Letters to the Editor

The true cost of raising the minimum wage

Re the July 25 letter, “If minimum wage goes up — I lose my job:” The seemingly well argued letter came from “a retired senior who works part-time on a local golf course as starter.”

At $8 an hour, the job helps tide him over in his retirement.

If golf starters were paid $15 an hour, customers would have to dig a bit deeper into their pockets and face a tough choice: Pay perhaps an extra $10 of green fees or just play nine holes.

The same customers probably love to get a burger-fries-and-soda combo for less than $5, without realizing that those who prepare and serve their meal can barely survive every day on their low wages. If they thought about it, most of those customers might probably be willing to face another tough choice: Skip the fries, or the soda, or let the combo be priced perhaps $1 higher, and the servers be a bit closer to earning a more decent living wage.

Of course, financial illiteracy and insensitivity cut both ways. Those arguing for a universal rise to $15 insist that it happen now, without regard to any consequences, and anybody that opposes this quick rise is a heartless soul.

The smart way is to raise it gradually, perhaps within two or three years, so that everyone, workers and business owners alike, can have enough time to adapt to the tough choices.

I have become a bit disconnected from what gets said from pulpits on Sundays. Naive and nostalgic, I would hope strong words of moral indignation can be heard about the plight of the working stiffs; that should trump all other heavenly arguments.

The term socialism, largely dormant in America for more than a hundred years, is now on everyone’s mind.

Before rushing to argue about what it means, perhaps it is time to engage in some serious cost accounting in our community.

Antonio Prado,


Natural beauty

Re the July 28 story “Foxes are roaming her neighborhood — and Animal Control can’t help. Who can?:” Oh, what I would give to see foxes or coyotes around my neighborhood!

We have paved over and built on every square foot of South Florida.

It is a joy and refreshing to see some wildlife survive.

I bet the risk of rabies is quite low. By their nature, foxes avoid people.

Just relax and enjoy sharing the environment with some of its original occupants.

Cindy Cassidy,

West Kendall

Green fee

Re the July 25 letter “If minimum wage goes up, I lose my job:” The writer said he is content to work for the current $8-plus per hour as he is a senior retiree working as a starter at a golf course. He is afraid he will lose his job if his employer has to pay him $15 an hour.

But he forgot to mention that he works for golf privileges, not for pocket money or augmentation to his Social Security.

Not many people who are working for minimum wage at golf resorts, restaurants, etc. are as lucky as he.

I also work at a golf facility. I am also a 77-year-old retired person and am fully supporting an increase in the minimum wage. The writer shouldn’t be so selfish.

Colin Davis,

Coral Springs

Park promise

Fort Lauderdale voters recently passed a Park Improvement Bond.

Now we learn that Holiday Park is to be improved not by the bond but by a hastily arranged 50-year lease that turns the park over to the Florida Panthers organization — the whole park!

The Panthers are moving quickly on their plans for “Alteration and Intensification of Use,” which includes building ice-skating arenas, parking garages and various entertainment venues.

The process will remove trees and existing landscape, eliminating green space and open space, ultimately changing the nature, character and identity of the park.

This is not a park improvement. This is a bait and switch, turning a municipal park into a corporate vanity project, sacrificing one of the few community green spaces in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Arch Angelus Sturaitis,

Fort Lauderdale

Keep park open

Re Ultra Music Festival’s return to downtown Miami: I won’t argue the pros and cons of the Miami Commission’s decision or discuss the good and bad of the concert.

But I implore commissioners and the concert promoters to figure out a way to stage the event while still keeping the park open during set up and tear down.

There must be a way to arrange the fencing, place the stages and organize the process so that access is still possible.

It’s not only fair to residents who use the park , it will result in more harmony for all.

Lawrence A. Snetman,


In the wild

As a native Miamian, I have grown up with all types of wildlife living among us.

I am sick and tired of those who complain about the presence and vocalizations of foxes, coyotes, birds, frogs, ducks, geese, etc.

Every year, gray foxes visit my back yard. I consider myself lucky. My own animals are never allowed outside.

If you don’t like wildlife, then fight the commissioners and developers who have an insatiable greed for destroying wild areas in order to pave and build. Become an active advocate for protecting our few remaining wild areas.

Learn how to coexist with wildlife. Otherwise, don’t live here. Go somewhere else where wildlife doesn’t exist.

Ellen D. Coulton,

South Miami

At risk

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson received an anonymous threat after her criticism of a secret Border Patrol Facebook page.

State Sen. Lauren Book received anonymous calls after she requested a probe into the Palm Beach sheriff’s handling of Jeffrey Epstein’s work-release program.

These calls are not directly linked, but they are linked to the increasingly menacing climate permeating this country, one often tacitly or even directly encouraged by President Trump in response to attempts to pursue truth and uncover injustices.

Carroll Billups,

Fort Lauderdale

Redirecting oil

Here’s an idea for a permanent solution to Iran’s claim of territorial waters and seizures of foreign-flagged oil tankers:

Construct a Suez-like channel across the peninsula of Oman and United Arab Emirates.

This would permanently erase any incursions into Iran’s claim of territorial waters. All of the Gulf oil-producing nations would contribute.

Ronald Strauss,

Coral Gables

College crisis

I send my gratitude to the members of the Miami Dade College (MDC) Presidential Search Committee for their commitment, dedication and hard work on behalf of our community. Their sole interest is to ensure MDC can continue the legacy of Eduardo Padrón.

It is difficult to understand how a nationally recognized institution for academic excellence is under attack.

For the MDC Board to simply discard from consideration the top four candidates, including an internal candidate recommended by the search committee, is beyond comprehension and seriously threatens to destabilize a wonderful institution.

I sincerely hope MDC board chairman Bernie Navarro will rectify the attempt to corrupt a process by misusing public power to benefit well-connected individuals at the expense of what’s best for our community.

Jose R. Fox,

Coral Gables

Sunny Isles hostage

Re The July 27 article “The high-rise debate” lightly skims over the real nature of the overbuilding in Sunny Isles Beach.

Residents are up in arms because Mayor Bud Scholl promised in his campaign speeches that he would listen to his constituents and keep the west side of the city at low density.

But promises are to be broken when there are monetary inducements. The beach paradise has given developers an opportunity to outshine one another, with every new gigantic condominium outdoing the other in size, reaching higher and higher.

As for the gridlock on Collins Avenue with never-ending trucks bringing in materials for the construction sites, and increasing traffic, the administration does nothing about it.

To develop the west side with more condominiums is beyond reason.

The residents of Sunny Isles Beach are hostages to a greedy administration. Whether they have a voice will be evident in the town's future decisions.

Oksana Piaseckyj

Sunny Isles Beach