Letters to the Editor

Miami Beach Mayor won’t trade gaming for transportation

I appreciate the efforts of Audrey Edmonson and those of the entire Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, and the leadership of Mayor Gimenez, as we all seek to address the complex and pressing transportation challenges facing our community. While I recognize that merely approving the publication of a solicitation does not commit the county or our city to a specific plan, proposal, route or mode, I also recognize that sometimes when the metaphorical train leaves the station, it’s difficult to alter its route.

First, the City of Miami Beach is not yet in support of a specific rendition of the Smart Plan as it relates to our community. Although we support its general goals and have for some time, we have not settled on the all-important details. Nor have we seen any of the details of the proposal being considered. Given the unrelenting disruption that our residents and businesses have endured from FDOT’s recent MacArthur Causeway bridge repair project, and the expected longer-term disruption that will result from the Signature Bridge I-395 project, these details are paramount to our analysis and to our residents. To assist this process, I have asked our city commission to meet for a transportation workshop on July 15.

Second, most or all of the city’s commission will strenuously object to any plan that might allow for, or even contemplate, a casino that is placed nearby or tethered to our community. I believe casino gambling is an existential threat to our community fabric and our quality of life, which is why I have opposed it as a state representative, state senator, and now mayor. Recently, when we approved our new Convention Center Hotel, we didn’t merely prohibit gaming in the facility, we also required that any developer of the project not maintain gaming interests.

Dan Gelber,

mayor,

Miami Beach

Essential coverage

The Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting should be awarded to the Herald’s Julie K. Brown for breaking and pursuing the Jeffrey Epstein story. The Herald continues to set the bar of reporting high, with well-researched, clearly written stories and a dedication to excellence.

The July 9 Open Mic certainly affirms the value of quality reporting, with letters to the editor from Florida, Texas, Canada, California, Oregon, Brazil, Illinois, New Jersey, Missouri, Maine and Georgia.

Continue your high standards in reporting.

Merle Ulery,

Miami

Paper still matters

Many times I have questioned the cost of my newspaper subscription because I rely on Social Security. Then comes, among so many other insightful articles, Julie Brown’s amazing dogged pursuit of justice in the Jeffrey Epstein case. Now I realize my money is well spent. Good work, Miami Herald!

Carrie Hunter,

West Kendall

Out of focus

At a time when yet another woman has come forth to accuse the president of rape, and when evidence is emerging of Jeffrey Epstein’s cabal of wealthy, powerful and well-connected older men abusing vulnerable young women, I find it frustrating that much of America appears more obsessed with, and critical of, Joe Biden’s touchy-feely, close-talking persona.

Patrick Alexander,

Coral Gables

What’s his type?

The U.S. Women’s Soccer team should decline any invitation to the White House after its World Cup victory. The current occupant is just “not their type.”

They are popular with almost all Americans. They are young, in great physical shape, able to run up and down a soccer field without bone spurs on their ankles or worrying about messing up their hair. They don’t brag about sexual conquests or college grades, and Michael Cohen has never been their lawyer.

After 17 women has made allegations of sexual harassment against President Trump, we still don’t know what his type is. We’ll have to ask Jeffrey Epstein or Howard Stern.

Harry N. Turk,

Miami

Disturbing details

What if Alex Acosta’s rise to dean of FIU Law School and then labor secretary was not in spite of the Epstein settlement? The possibility that his success was because of the deal he made is even more disturbing.

Is it a coincidence that powerful people besides Epstein were given immunity and kept out of the case and the press? Some of the people associated with Epstein, including the president and British royalty, are in a position to ruin a life or reward loyalty.

Why did it take the Miami Herald and not the FBI to investigate and bring to light the settlement given without notifying victims? Not notifying victims is a crime, not a mistake. We all make mistakes, but crimes are supposed to put us behind bars, not get us appointed to powerful positions.

Acosta shouldn’t have to resign; he should be charged criminally and also civilly by the victims he let down and the victims who came afterward, while Epstein should have been behind bars. Epstein is a sick person and is a risk to teenage girls. The real shame is there are probably girls that he molested after he was released from jail.

Mark Fabian,

Palmetto Bay

Overbearing

When the president of the United States defies the legislative and the judicial branches of government, which were designed to keep the executive branch in check, the question becomes: When do we begin to to kneel or bow and address him as Comrade Trump?

Amoy A. Skinner,

Miami

Things fall apart

In the early 20th century, W.B. Yeats wrote in his poem “The Second Coming” that “the centre cannot hold,” a line that has been interpreted many ways over the years. Today, it seems an appropriate phrase to describe our political dilemma.

On the left is the Gimme Party, which wants a free lunch, and on the other side is the Greed Party, which likes to kick dogs when they are down. Neither of these appeal to the sane and reasonable people who, between these two radical poles, form most of the populace. Despite this fact, the majority seems to have no voice.

The left and the right are so involved with their selfish wants and desires, they are putting greed before governing.

We are doomed as a species if the center cannot hold.

James Williams

Miami

Waiting for more

Kudos to your investigative team for its dogged pursuit of the truth in the Jeffrey Epstein cover up. Its persistence may lead to opening a Pandora’s box of child trafficking and possibly take down a score of corrupt and evil predators. If Epstein rolls, many, including President Trump and Alex Acosta, hopefully will get their “just deserts.”

I’m sure the Herald already has the undying gratitude of the victims, but the rest of us thank you for your pugnacious diligence. You are a credit to decency and to the Fourth Estate.

Paul Rastellini,

Somerville, MA

Respect history

Re the June 7 opinion column “We can’t be so bored with Trump and rape that we ignore E. Jean Carroll’s allegation:” No, we should not be bored, but we should not be ignorant.

Cyrus the Great did free the Jews from the Babylonians and established a tolerant empire stretching from the Mediterranean to the Hindus River. He was not an obscure royal but a descendant of kings. He was a Zoroastrian, not prone to impose his religion on his empire and respected the customs and religions of the conquered lands.

We are already insulting Iran enough these days. At least, let’s respect its history.

Vilma Pesciallo,

Miami

Great reporting

Kudos to the Miami Herald, especially to Julie K. Brown, for the amazing and thorough investigative report about Jeffrey Epstein and his lewd activities with vulnerable underage girls and how this pedophile got away with it, in part because then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Alexander Acosta.

I hope and pray that Epstein will get the punishment he deserves. I also hope that Acosta will face some consequence for his lack of action.

Everybody should be horrified by this despicable crime, especially those of us who have daughters and granddaughters.

God bless our free press. Keep up your amazing reporting, Miami Herald!

Carmen Jacobson,

West Kendall

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