Miami According to Brooklyn

This column appears occasionally in print in Burner and every Wednesday morning on CrossFade, New Times' music blog, at

A new anti-tethering law passed this past March in Miami-Dade County. Here's the ordinance exactly how it's stated: It "bans tethering or chaining of a dog unless the owner is with the animal, even when there are restrictions." I think this is a breakthrough law for a county in Florida. Animals finally have a voice. And in local government, the voice is that of Miami Commissioner Joe Sanchez, who was instrumental in pushing for the law to be passed.

People, keep in mind that our pets depend on us to take care of them and show them the love they deserve. It's distressing that animal cruelty is on the rise, even among the rich and famous. Just because you have a lot of money doesn't mean you have the right to mistreat any living thing. Take, for example, Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback who is an amazing athlete but is now infamous for raising fighting dogs in his spare time. It's good he got caught, because it shows money doesn't let you get away with this behavior. People are finally being held accountable for their inhumane actions.

But back to the anti-tethering law. I think this is a big step forward for our community. Animals aren't just showpieces; they're members of our families. And as far as Joe Sanchez goes, he stands out because there really aren't a lot of men pushing for these kinds of laws; most of the advocates have been women. So hats off to him for being a real man and standing up for this.

And one last thing: Please spay and neuter your pets to control the population.

Six albums I'm listening to this week: (1) the Police, Synchronicity; (2) Hot Water Music, Never Ender; (3) Rancid, Rancid; (4) Strike Anywhere, Dead FM; (5) Smoke or Fire, This Sinking Ship; (6) the Pixies, Surfer Rosa.

Quote of the week: "Man becomes man only by his intelligence, but he is a man only by his heart." — Henri-Frédéric Amiel