Speak Up

Have a sip

As the executive director of the Florida Beverage Association, I read with great interest the July 20 op-ed piece “By investing in prevention, obesity does not have to be Miami’s destiny.” Florida’s beverage companies agree that we must take steps to ensure a healthier future for Florida.

We believe effective measures to reduce obesity requires everyone — including Florida’s beverage companies — to work together on comprehensive solutions. We have taken voluntary, proactive steps to reduce the sugar and calories in beverages.

We have reformulated beverages to include less sugar, offer smaller portion sizes, removed full-calorie sodas from schools, brought more low- and no-calorie products to market and provided more information to consumers. Because of these efforts, nearly half of beverages now consumed are calorie-free, and the number of those calories delivered to schools has been cut by 90 percent.

Florida’s beverage companies know when government, public health officials and local partners work with private sector leaders to empower consumers and their families, we can make bigger strides toward long-term reductions in obesity while finding solutions that work for everyone.

Elizabeth DeWitt, St. Augustine

Spoiled page

The front page of the Miami Herald’s July 20 edition was a surprise. The center of the page shows the hardships that the people of Venezuela. face, risking their lives riding in “kennels” just to get around or to commute to work to make a pittance and barely survive. This is real news, real life, real struggles of people outside of our everyday living in Miami.

However, another front-page story featured a spoiled millionaire hanging a $1.5 milion Pagani Zonda in his apartment just because he can. What is newsworthy about that? Stick something like this on the social or gossip pages. Don’t waste the time of people who rely on the front page for news that actually makes a difference in our world.

Ester Gorin, North Miami Beach

Team building

I am a fan eagerly waiting for a Miami soccer team. My hopes are high that David Beckham will assemble an all-star team that will win many championships. Then, and only then, will the team need a new stadium.

The discussion of a new stadium, however, focuses on using a public golf course and changing legislation to accommodate a single contractor. There should be no discussion on the absurdity of building a soccer stadium before creating the team. We have no idea how good the team could be and/or if the team ever will be established. This is putting the cart before the horse.

There are good stadiums in Miami-Dade and Broward counties where Beckham’s team can start playing. It will deserve a stadium when it starts winning, but not before. Miami is full of white elephants, including the demolished Miami Arena, and we certainly don’t need new ones.

Olga Nazario, Miami Springs

Credit hard workers

Re the July 19 op-ed by Christina Emba, “There’s a difference between having wealth and living a rich life:”

In the past few years, there are more disgruntled employees who are envious of people who have been successful. They blame it on all kinds of advantages and never on their own inadequacies.

Except for those who inherit, these entrepreneurs work 24 hours a day, risk everything, study everything, usually are more intelligent, socially active and constantly networking. Emba mentions Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet; I don’t think all of them were born rich. Why not give credit where it is due? These people employ a lot of folks, pay a lot of taxes and give a lot to charities.

Sergio Maciá, Coral Gables

Lazy Americans

My husband and I recently vacationed in Providence, Rhode Island, where we took a taxi cab driven by a man from Iran.

When we asked him how he liked Providence, he said, “I love this country. I work and I go to school and I can do anything I want.” Then he said, “Americans are lazy. They don’t want to work.”

We found that very telling.

Barbara Parker, Miami

Campaign funds

Miami Herald reporters David Smiley and Joey Flechas recently wrote an interesting article about how gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine made his money. It was an amazing, wonderful story.

I think readers would be interested in reading additional articles describing how gubernatorial candidate Jeff Greene and senatorial candidate Rick Scott accumulated their fortunes.

Joy Malakoff, Miami Beach

Helsinki talks

I was appalled to read in the July 20 Miami Herald that President Trump was considering handing over American citizens — including a retired ambassador! — to Russia for questioning. And when the shock and anger dissipated, I realized that beneath those emotions was a deep-seated fear that, in this alternative-reality world that we now inhabit, such an outrageous affront to our democratic principles might just happen.

If there are any Republicans with a spine in this Congress — aside from the ones who are retiring — now is the time to call for a stop to the recklessness that has been an earmark of this administration.

Martha Holmes, Miami

Russia off our shore

We once made the mistake of pushing Cuba to the Soviet Union. Is the plan now to push it to Russia or China? No doubt Vladimir Putin would like a base in Cuba.

John B. McCaughan,

Miami Shores

Changing times

The apparent conclusion of Trump’s Helsinki love fest is that, similarly to the rally of neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, “There are good people on both sides.”

Now that Trump has placated Vladimir Putin, did he not obviate his need last week for other countries to contribute to NATO? Last I checked, that organization’s original purpose was to block the Russians. I guess times have changed. May they change again at the polls this November.

Jeff Spiero, Hollywood