The Biscayne Times

Jun 22nd
July 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by BT Readers   
July 2013

Greynolds Park: I Read, I Learned, I Joined

bigstock_Mail_Button_1727945Thanks to Erik Bojnansky for his well-researched article about Greynolds Park (“Green Piece,” June 2013). I did not know about this situation until I read it, and since then I have joined “Save Greynolds Park,” a grass-roots organization trying save the park from further damage.

Keep up the good work bringing to our attention issues like this, which are of great interest to our communities.

Hopefully there will be a follow-up article in the future.

Elena Castro-Moran
North Miami


Greynolds Park: Arrogant, Dismissive Public “Servants”

In Erik Bojnansky’s story “Green Piece,” North Miami Beach city attorney Darcee Siegel is quoted as saying, “The bottom line is that some people don’t like change.”

I don’t live in North Miami Beach, but I’ve been enjoying Greynolds Park for more than 50 years, so I believe I’m qualified to respond: Ms. Siegel, your dismissive and arrogant comment speaks to an ignorance so profound it should disqualify you from holding such an important job.

Those of us who cherish Greynolds indeed do not like the kind of change being proposed, changed that threatens to diminish the park’s greatest gift to us all: tranquility.

Apparently it means little to Ms. Siegel that many people, thousands of people, would be appalled at the intrusion of a hulking mass of a building looming over the park. Apparently the only things that matter to her are 1) what the city council did in approving the project was technically legal, and 2) the project will put money in the city’s bank account, ensuring that her handsome salary will not be interrupted.

With comments like that from public “servants,” is it any wonder confidence in government is at an all-time low?

Stephen Meyers


Greynolds Park: Courageous Man vs. Shortsighted Greedheads

Kudos to Charles Baron for filing the lawsuit that may stop the City of North Miami Beach from ruining Greynolds Park. He is a selfless and courageous man.

Let’s hope he wins big. (I also hope Biscayne Times will follow up on the case.)

Greynolds Park is a treasure for everyone in South Florida. We can’t let shortsighted, greedy people permanently spoil it.

Elizabeth J. Thompson


Gaspar, Do Not Despair! The Book Barn Beckons

Gaspar González complains about the disappearance of used bookstores in the Miami area (“No Country for Old Books,” June 2013). Well, there is still at least one doing business.

It’s called the Book Barn Book Exchange, on Bird Road around SW 107th Avenue. It is small, but it’s exactly what Gaspar described: used books packed from floor to ceiling -- and then some.

Kevin Rodriguez


Editor’s note: The Book Barn Book Exchange, owned by Susan Loiacono, is located at 10597 SW 40th St. (Bird Road), 305-223-0531.


Gaspar, Do Keep Writing! We Need Your Voice -- in Biscayne Park and Beyond

I am writing this letter in appreciation of Gaspar González’s contributions to Biscayne Times. Gaspar is a talented writer and social historian, and he has taught me much about the role of South Florida, and especially Miami, in American cultural history.

His articles on meeting E. Howard Hunt, the Ivan Tors studios, Bunny Yeager, and the piece on Roy Wright’s shop and RCA stereos were filled with wonderful descriptions of times and places and events that returned me to my childhood and teenage years.

His descriptions of the local politics of Biscayne Park, where I live as Gaspar’s neighbor and friend, were amusing and informative. Gaspar’s writing is one of the main reasons I read Biscayne Times.

I have always been a little surprised at the personal vehemence of some of Gaspar’s critics, as shown in letters that were published by the BT. Generally their comments seemed to go overboard.

One recent detractor of a column Gaspar wrote critiquing Miami drivers (“Car Trouble,” May 2013) even suggested that Gaspar move to some other town if he didn’t like this one! Really? Someone who is willing to defend Miami drivers! Wow! I wonder how often this fellow gets out of Biscayne Park!

