Letters to the Editor

Mental illness doesn’t discriminate; learn how to help

July marks Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. This month was established in May of 2008 by the U.S. House of Representatives to bring attention to a disparity of mental health care for minority populations. Mental health conditions do not discriminate based on race, color, gender or identity.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, black and Hispanic young people, ages 12-17, were less likely to access mental health care for depressive episodes. Asian-Americans of all ages also were less likely to access mental health treatment.

Nearly 47 million Americans have some level of mental illness.

Many minority populations do not seek care due to unfamiliarity with available treatments and insurance coverage. Part of the issue is a lack of cultural understanding by mental health professionals. Furthermore, America’s entire mental health system needs improvement, including when it comes to serving marginalized communities.

During July, Rogers Behavioral Health encourages everyone to educate their community about the importance of improving access to mental health care and helping them find the treatment they need.

Navigating life with a mental health condition can be tough. We all must do our part to break down barriers and negative perceptions about mental illness. In a multicultural region like South Florida, better awareness will lead to more access for minority populations. But awareness is just the first step.

To get assistance, contact your primary care physician or call the Switchboard 2-1-1 Helpline and ask about mental health resources.

Marcia Rabinowits,

clinical director,

Rogers Miami. Rogers Behavioral Health,


Money lanes

I commute to work each morning from Weston to Doral. I merge onto the Palmetto Expressway from 1-75, and that’s when the anxiety sets in: accidents, road rage, ambulances, fast drivers, slow drivers, distracted drivers, etc. I didn’t think it could get any worse.

But now, the county has shaved off lanes. They shrunk the Palmetto to make room for two express lanes, creating huge traffic jams. As I’m squeezed into, now three lanes, I feel like I’m being coerced to pay for and use the express lanes or languish in the free, shrunken lanes, struggling to get to work on time.

The addition of express lanes, by sacrificing two existing lanes for everyone else, is the epitome of greed. The county wants more money at the expense of its citizens trying to get to work or school.

It’s all about the money.

Debra E. Hine,


Party feud

I am troubled by by Republican leaders, political hacks and opportunists’ relentless attacks on Democrats, questioning their loyalty.

I don’t know which has been more disconcerting, the comments of those who would tear down this country or the total indifference of civic and political leaders toward engaging in a dynamic communications effort against this premeditated barrage of deceit.

The calculated lies and insults from candidates, elected officials and some members of the media about everything Democrat and about those who knock on our door does not bode well for the future of the freedoms granted us by the Founding Fathers.

It will be a long time before I trust our “loyal opposition” and their minions with the welfare of this country or its citizens.

Teresa Gavaldá,


Bad service

How disappointing that Sen. Marco Rubio held an open forum in Hollywood last week that he didn’t even attend. A lone office staffer was sent in his stead.

Why couldn’t this event be scheduled during August, when Congress is in recess and representatives are supposed to be in their districts meeting with constituents?

It seems that the only constituents Rubio wants to see are those who bring him checks.

Clearly, Rubio continues to let us down!

Oscar Friedman,

Cooper City

Pot’s positives

So far, I’ve really like “Smoked,” the series of stories on marijuana the Miami Herald is running. I’d like to see as part of the series some positive information on how legalization has not turned Canada upside down or how legalization has not been detrimental to the states that have legalized it.

Sure, there may be a few obscure issues, but it seems violent drug-related crimes have fallen, harder drug use has fallen and dependencies on pharmaceuticals that come with a large list of horrible side effects have fallen as well.

It’s past time for the anti-marijuana propaganda to be laid to rest, and the same amount of effort should be spent touting its benefits and positive traits as was put into casting this natural herb into a bad light for the past 40 plus years.

Spending an evening drinking alcohol for several hours tends to get people rowdy, boisterous and, sometimes, aggressive. Marijuana, on the other hand, tends to pacify and subdue. I know which kind of people I would rather face.

Greg Bito, South Miami

No apartments

A proposed amendment to the Miami-Dade County Comprehensive Development Master Plan has been expedited for hearing at 9:30 a.m. July 25. This would result in the building of medium density apartments on the 20 acres directly in front of Robert Is Here Fruit Stand and Farm in deep South Dade.

According to Miami-dade.gov, on May 17, seven days after the expedited application filing, Treo Southwest LLC employed several lobbyists, allowing them to have the ear of commissioners and county employees for nine weeks.

I ask the entire Miami-Dade County community to turn out at the hearing with commissioners, at 111 NW First St. in Miami, to let them know voters disapprove of building apartments on this farmland, the gateway to Everglades National Park.

Traveling west on Palm Drive, a sign declares, “Redland Dade’s Historic Agriculture Community Farming Since 1898.” Building apartments in the shadow of this sign is not in keeping with the character and purpose of the area.

Heather Moehling,


What tourists want

Tourists do not want to see apartment complexes as they choose tropical fruits and veggies, taste the varieties of honey and sit at the picnic tables at Robert Is Here, sipping fruit smoothies. Tourists want to feel the breeze across the wide-open farm fields surrounding this iconic farm in Redland.

Pat Bonner Milone,


College scandals

It’s stupid for charities and colleges return money and enrich the benefactors. A great deal of money donated to them over the years could probably be traced back to some nefarious dealings. Politicians often receive money from questionable sources, and not all of that is always discovered.

Not naming buildings after donors would be a good start. But if naming a building is a must, at least use easily removable plaques.

Roberta Leonard,

North Miami

Support the law

What is it with all the Constitution-loving conservatives? The mere mention of anything regarding gun control, and they’re screaming about the Second Amendment rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

However, when President Trump blasts “The Squad” in Congress — or anyone else — for speaking their minds, we hear not a peep from them about the First Amendment rights also guaranteed by the Constitution.

As Trump and his administration slowly chips away at the Constitution, we need all the rights it guarantees, and conservatives need to become the true supporters they claim to be.

Robert Squier,


Soccer in Broward

With a soccer stadium being built in Broward, it will be far more accessible to the people from three counties.

Therefore, we could preserve the greenery of Melreese park.

Obviously, David Beckham has more than a soccer field in mind, and we do not need another commercial complex. Leave Melreese for the kids and the trees and us.

Sandra Gilbert,

Miami Beach

Foreign wives

Does President Trump’s “go back” tweet apply to all immigrants — including his wives?

Clarissa Montz,

Palmetto Bay