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Letters June 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by BT Readers   
June 2019

bigstock_Mail_Button_1727945Worth a Special Mention

I was at a Martha/Mary Concert Series performance at La Merced Chapel, and Erik Bojnansky’s article on Allapattah (“Old Neighborhood, New Look,” May 2019) was mentioned in the introductory speech.

I just read it and wanted you to know that it was well researched and written.

Dawn Hugh
Miami Lakes

 

Greedy Alliances and the Quick Buck

Another mega development, this one in Allapattah. No word on what impact this development (the “new” Miami Produce Center) will have on our infrastructure or our roads. The politicians and their allies -- developers and other special interests -- live only for today.

This isn’t even the best example of how greed influences development in South Florida. The best example is what the county has decided to do with land given to the citizens of Miami-Dade by the federal government, land that was formally part of the Homestead Air Base.

Right away, politicians started salivating about potential profits. They don’t see that land as belonging to us; they see it as belonging to them.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s son came up with an ingenious idea. He doesn’t think that maybe it could be turned into campgrounds and parks -- how can you get rich off that? No, he envisions a steel mill between the Everglades and Biscayne Bay.

To make sure we know that they’re aware how endangered this area is, they call their steel mill an “environmentally sensitive” steel mill -- not unlike an “environmentally sensitive” nuclear waste dump. And to ensure there’s little opposition, they throw in the other phrase that wins every time: “Jobs, jobs, jobs.”

By the way, our mayor, who should have been fighting for the citizens he represents, recused himself for the vote.

Alfred McKnight
El Portal

 

Alt Is for Alternate Reality

As a fellow lover of learning, I disagree with Jenni Person (“Schooled for Scandal,” May 2019) when she espouses progressive education, as embodied in a Bennington or a Goddard.

Education should be “first about thinking, not about making money.” True, yet basic tuition/room-and-board is $70,000 a year at Bennington, $60,000 at Goddard, $63,000 at Hampshire College. Good luck putting the kids through on alt-salaries.

I can guess why these colleges don’t attract money, even from alumni. They don’t offer grades. They don’t offer majors. They’re weak on STEM. Who pushes the students to develop intellectual rigor for anything except what pleases them that term? What sticks -- except the warm fuzzy memories?

Students should be exposed to subject areas beyond their high school comfort zones (riffing through a course catalogue doesn’t count). How else will they know the possibilities for developing new intellectual passions?

For these reasons, I think Person’s viewpoint is limited, and that perhaps her fondness for her alma mater reflects as much on her prior poor academic performance and behavior (as she tells it) as the institution’s forgiveness of both.

Back in the 1960s, I too enrolled in an “experimental program.” Half my classes were in the program’s ungraded “seminars,” and we kept journals -- that was it. When I transferred out after a year, disenchanted, those ungraded hours became straight C’s, and getting my GPA up took time.

Person is incorrect to think that multidisciplinary curriculums exist only at alt colleges. Major-minor? Double major? Degree programs, even in engineering when I studied it, have requirements in liberal arts, as well as sciences. I had to show research-level competence in a foreign language (not my field) even to get into graduate school.

Finally, there’s nothing wrong about using legacy, or about parental exhortations to look at the big picture, to join clubs, to consider potential mates, and to keep sight of life after university. It’s called growing up and has nothing to do with mindless conformity.

Rachel Silverton
Miami

 

Keep It Local, Please

For once, Jack King is making something that can be called an honest admission: He has prescribed and committed himself to “Dumpster living” (“The Dumpster and the Russians,” May 2019).

For those who don’t know what that means, here is the explanation: Dumpster living involves persons who voluntarily climb into a Dumpster to find valuables, such as discarded metal scrap or useful items, including food and clothing. It can also be a method of investigations -- e.g., looking for discarded financial records or private papers or evidence of a crime.

Going through garbage containers that are not, strictly speaking, Dumpsters is nevertheless often referred to as Dumpster diving.

It looks to me as if King found nothing on President Trump other than what comes with the American way: a muddle of conflicting laws, a muddle of everyday practices, including yours and mine, a popular hype for gossip, and a strange indifference to facts.

The smell from a Dumpster will eventually precede King’s work, and he will never rise from a local gossiper.

Otherwise, the actual Dumpster provides useful services. Waste Management cannot live without it. Juxtaposed, it’s also quite useful in cleaning up Washington, D.C. I think that is what President Trump proposed to do.

I have been enjoying reading Biscayne Times whenever it shows up in our mail pickup area. For the media, I’m sad how national reporting has deteriorated into emotional partisan hacking and biting.

Biscayne Times and I value local reporting, including investigative reporting, as a fine and valuable contribution to all in a community. Miami-Dade County is full of interesting stories.

I am thoroughly upset with the so-called national debates about equality, inclusiveness, and politically correct speech. We don’t hear this gobbledygook at the local level, we just live it -- except when someone like Jack King believes he’s ordained to pile onto this sorry waste of time (he knows it’s unlikely that someone can sue him for defaming of a sitting president).

All Trump needs to do is say, “I did not say that,” and it’s all over national news. Is it the envy that arouses so much emotion about this president? His unusual personality for a president is what many of us ordinary folk like to hammer Washington, D.C., with.

So please stick with what you do best, Biscayne Times. Report on local issues that matter to us here at home, in our local community.

Helmut Hauser
North Miami

 

Save Morningside Pool for Everyone

I grew up swimming at Morningside pool in the late Seventies and Eighties. My sister and brother would take my friends and me to the pool on weekends and especially during the summers.

In Erik Bojnansky’s article in Biscayne Times (“Not in the Swim of Things,” April 2019), to see the pool in such a state of disrepair is sad. It’s also disappointing that there are those who would like to see it disappear altogether. Miami doesn’t have many options for replacing this gem. How special is it to have a community pool in times like these?

It’s important to not allow the entire coastline to be developed into condos or something else that is not greenscape, trees, playgrounds, and, best of all, a beautiful shallow pool where we can soak up some South Florida sun.

To the residents, I say keep fighting for the pool. To those who wish to remove the pool, shame on you! It’s a very unkind gesture to take away such a landmark from your neighbors.

Some “outsiders” may schlep across your lawn, but they’re your neighbors and deserve access. I’ve seen the change since the neighborhood closed off its streets to Biscayne Boulevard. I approve of closing streets but am saddened by what appears to be the intentional removal of activity that should be available to all who live in Miami.

Seward “Kaz” Rogne Jr.
Buena Vista

 


Correction

In Francisco Alvarado’s story about the Shores at Biscayne Motel (“Motel Mow-Down,” April 2019), there were two reporting errors. Quincy Watkins is serving a life sentence for attempted murder, not murder. Also, a Golden Beach police officer was shot while assisting Miami Shores Police track down a man who robbed a Miami Shores resident at gunpoint and was later holed up in an unoccupied house near the Shores at Biscayne Motel.

 

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