Speak Up

Adam Putnam should resign

Florida’s Department of Agriculture carelessly failed to conduct federal background checks on tens of thousands of applications for concealed weapons permits. The department claims that a low-level employee placed in charge of that function could not log in to the FBI’s background system.

Yes, the employee was subsequently fired. But none of the managers, including Adam Putnam, who oversaw this critically important public safety function, were ever held accountable. Ultimately, the buck stops with Putnam. His focus was reportedly approving concealed carry permits faster then ever without evaluating or questioning how his department was accomplishing this feat.

Now we know. Under Putnam’s leadership, he and his department wantonly circumvented Florida laws established to protect all state citizens and put each of us in danger.

Putnam should resign immediately and should not be considered a viable candidate for governor. An elected official who is derelict in his duties should neither seek nor be considered for higher office. We must demand much more from our elected officials.

Maria Swanson, Plantation

We blinked

Donald Trump can claim all the credit he wants for having accomplished the meeting with Kim Jung Un, but the truth of the matter is that the North Koreans made us blink. As powerful as we are, they made us blink.

Alvaro Lozano, Miramar

No incorporation

On June 5, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman’s resolution to allow a vote on incorporation of an area of Northeast Dade was approved by commissioners. This item will go to the Nov. 6 ballot for area voters to decide whether to become a city or not.

Of the 12 commissioners (one vacant seat), five sneaked out and ducked the vote, so only seven voted, with only one no vote. There was no discussion about very important budget items. That was reprehensible, an insult to taxpayers. We, the No Incorporation people and our testimonies, were invisible. We thought commissioners had the interest of the people at heart.

In 2003, Heyman sponsored a resolution to start the procedure of incorporation because a small group in one homeowner association wanted to incorporate. No straw poll was ever taken to even see if others were interested. The majority of the voters want no part of incorporation; we’re quite happy with the county, which provides excellence every day.

Brian Rook, Unincorporated Miami-Dade

Bad company

I have always valued this advice: “Surround yourself with those who honor who you are.”

For years, the United States has been in the good and noble company of countries such as Canada, France, and Germany. But now, President Donald Trump is surrounding himself with North Korea and Russia — whose leaders actually kill people!

Says a lot, doesn’t it?

Marcia Braun,

Miami Springs

Water treatment

Re the June 8 editorial, “Invading seawater jeopardizes South Florida’s delicate drinking water source, but we can lessen the threat.”

Some 50 years ago, Miami-Dade had the federal government declare its underground aquifer a sole-source potable water supply. Some time later, the EPA awarded grants for the study, design and construction of a viable waste water treatment system.

At some point, the county decided to force the elimination of septic systems (which return the used, primary-treated water to the ground). Those users were forced to connect to the county’s waste water collection and treatment system, which added $600 a year to their property taxes. That system discharged all of its treated waste water to the ocean (from three plants.)

Any bets that the above policy exacerbated the salt water intrusion problem?

Want to lessen the threat? Pump all treated waste water back into the aquifer. Then, when needed, add additional treatment processes to the water to be used for potable needs.

Everyone wants the water; they just don’t want to pay for it.

Tom Burnett, Live Oak

Maim that tune

After Trump’s performance of God Bless America last week, Singapore was the perfect choice to host the summit with North Korea.

Erik Miller, Hialeah

Paving paradise

Apparently, developers have bought a few more county commissioners. They want permission to extend 836 further west, so they can build houses in the Everglades. Developers do not care about the environment, the water supply or quality of life. Making money is their only concern.

Extending 836 beyond the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) will only encourage more building and development into the Everglades. Extending 836 is just a ploy to move the UDB further west.

If commissioners were truly interested in relieving the traffic woes of western Miami-Dade residents, they would increase the capacity of the roadways already in place. Adding lanes to the current roadway would improve traffic flow. Extending 836 further west will only lead to more development and cars on the road.

Developers can only pave the Everglades if we let them. Do not let them.

David Becker, Miami

Youth not wasted

People ensconced in power have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Retaining their positions and monetary rewards take precedence over idealism and change.

Historically, the youth of our country have been at the forefront of movements for societal and political change. The contributions and leadership of young people during the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam anti-war movement changed American politics.

Rock ‘n’ roll often reflects societal trends. The lyrics in the 1966 song Enter the Young by The Association are eerily applicable today.

The lyrics state: “Enter the Young, they’ve learned to think, more than you think they think,” and the powerful message that “some are living, some are dying, demanding recognition one by one.”

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas have galvanized our country, leading marches, meeting with members of Congress, and in Florida achieving some gun restrictions. They are currently touring the country to register young people to vote and to use their votes for candidates not beholden to NRA funding.

The June 12 Miami Herald editorial, “Parkland students’ summer tour will fight gun violence at the voting booth,” indicates their intention to question candidates about “their stance on gun-control issues” — most likely inspired by the Parkland students.

Enter the Young!

Sheila Gewirtzman, Plantation