy bags and even fancier dogs could mix with aesthetes and vagabonds alike. Much of the area's appeal stems from its history as a free-thinking, embracing community whose net stretches far and wide to include all of its residents and visitors. Unauthorized fences being built by a Sarnoff staff member who then bills taxpayers suggests an abuse of office. As revealed in Alvarado's article, Sarnoff also championed the construction of the Blanche dog park without acknowledging its proximity to his home (directly across the street), circumvented notifiying residents of the park, and restricted the space for children. Such efforts suggest he is appealing to a very narrow constituency. Unfortunately, whatever Sarnoff decides to do, it looks like all of us will have to foot the bill.
Ari A. Sweetbaum, Esq.
Something smells next door too: Speaking of a "Combat Zone," has Francisco Alvarado checked out Coral Gables City Hall? That place not only stinks but also reeks of corruption!
It has been under investigation by the State Attorney's Office for almost two years, and it continues with seemingly no end in sight.
Where's the beef?: Let's focus on the facts and put race-baiting and finger-pointing aside. If the biggest issue some Grovites have to fight about is a dog park, I suggest they all get a life. I found "Combat Zone" lacking in both substance and follow-through. I contend this is a hit piece, plain and simple. Everyone who slams Sarnoff in this article either has an ax to grind (Frank Rollason, who, God love him, was fired by Sarnoff — I understand his rancor; Joe Arriola; and Jason Walker, whoever the heck that is) or is just crazy (Arriola and Walker). Problems with the blue-eyed guy? I have some too. But where is the reporting? I didn't know the facts before I read the article, and I still don't. Lazy piece.
Blame a bad childhood: Secret Memo Sarnoff must have had a pretty rotten childhood. I wonder if his parents' divorce severely scarred him. It's the only way to understand him in this article. His mother must feel pretty bad about the way he has turned out.
Via web commentary
Early-bird special: I saw Sarnoff on television today after I read Francisco Alvarado's "Combat Zone." He was leading residents who want to get the Grove clubs to stop selling liquor at 3 instead of 5 a.m. Good for him.
Via web commentary
Shaken and stirred: "Spank the Monkey" (by Amy Guthrie, February 7) is such a haunting piece. Thank you. It is classical in its poise.
Michael R. Brown
We Like Bike
Things are screwed up all over: "Share the F**king Road" (by Isaiah Thompson, January 31) was a great article about cycling in Miami. I posted a link on my bike club website here in NYC because I think more people should read it.
From the hostility of drivers to disorganization among ourselves, cyclists all over the nation face the same frustrating, seemingly intractable problems. Some changes are coming here in NYC, but they're always slow, painstaking, and partial.
Excellent piece of writing. At some point the dam will burst.
New York, New York
So much to do: I am new to triathlons but find the biking community described in "Share the F**king Road" to be one-of-a-kind. This will definitely be one of my battles. Anyway, I really enjoyed the article. Very unique. Keep it up!
Carolina Rubio Stol
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