The Biscayne Times

Aug 17th
Letters June 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by BT Readers   
June 2017

Let the Traffic Engineers Make Safety Decisions

bigstock_Mail_Button_1727945Regarding Erik Bojnansky’s “Two-Wheeled Targets” (May 2017), Bernard Zyscovich’s Plan-Z is an egotistical, designer-driven solution in search of a problem. It duplicates the existing infrastructure, while solving few safety problems on the Rickenbacker causeway.

In fact, most of the recent fatal cycling accidents occurred outside the plan’s scope. Since then the bike lanes have been widened on the Bear Cut bridge and Key Biscayne, where most of the fatalities occurred.

The remaining safety issues can be addressed by traffic engineers for far less cost, and the money saved could be spent on the less picturesque streets of Miami, where 40 cyclists died in between 2010 and 2014.

Stephan L. Linn, Ph.D.


Save History, It’s Too Valuable to Discard

Thanks to Mark Sell and the Dade Heritage Trust for educating us on our most endangered historical properties (“History Heist,” May 2017). I wish this were a regular feature, not just an annual plea -- and I hope the November 3 “preservation confab” will be open to the public.

I also hope the City of Miami has the political backbone to save these structures and sites. The investment will give prestige to neighborhoods and be a gift to future generations.

Miamians seem ever ready to usher in the new, the marvelous, the breathtaking, the brilliant. High time we take a collective pause to consider what makes our place special. It’s us -- all of us, and those whose early vision and tenacity built up these neighborhoods.

New groups sweep into Miami and find their niches and change the demographics, but as Heritage Trust director Christine Rupp said in the article, there’s nothing in Miami that doesn’t have a story four or five layers down. When I see those photos of the endangered historic properties, sure, I think some of them are pretty funky now. But I see the promise that a little restorative TLC can do. And when I read the capsules describing each, my heart swells with local pride.

Barbara Coleman


Editor’s note: In “History Heist,” the name of Dade Heritage Trust’s executive director was misspelled. The correct spelling is Christine Rupp.


Let the Sunshine In

This may not be in response to Janet Goodman’s “Park Patrol” column, but it does concern a park -- a very popular park. So I hope you’ll be able to publish this.

The City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department is having a meeting at the Morningside Community Center on Tuesday, June 13, at 7:00 p.m. to discuss plans to change Morningside Park. (The community center located at 750 NE 55th Terr.) I am very concerned with the lack of transparency and notification to the Upper Eastside community.

Morningside Park is, of course, a public park, and if there are going to be any major changes to the park, the City of Miami should be having public meetings with the involvement of all Upper Eastside residents.

If you need additional information, Kevin Kirwin is the director of the Parks and Recreation Department: 305-416-1300.

Based on comments he made at the April meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, I have reason to believe he has been meeting privately with a select group of people to move this Morningside Park project forward.

I am a member of the advisory board, live in the Upper Eastside, and had no prior knowledge of this plan until I heard his comments made at the April meeting.

Eileen M. Bottari
Upper Eastside


She Knew Some Snarling Maximalists Too

To quote from Jay Beskin’s comments on condo commandos (“The Cable Guise,” May 2017): “demonic possession...,” “surly, snarling maximalists...,” and “swarming predators bent on power and domination.” All appropriate.

I’ve heard of a case where the condo association president’s reputation actively affects sales in a building. Tales of the “dictator” condo president are known not only to residents, but also to a network of their friends.

For the past 20-something years, one president I know has run the tightest ship around, noted for being a total stickler in enforcing the minutia of bylaws (which she helped write).

Arguments, fines, and liens have led to resident comments such as: “If I’d known, I wouldn’t have bought here.” Even real estate agents don’t rush to show listings in the building.

Of course the answer is to vote her out, but that’s not so easy when the condo president has built up a gaggle of board members and other supporters, and many owners are reluctant to fight.

I understand that there’s a new term-limits law restricting a board member to eight consecutive years, unless approved by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the total voting interests of the association, or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy.

Let’s hope this is real and enforceable!

Helen Hill
Boca Raton (former Miami resident)


The Condo Cabals Leave Their Scars

Congratulations to Jay Beskin for addressing the “elephant in the room” about condos. It reminded me of Professor Evan McKenzie’s very thoughtful book Privatopia, which first addressed the dictatorial nature of many condo boards.

They become the most powerful private governments in the world, populated with unqualified people. Their policies treat owners as tenants. They fail to understand the benefits of working for the greater good of all owners, rather than their own narrow, power-mad, self-serving interests.

This makes for huge and costly decisions that cause a lack of good community partnerships and working relationships. I was intimately involved in this recent situation and know it firsthand. Fortunately, with early information that was “hidden” and then accidentally discovered, leadership with widespread support turned the situation around.

Not every condo has this successful outcome, and the abuse is widespread.

Emil Hubschman
Portsview at the Waterways


Thanks for the Ballpark Reveries

I enjoyed Paul George’s Miami baseball retrospective in Biscayne Times (“Stee-ryke!” May 2017). I attended North Miami High School for a while before the family moved back to the Midwest (Detroit … big Tiger days in the early to mid-1960s).

We played against Hall of Famer Steve Carlton (NMHS grad) when I played for NM Rec Center traveling team, and he was with the Boys Club, I believe. We played a few times in Miami Stadium, West Palm Beach, where the Braves trained, and a beautiful old minor league park on the Beach.

Played Little League with Kurt Bevacqua (1984 World Series with the Padres) and future NMHS head football coach Jerry Lotito. Jerry passed way too early (55 in 2003), but he did what we all wanted to do: coach at NM. His dad was a great Little League coach and mentor as well.

Played All Star games with them at the Aqua Bowl (across from the gas plant on Dixie Hwy).

Other baseball memories come to mind.

Tremendous American Legion ball was played on “the big field” at NM Rec Center (between NE 135th and 134th streets on NE 7th Avenue) on Sundays, next to the old round North Miami Junior High School.

Then there was North Miami Legion Post 67 home field. I remember a player, Tony Torchia (hope I spelled it right), who used to let us shag flies when he and a few teammates took independent batting practice on the NMHS baseball field (corner of NE 135th St and NE 7th Avenue). That’s when I learned to “go back further than you think you have to” on fly balls.

One last thing: Men’s fast-pitch softball played at Edison Field. One of our coaches at NM Rec Center, a WW II Navy vet nicknamed Bo, umpired the games. He took my brother and me to many of the games between Miami Aerodex and the Clearwater Bombers. Just tremendous baseball played by men on a Little League field.

Oh, and I got kicked out of the St. Louis Cardinals tryouts at NM Rec Center for being underage.

Thanks for the memories.

Garry Romanik
Miami Shores


Enjoys the King Connection

Mr. King, thank you for your article “Racism, Rehab, and a Recent Resignation” (May 2017) and for bringing to light issues we don’t hear enough of in the news.

Kathleen Danger


More Notes We Like to Get

Just a quick note to let you know how much I appreciate Blanca Mesa’s contributions to your newspaper.

Her articles are sobering reality checks on serious environmental issues written in an engaging style.

I didn’t think you would be able to replace Jim W. Harper, but I have to say, Ms. Mesa is a unique asset to South Florida journalism.

Steve Leidner


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