Speak Up

Home school

The March 26 headline “Teachers can’t afford Miami rents. The county has a plan: Let them live at school” is fit for The Onion’s satirical website. But alas, Miami-Dade County is actually proposing to house underpaid teachers at school.

I can’t remember a more bewildering instance of government officials treating a symptom while disregarding the root cause.

Instead of building Foxconn-style company towns, we should pay our teachers a living wage. Instead of turning schools into housing developments, the county should earnestly work to secure affordable housing for all of its residents.

And instead of attacking these public servants’ unions, state legislators should appropriate the funding Miami-Dade needs to get the job done.

Jeffrey Mitchell,

president, South Florida AFL-CIO,

Miami Springs

Yes to school living

Everything old is new again.

When schools in Miami-Dade County were city systems, Miami Beach had at least one on-campus apartment building for teachers.

At the north end of North Beach Elementary’s campus was a small, 10-12 unit building for its professional staff.

Hooray for older ideas solving a newer problem of affordable housing.

Jackie Greenberg,


The company store?

“Teachers living at schools — let’s try it?”

No, thank you. I’d rather not live on the plantation. What’s next? A company store?

Enrique Baloyra,

Biscayne Park

Tennis stadium’s fate

Thanks to Bruce Matheson this will be the last Miami Open played at the Crandon Tennis Center. IMG was willing — but not allowed — to improve the substandard facilities against the wishes of the public as shown in a referendum where 72 percent of the public voted to support the IMG improvement proposal. The players and fans lose out as the tournament moves inland and north to Hard Rock Stadium — hardly a beautiful beach-side location.

The oft-stated Matheson philanthropic intent is that the family donated the land for the park. Nonsense. They made a good business decision to swap the land for a bridge that vastly increased the value and ultimate sale price of the other parcels the family held on Key Biscayne.

So what will Bruce Matheson do with the tennis stadium? It must be immediately blown up and bulldozed and all of the debris hauled away. If not, who will maintain it? Certainly not the county. Look at the fate of the dangerous eyesore Miami Marine Stadium. The Crandon Park Tennis Stadium will become an attractive nuisance and a tragic accident just waiting to happen.

Was the demolition cost contemplated when the facility was built 30+ years ago? I doubt it. Who will pay? How fast will the demo be accomplished?

Such a shame. There are ongoing consequences to Bruce Matheson’s unwillingness to let the will of the people to be acted upon.

Charles Webb,

Key Biscayne

Living on campus

Florida is rated one of the worst states for teachers to live in, school districts are finally considering the concept of providing housing for teachers. It’s about time. The concept has been in effect for decades by private schools.

One need look no further than Westwood Christian School in West Kendall to see how well this works. Teachers and faculty were provided with homes and apartments that allowed them to live on the grounds and not be burdened by unaffordable housing and traffic gridlock.

This is not something that needs to be studied; it needs immediate implementation to help underpaid teachers survive on the measly salaries they receive. The land already is available at many schools, making this concept a no-brainer.

We have an obligation to take care of teachers who, in many cases, are the only ones raising our children.

Wilfred Lara, West Kendall

Shannon Melendi

Re the March 27 story “Decades after rape and murder, family fights to keep Shannon Melendi’s killer behind bars:” I remember the Melendi abduction as if it happened yesterday.

My older daughter was a junior at Emory at the time, and it felt very close to home. Both girls lived in the same dorm — Harris Hall.

How can I help? How can I get the proper petition? I will gladly collect signatures.

Marlin Ebbert,

Coral Gables

CPR won’t help

Although it’s a good idea for all young people to learn CPR, it’s astounding that former Sen. Rick Santorum believes that school kids who learn CPR will somehow save the lives of fellow students just ripped apart by bullets from an AR-15 rifle.

He seems to fit the old adage, “Better to keep your mouth closed and just let people think you’re stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Fred Wolfe, Cooper City

Ego tripping

Re U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart’s March 27 op-ed, “Diaz-Balart: ‘I worked to successfully achieve Florida’s funding goals:” I now understand why he would not comment on Trump’s “shithole countries” remark. It seems he was too busy creating a better Florida.

In his article, he mentions himself 14 times in describing all the many rules and regulations he created and got passed. It is amazing how much one man can accomplish when he tells his own story.

Basic writing classes teach not to mention yourself too much, but I guess he was too busy praising himself to practice what was taught.

I wish Diaz-Balart were as active fighting for sensible gun control and for a better solution for DACA as he appears to be in laying the groundwork for yet another run for office.

Gil Muratori,


The truth hurts

Re the March 28 opinion by Paul C. Tash, “Tariffs on newsprint will hurt newspapers, and our readers.”

When I read the Trump administration recently put big tariffs on newsprint, I couldn’t help but think this is just another attack on the free press by an administration that just can’t stand the truth.

Beau Bennett,


Organize for action

Regarding the fight against assault weapons, the problem is a lack of a centralized organization that can duke it out with the NRA. There is no one go-to organization that can apply the political pressure similar to what the NRA possesses.

The NRA’s centralization is its strength. The anti-assault weapon movement is ripe for such an organization. Perhaps some of the kids can make this happen as they certainly have the time, passion and support at this juncture.

It’s clear that our aging baby boomer generation can’t get it done. Time to pass the torch!

Larry Michelson,