The Biscayne Times

Apr 22nd
Letters March 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by BT Readers   
March 2018

bigstock_Mail_Button_1727945A Reporter Responds

The John Dorschner interview you published with former Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim (“The World According to Merrett,” February 2018) makes a point of mentioning a nearly 40-year-old “memo” in which Merrett purportedly was “denouncing” my award-winning work as a Miami Herald investigative and political reporter.

I wish the story also had made a point of noting that Merrett’s flawed understanding of the role of an independent press -- one that holds all public employees, elected and appointed, to account for the management of public goods -- apparently has not changed over time.

Susan Sachs
Washington, D.C.


Can This Man Be Cloned? Hope So!

Is it too late to clone Merrett Stierheim? Even in his old age, I’d take someone like him over any other so-called public servant. Now that I think about it, maybe it is because of his old age that he’s so inspiring.

Here is a man who has spent his entire adult life making things work on behalf of the public, and succeeding in spite of the politicians who’ve hired him.

Here is a man who isn’t at all afraid of being blunt: Gov. Rick Scott is “worthless,” the state apparatus in Tallahassee is “corrupt,” President Trump is an “idiot.”

Here is a man who has seen up close and personal the political cesspool that is Miami, and yet he has maintained his integrity. Thank goodness he never ran for office.

We all owe Merrett Stierheim a debt of gratitude.

Jorge Gonzalez
Upper Eastside


Jack King Has a Gentle Side? Who Knew?

When I read Jack King’s column about Paul Bocuse, the acclaimed French chef who recently passed away (“King for a Day,” February 2018), I thought someone must have hacked the “Miami’s King” column.

For a guy like Jack, so full of vitriol all the time, to reveal a tender, sentimental side just didn’t seem real. It messed with my mind. I’ll never think of him in the same way.

Anyone who revered Chef Bocuse can’t be all bad.

Bruce Keller


A Park, Nothing Less, and Definitely No Cockamamie Museums

Regarding Erik Bojnansky’s “Countdown to Parcel B Decision” in your February issue: Kill the cockamamie Cuban Museum idea once and for all. Don’t keep enabling this “dream.”

Turn Parcel B into an open-space field with shade trees on the perimeter. When it comes to parks, less planting is more.

DC Copeland
Miami Shores


Just Say No to the Cubans and Their Political Allies

I hope Miami voters wake up and see that they’re going to lose one more piece of their prized public property and pristine bay views because a small group of Cubans want to steal the land and make political hay on it. Can we never say no to them?

How dare they do this to our waterfront. Let them put a museum in Little Havana, where all the tourists go to see things Cuban anyway.

We have only one bayfront downtown. And we don’t need to celebrate geopolitics on it.

Wake up, Miami. It’s your last chance to save the waterfront.

Rachel Silverton


In Miami, Cubans Are Exiles, but Other Immigrants Are Refugees

Before Miami loses one of its prime public spaces, I’d like to offer some thoughts on the Cuban effort to build a museum that would go up on Parcel B behind the AmericanAirlines Arena. This is from someone who moved to Miami less that a decade ago.

No one condones tyranny. No one denies that Cubans suffered for many years under Castro. He was brutal at times, loathed by many, and also beloved by many. Cuban Americans should remind themselves that it was Cold War politics that got them feted and settled here, and given special status.

They had the good fortune to be 90 miles offshore, and to not be Haitian. Thus the brewing Cuban-American sense of entitlement has no basis in anything except Washington’s hostility to Castro and the irresistible opportunity to preen in front of him -- i.e., our land of milk and honey versus his puny island, and that slap of an embargo.

It has never been about them, except to show them off as foils against the Castro regime. But with such a role to play, no wonder they think they deserve a museum. They’d probably like one on the Washington Mall.

What marketing genius presented us the Cubans as exiles -- even those who came during Mariel and after? They weren’t banished, as the word implies. And why is everyone else who comes here labeled a refugee -- even the Vietnamese, Cambodians, Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians, Kosovar Albanians, and others who supported or actually fought for years in step with U.S. foreign policy dictates.

Cuban Americans have prospered and gained political clout -- to their credit. Now it’s time they learned how to use U.S. law properly. When government takes land and directs it for public use, this means the land is for the people. Not for a museum that will block public views, block public access, block public foot traffic, serve as a money-maker for a private entity according to its own rules. This is not their land exclusively. It belongs to all of us.

The Cuban Americans in Erik Bojnansky’s article “Countdown to Parcel B Decision” tout the museum’s theme “From Tyranny to Freedom,” yet they are exerting inappropriate political pressure to get their museum. They’re marching in a circle all right, from tyranny to freedom and back to tyranny again.

I sympathize with how dear they hold the Bay of Pigs. Yet how much more deserving are resistors worldwide who have fought without CIA arms and funding and airplanes, who have had nothing except terrible odds to overcome and what they could devise with their wits -- the ones we have a hard time hearing about in Miami because Cuban Americans won’t get off the stage.

So they want us to know they “deserve to be front and center, on Biscayne Bay, not preaching to the choir in the Cuban ghetto,” as former Miami city manager Pete Hernandez put it.

But they have to understand this: We don’t want their preaching. They are not a symbol, just a rather embarrassing and passé selling point.

Name Withheld by Request


Editor’s note: For an update on Parcel B, see "Political Intrigue and Parcel B" in this issue.


Ultra Mega Platinum Select

With respect to the February 2018 “Letters” about Erik Bojnansky’s January cover story “Third Rail”: Obviously, the only way all the small-town, suburban, addicted-to-their-silver-SUVs South Floridians will stop whining about the Brightline train is if they change the name from Brightline to the Amazon, Netflix, or Trader Joe’s Train, to make it at least somewhat appealing.

Maybe an Ultra Mega Platinum Select Membership can be offered to the most exclusive passengers. Nothing would give more pleasure to our local wannabes who brag, in front of their neighbors from Belle Meade, Morningside, or elsewhere, about all the wonderful experiences they had at the Select Premium Lounge Area at Miami Central every time they have to take the train to visit their special clients in downtown West Palm Beach.

Jorge Sanchez
Palm Grove


From That Man Is Trouble to That Guy Is Foolish

I’m really sorry my letter to the editor (“That Man Is Trouble”) in the January issue triggered the unbalanced mind of one of your readers, writing a kilometer-long letter to the editor in response and repeating my name nine times.

But on the other hand, I’m very happy to see that my letter fulfilled its purpose, by demonstrating that if you are not a leftist, your personal opinion is not valid.

When letter writer Fred Jonas (“No Legitimate Complaint There,” February 2018) said, “What Diaz really wanted was for people who disagree with him to keep it to themselves,” he was guessing -- because he doesn’t know me and, according to Confucius, only the foolish assume.

He is falsely accusing me, as he is used to doing. And one more thing: Fred Jonas said he wasn’t going to run for a spot on the Biscayne Park Village Commission again, but then decided to declare because he wasn’t thrilled with the list of candidates. It seems he is only happy with himself.

Sorry, pal, I’m not like you. In your letter, you practically describe yourself.

Albert Diaz


Art and Culture

ArtFeature_1Little Haiti artist Eddie Arroyo heads to New York


Art Listings

Events Calendar


bigstock-Big-Funny-White-Pelican-Portra-288760279Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible


Picture Story

Pix_PictureStory_4-19A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami