Letters to the Editor

Security measures keep all aircraft safe from hacking

The Associated Press story published in the online Miami Herald on July 30,“U.S. issues hacking security alert for small planes,” missed or mischaracterized some key points about small-airplane security.

First, the article pointed to a recent Department of Homeland Security notice, inferring it was focused only on cybersecurity concerns for small, general aviation aircraft, when the fact is, the notice applies to all aircraft, from airliners on down.

Second, the story — which included not a single aviation-industry source — arguably misrepresented the nature of the potential security breach involved.

For example, the piece failed to fully explain that for the scenario to occur, an individual would need to actually board an aircraft, dismantle its avionics system, locate a certain small piece of technology and effectively disable it.

The reason such a relatively complex scenario hasn’t unfolded — the reason Transportation Security Administration audits have never found general aviation airplanes to be a security concern — is that the industry has always made security a top priority, with a host of measures that harden aircraft from threats.

An Airport Watch program includes a toll-free reporting number directly to the TSA.

Pilots carry tamper-resistant, government-issued ID, and passengers on many general aviation flights undergo strict background checks.

The government cross-checks records for airmen, and monitors aircraft sales to find suspicious activity.

These are the facts about general aviation security — it’s unfortunate readers might have been led to believe otherwise.

Ed Bolen,

president and CEO,

National Business Aviation Association,

Washington, D.C.

Ross is right

Re the Aug. 7 story, “Dolphins player upset over team owner hosting a Friday fundraiser for president”: Kudos for Stephen Ross, who does everything within his ability to improve the Miami Dolphins organization from the top down. He has completely rebuilt the Hard Rock Stadium, improving the fans’ experience, and affording South Florida to host the 2020 Super Bowl. At great expense, he has revamped the team roster. And he has built a world class tennis facility to host the Miami Open.

After all Ross has done for South Florida, who are we to judge his desire to help our president by raising funds for him at his home in New York?

Shame on Kenny Stills for his continued political outburst. He should start playing football or leave our community. Nobody wants to hear his continued anti-Trump rhetoric and anti-America comments.

Respect our community, respect our country and respect our flag. We are one community! Please stop trying to divide us.

Jimmy Tate,

North Miami

One tough athlete

It takes considerable physical toughness to play football.

It also takes a considerable amount of mental toughness to call out your employer for hypocrisy. It’s clear that Miami Dolphin player Kenny Stills possesses both types of toughness.

Kurt Schesser,

Palmetto Bay

Ross is unchanging

While doing business in the 1980s with The Related Companies, I attended a few UM football games in the company of Stephen Ross.

He impressed me then as a humble gentleman, unaffected by his success and wealth.

Nothing I read of him now has changed that opinion. I admire him more today for standing up to the Orwellian bent of the Twitter Mob, and reminding everyone of his (and our) right to free speech and association.

Lang Baumgarten,


Done with Dolphins

Ever since the very first kick-off was returned by Joe Auer for a touchdown, I have been a total supporter and fan of the Miami Dolphins.

I had season tickets for many seasons, even while I worked for 26 seasons as a part of the game-day sideline staff.

If Stephen Ross wants to hold a fundraiser for Donald J. Trump, that is his choice.

And it is my choice to never again support the Miami Dolphins in any way.

Bob Zell,

Johns Creek, GA

Asked and answered

A headline on page 5A in the Aug. 8 Miami Herald reads: “$2.2M surplus raised for little girl’s care. Now what happens to the extra money?” Another headline, a few inches to the right, reads: “A Florida officer needs a new heart, fellow officers create GoFundMe page.”

Same page. Question answered.

Seth Lefkow,


Two shooters

After reading Andres Oppenheimer’s Aug. 8 opinion, “Trump’s racist rhetoric emboldens mass murderers. Republicans should tell him to stop it,” I had to just shake my head.

First, he blames Trump’s words and actions for the El Paso shooting.

He did not even once mention the Ohio shooting, which was directly tied to a leftist supporter of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Did their words and actions incite violence in Ohio?

Let’s talk about both shootings as they were perpetrated by sick individuals. By the way, it is not easy to get an automatic weapon in America.

Chris Bimonte,

West Kendall

Bye-bye tourism

Andres Oppenheimer’s excellent column regarding the mass murders was missing an important fact.

As a result of the mass shootings, and comments about an invasion of murderers and rapists, countries such as Japan, New Zealand, Uruguay, and many of the European Union nations have issued warnings of gun violence when traveling to America.

In the eyes of the world, we have become a dangerous country to visit.

Alicia Cubota


Miami Beach

No-take zones work

I have spent my whole life fishing and diving in Biscayne National Park and have witnessed firsthand the dramatic decline of its reefs and fisheries. In waters once teaming with life, today there are few fish and even fewer of legal size. As Biscayne’s resources continue to decline, the agencies responsible for protecting our fisheries have failed to take action.

The state’s initial proposals to improve fisheries in Biscayne will not achieve sustainable fish populations over the long term. To do that, the state must keep all options on the table for restoring Biscayne’s marine wildlife, including establishing a no-take marine reserve. In my experience fishing all over the world, no-take marine reserves are proven to work, protecting habitat, improving fisheries, and creating some of the best fishing spots on the planet.

Moving forward with a strong Fishery Management Plan that includes science-based marine reserves will balance conservation and fishing access. Without bold, immediate action, our grandchildren may never have the opportunity to enjoy fishing in these waters, as I have.

Martin Arostegui,

Coral Gables

Too much growth

I am neither scientist, climate-change denier, nor Republican, but have lived in Miami-Dade County since 1988. My dogs and I have walked the lovely neighborhoods, parks, and beaches nearly every day for exercise and pleasure. During those decades of walking, I have observed many changes in climate, development, and dogs.

Clearly, over-development is a major cause of current flooding. Past walks during summer rains required no canoe, as rainwater rushed into drains, lakes, ponds, and the ocean. Now, runoff is trapped by concrete, with nowhere to go except on sidewalks, roads and yards. Over-development is not partisan; it is simply misguided.

In the late ‘60s, we had a slogan taken from an Eldridge Cleaver speech: “There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.” Anyone living or working in a negligently placed high-rise building (as do I), or who profits from over-development, needs to accept partial responsibility for the soggy walks I still enjoy.

Michael Conway,

Miami Beach

Attention grabbers

As a major proponent of the media and free press, it is a wonder why this essential voice of America is not more thoughtful.

Please stop providing these shooters with their 15 minutes of fame by continuously showing their photographs. This is the attention they crave while so many heroes and victims are more deserving of our attention.

Ossie Hanauer,