Letters from the Issue of October 9, 2003
Potty-mouth free weekly pushes journalism envelope: I want to thank Francisco Alvarado for his journalistic aggressiveness in telling the story of my living nightmare in North Bay Village ("Thug Meets Pug," October 2). The New Times has extended the edges of regular journalism by not being timid about telling a story with raw language. The story was written with no holds barred, which gave the readers a sense of the rabid emotions that make up Al Coletta's personality. It also gave new hope to the many people who have been tormented, threatened, and ripped off by Coletta and North Bay Village Commissioner Bob Dugger.
This story has given courage to a significant number of these victims who have come forth. I have received numerous e-mails at www.dumpdugger.com that have provided new information that exposes significant additional questionable activity. We all look forward to the day the State Attorney's Office concludes its investigation.
North Bay Village
Editor's note: Twenty-five North Bay Village police officers have signed and circulated a petition expressing "no confidence" in Commissioner Bob Dugger and demanding his resignation. See page 15.
This message brought to you by the candidate himself: I would like to thank Errol Portman for his letter to the editor (October 2) and especially for his advice. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is one of the pillars of our democracy, and every candidate for public office should make their position on it crystal clear.
I strongly support the First Amendment. I support the right of any artist to express his or her ideas in an appropriate Miami-Dade County forum. This, of course, includes Cuban artists who are invited to attend future Latin Grammy award ceremonies in our country. I also strongly support the right of others to express their dissent -- as long as it is done in a peaceful and orderly manner.
If elected mayor of Miami-Dade County, I will always do what is good for the county. When necessary I will put my personal feelings aside. The welfare of the people I represent will always come first. The economic development of South Florida is a priority we can all agree on. To achieve this goal, our community needs to have an image of political openness, tolerance, and respect for different points of view. I will work hard to create that kind of environment in Miami-Dade.
Morons in Charge
Three reasons we have a disaster in the making: Great article by Kirk Nielsen on the stupidity of Miami urban planners ("It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Loft World," September 4). First and foremost, most residents here can't afford $500,000 condos. Second, downtown Miami is a desolate, downright scary place after hours. Why would anyone want to live there? There has been no growth in employment there for years (excluding service jobs). Third, traffic congestion is so bad now that people are relocating out of South Florida altogether just because of the commuting crisis.
José E. Calzado
Why the same twenty artists over and over again? When is New Times going to start showing some love to OBJEX artspace? I notice this publication, like all the others, tends to derive its focus from the repetitive cycle of what is trendy in the Miami art community. Carlos Suarez de Jesus's "Talk About Alt Art" (October 2) is just the most recent example.
OBJEX has been bringing alternative conceptual shows, as well as established national artists, to Miami for three years. New Times is spotlighting galleries that have just opened, or have not even opened yet, and is placing them on a platform high above those of us who are making a maximum effort to help expand this community past the twenty or so artists who seem to get all the media and the hype. It seems the only way to get New Times or Street behind us is to pay for a publicist.
If newspapers are going to do a story pertaining to alternative art and the spaces that house it, they should look beyond the run-of-the-mill recycling of popular Miami artists and at least pay respect to the galleries that are actually doing something alternative. Not to bash Rocket Projects or Box (I personally love both of those galleries), but it seems to me that all they are currently doing is just rehashing the same little group of artists. What is so alternative about that? Do they honestly think they're showing alternative works? And what is it an alternative to? The high-end, hosh-posh galleries? Or is New Times just using the word "alternative" to capture a market?
Either way, I think critics need to look beyond what is trendy and start actually focusing on what is helping to expand the Miami art community past the same ole same ole, tired, mediocre contemporary conceptual bullshit.
Dustin Orlando and Tara Ferrell
Why not have Triff twelve months a year? Congratulations on bringing back to Miami's one independent, intelligent publication an art section with a true art writer! Alfredo Triff's text is brief and easy to read, but not less insightful because of that. His views and critiques reflect a careful study of the matter and also of the best way of communicating it. Please, please, please, keep it up!
Art Basel is not the only time of year Miami has worthwhile art, so keep your art section running all year 'round. Do not underestimate our fellow Miamians! They like the beach, they like to party, but they like art too.
Why wouldn't I tell you what I really think? Dear me! Franklin Einspruch suffers from some arrogant naivete that is unforgivable ("Art By District," June 26). As a writer, he sucks. He should stop -- please -- including words from other languages; that just shows off his ignorance and pretension. And please, if he dares to write about art, at least he should judge himself as a painter (bad, bad copy of Freud turned into a good-intentioned "serious" abstract-figurative "artist"). Has he ever heard the word imagination? And he should at least try to be humble, because he really needs some guts to call himself an artist. But everybody knows how he is.
And Dorsch! Give me a break. Those shows are not curated. They're as bad as Einspruch's shitty abstract show that everybody complained about.
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