Not Loria's fault: In regard to Jeffrey Loria being named Best Chutzpah in your "Best of Miami" issue (June 11): The thing is that Loria didn't sell the stadium to the taxpayers; he sold it to the corrupt commissioners who time and again refused to give everyone in the county a voice by letting us vote on the stadium.
You got it wrong: By naming BASIC (Bicycle Activists for a Safe, Integrated City) Best Gadfly, you have given Critical Mass Miami a bad rap. I attend meetings and go on rides with Critical Mass. I help the group with promotion, activism, outreach, and charity events. They really do outreach — such as teaching bicycle safety on the potentially dangerous streets of Miami — not just paint lines on the streets where people open their car doors.
Mark Buckley and Mr. Clucky
Diner paranoia: Jimmy's Eastside Diner is the best diner? This place sounds like that warm smile will turn upside down when a patron walks in without a beard and a dirty, hole-riddled shirt. Thanks, but no thanks. I think I'll go somewhere that doesn't scold me for not dedicating myself to it, for not knowing every detail of its history and regulars. I want an occasional meal that doesn't clog my arteries. I'll take advantage of living in a big city and avoid developing an anxiety-based personality disorder that's provoked by moments falling just a little short of too predictable.
Dear old mom too: Dangerflow, which you named Best Caribbean Band, not only has a "killer rhythm section," but also is a group of talented and hard-working young men. The founder/songwriter/lead singer, Angel Ocean, is an FIU graduate who's studying for his master's degree in international business administration and management. He works full-time, attends FIU, supports a family, writes music, rehearses, and spends time with his ill father. He deserves all the recognition and praise any dedicated and talented person can receive. Congratulations to the members of Dangerflow!
Nowhere left: I admit the White Room has brought some good music to the Miami scene. But I disagree that it's the best venue for live music. First of all, the club is tiny. When it gets packed, you can hardly move or breathe. Plus, half the club has no roof. So, if it rains, you have to fight to stay in the covered area and, chances are, you will get soaked. Also, the acoustics are horrible. The Polish American Club, for example, is a much better place to hear live music because, at least, it fits more people. But overall, few — if any — good live music venues remain in Miami.
The editor is one: I felt insulted by Chuck Strouse's June 4 article, "Spies in the Magic City," in which he degrades Cuban exiles. As a Cuban and a member of the exile community, I feel disgusted that he is a citizen of this country; he cares so little for it and defends the rights of these spies. If he is trying to appeal to our emotions by making us feel sorry for their spouses, it's not working. I am happy the spies were sentenced and that they will probably never see the light of day. I feel ashamed and disturbed that there are still people out there who serve as tools for that pathetic regime, which has only brought misery and detriment to a once-prosperous country.
Gloria es otra: Gloria La Riva seems to have taken the Cuban Five issue personally. She might be genuinely concerned... all the way from California! But if she had a family member who was jailed in Cuba's infamous prisons or executed for simply not agreeing with the Castro brothers, she might have a different opinion.
Or perhaps, just like all of the "Latin American leaders" described in the article, she might have a financial interest and very little concern for the pain and suffering those two gangsters, not Communists, have caused so many Cubans for more than 50 years!
I would like to extend Gloria an invitation to personally enjoy Cuba's phenomenal political system. Repression can do wonders in changing a mind.
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Print magazine has selected Miami New Times art director Pam Shavalier's cover design "Che Who?" as a winner in the 2009 Regional Design Annual contest. The work was chosen from nearly 5,000 entries. It is the fourth time Shavalier has been honored by the magazine.