Joey Flechas’ excellent reporting in the Feb. 9 story “After another Miami Beach corruption scandal, some ask: Why did no one speak up?” is undermined by the city government’s reaction, especially that of new Mayor Dan Gelber, a former federal prosecutor ostensibly schooled in reducing public corruption.
City Manager Jimmy Morales hired building director Mariano Fernández, and was blind to the ongoing bribery for years, then fired him. Gelber will apparently let Morales to investigate the illegal behavior of his own department, while continuing in his current job.
Morales refers to Fernández only as “one bad apple,” which shows how he completely misunderstands the nature of public corruption. When a bad apple is at the bottom of the barrel, it is one bad apple; when the apple is at the top of the barrel, however, it is far more likely a bad barrel.
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When U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson shouted “You lie” at President Obama during a joint session of Congress in 2009, I was astonished and dismayed at the breakdown in polite protocol. Of course, that was before President Trump came into office and brought with him unprecedented low levels of behavior.
Much has been said and written about Trump’s pathological lying, his unhinged behavior and his bullying tactics — just a few of his many deficits as a leader. I have become virtually inured to his bombastic ravings as they occur almost daily.
But when he recently accused the Democrats of treasonous behavior because they didn’t applaud or stand in approval of him at the State of the Union address, I was stunned anew. Trump’s runaway ego and out-of-control mouth have brought us to a new nadir in civil discourse that I never dreamed possible.
Joyce Curtis, Hollywood
With all the negative stories about VA healthcare, it was with some concern that I visited the Miami VA hospital as a walk-in patient recently. Whatever the system’s problems, they certainly didn’t apply to me. All was quick, efficient, friendly, caring and professional.
I suppose that good things are not ordinarily newsworthy — that’s a shame, at least as it applies to my experience with Miami VA healthcare.
Martin D. Kahn, Doral
Re the Feb. 9 story “After another Miami Beach corruption scandal, some ask: Why did no one speak up?”
When I worked for the city, I was told by then-building official Richard McConachie that I would be fired if I accepted so much as a bottle of water during my inspections or even at a topping-off party. What a different environment now from when I was there from 2000 to 2008. I thought things got stricter, not dumber.
There is a absolutely no moral compass now. The city manager should take a good look at the many staff members who “drank from the bottle.” Dismissals and demotions should be considered.
David Weston, Miami
Why does the Miami Herald repeatedly refuse to state in its articles on Russian hacking that all of the alleged hacking occurred under President Obama?
According to the Washington Post, Obama was made aware of the problem by the CIA as early as August 2016. To paraphrase President Truman’s famous comment: The buck stops with the president.
To the extent that any damage occurred from Russian hacking, it is Obama’s fault. That is the simple and proven truth. All of the rest of the partisan noise is nonsense.
Robert E. Panoff,
Don McLean sang about, “The day the music died.” President Trump’s anthem should be, “The day democracy died.”
Not wanting to hear opposing opinions is what despots and authoritative governments do. And sadly, the Republican members of Congress are in lockstep with the president’s actions.
Marlins fan fest
I thank the Miami Marlins for a terrific Fanfest on Feb. 10. The event was well organized, free, fun and packed with fans full of energy and enthusiasm for the season ahead.
From interactive games to giveaways to my personal highlight of getting a photograph with manager Don Mattingly, Marlins fans of all ages enjoyed the day. Let’s focus on the positives and come together for the 25th season of our Miami Marlins!
Tracy Towle Humphrey,
The Feb. 11 article “This chimp’s best friend is 140 pounds of puppy love,” about Limbani, the baby chimpanzee, befriending an African Mastiff, may have seemed endearing to some, but I found it troubling.
Most disturbing was the revelation that Limbani was obtained from a breeder when he was only 2 weeks old. Why? I can see no reason other than entertainment and an ego boost for the zoo owners. It is painful to imagine Limbani’s mother’s grief when the breeder stole her tiny baby and gave him away to be raised as a different species.
To those who think a chimpanzee is just an animal, consider that they are our closest relatives and that our genomes are about 98.8 percent similar. Chimpanzees are intelligent, social animals who can solve problems, learn to communicate in human language (ASL) and clearly have cognitive functions and emotions similar to our own. Still, they are not human animals. They belong with their own kind.
The cruelty of separating the mother and child is heartbreaking. An article glorifying this private zoo and its abhorrent practices is irresponsible, at best.
Dana Krempels, Miami
Ego on parade
The only reason President Trump wants a parade is to boost his ego.
If he is into parades, he should get in touch with Vladimir Putin — maybe the Russian president will invite him to the upcoming May Day parade in Moscow. Besides, he would feel right at home in Russia.
For me, the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York is good enough.
New Polish law
The evil that we know occurred in Germany and Poland never will be erased. If the Polish government chooses to change history, the stigma of Polish anti-Semitism will also never be erased.
If Poland’s Holocaust law is allowed to stand, others may follow and misdirect history — as Jews have seen throughout history. As Jews, we must never forget, and not allow others to forget.
Fred Abramoff, Kendall
More play time
Kids at school should be getting an hour recess instead of just 20 minutes.