Speak Up


It was disappointing to read Fabiola Santiago’s May 30 article, “Memo to Gov. Rick Scott: A real Floridian doesn’t get hysterical over rain and squalls.” Any notion that Florida should not take every storm seriously is a mockery to our state and all families affected by previous storms.

Declaring a state of emergency ensures residents take storm warnings seriously. Many don’t until it is too late. It also ensures our state and local governments have the resources they need to work together before and after the storm.

Fortunately, Alberto did not turn out to be a major storm, but if we learned anything from Andrew and Irma, the track of these storms can change without notice.

To suggest that Gov. Scott ignored a storm, or that our state could let its guard down during hurricane season, is not only foolish but also irresponsible. Real Floridians truly value the safety of our loved ones and communities.

Rene Garcia,

state senator,


Pardon me

Re the June 4 story “Giuliani says president can pardon himself:” His assertion is meant to bluff voters into believing that Article II of the Constitution confers unlimited power on the president. Rudy Giuliani later claimed the president can even assassinate someone and still escape indictment.

Such sensationalism is designed to confuse and exhaust the public. Even if the president can’t be indicted, he can be impeached and removed from office.

What Giuliani is implying is that our feckless excuse for a Congress would allow him to do so. While that’s unthinkable here, it’s hardly without precedent. The Roman (60 B.C.), Weimar (1931), and Italian (1924) republics all ceded democracies to autocrats. It didn’t end well.

Elections have consequences that extend far beyond the personality of the executive. As ticket-splitting rarely occurs, an unconventional executive is usually accompanied by an equally unconventional legislature.

Take your vote seriously, because next time you may not have one.

Steven M. Urdegar,


Construction bids

How can a foreign construction company come into Miami and be awarded so many lucrative projects for the government? This is what has happened over the years with the Brazilian firm Odebrecht.

Media reports say Odebrecht’s senior officers have been indicted all over the world for bribing government officials to get projects that would normally be competitively bid out. If Odebrecht bid, then perhaps they knew the other prices. If there was no bid, we now know why.

Is Miami is the only city in the entire world that did not fall prey to this company’s business practices? Why hasn’t anyone investigated this?

Frank Hessel, Miami

Banning killers

When an undocumented person commits a crime, President Trump expounds on how we need the wall to keep out these killers.

As of May 18, according to the nonprofit organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, 41 shootings have occurred on school campuses across the United States. The killers aren’t angry immigrants. By and large, they are white American males. Shouldn’t Trump’s ban include them?

On one hand, Trump draws up plans for border walls. On the other, he doles out AR-15s to white, male homegrown terrorists.

Mario Signorello, Miami Springs

World Cup fun

I am enjoying the World Cup previews by Michelle Kaufman. I enjoyed the players to watch under age 23, and the June 3 spread featuring a fan from every team. Was really fun to read!

Lori Baer, Hollywood

Employment numbers

Could The Miami Herald not find a more inconspicuous place than the bottom of page 11 in the June 1 paper to report that unemployment is at a 50-year low? Is it so painful to admit that the economy is improving under President Trump?

Connie Goldstein, North Miami Beach

Israeli capital

The United Nations voted 128-9 against Jerusalem being named the capital of Israel. As that is a vast majority, when is the status of Jerusalem returning to what it was before the United States decided, in a cheap effort to get more Jewish votes for Trump, to call Jerusalem Israel’s capital?

Whatever happened to a negotiated determination of Jerusalem as part of a Middle East peace settlement?

Harvey Slavin, Hallandale Beach

No more names

In my days in journalism school, publishing anything about suicides was taboo, thinking that it would lead to more suicides. I call for a day when the news media does this with mass shooters.

Do not publish their name; don’t show videos of them talking in court or about their plans. Call them ‘the assailant’ and keep them anonymous.

If these cretins continue to get the attention they crave, they will continue to commit these heinous crimes.

Cheri Mitchell-Santiago, Homestead

Words of hope

I enjoyed Leonard Pitts’ June 3 commentary, “‘At least we still have Bobby.’ Then Bobby was gone.”

LBJ would have made back door deals to ensure that his vice president won the 1968 Democrat nomination. The big match up would have been Nixon versus RFK in 1972. RFK would have given Nixon all he could handle. Had RFK lost, I have no doubt he would have won the presidency in 1976 at the ripe old age of 50.

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope...” (RFK’s speech in South Africa, 1966).

Fifty years later, that ripple is still traversing the open ocean with no land in sight.

David Magnusson, Coral Gables

Be not silent

Re the June 1 op ed, “Latin America still thinks blackface is funny. It isn’t. It’s dehumanizing.” The article decried an actress in blackface in the play, “Three Widows on a Cruise.”

In 1986, I wrote a letter to the Colgate-Palmolive Company criticizing their purchase of a toothpaste company, “Darkie,” in the Far East, featuring a picture of a blackface. After dismissing my comments at first, they sent me a letter dated January 31, 1989, stating “we have decided to change the name and the graphics on the package.” The name was changed to “Darlie” and the blackface removed.

These two incidents remind us of the quotation by Edmund Burke, “All it takes for evil to prevail, is for people of good will to remain silent.”

May we never remain silent in the face of evil.

Rabbi Solomon Schiff, Miami Beach