Letters from the Issue of March 8, 2007
Rookie mistake: I am not writing this to criticize Brandon K. Thorp's review, "Genocide is Boring" (March 1). I believe he has some valid points, and I am far too close to the production to offer an objective opinion. What I do take issue with is Mr. Thorp's divulging the surprise of the last scene's set transformation. The point of the change is obviously intended as a surprise to the audience. Revealing the change in detail in a review is unkind to me (the scenic designer), New Theatre, and a potential audience. It also happens to be an amateur mistake. I have enjoyed Mr. Thorp's candor in prior reviews (he generally says what other reviewers won't), but revealing a key surprise moment of a production is unprofessional. I urge Mr. Thorp to be a little more careful with what he includes in his reviews in the future, and I look forward to continue reading his candid critiques.
Good story: Good for Miami New Times for getting back on track with the environment ("Green Tide," March 1). Rob Jordan asks, "Is this the beginning of the end for one of the world's most delicate and vital ecosystems?" Nope.
The beginning of the end was the arrival of more people in South Florida and the Florida Keys in the Fifties, with bigger quantities of waste water and storm water runoff than the environment could withstand. Measuring that tipping point how much is too much is a highly controversial issue that is going around and around in court between government agencies, the State of Florida, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and environmental groups.
The tragedy unfolding in Biscayne Bay and Florida Bay coincides with the initiation of the project to widen the eighteen-mile stretch separating Miami-Dade from the Florida Keys. Environmentalists who lost that lawsuit after many years of litigation were required by a judge to pay the court costs of agencies they sued.
An indignity perhaps, but nature bats last.
Via the Internet
Welcome home: I was pleasantly surprised to know, thanks to the article written by Emily Witt ("The Princess of Miami," February 22), that we have a real member of the aristocracy among us in Miami-Dade County: Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam. I appreciate that she loves our area and that she is well-known in Miami's philanthropic circles, showing that she cares for the people who live here. Also, as a Cuban exiled in this country I understand her feelings about being forced to escape Communism, and I am thankful that she is learning Spanish. Recently a U.S. Senator, Tom Tancredo, said that living in Miami was like living in a country of the Third World. I don't know if Mr. Tancredo belongs to the most ancient aristocracy of the U.S., but I feel his remarks were very obnoxious.
When comparing these two different ways of seeing the same place, we can't hesitate in considering Thi-Nga a queen not only "for one night," but for as long as she wishes to remain in Miami-Dade County.
Elsa M. Rodríguez
Reserving from across the globe: Regarding "Top Chef" by Lee Klein (February 15): I always love and respect your reviews. I am currently in Asia for the season but after reading your review, I have made a reservation already at David Bouley Evolution in May. Yes, I read your reviews each week online. Bravo.
Fact or fiction?: Calvin Godfrey's January 11 article, "Frontier Justice," about the events that led to the filing of brutality charges against Sweetwater Police officers Allen St. Germain and George Alvarez, contained two false and misleading statements about the investigation that the State Attorney's Office conducted. Specifically those statements are:
"... the state attorney has declined to investigate the mayor's role in the incident."
"Miraculously Mayor Marono remained outside the scope of the state attorney's investigation into the beating."
These statements are completely untrue.
Mayor Manuel Marono's actions, as well as those of everyone in the Sweetwater Police station on the night of the incident, were thoroughly investigated. Mayor Marono himself submitted to a voluntary sworn statement in which he answered all investigative questions about his involvement in the incident. He was not given immunity for his testimony, and would have been prosecuted by the State Attorney's Office if sufficient evidence had existed to support state criminal charges. The TV screenwriter's concept of throwing such cases to a criminal court jury is a fantasy intended to create 50 minutes of drama, not a lifetime of good law. Skilled writing is an art, but accurate writing is a blessing, and should be a constant necessity.
Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office
Calvin Godfrey replies: Both of the statements that Ed Griffith has alleged are "untrue" were based upon two lengthy interviews with Asst. State Attorney David Maer, who was acting spokesman for the office. After receiving this note from Griffith, I telephoned Maer, who reiterated that Mayor Marono was never "under investigation" by the State Attorney's Office.
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