Letters July 2017 Print
Written by BT Readers   
July 2017

bigstock_Mail_Button_1727945MOCA Can Do It

Thanks, Anne Tschida, for “Musing on a Museum” (June 2017). North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art is a gem, and once the kinks are worked out, full speed ahead!

Being a local artist, one of my visions is to start a cooperative gallery, which works very well, as I was a member of one in the Philadelphia art scene. North Miami and its surrounding areas have lots of creativity to be exposed.

MOCA and fellow artists, let’s put our heads together and create something new. Ready for a change.

Rosalind Keating
North Miami

 

Parcel B or PAMM: It’s About the Politicians

Reading Erik Bojnansky’s story about Parcel B (“County Commission Cabal,” June 2017), I’m reminded of the process that resulted in approval of Pérez Art Museum Miami. Many of us believed the land it sits on should have stayed a park.

But it was kept inaccessible and inhospitable. It was fenced off, then opened but not user-friendly (unless you were a drug dealer). There was no parking, few shade trees, no park furniture, no police.

Even the Metromover station stop, right there, was locked up for decades. (It magically opened only after PAMM was a done deal!)

Here we are again. The public -- which has expressed clear wishes for that waterfront land to be the tropical park it was voted to be -- is ignored.

Maybe someday we’ll elect officials who fight to improve our quality of life by increasing parkland (and improving mass transit), the two biggest problems in the high-rise areas.

In the meantime, we have to watch as we’re served temporary parks or $800 million freeway sculpture/gardens preapproved via backroom deals that leave residents even more hopeless about having a voice in deciding the kind of city we want.

Richard Strell
Edgewater

 

Good Work Here and There

Congratulations to Mark Sell on his article on Nehemiah Action Assembly (“Miami PACT’s People Power,” June 2017). It was a breath of fresh air when considered alongside his articles on North Miami and Biscayne Landing.

I remember his stay at the Miami Herald, when he was learning under the tutelage of James Russell and Larry Berger.

Keep up the good work.

Ray Lacombe
North Miami

 

Have Some Catnip Kudos

Thank you, Janet Goodman, for an informative article on the history of catnip (“High, Kitty Kitty,” June 2017). I always learn something new when I read your wonderful and entertaining column.

Phyllis Barash
Miami Beach

 

Frost Bite

I’m delighted that the Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum had a wildly successful opening, as Silvia Ros’s photographs showed (“Sights to Behold,” June 2017).

Now, would Mr. Frost please get back to running his business? Enough of the bright stars and pretty fishes. His company’s stock is back where it was four years ago.

Talk about that big tank, why don’t you!

Marian Schwartz,
unhappy shareholder
Aventura

 

Memorial Fray

With all due respect to John Ise and his article on Memorial Day (“Military Honors,” June 2017), I’m disappointed that the article took a political angle. A day for honoring the fallen is not the time to heap guilt upon the living.

I don’t accept the claim that “our military fights so we can be free.” They fight because they learn their duty as soldiers. They fight because they’re family to one another.

On the frontlines, they don’t think about broader motives, like shoring up the corporate and defense industry interests that actually do drive our foreign policy alignments. Alignments now with Turkey, the Philippines, Russia, Egypt, and other authoritarian regimes that will likely haunt us and kill more of our troops.

Yes, honor the dead. They died and still die in service. Theirs is the greater good. Let it go at that.

Joseph X. Garcia
Miami

 

Landmarks We Can’t Lose

Regarding Mark Sell’s “History Heist” story in the “Community News” section of the May Biscayne Times, I can only pray that these beautiful Miami landmarks won’t be destroyed by development. I can’t imagine what the powers that be are thinking.

I believe that too many palms have been greased and pockets filled in lieu of saving historic Miami landmarks.

It would be an absolute tragedy should these landmarks be lost.

I grew up in Miami and am extremely disappointed for the lack of respect shown to Miami’s heritage and historical areas.

Penny Ackerly
Miami

 

City Ignores Its Own Ordinances

I was pleased to see Mark Sell’s “History Heist.” For those of us who care deeply about preserving Miami’s historic identity, the city’s commitment to preservation efforts falls abysmally short.

Nowhere was that more evident than at Miami City Hall on May 25, when an appeal brought by the Morningside Civic Association and resident Elvis Cruz to stop the demolition of the Bayside Motor Inn was denied by unanimous vote of the city commission.

The city chose to ignore a 2014 settlement agreement and restrictive covenant recorded on the property, which required that it be renovated and maintained in exchange for a grant to the developer of a particularly rich award of TDRs (“air rights”).

Although the battle for the Bayside Motor Inn was lost, it was acknowledged by Commissioner Ken Russell that Morningside’s appeal highlighted the many deficiencies in the city’s enforcement of its own covenants and historic preservation ordinances.

Preservationists must continue to pressure for better oversight and a deeper commitment from the city to preserving our unique heritage, lest it be swept away forever by the forces of indifference and neglect.

Debby Stander
Belle Meade

 

Run, Don’t Complain

I am writing in response to the May 2017 article, “The Cable Guise” by Jay Beskin and the letter by Emil Hubschman in the June issue, in which he commented favorably on the article.

I’ve lived in our condominium with my husband for over 20 years. Although I never served as a director, I’ve been active in various capacities and served on numerous committees in my effort to contribute to our community.

Many board members are my friends and neighbors. I don’t find them to be “surly, snarling maximalists ready for a fight to the death” over anything, as Beskin alleges. They’re obligated to enforce the bylaws and rules, many of which were proposed by the residents themselves. And for those who are behind in their dues, it is not the board, but our owners who must make up any shortfall and ensure that the association meets its financial obligations.

Our condo is currently in the process of entering into a long-term contract with a TV and Internet provider. It typically will include a signup fund as an incentive. As in the past, this fund will be set aside and applied to future scheduled fee increases.

Where is the corruption? How do you have the gall to suggest that board members may be pocketing some of the money? To suggest this is scurrilous and totally unfounded. It is often shown that people who distrust others are untrustworthy themselves.

Finally, allow me to comment on Mr. Hubschman’s letter, in which he accuses our board of working for “their own narrow, power-mad, self-serving interests,” but fails to offer any evidence or examples. Adding further insult, he claims that our board is populated with unqualified people.

He apparently is ignorant of the fact that our directors currently and in the past have been doctors, accountants, attorneys, college professors, educators, business owners, licensed contractors, and other professionals. Also he must not be aware that since 2013 the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations requires board members to meet certification requirements in order to serve.

To those condo owners who criticize and impugn the motives of your board of directors, I suggest that you run for your board at the next opportunity and report back. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Anita Ditrano
Portsview at the Waterways
Aventura

 

One Way to Close That Wealth Gap

With respect to Jack King’s column “Racism, Rehab, and a Recent Resignation” (May 2017): Yes, Mr. King, Castro did very well to make all Cubans equal this last 58 years.

He made everyone poor.

But then again, that’s the aim of a communist system!

Gabriel Castillo
Miami

 

A Riot…Well, Not a Real Riot

I want to tell Derek McCann that I think his “Police Reports” crime columns are a riot. Not a riot for the victims and more so not for the police, but a riot to read.

Droll, factual, with dollop of witty sarcasm, I find myself laughing at each one. I also hope I’m never in one.

Mary Kathleen Wood
Miami