From the Ghetto
Mercy me: The killers are the exception rather than the rule on Liberty City's 15th Avenue ("Death Row," Francisco Alvarado, July 8). While there is a much higher percentage of murders there than elsewhere in the area, the vast majority of residents are good, hardworking people. Great article. It gave me an excellent understanding of this war zone just a few miles from my home.
Hell on Earth: I will share my story too. There's so much to say. A lotta good souls have been lost due to the violence. My address was 1500 NW 68th Ave., just like Krow, and I too have seen it all at such a young age. It's true you get sucked in — selling whatever to get by, not knowing what in hell you're doing, and seeing so many deaths. I also lost my oldest brother to a violent death. I wanted to get out. What do you do when both parents are on drugs? It's like a living hell. There are so many people and families I know that share so much pain and heartache. I just wish my community could come to peace.
Home alone: It's sad to read these things happened in our city. It's just the way kids are being brought up. We are living in a hard time, and parents are forced to work longer hours. The kids end up being alone at times because the parents don't have enough income to pay for after-school programs or summer vacation. There are just not enough programs for the kids. The parents need to get involved more.
Things past: I lived on 15th Avenue and 62nd Terrace during the '60s, and it was nothing like what is described in this article today. My family sold the house about five years ago. It's sad but true — we knew we would never live in the area again. Back in the '50s and '60s, 15th Avenue had everything, from a movie theater to a Dairy Queen, where the Blizzard ice-cream treats were the best. It was a village, where everyone cared about the community.
Driven out: Thanks for shedding some light on deadly bike accidents in Miami-Dade ("Ghost Riders," Erik Maza, July 8). I chose to get rid of my car and cycle exclusively. I ride as legally as safety permits, but I still regularly get bumped, squeezed off the road, and harassed by drivers for delaying their arrival at the next red light by a few seconds.
Blame bikers: Bikers, stay out of traffic! Stay off two-lane roads. Use the lanes and paths made for bikes! Stop for red lights. Don't weave through traffic! These idiot bikers are risking their lives in the name of recreation. Don't blame the cars — it's the bikers who can't follow traffic rules.
Movin' on: I am actively looking to move out of this county owing to lack of bicycle infrastructure. Broward and Palm Beach have many, many more bike lanes.
Life cycle: Thank you, Erik. Our elected officials need to understand that bicycles are not used only for recreation. Many people use the bicycle as their primary vehicle for transportation because they cannot afford anything else. Our goal should be to replicate what Portland has done. We should not be willing to accept anything less.
SUV love: Thank you, Erik, for being one of the few newspaper reporters to look into the plight of any and all cyclists in South Florida. It is clear that the county commissioners, state elected officials, and career bureaucrats are more interested in improving the roads so gas-guzzling SUVs can speed up and down them while ignoring the real and present need for bike- and pedestrian-friendly roads.
Bilingual aid: We really need some bicycle instruction in this town. We need materials in Spanish and Kreyol.
Free to Trash
Talking dirty: I agree with Elena Kagan's opinion that Luther Campbell has the right to talk dirty on his albums and that they should be available for sale ("Luke's Gospel," Luther Campbell, July 8). Yet I also question the artistic merit of pushing the envelope of bad language — it shows a lack of better ideas.
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A Riptide item last week, "Ethical Flak," misinterpreted the relationship of the Community Redevelopment Agency to the City of Miami. They are separate, although city authorities play a substantial role in the CRA's stewardship. Commissioner Marc Sarnoff gave spokesman David Karsh permission to pursue the PR contract with the CRA, but did not cast an official vote.