Reader Mail: Good Riddance, Urban Beach Weekend
Risky business: Your story about proposals to release genetically modified mosquitoes into Key West ("Buzzkill," Chris Sweeney, May 31) makes me uneasy. The modified bugs would be programed to die off, but mosquitoes are at the bottom of the food chain. While they're detrimental to humans, they're a very important part of the ecosystem, eaten by birds, fish, and bats. They also help pollinate crops and plants. While people do not need mosquitoes, they love bird watching and fishing, two hobbies that might be affected severely. This experiment perhaps wouldn't be too harmful to the environment if it would kill only one species of the bug, but it is definitely not something to be taken lightly. If there are complications, the ramifications could be enormous. Why not take some time to get third-party analysis and opinions from other environmental experts before trying this?
Watch out for mutants: Every time I hear the term genetically modified, it gives me the creeps. We might end up with mutant mosquitoes the size of pigeons, and Key West residents will still be suffering from dengue fever. I demonize all mosquitoes. They are a pain in the ass when you try to do anything outdoors in the summertime. I'd be willing to pay a pretty penny for any device that would kill all the mosquitoes in a radius of 100 yards when I'm outside. They can have the Everglades to themselves.
Fair and balanced: Your piece is a fair and thorough analysis that isn't so quick to demonize genetically modified mosquitoes, as many people who don't understand the science are apt to do. Also, it addresses some of the valid concerns of Key West residents. Overall, it's an excellent article.
Natasha Marie Agramonte
Urban Beach Racism
Violence scares tourists: Uncle Luke is wrong in arguing that attendance is down at Miami Beach's Memorial Day weekend celebration because of the city's efforts to scare away the mostly black partygoers ("Luke's Gospel: Next Year, Black Visitors Should Head to the Islands on Memorial Day," Luther Campbell, May 31). The hotel occupancy is down because of the goons who come to South Beach and scare away the good folks! If the party formerly known as Urban Beach Weekend was moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, for example, regular people would book rooms on Miami Beach, and the hotels would be 100 percent full. The message has been sent, and within a few years, Urban Beach Weekend will be a footnote in history.
Security improved: This is about the security of the people who attend the events. Let's not compare Art Basel, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, and Winter Music Conference to this party. Last year, I witnessed more than ten fights on Ocean Drive. This year, I saw only one. That is a vast improvement on the security to those who work here on the Beach and those who attend the events.
Racism sucks: This country is made of immigrants — of different races and religions — who escaped persecution in their own homelands. To see the descendants of oppressed people favoring racism and oppression is really sad. Let's stop the bigotry and the racial profiling, when we all know that it's economic class distinction that separates us in the end. You're poor or rich in America; the rest is a fostered illusion created to control the masses.
Slot Machine Scam
Not shocking: Why would anyone be surprised to learn that a slot machine expert found the maquinitas around Miami are most definitely gambling machines and are rigged to rip people off ("Steal From the Poor," Francisco Alvarado, May 31)? You can find these maquinitas even inside pet shops, liquor stores, and botanicas in Hialeah. We don't need no estinquin gambling licenses in Hialeah! We do what we want!
Pipo En Español™
Sarnoff's folly: All the recent film work that's come to Miami has had nothing to do with Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and his failed attempt to use CRA money to build a movie studio in Wynwood ("He's No Spielberg," Gus Garcia-Roberts, May 31). Those productions have come to Miami because of new tax incentives. The city already has what it needs for a studio: It's called the Coconut Grove Convention Center, and it houses production studios for the nation's number one cable drama, Burn Notice. But Sarnoff thinks the center is an eyesore and shouldn't be renovated. He thinks anybody in the production business should work in the ghetto, surrounded by homeless people and railroad tracks. This has nothing to do with making Miami into "Hollywood South," and every time Sarnoff says that, he just sounds stupider and stupider.
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