Finally Haitians are being recognized for their strengths and candor. Kathy Glasgow's article on Marleine Bastien ("The Catalyst," November 5), shed positive light on Haitians who are often depicted as mindless, AIDS-infected, voodoo-practicing refugees.
I can only hope that the blatant racism suffered by Haitian refugees at the hands of the government will be scrutinized and dealt with thanks to brave and intelligent women like Ms. Bastien.
Valerie Hjardemaal Bleus
Editor's note: A reporting error led to the incorrect identification of the organization that has awarded small grants to Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami (Haitian Women of Miami) to help children released from Guantanamo. The name of the organization is Women's Fund of Miami-Dade County. Marleine Bastien is president of Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami.
Free Weekly Comes Clean, Admits Unwavering Affection for Depraved Dictator
In reading Kathy Glasgow's articles regarding Radio Marti and its alleged lack of objectivity ("Miami Voice" and "Miami Voice, Part 2," October 22 and November 5), I came to wonder if you would protest so much if the station favored dialogue with the Castro regime or lifting the embargo.
That the murder of 41 men, women, and children aboard the tugboat 13 de Marzo was not reported by any major American media (ABC, CBS, NBC, or CNN) didn't seem to bother your paper as far as credibility goes. In fact, it wasn't until January 20, 1998, almost four years after the event, that Ted Koppel was forced by the papal visit to Cuba to finally break the 13 de Marzo story. I'll quote him: "I don't know why we failed to report this terrible tragedy." With the Pope in Cuba, I guess they had no choice then.
And now your paper speaks of the lack of credibility of Radio Marti. Get with the program! While the New Times staff probably adopted prisoners of conscience in apartheid South Africa, Kathy Glasgow probably vacationed on the apartheid beaches of Cuba. Just be honest and say you support Fidel Castro and his regime.
Admit you dislike those pesky Miami Cuban exiles who long to see a free and democratic Cuba and I'll have much more respect for your credibility. AViva Cuba libre!
Victoria: Hitting the Bigtime as the Latest Diet Craze
I am writing in response to Victoria Pesce Elliott's review of the Colombian restaurant Mama Vieja ("Mama Superior," November 5). That so-called food writer of yours should consider changing her name to Victoria Posh Elliott. She writes in such a condescending, uppity tone that my attention is diverted from her purported subject -- food -- and focused on the nausea I experience from reading how her Upper West Side tastes are usually too good for everyday, nonswanky eating establishments.
There is one positive side to Ms. Elliott's godawful, appetite-suppressing critiques: I may eventually lose a pound or two if I continue to read them.
Victoria: Selfless Devotion to Those Less Fortunate
I was most appalled after reading Lacey Kilroy's scathing and hateful response to Victoria Elliott's review of Taquerias El Mexicano ("Fast, Cheap, and Out of This World," September 3). It makes me wonder if this woman has a personal vendetta against one of Miami's most caring and devoted Big Sisters.
Ms. Elliot is a skilled writer, having an impeccable journalism background. She is also to be admired for devoting hours of her free time to a less fortunate young lady, at the same time exposing this youngster to more nutritious food choices than the standard fast foods. After reading the warmly written review I will certainly try this Mexican restaurant in North Beach.
How lucky we are to have Ms. Elliot combine her restaurant critique with a day's treat for her Little Sister.
North Miami Beach
Loving Those Fish to Death
Regarding Kirk Nielsen's article "Going Under" (October 29), the University of Miami's billfish research team deserves condemnation. They collected 120 newborn sailfish and swordfish this past summer. All died right away. They have been plucking babies from the water since 1956. Every single one died right away. Their large collection of dead larvae burned up in a fire. Tom Capo can't wait to start another expedition to gather more. Those will die right away also.
In other words, thousands of beautiful adult marlins, sailfish, and spearfish are not there owing to the bumbling activities of these conservationists. Someone stop them before, as in Vietnam, they destroy billfish in the name of saving them.
One Way to Solve Miami's Music Problems: Just Leave
In response to Adam St. James's article "Live Music: Dead on Arrival" (September 24) and the letters that followed, you have to have a community that supports music from all perspectives before you can get people to attend. That's why I now live in Austin, Texas, where some of the best music in the world can be heard.
After 23 years in Miami, I came to the realization that Miami is a dead zone for anything related to music. The club scene here is supported by everyone in our community, and our downtown area offers everything from jazz, rock, R&B, country, and classical.
Perhaps someday, when and if Miami blossoms into a supportive place for music and musicians, there might be some hope. But Miami's retail outlets don't even support local music. Come to Austin and you will see retail stores with huge sections devoted to local as well as international artists. My advice: Move!
Regarding Your Collective Posterior...
I've been doing a little traveling lately and I've seen New Times weeklies in other cities. The most obvious thing Miami New Times seems to be missing is an art page, one that's a little more substantial than just a photograph and listings. I'm talking about a real art critic, weekly, not this twice-a-month garbage -- every week, yes, every week.
If the person knows what he or she is doing, there are plenty of artists, galleries, museums, performances, installations, open discussions, and general culture happening in Miami to talk and write about. I'm not just blaming you guys; I've sent this letter to the Miami Herald as well. It's just that after seeing the Dallas Observer, the L.A. New Times, and others, it makes me sick when I look at Miami New Times.
The loss of Judy Cantor as an art critic was noticed just as much as was Helen Kohen's retirement from the Herald. Get off your butts and find someone.
Brook A. Dorsch
The Dorsch Gallery
Tony Montana, Meet Tangiers Island, Maryland
While I always find "News of the Weird" to be a particularly amusing feature of New Times, I could not stop myself from laughing out loud at an item in the "Not Bloody Likely" section.
So the good citizens of Tangiers Island, Maryland, decided to take matters into their own hands with those Hollywood bigwigs, eh? Reminds me of two things: Jacksonville booting out silent-era filmmakers (who then headed to California) for the same reasons, ones of propriety, and the Miami City Commission's effort to rewrite the screenplay of Scarface in the early Eighties, forcing the producers to finish their work in Los Angeles. The commission didn't like some of the references to a Cuban criminal underground in their city, even though the story reflected the rise of the Marielitos to success in all kinds of businesses. In any case, didn't good triumph over evil in the end?
Eric Allen Moss
Raul Says Better Late Than Never
I wanted to let Nina Korman know how much I enjoyed her article on Raul Di Blasio ("Meeting Raul," April 2). I have been a very big fan of his for several years and was glad to get some background information about him. I live in Dallas and would never have seen the article if I didn't spot it on the Internet and find the link to your Website [www.miaminewtimes.com]. Thanks a lot.
Maybe someday I will have the pleasure of meeting him and hearing him play in person.