Letters to the Editor

Let’s also license gun owners and ban assault weapons

Re the Aug. 11 Open Mic letter to the editor by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez:

His comprehensive common-sense list of gun-control measures that he sent to both Florida senators included: universal background checks for both gun sales and transfers; screening of those with a history of violence associated with mental health issues; red-flag measures to prevent guns getting into the hands of those who have histories of threats and violence to others; limiting the purchase of assault weapons; stiffer penalties for violations of gun laws; limitations on gun magazine capacities; regulation of internet ammunition sales; requiring in-person transactions and records of sales; closing of loopholes on sales at gun shows and on the internet; prevention of known terrorists from purchasing guns and ammunition and licensing ammunition vendors.

I make two additional recommendations: license gun owners and ban assault weapons — not just limit the purchase of them.

These weapons have no more useful function as weapons for hunting or personal protection than would hand grenades.

Assault weapons have but a single purpose — the mass killing of people.

We are all required to be licensed to drive an automobile. A police officer running my license number can rapidly determine if I am a felon or have open warrants for my arrest.

I’m also required to register and license my vehicles and carry insurance on them. I haven’t heard too many people screaming that these laws take away any freedoms.

I do not see any conspiracy to ban individuals from gun ownership, violating the Second Amendment. Qualified individuals have the right to own a wide variety of rifles and handguns for target shooting, hunting and personal protection. I’m confident that when the amendment was composed, the authors didn’t have cannons in mind.

Charles E. Hannemann,

Palmetto Bay

Keep going

Jeffrey Epstein is dead, but the investigation into all of the officials who made it possible for this predator to continue his licentious appetite must go on. He had help along the way.

Marlene Cohen,

Pompano Beach

Epstein conspiracies

The crazy conspiracy comments made by mostly Trump supporters on Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide are out of bounds. I can see being suspicious about Epstein’s death, given the circumstances, but the leap to accusing the Clintons of being part of a murder conspiracy is beyond crazy and irresponsible.

On top of that, we have President Trump encouraging them.

Don’t they get it by now that his words carry weight and that at least 22 people were killed in El Paso recently as a result? How far are they going to go to promote their messages of hate?

Mario Bacallao,


Affordable housing

Re the Aug. 3 article “How to boost Miami’s affordable housing? Cutting red tape would help, say developers:” I commend our affordable housing partners for recommending steps to address this crisis, including streamlining the permitting process.

As vice-chair of the County Commission’s Housing and Social Services Committee, I facilitated a discussion on this topic in July, which highlighted areas where the county is expediting permitting. But gaps came to light. A bright spot — affordable developments already jump to the front of the line for basic construction permits.

Unfortunately, not all permits and approvals for affordable developments participate in an accelerated review.

That’s why I’ve drafted legislation to further improve the county’s permitting processes. This legislation will prioritize applications with affordable- or workforce-housing units and shorten timelines for reviews and comments. It also mandates that all county departments transition to electronic concurrent reviews.

Simply put, affordable housing applications must jump to the front of the line in every department. We can never let county bureaucracy be the reason an affordable apartment is delayed for months. We can’t let bureaucracy delay it for even one day.

Eileen Higgins,


Miami-Dade County

Numbers don’t jibe

President Trump’s repeated statements that tariffs are not paid by Americans and that the cost of American imports has not risen, are blatantly false. Tariffs are paid by the importer, not the exporter. When the importer sells those goods here, the price is either increased to cover the cost of the tariffs or it is absorbed, in whole or in part, thereby reducing that seller’s profits.

China has placed a tariff on our agricultural products. It also has banned the importation of American agricultural products.

Our government is giving $13 billion in grants to farmers to help offset their inability to export their products. But we’re saying China is paying that money. This also obviously false. We are paying that aid out of our tax dollars.

It’s apparent Trump did not do too well in his economics studies at Wharton.

Penn B. Chabrow,


Epstein case

Re Carl Hiaasen’s Aug. 11 column, “Jeffrey Epstein’s wealth and power gave him protection that his victims never got:” With great money comes great privilege.

For Epstein, the case is closed. It remains open for any number of others, both victims and offenders. Pursuing those offenders will or will not be a priority.

Harold A. Maio,

Fort Myers

Rotten to the core

Have you ever heard about a bad apple in a barrel of apples? It is true that one bad apple will spoil the whole barrel if it isn’t removed. This reminds me of the Republican Party and President Trump.

In fact, we no longer have a Republican Party. I’m 84 and was a Republican for more than 40 years. No longer!

This Republican Party reminds me of the Nazi Party of the 1930s, where followers gave total loyalty to an individual instead of the office leaders were sworn to uphold.

But then, not all Republicans fit into this category.

Floyd Pollaski,


College search

Newly appointed Miami Dade College Trustee Marcell Felipe has repeatedly claimed he pushed for scrapping the search process because he hadn’t the time to research the college’s mission and vision.

I visited the MDC home page and found both under the “About MDC” link in less than 30 seconds.

Most prospective employees know that when they apply for a job, they should at least look at the employer’s website to prepare for the interview.

In terms a lawyer should understand, they performed due diligence. Now, MDC will open the fall semester without a new president because five new trustees didn’t do theirs?

Not really a good-faith argument by Felipe.

William Murphy,


Dadeland hotel

With five hotels in the area, why does Dadeland Mall want another one? The parking lot in which it will be built had so many beautiful trees. They are now in a pile to be removed to some landfill. Trees are important to our environment. Why knock them down?

They could have been replanted somewhere in need of shade.

Every day, a 40-foot tree takes in 50 gallons of dissolved nutrients from the soil, raises the mixture to its topmost leaves, converts it into 10 pounds of carbohydrates and releases about 60 cubic feet of oxygen into the air.

Dadeland Mall should have been more environmentally aware.

Linda Allen Reynolds,

South Miami

Letters from Kim

President Trump: I am tired of the “beautiful letters” from Kim Jong Un.

Please make a deal with him soon!

Max Tudor,

Palmetto Bay

In her life

I ask readers to pause and reflect on their preschool, elementary, junior high school and high school years. If these were like my growing-up years, we were not denied an unalienable right to grow and live unafraid.

I was sad to read Nicole Markus’s Aug. 6 letter, “Growing up like this is a uniquely American experience.” I, too, feel her “pain that comes with watching the news of shooting after shooting after shooting, knowing that every time, it could have been me.”

Thanks, Nicole, for your activism, fulfilling a moral obligation while carrying a daily burden of being denied your unalienable right to live unafraid. In the future, may you and your generation live an unafraid life.

Merle Ulery,