Letters from the Issue of February 8, 2007
He must have beaten his cat or something!: Regarding Francisco Alvarado's "Wicked, Part 2" (February 1). How is it that Miami-Dade Commissioner Natacha Seijas can unleash the hounds on anyone who dares to run against her or dares to try to recall her, but not one agency can find any reason to investigate her? Alvarado makes a clear case for conflict of interest and other shady dealings. So what to do? Investigate Alvarado, of course.
"Super Bored" "The Doctor, Part 1" "Cut and Run" "Caf Con Retch" "Wicked, Part 2"
McCartney's a genius: Greg Baker's "Super Bored" (February 1) was just simply wrong. Paul McCartney's performance was one of the best, if not the best, of all Super Bowl halftime shows.
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There are more bad guys lurking: In reference to "The Doctor, Part 1" (January 25) by Chuck Strouse. If you think worrying about child molestation is buying into hysteria (which yes, exists remember the Arnold and Jesse Friedman case on Long Island in the '80s?), you are mistaken. What you should fear is the complacency and apathy that we seem to have developed regarding this ugliness.
G-d forbid, it should happen to one of our children. How would we bear the guilt of inaction?
You have a predator next door. Have you checked the Florida Sexual Offenders and Predators Website ? I have four (and they're just the locals). Do you think these folks don't drive cars? Do you really think you can "watch" your kids close enough to evade an adult predator intent on the destruction of kids' emotional, and perhaps even physical, lives?
Do you trust the wellbeing of your babies to a system that will administer "treatment" and follow offenders through release? I know it sounds good. It seems rational. Wanna bet? What will you wager?
Is what you fear, only living in fear? I believe there is far worse. Good luck to us all.
So be kind to 'em: In reference to the article published on January 25, "Cut and Run" by Joanne Green. Being an avid fan of cutting edge journalism and a regular reader, I was perusing your main articles hoping to find such work. Then I read it and I thought, not again, say it isn't so! I'm originally from Mexico City and moved to multicultural Miami twenty years ago. Haitian culture and music, unknown to me then, made a major positive impact on my life. It has been an honor to work alongside Haitians advancing this beautiful and joyful music; it's also a blessing to be part of their wonderful community.
But there's a social phenomenon I find repulsive, disgusting, and shameful. Haitian people have been routinely presented on radio, TV, and in written media in the worst light. In the same situation a Cuban immigrant goes to the American dream, a Haitian goes to hell.
It is now better than it was a few years back. Then, Haitians were the AIDS people, the boat people, the poor people, the most violent and the worst. Hollywood made a mockery of their religion through movies, to add to this mix. A conspiracy theory, floating around in some intellectual circles, seems not so farfetched anymore. Haiti has been punished for being the first black nation, and for ending there one of the most aberrant, shameful, devilish chapters in human story: slavery. Since I've seen positive articles here and there, I would not dare to include New Times in this conspiracy theory. Still, the balance is unfavorable to Haitians. This article once again portrays Haitians in a bad light and is very damaging to the community. I assure you there are many incredible foundations doing wonderful work helping Haitian people. I would hope that you cover that.
We need savvy, smart, sensitive, and just writers with the talent and desire to find the many, many positive aspects of Haitian people. Miamians have been bombarded for so long with negative portraits of Haitians, who can even blame them for being prejudiced? Let's bring the real alternative press back!
Pavel Claudio Patino
He has a chip on his hombro: In his article "Café Con Retché" (January 18), art critic Carlos Suarez De Jesus critiques not the work of a single artist, or gallery, or exhibit but instead an entire community: Little Havana.
In his printed words, which will be archived and rediscovered by Google searchers and others investigating this historic area, Suarez De Jesus has passed his bitter and mean-spirited judgment on the neighborhood and its artists, its small businesses, its celebrations, and even its history.
His is one opinion and a quite biased one at that. He also made a number of incorrect assumptions. The reason I left my position as the part-time director of Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays) the monthly festival that celebrates Little Havana was simply for financial reasons: I needed full-time work. I truly loved my job. And I worked with a dedicated, hard-working board that also cares deeply about the festival.
At the festival Carlos calls "schlock" and compares to an enema, veteran participants include the famous Currás brothers of Cuba, whose ceramics have been exhibited worldwide and whose gorgeous mosaic work graces Domino Plaza. Carlos fails to mention that the reason Viernes is adding street performers is that artists requested to be moved to spaces such as this beautiful plaza, between Domino Park and the historic Tower Theater.
We have fun. We dance under the stars old folks, couples, kids, tourists letting go, for blissful moments, the divisions, arrogance and chisme that can prevent neighbors from meeting neighbors. Ahh, to smoke a fine cigar, sip your cortadito, and feel the clave beat in your bones.
Suarez De Jesus doesn't realize that we still have rumbas here in Little Havana, plus spoken word poetry, plus creative fusions of the traditional with the avant-garde, the serious with the lighthearted. Little Havana has something for everyone.
I hope your readers will meet their Miami neighbors and check out Little Havana for themselves, perhaps starting with Viernes Culturales, on the last Friday evening of every month.
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