Letters from the Issue of May 29 - June 4, 2003
Gone But Not Forgotten
Thanks for remembering Norberto: I was very saddened to hear about the passing of Norberto Longo. I just came across Enrique Lopetegui's article that was reprinted in the SF Weekly ("Longo Time Gone," May 15). Granted I have not watched or read much Spanish-language media lately, but there was absolutely no mention of his passing in any San Francisco Bay Area paper that I know of. I agree completely about the underreporting of one of Spanish broadcasting's pioneers. I enjoyed listening to Norberto for his humorous but scathing criticisms of players as well as his insightful observations. He will truly be missed.
Overreacting To Reactors
Hey, watch out with that word meltdown: Steven Dudley's story, "Return of Three Mile Island?" (May 22), was a meltdown. The Three Mile Island release of a small amount of radioactive gas outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was not. It didn't bother the nearby cows, milk, or people. So why read beyond the fantasy that Three Mile Island was "really ... a meltdown"?
Gone and Best Forgotten
No need of praises for the mediocre: I arrived in America on May 5, 1972. I was nine years old. In short time I was Americanized. I watched Howard Cosell do Monday Night Football and boxing. I learned that Cosell could be condescending, but I accepted it because he had an uncommon intellectual capacity. I was also familiar with Norberto Longo. And Longo was no Howard Cosell. To me, he came across like Randy Cross, former 49er and now analyst for CBS -- somebody who thinks he knows more than he actually does. The difference being, Cross actually played the game he comments on at the professional level. I remember Longo once stated about a soccer player, "... quiere jugar como los grandes, pero no llega [he wants to play like the best of them, but he doesn't succeed]." The genius of the comment is that you could apply it to his skill as an analyst. My point: Just because people die does not mean we have to make them out to be something they were not. Que en paz descanse.
Joaquin E. de Leon
Best Jazz Radio Program
But we're not that cheap! Many thanks to New Times for selecting 88 Jazz Place/Morning with Frank Consola as the Best Jazz Radio Program in Miami (Best of Miami, May 15). One minor correction: We do, in fact, pay our boy Frank for his hard work. WDNA-FM (88.9) may be a "nonprofit" station, but we do reward exceptional talent when the budget can accommodate it. Now, if only we can convince you folks that Sounds of the Caribbean isn't the only top-notch reggae show in town. You're hurting Flagga Duperly's (Saturdays at noon) feelings! The best to you.
Joe Cassara, operations manager
Tipsy Columnist Drools Drivel
Maybe he's Cuban -- that would explain it: Is Tristram Korten drunk again? That can be the only explanation for "Stalin Would Be Proud" (May 1), that drivel he wrote concerning the six fired workers from the Department of Children and Families. Perhaps he doesn't know exactly what they did, or maybe he thinks what they did was perfectly okay.
What they did was racially profile a person who came into their office looking for help. Once they determined that she was just your run-of-the-mill "white honkie," they proceeded to treat her like shit. This is not an isolated incident but happens every day in every office where Cubans deal with non-Cubans. This is a fact of life in Miami-Dade.
These Cuban racist bigots got just what they deserved. They should also be put on the next raft back to Cuba as they are not wanted here. Or maybe to Korten this is acceptable behavior. Is he Cuban?
Patrick C. Miller
Clever Columnist Hits Home Run
And we scored in a big way as a result: I just returned from the home of our lawyer, Roberta Fox, and am barely awake. Just too exhausted. We all met with the district administrator of DCF, and when we thought things were lost, Roberta left the room and when she came back we had a settlement. We could not believe it. All six of us are going back to our jobs with retroactive pay to the day of our firing, March 14, though maybe not to the same places. And Jessica Frenes will get an oral reprimand.
We owe it all to Roberta, a great lady, and to all the press that gave us support. So thank you! By the way, Tristram Korten's column "Stalin Would Be Proud" continues to be a success. Everybody there had read it and made fun of me being described as a rabbit, which I enjoyed. Somebody even had a copy of the paper in their hands and was showing it to everyone. Even in one of the TV reports we came out holding it! Again, thanks to New Times.
Hark Museum Park
It's time to stop, look, and question: The highlighting of the Miami Art Museum's shifting ground raises fundamental issues for our area's cultural ecology ("Tumbling Chairs," Celeste Fraser Delgado, May 1): Can artists contribute unique, vital viewpoints that will temper the interests and agendas of the current players on museum boards and committees? Are museums valuing and encouraging the participation of artists in their governance? Could the formulation and implementation of institutional policy, programming, and collecting be enriched with more involvement of artists? It's clear to many that these questions should be pursued with other museums everywhere.
In connection with a new venue for MAM, other questions wait to be addressed: Will the current museum board mandate the participation of artists in the articulation of the program that will guide the development of the building and grounds? Will artists be appointed to the committee selecting the architect(s)? Will there be a guaranteed collaboration of artists with architect(s) in the design of the building and "sculpture park"?
My "Museum of American Democratic Art: Tumbling Chairs" was not commissioned by the Center for the Fine Arts. The installation emerged as an artist-generated project in connection with the annual meeting of the National Association of Artists' Organizations in Miami Beach in 1994, where I was a keynote speaker. Beyond the "Tumbling" mode, the chairs can also be organized and "played" as "Circles of Cooperation" and "Gateways." The installation addresses art-world archetypes rather than specific individuals.
Many of us in the cultural community applaud Celeste Fraser Delgado's cogent and daring reporting and hope she will deliver followup articles on these energizing cultural developments.
All Aboard the Anti-Castro Gravy Train
It's pulling out of the station loaded with your tax dollars: Regarding Tristram Korten's article proposing to swap five imprisoned Cuban spies for jailed dissidents in Cuba ("Proposals with Punch," April 17), the Cuban-exile community has absolutely no credibility in Cuba, so I don't think having them initiate this plan would work. Also the U.S. government, which paid these "dissidents" with taxpayer money, doesn't give a hoot about them as people. They were just being used. The government doesn't care whether or not they get out of jail.
Then there's all the money, in the millions of dollars, coming from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other government sources going to Freedom House and other exile beneficiaries. The exiles then purchase dissidents for a pittance and keep the rest of the money. The anti-Castro gravy train continues to flow and the recipients still don't have to get a job.
Let the Pope Do It
He'll call it amnesty and everyone will be satisfied: In reference to Tristram Korten's "Proposals with Punch," here's an alternative proposal. Instead of a swap, why not a parallel amnesty. The Pope could ask both countries to provide amnesty for the five spies and the 78 dissidents in jail. The actual amnesty would be handled by Vatican representatives simultaneously -- same day, both countries.
Nelson P. Valdes
Durham, North Carolina
The cop kept her job, so get over it: In reference to the story about the troubled female cop [Michelle Santinello] in Golden Beach ("Officer Trouble," Tristram Korten, December 12, 2002): Hello! Last time I checked you had to take a psych and poly test to become employed. So, obviously they are all lies. Get off her back. It's obviously a situation where a number of people are just jealous of her. I think those who were fired or so-called "pushed out" should quit feeling sorry for themselves and look in the mirror. You're out of a job for a reason. People don't get hired or fired for no reason. Or as you say "because someone does or doesn't like you." Get over it and move on. If you're not able to move on, I wonder why!
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