Don't forget the bettor: Regarding Forrest Norman's "No Horse Race" (November 17): The Daily Racing Form just announced it looks like the new facilities at Gulfstream Park will not be ready for the track's grand opening the first week of January. This is a crushing blow to Gulfstream, because the 2005 campaign was a miserable experience for everyone concerned. The tents they used for racing this past spring were tenuous at best, and all through the meet management kept harping on the fact that 2006 would be tremendous!
I have recommended that The Gulf have free parking and admission and complimentary seating in the simulcast areas and complimentary past performance books for regular patrons. And I have recommended that The Gulf begin selling advance wager debit cards like the ones being used now at Louisiana Downs. Priority seating would be based on the average amount of betting.
The average bettor is being ignored. Consider that The Gulf rakes in approximately 20 percent of every dollar bet on racing, and it does millions of dollars in racing business each day.
Track general manager Scott Savin is intent on seeing his vision of a "grand Gulfstream Park" rise out of the ashes of the old facility. But the bottom line is that The Gulf is all about horse racing and betting, not the selling of salon seats with plasma television sets and high-priced champagne.
If the restaurants are not completed by opening day, corporate executives and partygoers will be running the gauntlet with construction workers. I hope they like a little plaster with their salads.
Mr. Savin has a lot to learn about human nature. His grand idea to build a shopping mall proves he doesn't care about the average betting patron. The time has come for The Gulf to reward regular patrons rather than penalizing them!
Grandma can still sing, no?: What happened to Rich Juzwiak, who reviewed Madonna's new release, Confessions on a Dance Floor ("Rotations," November 17)? He didn't get into one of Madonna's parties, so he bashed her album? This is a dance album, you jerk, and it is a soul-pleaser. Shame on you for your uncalled-for cruelty. And you really come off as a clichéd writer who didn't get his little hairy palm greased.
A Half-Million Listeners Can't Be Wrong: Regarding "Madonna" by Rich Juzwiak: Wow, in my opinion his review was so totally off base. The album was great, and I am not a Madonna fan of old. Her voice was super, the mixing was excellent. A definite nine out of ten, and I would even rank some of the songs as tens; the first to come to mind is "Jump." Sounds to me like someone has an ax to grind! I believe a critic's first job is to listen with an open mind, not a preconceived notion. If you would have reviewed accordingly, I think you would have enjoyed the music for what it is: a fun get-up-and-dance album. Another success story for the lady. I doubt your review will really affect album sales anyway. Let's see, at last count I believe she was at nearly a half-million copies sold in two days. I guess that clearly speaks for itself like it or not!
Guess he coulda kept it to Himself: Michael Alan Goldberg's "The Passion of the Bono" (November 10) was wrong. The Romans did crucify Jesus but not for blasphemy. They considered him an instigator and troublemaker. The Pharisees accused Jesus of blasphemy.
Kirk D. Heaton
He really gets it: Big, big ups to Kirk Nielsen's faux-interview with the great, great African/Spanish/French literary darling M.M. Pascal-Paul in "Floored Genius" (November 10). What a writer! Pascal-Paul amazes me, a master of four languages, including Kreyol, and the true innovator of non-nonfiction. I never knew M.M. Pascal-Paul existed. It took me awhile to figure her out. At first I thought, Hmm, how come I never heard of her? Then when she began to quote Borges and Martí with such precision, I thought, Wow, she's really, really versed. Only when the interviewer used the word dizzying did I begin to have doubts: I mean, come on, no one uses the word dizzying.
Of course the doubts were validated by the editor's note at the end of the piece. Still, this is to take nothing away from M.M. Pascal-Paul's brilliance. Her general satire as well as her dizzying knowledge of Cervantes served as the perfect homage to the Miami Book Fair. Good job, New Times. Wish you were always so creative, and to quote Blaise Pascal, perhaps, like Martí, also an inspiration of your literary darling: If I had more time, I would've written a shorter letter to the editor.
John Colagrande Jr.
Just God: My cousin and his wife forwarded the November 3 article "Starry Fight" featuring Guillermo Gonzalez to me yesterday. It was of great importance in these days of evolutionist scientists who refuse to consider the intelligent design of the universe and life. Just as I can study a fetus's brain, heart valves, skeleton, and activities inside a mother's womb as it develops, and watch it respond to the mother's voice as she prepares the baby's room, I am reminded of my Creator, who sees me inside and out as I develop here in this life and recognize His calling as He prepares a place for me in a world that is as wondrous as this world is to the fetus. I have brought back to life many patients who have lived for varying lengths of time, but we all will leave these bodies as we transition into the presence of our Creator just as the fetus transitions from the darkness of the womb into the light of this world.
We can see things between the frequencies of ultraviolet to infrared, and hear between 20 and 20,000 cycles per second; this is a very narrow band compared to what we might be able to enjoy in the future. I have been a general surgeon since 1966 and have come to appreciate the sanctity of life and the depths and heights and breadth of how much we don't know.
Arthur E. Angove, D.O.
New Berlin, Wisconsin
From home to home: Regarding "Boxed Logic" (November 3) by Julienne Gage: I really enjoy her music reviews even though they are about music of which I know very little. Her writing is lilting, inviting, and tells me so much about the musicians and why they do what they do. It tells me who they are and what they think. Essentially she brings these people to life in ways I rarely see in an article about celebrities. Thank you for the articles.
Ruff ruff: Regarding all the commentary about the article "Savage Station" by Bob Norman (September 22): Where do these folks come from? Yeah, I am one of those mongrelized, hybrid bastards who chooses to speak in the Southern vernacular, but I am also capable of switching over to the established "cultural Germanic" dialect dubbed "English." If you're a real "American," your grandpa and my grandpa as children shared the same sugar tit. That is, unless your ancestors arrived in that rat pack through Ellis Island in the early 1900s: hungry, poor, diseased, illiterate. Shall I say more? Some people have nerve!
He really likes us: I picked up one of your papers yesterday and really enjoyed it. I just moved here from Ohio, so it was very informative about all the upcoming events and good news in Miami. I haven't been able to find a paper out here worth reading until I found the New Times.
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They're popular and have street cred too: "Painting the Town Rad" by Jonathan Zwickel (November 17) was a nice article. I agree with you about the ANR boys; they have done good and there is potential for more. However, I've been trying to get anybody at the New Times to write an article like the one you did on the band I manage, which has been the talk of the town and the indie NYC-London blogs for a while Modernage. It was one of Mosi Reeves's favorite bands. Apparently the change of the guard has shifted focus from the growing indie scene in Miami to the widely known pop-Latin-hip-hop scene that dominates.
Back in March, Modernage was featured in a Vice City rocks article as one of the bands igniting the indie scene in Miami, but I believe the group deserves a story in the New Times, just like the ANR boys. Thank you.