Money Pit Madness
Greedy unions: Many of the "public works" projects highlighted in your story about the most wasteful projects in Miami ("Dummies Guide to Trashing Taxpayers," Francisco Alvarado, November 10) are approved to create construction jobs for unionized workers, who then "donate" billions to mostly Democratic politicians. Then we pay the cost to maintain these white elephants, while union members pay outrageous dues that flow right back to the politicians who control their jobs. In the end, however, it's our fault for allowing these special interests and unions to control corrupt politicians who we vote to return to office while they thumb their noses at those of us who pay the taxes.
Bikers revolt: The M-Path cycling route along South Dixie Highway is not a waste of taxpayers' money. As a weekly rider on the M-Path to get to work from the bus station, I see other cyclists every time. Of course, at all intersections you should be careful, just as you would riding on the street or sidewalk. A better question is: What would bicycling be like in Miami-Dade without this path?
Path to safety: The M-Path bike route is not a waste of taxpayers' money. For me and others, not only is it a safe riding path, but also it gives us the option of easily getting on and off the Metrorail at every station. It's very well placed and thought out. I wish there were more such safe bike paths around Miami, raised or separated from the auto roads. I recently got knocked off my bike on a bridge in Bal Harbour because there is no bike path. The cop said I should be riding on the sidewalk over the bridge, but the sidewalk is not only too narrow but also has built-in obstructions that narrow it even further. I wish there were more such bike paths as the one criticized in your story.
Runner love: Your story was a lame analysis of the M-Path. There are many stretches that are quite pleasant. I'm a runner and have been using it for years, particularly the stretch from SW 15th Street to SW 17th Avenue. It's a well-utilized urban design touch for runners, pedestrians, and cyclists in an otherwise automobile-oriented area and a great place to get in some urban exercise in pleasant surroundings. I'm with the previous commenters — put as much money as feasible into maintaining and expanding this hidden gem.
Poisoned minds: Get a life, Francisco. The Port of Miami tunnel isn't a waste of money. It's going to be great, and you're just bored. Write about something positive as opposed to infecting your readers with your negatively poisoned words.
Location, location: Commissioner Marc Sarnoff's biggest mistake wasn't approving a ridiculous traffic circle in front of his house; it was buying a house in Center Grove in the first place. That neighborhood is the pathway to downtown, and it has little value except for rental units for the younger crowd. Sarnoff bought in the wrong section of the Grove, and now he wants us to pay for it, even though none of these projects will really increase his property value. Sarnoff, it's all about location, location, location.
Pork park: The biggest waste of money you missed in your story is the $1.5 million the city spent to create plans for Bicentennial Park. Why? Because the idiots at city hall did it backward. Usually, major projects look at various sources of funding and then set a budget. In this case, more than 300 residents wanted a simple green park that could have been done for less than $2 million. What have we gotten? A plan alone that cost us $1.5 million. It would cost an estimated $10 million to build the project, of which only a half-million dollars is slated for plants and trees. Four years have passed since that plan was created. Now the city is too bankrupt to execute the project, so that $1.5 million for the plan was a total waste.
Cutting Down Cain
Peas in a pod: Congratulations, Uncle Luke. Your column about presidential candidate Herman Cain being an elitist ("Luke's Gospel," Luther Campbell, November 10) finally broke the color barrier for ignorant writing. I guess for you, being a criminal like Miller Dawkins is OK, but being a rich, conservative black man is not. Cain is a bum like you, but he's a conservative who might interfere with your criminal liberal filth and stop you from perverting the First Amendment. Cain and Campbell: two peas in a pod that rotted on the vine.
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Accident prone: I hope you guys post a followup to your piece about Paul Bennett — the airport mechanic who spent $15,000 pimping out his 1983 Nissan Maxima ("Paul's Time Machine," Gus Garcia-Roberts, November 10) — when some of that shit he's got hanging off the car falls onto the highway and causes a school bus full of children to crash.