Our Parties, Our Parking, His Holy Problem
I am Carol Cord's husband. On Saturday evening, September 5, I noted that three parties were in progress in our Belmar neighborhood. I counted about 50 cars parked in the street which would not ordinarily be there (neighbors here park in their own driveways). I therefore cannot see any lack of parking for the party guests of Archbishop John C. Favalora, as has been claimed by the Archdiocese of Miami.
I have lived here for nineteen years. My immediate neighbors and I have had many parties in that time, and we have never had to have our guests park on the publicly owned bayfront lot next door to the archbishop. There have been some residents -- new to the area -- who have parked cars there in the past, but only once. They were quickly told by neighbors that this was unacceptable and they never did it again. Those "No Parking" signs were installed after 50 residents petitioned the county public works department.
The problem with the archbishop using this as a parking lot for his party guests is that if he uses it, everyone will have the right to use it and then the land will be abused. This is not what the majority of residents in my area want. More than 100 of them have made their desires known by signing a petition against it.
My wife has taken a lot of negative publicity about protecting this land for all the people who live here. This would not have happened had Mayor Alex Penelas or County Manager Merrett Stierheim done what was right instead of business as usual.
I cannot understand why Archbishop Favalora, being one of the most holy men in South Florida, would want to take this tiny green space away from neighbors who are less fortunate than he.
Arthur H. Bleich
Block That Barricade!
The subheadline for "Divine Right of Way" asks, "Why is Miami's archbishop using a piece of waterfront public land as his own personal property?" The answer provided: "Because he can." The correct answer is: Because most neighbors don't mind. Having Archbishop Favalora as a resident of our Belmar neighborhood is quite an asset. When touring the area with guests not acquainted with our community, his beautiful home stands out and is quite the honorary landmark.
I believe I am one of the petition signatories referred to in Mr. Kissell's article as wanting his name removed. The petition passed around our neighborhood by Carol Cord and her husband Arthur Bleich was to prevent "a problem at night with prostitutes and drug dealers" across from their house and next to the archbishop.
As it turns out, the true reason for this barricade request was that Cord and Bleich have an ongoing feud with neighbors, including the archbishop, about parking. Having taken them at their word, I and others unfortunately signed their petition under false pretenses.
This abuse of power and dishonesty should not be allowed. I am angered and embarrassed by the waste of our dedicated police force's time in answering calls in reference to Cord's animosity toward neighbors.
I for one do not want our beautiful view blocked by a barricade. If in the future the county and the archdiocese truly begin talks about deeding the land to adjacent neighbors, my name will gladly be on the petition to stop it from happening.
For now let's leave the archbishop in peace and let the adjacent neighbors use this land when and if necessary. If it's used once a month for a few hours, that still leaves us with 353 days a year of unbridled beauty just a few footsteps from our homes.
Ernest M. Gonzalez
South Beach, an Idyllic Teenage Utopia
I couldn't agree more with the views expressed by Neil Goldstein in his letter to the editor responding to Ted B. Kissell's article "The Fuss Over the Bus" (August 13). Washington Avenue in Miami Beach is transformed into a teenage zoo during the early-morning hours each weekend. Wake up, parents! Many of your fifteen- and sixteen-year-old kids are hanging out till dawn, disrupting the flow of traffic, using drugs in the open, and getting into fights in a part of town that is otherwise cleaning up its act.
This problem is certainly not unique to Miami Beach, though it seems to be aggravated by the fact that Washington Avenue nightclubs cater to the underage crowd. The economic benefits of jamming as many kids as possible into a club seem to far outweigh any sense of social responsibility these club owners may possess. Providing a safe place for youngsters to gather is definitely not a reality at 3:00 a.m.