Speak Up

Save Marjory’s home

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas House should be turned over to The Kampong, David Fairchild’s home less than a half-mile away. It has been well administered by the National Tropical Botanical Garden for decades without disrupting its Coconut Grove neighbors.

Florida, sadly, has done nothing with the Douglas House in 20 years, allowed it to deteriorate and now plans another study that will take 18 months. Static government incompetence has broken the public trust.

The nonprofit National Tropical Botanical Garden, which operated the Kampong, is well established, with thousands of dynamic private-sector corporate and institutional donors, hundreds of individual sponsoring councils of fellows — and even more volunteers at its five sites in Florida and Hawaii.

Douglas’ house being an ancillary of The Kampong is a no-brainer.

Carlos Lumpuy,

Miami Springs

Not automatic

Two letters to the editor published in the April 3 Herald advocated for more gun control. Both letters specifically used the availability of automatic weapons — one said, “Automatic weapons like the AR-15” — as a core principle of their position.

Without arguing other opinion points in the letters, the term “automatic” does indeed automatically diminish the strength and validity of the argument, as such weapons are already largely illegal to own. The line of AR-15 weapons are not automatic weapons.

While one does not need to be an expert in firearms to have an opinion, one does need enough knowledge to be able to accurately propose and craft any meaningful legislation.

Robert H. Hunsaker,


Tired of winning

The stock market must have gotten tired of all that winning. I wonder if President Trump and his cohorts shorted the markets before he made his inflammatory tweets.

Robert Lefkowitz,


Asia trip costs

The April 2 article “Gimenez: China’s ‘trackless train’ not so impressive,” about the trip to China by Miami-Dade County Mayor Gimenez and other county officials, raises several questions.

Why were aides included in this trip? Are the commissioners and department officials so incompetent that they are unable to perform their jobs without the help of aides? What was the total number of aides and who are their bosses? What was the cost of including the aides?

What was the total cost of this trip including, but not limited to, airlines, hotels, restaurants, transportation in and between China and Japan? I also want to know the cost that each individual incurred.

Were the expenses of any non-Miami-Dade County individuals who were part of the delegation financed with monies from Miami-Dade County’s budget? If so, how much?

As taxpayers, we have a right to ask and get detailed answers to these and any other questions regarding the expenditure of funds.

I don’t want to see the county’s fiscal year budget, as that budget often includes projected expenditures under nebulous headings and categories and doesn’t provide the kinds of answers to the above questions.

Ellen D. Coulton,

South Miami

What if?

What if wearing a seat belt saved your life in a car crash?

What if putting on sunscreen reduced your chance of getting cancer?

What if lowering greenhouse gasses help prevent dramatic climate changes and sea level rise?

What if getting a background check before you bought a gun saved lives?

Doug Jacobs,

North Miami Beach

Anything goes

The chairman of the company that owns the National Enquirer visits the Oval Office with a French businessman who has connections to the richest men of Saudi Arabia and the crown prince. They then visit with Jared Kushner. Where is Chief of Staff John Kelly? Is he not the gate keeper for access to the White House?

A tabloid mogul, who suppressed the story of an ex-Playboy model, has access to the president and is doing business with Saudi Arabia? Does anyone have an idea what is going on with this president? How long are we going to put up with having Trump use his position to further his own financial interests?

Rosa Maria Hanchett,

Coral Gables

DACA debate

Re the April 2 story “Trump on deal for ‘DREAMer immigrants: ‘No more.’ ” The president has no consideration for the young people who know of life nowhere other than in the United States. To say on Easter Sunday that there will be no DACA deal, meaning that they could be deported, was cruel. Trump is holding the DREAMers’ hostage for that all-mighty wall he is obsessed with building.

He says that he will make America great again, but he is destroying the country with his “government by Tweet.” We don’t have to worry about China, Russia or North Korea. Trump will take our country down, no shots fired. Anyone who doesn’t agree with him will be dealt with either by firing or by lawsuits. All he cares about is making himself great, just like dictators who took us into World War II.

I look forward to the November elections and will vote straight Democrat. Congress and Senate, wake up and govern! Do your job, as you should. Be the check and balance to keep our country safe and running smoothly. You are not doing your job.

George A. Holmes, Jr.,

Cutler Bay

Grove homes

Disney World has come to Coconut Grove in the form of preserving wood frame structures to satisfy some perceived noble effort at affordable housing and maintaining “historical and cultural importance” within the community.

Truth is, the community did not ask for this, and it is yet another short-sighted initiative by our district commissioner, who strives to go for the low hanging fruit and has no long-term vision.

While city staff have done a respectable job in identifying homes of architectural integrity in the Grove’s Village West, (more than 50), the fact that this item is being expedited with little if any oversight and limited community input makes this item questionable to many in the affected community.

Historic designation will not result in an increase in affordable housing as the commissioner states; it will only diminish property values for 15 families who see their homes as their sole asset. But, if this were to move forward, it should be all wood frame homes in Coconut Grove and, most important, it should be voluntary as not to penalize private property rights. If not, this is yet another example of government overreach and nothing short of a taking.

Javier Gonzalez, Miami

Call it even

The perfect answer to end the trade war? Trade Trump for whatever we can get for him.

Barry Levy, Miami