But seriously, we need writers who have the courage to speak out about our culture’s strengths and weaknesses. Just recently, with the revelations of the NSA warrantless surveillance programs, even the most conservative media have begun to acknowledge that they didn’t anticipate the extent to which the Patriot Act stripped most Americans of essential privacies that seemed to be enshrined in the Constitution.

At the time of that bill’s passage, there was a strong movement in protest. But those critics of the Patriot Act were virtually shouted down: How could anyone be against the “patriot” act unless they are not a patriot?

We need writers like Gaspar who are willing to put a voice to many of the concerns we all share about the problems in our communities. Unlike many of the media voices that seem to scream about one extreme solution or another, Gaspar’s voice has always been a gentle, moderate voice of reason and good humor. We need more voices like his, right here in our community.

Tom Ferstles
Biscayne Park


Hidden in Plain Sight: Miami’s Rich Architectural History

Thank you for opening our eyes and allowing us to really see what’s been standing right in front of us for ages.

I’m referring to “Steel, Stone, Glass,” the excerpts from Pocket Guide to Miami Architecture by Judith Paine McBrien (May 2013).

I was particularly taken with the downtown buildings I’ve seen countless times without having a clue about their history.

The Alfred I. duPont Building (168 E. Flagler St.) is a treasure! That ornate grillwork, its soaring vertical lines, the fact that it is the only Art Deco/Depression Moderne high-rise in the downtown area -- who knew?

At a time when our skyline is changing so rapidly, it is valuable to assess what we already have. The duPont, the Ingraham Building, the Seybold Arcade, and many other striking downtown structures have withstood the test of time and have earned our respect.

I wonder how many of those towering condos will do the same.

Janice A. Woodruff


To Preserve and Protect Biscayne Bay

Thanks to Biscayne Times and especially Jim W. Harper for a thoughtfully written article about Miami’s aquatic preserves (“A Great Bay,” May 2013). They are managed and preserved on behalf of the people of Miami-Dade County and the people of Florida, who sought its protection in the 1970s.

We only hope that people will grow to love and appreciate Biscayne Bay all the more having learned a little more about it from this article.

Kudos and thanks again for providing this service to our community.

Pamela Sweeney, manager
Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves
Office of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas
Florida Department of Environmental Protection


Dear Frank: Old Crackers Like Us Should Stick Together

Can I write this directly to Frank Rollason? It’s about his columns in general, his tone and old-school attitude, which I like.

So Frank, I, like you, am a Florida native, or as we prefer “cracker.” What a shame that we can’t refer to ourselves as we really are without making it sound as if it were politically incorrect.

I’m in with you on your recent columns, from the Tamiami Trail to the Dolphins football team to ethics in government. Thankfully there are still some people like you out there.

I’d like to share a moment in time with you.

In 1980 I was heading back to school at Eckerd College in St. Pete, on the old State Road 84 -- long before this new behemoth morphed into the mess that it is now -- when I saw a couple of cowboys on horseback in Davie, moseying down the road with six-guns on their belts, just living life, watching the herd. They weren’t out to kill anybody, and we were in the middle of nowhere at that time. They were just doing what “crackers” used to do.

Jim Smith
Miami Shores


Cheered by Crime -- As Long As It’s Not in Hollywood

Derek McCann’s monthly version of the crime beat (“Police Reports: Biscayne Crime Beat”) is the best. It never fails to cheer me when I think that humanity is doomed.

You should not only keep him in his post, but give him a significant pay raise.

Joan Bueter


Criminals Are So Interesting -- As Long As They Avoid Pembroke Pines

I just have to write and let Derek McCann know how much I enjoy his writing style in his “Biscayne Crime Beat.”

Yes, crime happens. And, yes, people are so interesting!

Bonnie Lind
Pembroke Pines


Art and Culture

ArtFeature_1Artist Sebastian Spreng wants us to step away from the edge


Art Listings

Events Calendar


Pix_BizBuzz_6-18Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible


Picture Story

Pix_PictureStory_6-18A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami