Our second annual Miami People issue, which profiled 30 of the Magic City's most intriguing characters, drew a number of reactions from readers. Some of the highlights are below.
Santería savior: It's about time you embraced one of Miami's own with your profile on Santería activist Ernesto Pichardo ("Spirit Guide," Liz Tracy, November 24). I have had the honor and privilege of knowing Pichardo for well over 20 years, and I have witnessed his struggles and success against local political corruption, abuse, and economic disenfranchisement of the sick and elderly when no one would so much as give a damn to protect them. Because of his leadership, he has changed the way the world views the right to freedom of expression. His success arguing for Santería's rights as a religion before the U.S. Supreme Court has altered world opinion about freedom of religion. How amazing is that?
My only complaint is that it took all these years for you to recognize you have a world-class political activist in your midst. Your story is not even the tip of the iceberg, but at least it's a piece about Santería that isn't purposefully insulting, vague, misleading, or outright disrespectful of Pichardo and his enormous struggles to protect everybody's freedoms.
Good for you, New Times. Perhaps you will continue taking further steps in this wise direction of recognizing one of our own. Now if the Miami Herald would only do the same.
Too much attention: Women like The Real Housewives of Miami star Lea Black ("The Realest Housewife," Francisco Alvarado) join shows like that simply to glorify themselves and their businesses (if they are not living off their husbands) and to expose themselves as some sort of celebrity. Everything else is bull! Miami's women are the worst of the group. So pretentious, so rehearsed, and so tacky.
Pig out: Haven's Todd Erickson ("Digital Chef," Lee Klein and Lesley Elliott) is freaking amazing. Watching him from the chef's counter just makes you want to order everything on the menu.
Island flavor: Thanks for your piece about Jimbo Luznar ("King of the Island," Liz Tracy), the longtime owner of Jimbo's on Virginia Key. And thanks to Jimbo for giving me the handwritten recipe for fish dip back in 1997. I'm proud to have known you. You are a true American. I'd love to have an old trailer down by the cove!
Keep it real: I love Jimbo's and enjoy getting out of Boca on a weekend and spending the day at his place. While all the press is great and hopefully helps save the place, I hope it doesn't get overcrowded with tourists and become just another tourist attraction.
Save the day: Jimbo's is a wonderful place that the city is dead set on destroying in order to hand it over to greedy developers.
Best in town: Jimbo's is one of the last great hangouts in South Florida.
Actively wrong: Your profile on community activist Vanessa Brito ("Status Quo Slayer," Liz Tracy) missed the mark because there's no reason to celebrate Brito's recall of Commissioner Natacha Seijas. Seijas may have riled certain overly sensitive individuals with her brash commentary, but she was always there for people who needed help and she made a difference while in public office. Thousands of working people have benefited from her living wage ordinance, and hundreds have recovered lost wages with her anti-wage theft law. She made sure South-Dade's medical services were not shut down by the Public Health Trust, and she secured dedicated funding for domestic violence shelters. What has her replacement on the commission accomplished?
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Go primitive: More people should follow the diet that scientists now believe cavemen used to eat ("44,000-Year-Old Human Jawbone: What Did It Chew?," Camille Lamb, November 24). I've been following a paleo diet for 18 months and have never felt better. I've lost weight, stopped snoring, and stopped needing so many antacids that I used to buy them in bulk at Costco. We don't know for sure what cavemen ate, but we do know they didn't eat Twinkies and Fritos. If you take the time to get the facts about communities where people eat low-carb diets, you might be surprised.
Caveman wisdom: People who eat paleo or primal (like I do) are simply trying to eat the best of what's available for our bodies. I have spoken to loads of people who do their best to eat paleo in a modern world, and 100 percent of them feel better than they did before.