The Biscayne Times

Aug 11th
Letters April 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by BT Readers   
April 2020

bigstock_Mail_Button_1727945Elisa Turner, Winner!

Biscayne Times is pleased to join her colleagues, friends, and admirers in congratulating arts writer Elisa Turner. On March 26, Elisa was named one of nine journalists nationwide recognized by the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation for the vital role they play in writing about the arts in their communities.

The Rabkin Prize awards each journalist $50,000, no strings attached. This year, in light of the pandemic and funding crisis cascading across arts communities nationwide, prizes went out early.

Elisa is well known in Miami as lead art critic for the Miami Herald, where she worked from 1986 to 2007. She remains the Miami correspondent for ARTnews and has written for numerous other publications.

The Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation, based in Portland, Maine, was created by New York City artist Leo Rabkin, whose works are in the permanent collections of MoMA and the Smithsonian Institutions, among others.

“These are the brave ones, the writers who live by their work and say what they think,” said one of the jurors at the debut of the Rabkin Prize in 2017. We second that.


They Already Have a Pool -- Just Fix It!

In Erik Bojnansky’s March BT story on the pool at Morningside Park (“A Pool in a Park”), City of Miami capital improvements director Steve Williamson, referring to fixing the pool (which sits in a VE-designated flood zone), is quoted as saying, “Half the year, that area is flooded.”

Not true. I’ve lived in Morningside since 1977 and I’ve never seen the area around the pool flooded. Perhaps Williamson was speaking of the softball field, where he wants to relocate the pool, which routinely floods for several days after a heavy rain, because the city made it flood when it blocked the drainage by constructing a paved walking path. Even so, it floods maybe 10-12 days a year, not half the year. Neighbors have been asking for that drainage to be fixed for over a decade.

Williamson has said that fixing the pool might interfere with protecting the shoreline from sea level rise. Also not true. Morningside Pool is set back at least 90 feet from the bay, and a seawall is only two feet wide. The city approved accepting grants for three new seawalls at its March 12, 2020, meeting, including seawalls at Sewell and Meyers Parks. Why not at Morningside?

Fixing the pool would cost half as much (by the city’s own admission) and be quicker than the four years the city says it would take to build a new pool.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of the city’s negligence, fiscal irresponsibility, and illogical bureaucracy surrounding Morningside pool, as detailed in my presentation to the city commission: (Go to 2:50:45 on the timeline.)

Elvis Cruz


A Disservice to Farmers Markets

Regarding Fred Jonas’s article about farmers markets (“In Season but Not in Vogue,” February 2020), as a regular at several markets he wrote about, I found his article to be factually wrong. Not only did he fail to mention that the markets run by Art Friedrich are actually organized and run by the non-profit Urban Oasis Project, but he did a disservice to the vendors who’ve been with his markets for more than five of the ten years of it’s been in existence.

Jonas clearly hasn’t researched the market through the course of a season, at least not Legion Park, where there are more than 30 vendors year round. The market has grown every year for the past ten years. It has local produce and small sustainable and/or organic produce year round.

I found the article frustrating throughout and a bad piece of journalism, especially for a local paper, He should be supporting small local businesses through factual information, especially now.

Even though supermarkets have not closed, and people are shopping inside all together, the city has shut down farmers markets. (GrowNY has great information on why to not close farmers markets.) This is proving to be catastrophic for these local businesses and local farmers.

Amy Deskins


Art and Culture

ArtFeature_1BLM and COVID force a shift in themes


Art Listings

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Picture Story

Pix_PictureStory_7-20A view of our past from the archives of HistoryMiami


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