Speak Up

Keys housing

Re Jan. 2 article “Keys legislator asks for millions toward hurricane housing.” It seems that State Rep. Holly Raschein wants the state Legislature to allocate funds toward purchasing property for affordable housing.

Someone should remind her that there’s already a trust that funds affordable housing, the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund.

Unfortunately for all Floridians, especially those who are lower income and working class, for the past 10 years Republicans, who control the state House, Senate and governor’s mansion, have regularly appropriated funds from the trust — more than $1.3 billion!

In 2017, it was estimated that the trust could have provided up to $314 million for affordable housing and yet Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature only allocated $162 million.

If Raschein wants more money for hurricane housing in Monroe County, she should lobby the members of her own party to fully fund the Sadowski Trust Fund.

Doug Mayer, president,

Stone Soup Development,


Trump’s taunts

President Trump’s taunting of Kim Jong Un is exactly the wrong way to deal with a nuclear North Korea.

First, Kim is not going to give up his nukes, even if his people starve; second, there is almost zero risk that he would launch a preemptive nuclear attack against the United States one of our allies unless provoked and in fear of losing power. He knows full well that this would lead to his country’s utter destruction.

This is the same dynamic that prevented a nuclear exchange during the decades of Cold War with the Soviet Union. We won the Cold War by realism, patience and our economic and military strength, not by insults and threatening attack.

Trump should recognize that we are now in a Cold War with North Korea, continue economic and diplomatic pressure, stop provoking Kim and allow the North Korean dictatorship to collapse on its own, as it inevitably will.

Steven Meyerson, Miami

Fish diet

Re the Jan. 2 article “Mom was right: Fish is brain food:” The results should be taken with a grain of salt.

The authors found a five-point IQ advantage for children who reported eating more fish than with similarly aged children who consumed less fish. The most obvious factor to account for this result, aside from fish, is intelligence of the parents. More intelligent parents have more intelligent children. And intelligent parents are likely to favor healthier foods, including fish, over fast-food diets.

At this point, a difference in IQ between the two groups of children could be because of parental IQ passed on to their children, to the fish diet, or both factors.

If parental IQ were to be measured along with their children’s, that potentially confounding factor could be eliminated statistically. Then, if the same or similar results were to be obtained, they would be more acceptable scientifically.

Ellen R. Girden, Aventura

Trump Station

The planned to name Israel’s most visible high-speed rail station at the Dung Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem for President Trump, apparently in response the U.S. promise to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, appears to be a deal the Israeli government could not refuse — but at what cost?

Trump, who has proclaimed to the world his proclivity for sexual predation and his view of the moral equivalence between neo-Nazis marching in the streets of Charlottesville and protesters against racism and bigotry, has by proxy further diminished Israel’s moral standing as a beacon of liberty and justice in the world.

Streets, parks and cities identified with the likes of Israeli visionaries as Theodor Herzl, David Ben-Gurion and Yitzhak Rabin will now be peppered with the name of Donald Trump.

Time will tell the extent of the deal Trump brokered with the Israeli government, with whom he walks hand-in-hand to his further self-aggrandizement, at the expense of peace and prosperity for the people of that region.

Sidney A. Spector, Aventura

iPhone update

We have short memories. In 2000, Enron deliberately precipitated an electricity crisis in California. The goal was to force major companies to enter into pricey energy contracts with the company.

I am a victim of Apple’s recent lawsuit-generating IOS update. My iPhone 6 appeared to dramatically slow after the update. I am unable to use a purchased ring-tone. My camera waits for minutes before opening. Apps are slowly; everything on the phone is torpid.

During a recent trip to New England, I repeatedly had to depend on others for connectivity as my battery would run down suddenly.

Had I been alone, such deliberate shenanigans would have rendered me unable to summon help on my phone. Responsibility and obligation, per contract law, not to cause deliberate harm, anyone?

Apple has recently released a slate of new phones. I guess sales must matter — a lot.

Som Bhattacharya,


Find the funds

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) helps 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women. It has provided near continuous and uncontroversial funding since its inception in 1997. Now, Congress can’t find funds for this program and others like it, such as Meals on Wheels.

What kind of country can we claim to be if we can’t provide for the weakest in our society? We are not great and we are certainly not making America great when we go back to the standards that brought about theses programs in the first place.

Americans in South Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Appalachian states are still living in the poorest of conditions, without basics like running water. Yet we dare to call this a great nation?

Lawmakers need to find the funds. They must vote against any bill that comes across their desks that causes harm to the poorest Americans.

It’s been an exhausting year watching Republicans bend over backwards to please corporate overlords and the wealthiest in this country.

Dyala Corrales,


Who’s bad?

Re the Dec. 29 story “Trump says Russia inquiry makes U.S. ‘look very bad:’” You know what really makes the U.S. look very bad? Donald Trump.

David Voorhees,


Things to come

I predict that before President Trump’s first term in office comes to an end, Nikki Haley will become Secretary of State and John Bolton will return to the United Nations as our ambassador.

Talk about the potential for our first female president; that’s Haley.

Roger Shatanof,

Coral Gables