The Wait Is Over: Fair, Balanced, and No Snarky Putdowns
Regarding the Erik Bojnansky story about Biscayne Park’s annexation possibilities (“Strapped for Cash? Try a Land Grab,” May 2013), I want to say: Nice job! And I really mean that!
This is the kind of article I have been waiting for -- fair, balanced, devoid of sarcasm and putdowns. And Erik qualified the story’s only slight misstatement: The subheadline said that we have the highest property taxes in the county. It’s the highest millage, but he did explain that in the article.
The fact is, with our property values having tanked so badly in recent years, we probably are paying, on average, less in dollars than people in many cities with far lower millage rates.
Erik did a really nice job of providing information -- devoid of his opinion. Please let him know that is much appreciated.
There is one other thing: The Bell David Planning Group was hired to provide a statistical report. They have not made a recommendation about annexation one way or another, and it is not their job to do so.
Editor’s note: Erik Bojnansky did not write the headline or subheadline accompanying “Strapped for Cash.” The editor wrote them.
Jewish Sleeper Cells Infiltrating Aventura?
I resent Jay Beskin’s insinuation that Orthodox Jews are intolerant of other Jewish denominations (“Every Lobby a Temple,” May 2013). To him, the trend toward Orthodox congregations in Aventura is a “crisis,” the result of “brutal democracy” in which “claws are immediately unsheathed.”
For Mr. Beskin, the threat of a growing Orthodox community is so dire, he can only hope that “the word ‘Orthodox’ will not become a red flag in Aventura.”
He makes it seem as though Orthodox Jews are spreading through Aventura like some fifth column of sleeper cells, secret subversives bent on “brutally” conquering the city one small synagogue at a time. Like the Taliban, the Orthodox are prepared to impose a harsh and primitive form of religion on the vanquished.
Mr. Beskin’s “cadre of insiders” is feeding him poisoned bait, and he’s taking it hook, line, and sinker. He is a former city elected official, and he should know better. This is the height of naiveté.
As an Orthodox Jew also active in the community (and always wary of being labeled “radical”), I’m all too aware of the fear-mongering being perpetrated by people like Mr. Beskin. And that is why it would be foolish to have my name published with this letter.
Name Withheld by Request
Nightlife Is Great, As Long As It’s Not Directly Downstairs
I loved Adam Schachner’s column about downtown Miami (“Downtown After Dark,” May 2013). I totally agree with his vision of a bustling nightlife, and would like to share mine.
I live at 50 Biscayne, and I chose this building because I enjoy being near everything, but distant from the noise that nightlife can bring.
A few months after I moved in, the restaurant-lounge MIA opened downstairs, at the corner of Biscayne Boulevard and Flagler Street. Every week from Thursday to Sunday we suffered noise, music, screams from intoxicated people, smoke, and the activation of the fire alarm at 3:00 a.m.
Since they closed, I enjoy my sleeping hours so much more.
I want to live near the action, but not in the action. If I want nightlife, as Adam said, I can find plenty just 12 blocks away.
Miami: See It Like an Unsafe, Inconsiderate, Aggressive, Hostile Driver
I agree with Gaspar González that driving is “the defining aspect of life in South Florida” (“Car Trouble,” May 2013). It is South Florida’s biggest liability, a liability which I believe is ballooning.
I have driven all over the world: I can drive like a cab driver in New York City, in Europe at 100 miles per hour (legally), in countries on the other side of the road without a problem.
My license is so clean you could operate on it.
But I feel under attack here in Miami. I have never seen such unsafe, inconsiderate, aggressive, and hostile driving as in Florida (where I winter), and which my wife and I love.
I have even been physically attacked by a driver who jumped out of his car when I stopped him backing into me and my wife by slamming my hand on his trunk. (The police were called; I declined to prosecute.) I think we will see more of this rage; it appears to me that the road is becoming the stage where our problems are being worked out.
Miami, and all of Florida, needs a major educational and enforcement program before road anarchy becomes the rule.
I hope Gaspar continues to write on this important subject.
Miami Only Daily: If Not Them, Who?
I am writing in response to “Farewell, My Lovely Miami Herald” by Erik Bojnansky (April 2013), and the subsequent letter written by John F. Sugg, which was a critique of the Miami Herald (“One Word for the Herald’s Decline: Greed,” May 2013).
I have lived in Miami since 1959, and have been a reader and subscriber to the Miami Herald since that time. Prior to that, I had lived and worked in several major cities on the East Coast. I have been able to judge the Herald from that experience.
I have always believed that the Miami Herald had an honest mission, and did a good job of reporting the news. Most important, for the Herald and every newspaper, they had a good investigative-reporting staff.
Yes, they could have done a better job investigating the Bush/Gore election and the many schemes that were involved in causing the results. So could have other newspapers. Maybe the story was just too complex or too risky.
My question is basically this: If not the Miami Herald, who?
Gaspar, There Really Is More to Miami Than the Weather
In “Taxi to the Bright Side” (April 2013), Gaspar González speaks of a cab ride in Chicago that highlighted good things about that city. I, too, have been on a few cab rides in Miami that have noted great food, shopping, and new neighborhoods to check out.
Miami has many other things besides just the weather to be happy about. Problem is, the citizens of Miami can’t read about them because you continue writing and focusing on the bad. Wouldn’t it be nice to see on the cover of the BT an article titled, “Miami: Many Great Things Besides the Weather.”
Just think, you could highlight the booming food scene, upcoming neighborhoods, the million outdoor activities, our museums, free memorials, sports games, vintage clothing/furniture spots, scenic drives, our great air quality, historic neighborhoods, nightlife, great places to picnic -- the list can go on.
All too often, I find myself correcting people’s incorrect points made about Miami that I overhear during a conversation with friends or even while riding our public transit system.
It’s the job of all of us to promote Miami! But it’s the job of papers like the BT to write about it so we can have facts to talk about!
I ❤ Miami. I think it’s about time the papers did, too!
I’ll Be High and Dry As the Rest of You Row Gondolas Down Biscayne Boulevard
Frank Rollason’s piece on sea-level rise (“Rising to the Occasion,” April 2013) is right on target. However, the majority of movers and shakers have adopted the “ostrich posture” (head in the sand), sitting and waiting for somebody else to make a move.
I am not a scientist, but common sense dictates that water, as a liquid, is going to find its way inland, and the only way to stop it is to seal off the country’s perimeter against the invading armada. And who wants to get stuck with that bill? The alternative is to persuade people to move to higher ground, away from the “water army.”
You’ll probably think my brain is already waterlogged, but global warming is here to stay, and the seas will rise slowly and many of us will not realize it until the day we back out of our driveways and find ourselves surrounded by flooded highways and byways.
The sad reality is that the federal government likes to talk but not walk. Believe it, the politicians know it is coming.
So on that note, I am considering pitching my tent on higher ground. Even though this will be decades in the making, my children and grandchildren will be able to drive their automobiles, instead of rowing gondolas on the streets of South Florida.
Sergio M. Capablanca
Volume 12, Issue 8. October 2014
The Smithsonian honors a local documentary photographer
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