The new mall, just like the old mall: It's been more than 100 years since poet George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I thought of that after reading "Midtown Meltdown" (Francisco Alvarado, January 8).
I'm referring to the Omni Mall, which was a popular inner-city shopping destination when I lived off Biscayne Boulevard at 23rd Street in the 1980s. A two-level mall anchored by J.C. Penney and Jordan Marsh (later Burdines), it was very convenient to my family. Each Friday we would walk down to Cozzoli's for a pizza and then visit the mall or take in a movie at the AMC cineplex (yeah, another inner-city convenience). It was really a great area, and we enjoyed it until leaving town in 1985.
Then, in the next decade, everything fell apart. The anchor stores left, the mall became more deserted as other name-brand stores left, and shoppers became sparse. It became a frightening place, a ghostly shell of a mall.
I don't know exactly why this once bright and thriving place failed. Was it destroyed by its proximity to blighted areas? Perhaps it was just ahead of its time.
But it failed. And frankly, looking at what happened to a once very popular mall at Omni, I had misgivings about a new mall in an even less popular area of the city not far from Overtown. So now everyone is blaming the problems of this project on the tanking economy, without even thinking about the death of a once very popular Omni Mall exactly a decade ago.
Iranians Are People Too
The mullahs are mules: In response to "The Agent from Iran" (Deirdra Funcheon, January 8): Imagine if we didn't have Western agents watching people like the couple featured in your story. We would be sent back to the 18th Century. The leader of Iran has put his nation back in the Stone Age. All he wants is to destroy the United States, Israel, and Western Europe and take them back to the Stone Age.
Iran is a country where the press and individual freedom are controlled by a group of demented mullahs. With the price of oil at $38 a barrel, their leaders are sinking in quick sand. People in Tehran wait all day to put 10 liters of fuel in their cars. Since the revolution, the Iranian leadership has been mining its oil resources without putting one cent into development. Everyone in the streets watches his back in fear of the secret police, and one word against the government puts you in jail for 20 years. God help us if Iran ever gets a nuclear bomb.
Put these two parasites away for 30 years.
La Paz, Bolivia
Hogs Aren't People, But...
Pig out on the greenery: On January 7, a letter to the editor from Antonio Sevillano defended knife hog hunting. It's true that slaughterhouses are gruesome places, as are factory farms. Each violates animals in the most monstrous and unnecessary ways. As does hunting of any sort. It is not necessary for man to eat meat to thrive; in fact, man lives quite well on a plant-based diet, which requires absolutely no harm at all. If one does not "need" to kill, yet does so anyway, I call that cruel. What about you?
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Don't Forget the Marlins
They get dirty too: I loved Derf's "Dirty Dozen" in the January 1 issue. But why not start the New Year off with a bang and make it the "Dirty Baker's Dozen" with David Samson, the president of the Florida Marlins. After all, he arrogantly refused to provide Marlins financial accounting disclosures and revenues (used to evaluate the team's ability to repay debt) to the taxpayers during the debate over the new stadium. He has obviously been diddling both the commissioners and the judge, and has successfully screwed Miami-Dade taxpayers, saddling us with $500 million for a new stadium and a team that can't find a prayer in the Bible or a winning season, let alone a World Series.