Big Sugar vs. Silly MTV

Letters from the Issue of September 2-8, 2004

Guess which one gets the cover treatment: Bravo to Eric Alan Barton and New Times for the story on the Fanjul family and their wicked ways ("From Bitter to Sweet," August 26). This type of writing, and the reporter's active prodding to force the Fanjuls to do right by injured employee José Gallardo is what sets journalism apart from all other media.

My only question is: Why didn't you guys run the article as a cover story instead of that silly "21 and Over" piece about the MTV Video Music Awards?

Skip Van Cel


Conspiracy Theories R Us

You'd better believe it -- this is Miami, after all: My guess, as a long-time Miami-Dade resident, is that The Bitch is not so far off regarding the purported "far-fetched but juicy conspiracy theory" touching school board candidates Michael Kosnitzky and Pinecrest Mayor Evelyn Greer, multimillionaire hopefuls in separate district races ("The Bitch: No Gossip Too Tenuous," August 26).

Sadly, The Bitch's mention of the suspicious and unsavory ties these candidates maintain to noted back-room dealmakers like Ralph Arza, Steve Marin, and Joe Arriola came just days before this past Tuesday's elections -- too late for informed voters to take note.

Still, if these candidates are fortunate enough to get the nod by voters in their districts, watch for them to be the first to vote on school board issues, contracts, and funding awards near and dear to the likes of Arza, Marin, and Arriola. You can take that to the bank.

Simon Hendrixx

Coral Gables

Millions for Outta-Town Stars

While local talent starves: In Mosi Reeves's "Basshead" column "Starstruck" (August 26), Beth Boone, executive director of the Miami Light Project, speaks for all the downtrodden cultural groups that must go begging while the City of Miami gives big bucks to nationally known entertainers (most recently, VMA stars). Miami does not stop to think that if it would promote local artists, they just might be the big names of the future (albeit in different forms such as theater, dance, painting and sculpture, folk and acoustic music, and poetry), but with a hometown loyalty that could not be beat. And in that regard, kudos to Teo Castellanos and the Miami Light Project for NE Second Avenue, and to Nilo Cruz and the New Theatre for Anna in the Tropics.

One thing that upsets most people who've had dealings with the mayor's Arts and Entertainment Council -- and, I am certain, with Seth Gordon -- is the council's advisory nature (read: no money to fund worthy projects). I have attended all the council's community meetings and the best thing I accomplished was to become acquainted with other enthusiastic providers of culture and diversity to burgeoning South Florida. When all else fails, we need to collaborate, share expenses, and give our community a good show.

Jonathan Rose


Kulchur Brainwashed by Newspeak?

Big Brother's prolefeed has resulted in goodthink: Brett Sokol's "Kulchur" column about the GOP convention was a good one ("Nixon Rewound," August 19). But one rather strange phrase popped out in the middle of it: "...Present-day leftists who insist on seeing Iraq's insurgents as öresistance fighters.'"

I don't describe myself as a leftist, but I do understand that our government spends millions of dollars on psy-ops and propaganda to make sure we are constantly presented with vocabulary that supports the government's view of the world: anti-Iraqi forces, the liberation of Iraq, coalition forces, collateral damage, and so on.

What is it about the Iraqis who are resisting the occupation of their country that makes Mr. Sokol not want to call them "resistance fighters?" It seems logical enough. Maybe his opinion has more to do with the vocabulary he has come to regard as mainstream. It's worth recognizing that the "mainstreaming" of such language is no accident.

Nicolas Davies

North Miami

Bad Guy Bonanza

Thanks to our hard-working cops, the world is now much safer: After reading Francisco Alvarado's story about all the arrests made on the full-moon night of Saturday, July 31 ("Until Proven Guilty," August 12), I say we should be proud of the police throughout Miami-Dade County. They really outdid themselves that day.

Take another look at those mug shots. Who would've thought they could have arrested: the twentieth hijacker (69703), Saddam Hussein (69804), Michael Myers (69852), 2 Fast 2 Furious (69847), Jack Black (69843), Ricky Williams (69844), Enrique Iglesias (69716), Sammy "The Bull" Gravano (69725), Ricky Martin (69733), 2 Porches (69754 and 69755), Pablo Escobar (69769), Celine Dion (69803), David Beckham (69783), Christina Aguilera (69776), Jesus Christ (69851), Wyclef Jean (69796), Medusa (69813), Susan Smith (69817), Cher (69822), Zelda (69830), Oscar de la Hoya (69863), Julio Iglesias (69869), and finally, Santa Claus (69705).

Wow! Whatta night, huh? Love that full moon.

Ash Smith

North Miami

My Two Decades of Serious Bar-hopping

How does a kid like Humberto know a real club from a dive? Obviously he doesn't: This is in response to Humberto Guida's "BuzzIn" column about Our Place in Miami Lakes ("Dive Bar Shenanigans," August 5). I've been going to South Beach nightclubs since before Humberto even thought of clubs. Those places don't do it for me anymore. I just got sick of paying too much for a well drink.

I would presume Humberto is in his twenties, so he didn't get to go to the clubs of the Eighties on the Beach. Those were the days of real clubs, not the dives that are around now. As a clubgoer for more than twenty years, I can say I love the atmosphere of Our Place.

I hope the next time he's in a mood to go to a watering hole, Humberto picks somewhere else. He shouldn't be trashing what he does not know.

Sara Lopez



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