Miami Beach


Soapbox: Earplugs 24/7?


How to sound off

To submit your letter, e-mail, or write Soapbox, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Miami, FL 33172. Fax: 305-376-5287.Letters must address a specific LOCAL issue, and must be signed with a name, city or neighborhood, as well as a telephone number for verification purposes. Letters more than 350 words will not be accepted, and writers are limited to one letter every four weeks. Letters will run as space allows, and may be edited for length, style and clarity. The deadline for letters is noon Wednesday.

Nobody likes neighbors who dump garbage in their bedrooms. The Hilton Cabana —and the legal team headed up by former Miami Beach mayor Neisen Kasdin — contend their air conditioners, which are blasting residents at twice the federal EPA standards for noise in their homes, are legal. To us, it’s noise garbage and illegal.

Imagine a bedroom where the sound of a working factory (80 decibels) NEVER stops. Folks can't sleep, and our hearing is being damaged. Who is protecting our 'right to a tranquil home' in the American Constitution?

Kasdin said at the Oct. 16, Miami Beach commission meeting that replacing the cillhers is just too expensive. Residents went to beg for mercy and gave the city proof that the noise is excessive, forced at our own expense to call in noise-pollution experts. There is a fix, it's just too expensive, claim the developers: Sound waves travel up the two buildings next to the Hilton and are amplified the higher they go. Metal and glass vibrates. 'Wraps,' a sort of blanket meant to fix this problem, have failed.

Don't the city, the developer and Hilton have to follow the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Constitution, which has policy and provisions made by law for the abatement of air and water pollution and excessive and unnecessary noise? (Florida Constitution, Article II, Section 7)

How can the Hilton knowingly turn our homes hazardous, depriving our children and adult workers of sleep or the use of our balconies with the excessive noise? City attorney Jose Smith contends that they allowed permitting, which exposes them to liability if they force a shutdown. The city sits on its hands while we will go deaf, crazy and broke to fight for 'due process of law.' Why is the city forcing residents to shell out legal fees to match the Hilton and Whitkoff Group to get justice?

Shame on the city. Shame on the Hilton.

Zoë A. Lewis, M.D., FACP,

Miami Beach

This letter has been corrected to remove inaccurate quotations from Neisen Kasdin. What Kasdin actually said was: "In order to be in compliance with the law, we do not have to do anything. But that's not the attitude [we're] taking." He also said: "The neighbors should not be misled into thinking that something that's beyond the law ... is going to be asked of this property."

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