Speak Up

Following the rules

Re Leonard Pitts’ April 18 column, “Starbucks isn’t the problem, America is.”

The Starbucks incident in Philadelphia is portrayed by Pitts, as is usual in all his columns, as typical American racism. And as usual, all the supporting organizations in unison cry racism.

I would say that the manager of Starbucks, like any manager in any other store, was following the rules of his establishment.

He did his job of calling the police. The police then made a decision to remove these two individuals, who happened to be black. There is no racism, just individuals who do not want to follow the rules.

Guillermo A. Martinez, Coral Gables

Preserve Melreese

On a recent weekend, I played golf at Melreese, one of the relatively few public golf courses in Miami. While I was there, a large group of special needs children were being given golf instruction by a number of staff/volunteers. I inquired and learned that Melreese is home to several different programs for special needs kids, including the Miami-Dade Public Schools Sports Program for the Disabled and the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Get Fit Program.

Melreese is also the home of the First Tee Program in Miami, a successful national program to teach children golf and the core values that go with it, as well as academic tutoring. (Anytime you are at Melreese you will see the many First Tee children in their orange golf shirts.) And, not least, Melreese is the Miami home for HOPE (“Helping Our Patriots Everywhere”) providing free golf instruction and playing opportunities to disabled veterans.

This public facility has caught the eye of private developers as the site for their major league soccer facility in a “public/private” deal. The private developers should acquire private land, and the City of Miami Commission should preserve Melreese for the public good.

Jim Miller, Coral Gables

Singing praises

The Republican National Committee web site has excerpts of Democrats criticizing former FBI Director Comey. What they fail to do is play Republican excerpts praising Comey during this time.

Mario Signorello, Miami Springs

Net neutrality

Senator Rubio must vote in favor of Senator Markey’s resolution to repeal the FCC’s December decision to unwind net neutrality via the Congressional Review Act.

Polling suggests 60-80 percent of Americans do not support the rollback of net neutrality, and voting in support of this bipartisan resolution will help ensure this issue isn’t single-handedly decided by five people.

If Rubio does not support Markey’s resolution, we will make this an issue every single time Rubio is up for re-election.

Alexandra Nino, Miami

Not so simple

Another of Donald Trump’s campaign promises has just been proven by the president himself to be a catchy sound bite but unrealistic and impossible to fulfill.

As part of his tax plan, the American people were promised a reduction in taxes, especially for the middle class, and the simplification of the tax code to make preparing and filing taxes easier. Filing on a form like a postcard was touted to demonstrate how simple the process would be if he were elected. Not surprisingly, as we have come to realize, the tax bill was a gift to the wealthy and to corporations.

Regarding the simplification of filing taxes, President Trump just proved that to have been yet another empty pledge. Despite having attended the best schools and claiming to have a higher IQ than any opponent that he chooses to denigrate, Donald Trump had to request an extension of time to file his taxes for 2017.

Guess it wasn’t so simple after all.

Sheila Gewirtzman, Plantation

Undoing the good

I am a long-time subscriber to the Herald. The first page I go to is the Opinion page.

Monday’s letters to the editor were educational and interesting. The letter on “Gun limits” was particularly good. It pointed out what the right to bear arms really means.

Another excellent letter was “Pruitt’s negligence,” about EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s anti-environmental actions, that are disturbing for us and damaging to future generations.

It appears that the Trump administration is hell-bent on undoing all the good things that were done under Obama. When this rag-tag administration is finally booted out of our lives, how long will it take to right their long-lasting edicts?

Diane Lawrence, Kendall

Next year’s plan

How many are going to read the April 18 letter, “Tiny returns,” and wonder, like its author David Carlson, whatever happened to the postcard-sized tax returns?.

Wouldn’t it have been appropriate for the editor to add a note letting people know that it won’t happen until next year?

Stephen Fairbanks, Hollywood

Higher crimes

The April 17 article “Ex-Gator football star gets 22 years in prison for fraud,” left me shaking my head. It irks me so that while small business owners get the book thrown at them (rightly so) for these types of crimes, Florida’s own medi-scamster-in-chief, Rick Scott, avoided any negative consequences for his public company’s crimes.

Not only did he get by with no punishment after the company he led committed one of the largest Medicare/Medicaid frauds in American history, he went on to be elected governor …twice!

Scott resigned in disgrace from Columbia/HCA hospital system, and the company payed the government two fines totaling $1.7 billion.

The moral of the story? If you own a small business and you defraud the health care system you go to jail; if you commit similar crimes on a much vaster scale, as head of a public company, you get off scott-free!

Heidi Goldman, Miami


One of the most human and artistic things in this world is music. A world without music is a colorless world. A certain song will bring back a specific memory and make you smile. The question is, how do you turn it into a sustainable career?

A career in the music industry has acquired the stereotype of one that has no real job opportunities. This is stubbornly common among the baby boomer generation. Many mothers and fathers try their hardest to prevent their children from pursuing a career in music.

The solution is to show them the many different career paths one can take. Due to better technology, there are opportunities such as production engineering, studio musician, online lessons, even musical therapy.

If the stereotype would go away, new and great music would be as common as doctors and lawyers.

Benjamin Vaca, Miami