Letters from the Issue of May 4, 2006
Mittelman is just the beginning: Francisco Alvarado's story "Now You See It" (April 27) about the Coconut Grove Playhouse makes me think I've gone through this before. Wasn't the demise of the Florida Philharmonic just a couple of years ago? I was burnt once on my preseason payment, and I don't want that to happen again. Since many subscribers and I have paid the playhouse for next year's subscription, I truly wonder if the $4,000,000 they are presently short includes the funds they already have received for 2006-07?
You state that the "financial switcheroo" of Mittelman may help sink the playhouse. I believe it is only a small part of the problem. There are at least three culprits. First is management, which has let the theater deteriorate to threadbare seats and made uninspired play selection sometimes based only on which ethnic group will attend. The theater has also not let the community know loud and clear about the financial predicament it faces. The second culprit is the preservationists who uncompromisingly do not see the folly of demanding the rebuilding of the present theater. It would not only be far more costly then building anew, but also, when completed, it still might not be safe for the public. Last, the playhouse board needs to accept some of the blame for not foreseeing these problems and taking appropriate action.
The solution to all of this seems so obvious. Allow the playhouse to sell the adjoining land and keep the profit for an endowment. There should be a deed restriction that requires parking for the theater, construction of a new playhouse with the present façade, and, finally, selection of inspiring plays that would appeal to a wide audience.
Is the man, yes he is: Regarding "Black Magic Musicians" (April 27) by Alexandra Quiñones: That's funny. You can say the album El Kilo means what the band members say, but there's no way around the fact that the song "El Kilo" by Orishas is 100 percent about Fidel.
Syracuse, New York
Not Pogues, dummy: Great article by Francisco Alvarado, "Jump-Out Boys" (April 27). I truly enjoyed it. As a lifelong resident of Miami, I have seen my fair share of rogue cops. Let's hope internal affairs can begin outing and arresting these thugs.
With politically correct, hypoallergenic soap: While I commend the willingness of New Times to cover mixed-ability dance in Joanne Green's "Dances with Wheels" (April 20), I was disappointed by misrepresentation of my disability through the choice of words in the article. I understand that one of the strengths of your publication is courage to reach beyond traditional journalism rules, but there are valuable lessons to be learned from PeopleFirst Language the current suggested/accepted journalistic approach to writing about people with disabilities. No one is "confined to a wheelchair." Wheelchairs are a mode of freedom. Oppression is confining. In the same line, I do not "suffer from osteogenesis imperfecta." This is my disability a part of me I am proud of. Without it, I would not be the same person. I "suffer" no more from this than you might from your cultural background. Last, the nature of my specific condition was slightly mischaracterized. Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) varies greatly in severity. I know it might sound more interesting if "sneezing could cause one of [my] ribs to crack" but that's simply not the case with my particular type of OI.
Again, I'm glad the article was written, but it does become tiresome to see disability itself constantly characterized as negative and something to overcome. As a disability advocate, I believe it's my responsibility to correct inaccurate information. Please accept this respectful criticism.
These advocates like us; they really like us: I enjoyed Emily Witt's story "Band of Outsiders" (April 13), about the Miami couple with all the kids with disabilities. I am a music therapist who works in Plantation at a place called Ann Storck Center (www.annstorckcenter.org), and we serve preschool children and adults with multiple developmental disabilities. A lot of our families have similar stories to the one you described.
People are more concerned about and aware of gas prices, the Iraq war, and the Mexican border than what happens in their own communities or even a couple of blocks away from their own homes. Stories like these not only help me and my business but also help deliver a dose of reality to the public.
On May 19, we are having a musical theater play at Nova Southeastern University's Miniaci Performing Arts Center. Our participants write the songs, paint the sets, and perform onstage. It's a great opportunity for the community to build the awareness I mentioned before. I invite you to come see for yourself.
Thank you for writing stories like this one!
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