Letters to the Editor

We’re in an electric scooter revolution

Navigating Miami’s traffic congested streets is no easy feat. In fact, a recent study conducted by Florida International University found Miami has the 12th worst traffic congestion in the country. Now more than ever residents demand faster and more affordable transportation alternatives to solve Miami’s traffic issues.

Since relaunching in April through the city of Miami’s pilot program in District II, electric scooters have filled the transportation gap for locals. Lime, the global leader in micro mobility and participant in the city’s six-month pilot, has seen riders travel more than 50,000 miles and save over 47,000 pounds of carbon emissions. This demonstrates how Miamians are embracing electric scooters as their new go-to green, and cost-efficient way to get around.

With average ride times of 15 minutes, Lime has found most trips are under a mile with residents relying on scooters for everyday activities such as travel to or from work, school, and store. Additionally, forty percent of Lime rides across the country start or stop at public transit stations. In Miami, this is no different, with residents experiencing the benefits of faster, convenient first and last-mile transportation as the city grows.

Electric scooters are revolutionizing mobility and empowering residents with a greener alternative to the car. Though it’s important to recognize that while new concepts bring new opportunities, there are also learning curves associated with adaptation. Putting in place sensible regulations is the best thing our policy makers can do to promote equitable access to and safe use of affordable alternative transportation options. This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a state bill that establishes a regulatory framework for authorizing the operation of micro mobility devices, including electric scooters.

The bill brings clarity to counties and municipalities as well as operators, and ultimately helps meet overwhelming public support for electric scooters.

Vivian Myrtetus,

Miami

UM sell rocklands

I read with some dismay, but not surprise, the recent article regarding the destruction of the last remaining large tract of pine rocklands in Miami-Dade County.

Unfortunately, your writer was much too kind to the local repository of higher learning – the University of Miami. What the reporter missed was that fact that the land was given to the UM with a deed restriction to use the land for educational purposes, and when that restriction expired the UM (and its then-president, now Congresswoman Donna Shalala) promptly sold it to a real estate developer.

To add insult, “the U” had custody of all those threatened and endangered species for approximately 30 years, and its stewardship was no more than letting much of the property degenerate into a random collection of invasive exotic plants. And yet, much to its chagrin, many of those rare plants and animals held on, at least until now.

I cannot help but think of that famous scene in the 1966 film A Man for All Seasons, where Sir Thomas More (played by Paul Scofield) confronts his accuser, the newly-minted attorney general of Wales, Sir Richard Rich (played by John Hurt); to paraphrase the doomed man, “For Walmart? Why UM, it profits a university nothing to give its soul for the whole world . . . but for Walmart?”

Dennis J. Olle,

Coral Gables

No to Ultra

Re the June 21 editorial on Ultra returning to Miami: Yes, yes, and yes, you’re right! It’s all about the money.

The Miami City Commission and Keon Hardemon should be ashamed of themselves. I suspect when you really tally it all up, the city doesn’t come out ahead financially and the citizens that pay city officials salaries yet again are screwed.

I have already contacted the commissioners and the mayor and urge all residents to do the same. If they go to Homestead or out of Florida so be it. It’s time to protect our citizens and city.

Irene Warner,

Miami

Fear vs. Duty

In Rick Soskis’ letter of June 21st, he makes some valid points when describing how fear is designed to protect us…however, there is a huge difference between the average civilian and Scot Peterson, the Broward deputy who didn’t confront the Parkland shooter.

Scot Peterson was a sworn officer of the law, who was trained to protect the students and staff at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High. His job description was to protect. He was paid to do so. He was armed to do so. He did nothing to try to stop the massacre.

In his case, the “pure physiology” of fear takes a back seat to the discharge of his duties, which include, for any police officer, acting under pressure to protect those he is hired to protect. It was his job and he failed to carry out his sworn duty. Huge difference.

Lynn Guarch-Pardo,

Coral Gables

UFOs?

It is good that our government is finally talking about UFO sightings.

Barry Lincoln,

Hillsboro Beach

Lock her up

We’re fortunate to be living in relatively humane times. For if this were the 18th century, the rabble would shout not “lock her up,” but “off with her head.”

Sanford J. Smoller,

South Miami

Sex offender label

I am writing in response to the June 20 article, “Florida’s sex offender population is aging. Where can they live out their silver years?" in which I was quoted.

While I appreciate the exposure the Herald has given this important topic, I wanted to correct a gross mischaracterization contained in the article that is contributing to the problem. In the article, I was referred to as “Gail Colleta, an advocate for sex offenders.” That is inaccurate. Neither I nor my organization advocate for sex offenses or people who are offending.

If we continue to refer to this population as “sex offenders” we are perpetuating the perception that this is what they do. It’s not a job title. It’s not like they wake up in the morning, get dressed and go out to sexually offend. This label is a completely inaccurate representation of who they are. They are fathers, sons, co-workers, friends and human beings.

The Florida Action Committee advocates for persons who might have committed a sexual offense years ago, have served their sentences, yet are being subjected to policies that are ineffective, inhumane and counter-productive. Most importantly, we advocate for public safety. Public safety is not achieved by legislating people into homelessness and depriving them of basic human needs.

Those practices go counter to public safety and the empirical evidence proves that. If we want to introduce any rational thought to this topic, we need to stop labeling these human beings as if they were current offenders.

Gail Colletta,

President, Florida Action Committee

Military strike

A front page story about the downing of a U.S. military drone by Iran said that “Trump convened his top national security officials and congressional leaders to debate a military response.”

What, no professional military?

Was this before or after he had ordered a strike and then recalled planes already in the air?

This man wants a war so bad (at the behest of the Saudis?) he can smell the gunpowder.

We cannot have military decisions made by inexperienced politicians whose only thought is their re-election.

May cooler and more savvy heads prevail.

Seth Lefkow, Aventura

Climate change

Any serious presidential candidate must address the climate change crisis. As a Floridian, I will be looking to the first presidential debate in Miami on June 26 and 27 for candidates to offer their climate change solutions for protecting Florida.

The science has given us a clear and strong warning: we must act now. According to the latest National Climate Assessment, annual losses in some U.S. economic sectors are projected to exceed $100 billion by the end of the century, surpassing the GDP of many states.

Climate change specifically threatens Florida’s economy and water systems. For example, it exacerbates harmful algae blooms by creating warmer, wetter conditions that allow red tide and toxic blue-green algae to flourish, compromising drinking and recreational waters. During 2018, red tide lost business owners $90 million in the hardest-hit Florida counties.

It is high time to address our climate emergency. In addition to our passion for beaches and lychees, Miamians need to be loud advocates for climate action, and look to candidates for bold plans and serious solutions!

Brenda Warger,

Miami

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