Letters to the Editor

Next MDC president must know this community

I have been following with dismay and disgust the selection spectacle of the next president of Miami Dade College. Presidents were chosen before, and the standard protocols were followed, without last minute, inexplicable, capricious reversals. Members of the community cannot be asked to participate in a process, invest their valuable time and efforts, to then be tossed aside.

Eduardo Padrón was able to transform a modest community college into a premiere institution that is a national model of academic success. He is entitled to move on with his life and turn over his achievements to the next president, who will build on his legacy. It is not about individuals; it is about a system that has continuity and revitalizes to meet new challenges. However, those individuals need to be experienced and uniquely qualified academically.

Ideally, the candidate should have personal experience of what it means to live here. We need an enlightened educator, not a politician or a lawyer. It is not about installing a “strong man” who will destroy and dismantle the achievements of a predecessor for personal or political reasons.

Miami Dade College has been able to reach students who normally would never have access to a college education. However, what is extraordinary is that the college educates the community outside the classroom setting.

The college’s cultural outreach has developed and grown over the years to include a book fair, film festival, art exhibits, etc. and countless special interest adult classes. I am delighted to participate in these events and be educated in the ultimate sense of the word. The learning process does not end with a diploma, but rather starts after graduation. Academia gives us the tools, institutions like Miami Dade College provide us with opportunities to cultivate our minds.

Cruz Hernandez Otazo,

Coral Gables

Offending voters

Ken Russell cast the deciding vote that doomed the last large green space in Miami-Dade County. Now he’s running for re-election, and the first line of his mail-out is: “As your commissioner for the last four years, I’ve prioritized green space.”

Only a shameless hypocrite, a compromised politician, or both, could insult the electorate with such gusto. If the Mas development boondoggle can be stopped, Russell should man up and lead the way. Likely?

Dan Draper,

Coconut Grove

Gilroy massacre

Spare the parents of the children killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival those public “You’re in my thoughts and prayers” laments, spare them the amazement at how quickly the police arrived at the site, the gratuitous “may-he-rot-in-hell” anger of the gun seller who didn’t notice any signs of ill intent when a teenager bought one of his AK-47s. (Did he really think it was meant for hunting rabbits?)

And please, reporters, stop asking how people felt when they heard the shots or what it felt like to dive under a table or what it felt like to be a survivor. Instead, think of the hospitalized mother learning of her 6-year-old son’s death, or the mothers of the other two killed. No more prayers or breaking news or videos of people screaming. These mothers are now facing a new existence: life without their children.

If you want to pray, pray for a society that refuses to accept the notion that we have a right to own or sell AK-47s, no matter how nicely the customer presents himself.

God bless those children.

Patricia Sowers,

Coral Gables

City life

President Trump doesn’t like big cities: Baltimore is rodent infested, San Francisco has unsightly homelessness, Chicago is violent — and all because of people of color. If so, why are people, especially better educated, moving from the heartland in droves to big cities on the coasts? Could it be red states are a cultural and intellectual wasteland?

My son works for an engineering company that sent him to Topeka, Kansas. Like many, he headed to the bars after work. A bouncer tried to confiscate his driver’s license because he didn’t believe there was a state of Maryland. Bar manager didn’t believe it, either. Finally, someone Googled it and he was allowed to pass. He found his car vandalized when he left.

I’d prefer some rats in Baltimore to a bunch of semi-literates in Kansas, and apparently I’m not alone. At least Baltimore has first-rate culture and educational institutions.

Supporters of Trump’s racist rhetoric need to get over themselves. If your economic tool chest is empty, retool. If there are no jobs in your town, move to where the jobs are. They should show the same determination as the immigrants that they disdain from the couch while their busy waiting for their disability checks.

Jonathan Windle,

Fort Lauderdale

Values differ

Re the July 31 opinion “The Sunshine State and the Jewish state have shared values”: Guy Gilady, Israel’s deputy consul general in Miami, writes, “… boycott campaigns against the Jewish state are pure anti-Semitism.”

This is an insult to all those, including this Jew, who disagree with positions taken by the government of Israel (not all Jews) and believe a boycott campaign is the most effective way to get the government’s attention to policies considered to be anti-democratic.

This charge of anti-Semitism is used to eliminate a peaceful tool designed to get a government to change specific policies. It’s being used throughout our country, and I am ashamed of anyone — Jew or gentile — for such an inappropriate use of the term.

Alan Rock,


GOP obstruction

I take exception to Fernando Garcia’s July 28 letter, “A better slate.” He asks, “Who cares” about Mueller’s testimony?”

It showed President Trump worked closely with the Russians to win the 2016 election and there were at least eight cases of obstruction of justice. Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller said Trump could be indicted on those charges after he left the presidency.

But more important is the constant myth that the House of Representatives is not, as Garcia said, “dedicating all these efforts to finding solutions to tackle our gigantic national debt of trillions of dollars.” The GOP and Trump passed that $1.5 trillion tax cut that is now raising the debt because there is not enough money to pay the nation’s expenses.

House Democrats have passed more than 180 bills that will help the American people.

However, “Moscow Mitch” McConnell will not bring them up for votes on the Senate floor. The GOP Senate majority leader won’t even bring up votes to protect our elections from Russian interference, and worse. Why not?

Harvey Slavin,

Hallandale Beach

California dreaming

The Trump administration has lowered the standards on gas mileage and emissions for cars, however, last week, California passed a law enacting the previous standards of the Obama administration.

Because of California’s purchasing power, it would not be profitable for manufacturers to have two different models of the same car. Thank you, California. I hope it uses its power to return some sanity to this country.

Art Young,

West Kendall

Border money

Re the July 27 article “Trump can use Pentagon money for border wall, Supreme Court says:” Our Draft-Dodger-in-Chief wants to take $2.5 billion to pay for a wall along 100 miles of the Mexican border. For those Trump supporters who are poor at math, that is $25 million a mile.

Imagine if that money was, instead, used to upgrade our national parks. Everglades National Park, for example, could finally replace the boardwalks damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Bear Lake Road could be repaired for paddlers and hikers. A new motel and restaurant could replace the ones destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Wilma.

Instead, we get 100 miles of wall so people who are seeking a better life will go back where they came from. I wonder when Melania Trump plans to go back to Slovenia?

Roger Hammer,


An NFL great

Nick Buoniconti was a true hero of the NFL. His inspiring football Hall of Fame journey, which started as a 13th round draft choice and led to the Dolphins’ “No Name” defense, is filled with grit, determination, courage, and compassion.

His contributions off the field were even greater than what he did on it. He lived a life of honor and nobility and his legacy will live forever.

Paul Bacon,

Hallandale Beach