Speak Up

Fair warning

Be careful visitors to Florida. If you push, bump into and knock down, elbow aggressively, or trip someone, it may well be perceived as a life threatening assault and you may be killed — legally.

Well done, Florida.

Cormac O’Herlihy,

Agoura Hills, CA

Stray carts

Re City of Miami Commissioner Manolo Reyes’ plan for stray shopping carts: It is ludicrous to fine grocery stores for the theft of carts. This is theft the cost of which is passed onto the consumer.

Grocery stores should not have to pay these fines; those removing carts should be notified that they will be arrested and fined for such theft. Consumers should not be absorbing these costs by increased prices.

Dale L. Robinson, Coconut Grove

Robo texts, now?

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is running for governor of Florida, won’t be getting my vote this November.

On July 25, I received a text message which reads (verbatim): ‘Hi JoAnn! This is Qianna with Andrew Gillum for Governor. We are talking to Democratic voters today, can Andrew count on your vote?’

Robo phone calls are bad enough.

But it appears as though candidates are taking a new direction and bombarding voters with text messages.

Gillum could be talking himself out of Florida votes, with his brazen move.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

Best interest

In the July 26 letter to the editor, “Tough concept,” the writer asserts that it is easy for the very wealthy and the poor to be “liberal socialist” but the concept is more difficult for the average working-class person trying to “live the American Dream” to adopt.

Medicare and Social Security are socialist concepts highly regarded and well integrated into our society. The working class benefits enormously from these programs.

Would the working class prosper if the government had programs to fund health care for all, child care for working parents, free university for students eligible to attend, and federal disaster insurance? These are not pipe dreams in most developed countries, but facts of life. Yet our working class is being gouged at every turn by those who would profit from these needs.

Meanwhile, many of the very wealthy buy elections so they can pass tax cuts that enrich them further while ballooning the federal deficit. Then they point to Medicare and Social Security as the cause.

Until the contentment of enough (for all) replaces the greed of more (for me) as our national philosophy, we are doomed to business as usual.

The American Dream needs revision and the working class needs to wake up and vote in its own best interest.

Joanne Miles, Hollywood

Time to protest

As a World War II veteran, I am appalled by our president’s lack of patriotism and decency. Having gone to war to help preserve this nation’s democracy, it is difficult to watch this country being led by being a president who avoided the draft and has had no military service.

He is making decisions that imperil this country’s security. It is time for the public to rise, express their concerns and protest his leadership and the manner in which he has vilified this country’s most important allies.

As a member of the greatest generation that went to war to defeat totalitarian regimes and preserve our country’s right to exist, I call upon my fellow Americans to act now to request Congress to put restraints on No. 45, who does not deserve the honor of being called president!

Byron A. Krulewitch, Kendall

Forgotten man

Re the July 29 op ed, “Why am I still in Guantánamo after 14 years?” It is sad to read articles like this one. We as Americans should not treat anyone in the manner this young man has been treated.

By American standards, one is innocent until proven guilty. It has been 14 years and he has not even been given the opportunity to have a trial and prove his innocence! What has happened to us? Where is the democracy we profess to believe in?

This young man is dying a slow death and we continue to sit back and watch it happen! How can we get respect if we don’t give respect? Someone needs to see the anguish and do something to help.

Ina Kushner-Rentzer, North Miami Beach

One life

Leonard Pitts’ July 29 column, “Overwhelmed by the thought of 8,124 gun deaths? OK, so consider only one. Then you’ll get it,” made more sense to me than almost any statement I’ve read on this terrible subject.

By personalizing the effect of gun violence on the life of one person, Pitts dramatizes as never before the intimacy of one violent act on one life, now and forever lived under the weight of this awful experience. He urges the reader to sense the experience personally.

I was moved as never before by his challenge to imagine the grief and loss. Now, it becomes my experience too.

Dan Forer, South Miami

Service dogs

Publix has just posted new warnings at store entrances and exits telling customers which service animals are permitted in the store and where they can be.

Only service animals that are specifically trained to aid a person with disabilities are allowed in the store “for food safety reasons,” and they also warn customers that the dogs are not allowed to sit or ride in shopping carts.

I think all other retailers, including grocers, also should post similar signs about service animals.

Paul Bacon, Hallandale Beach

No on stadium

We already have two underutilized stadiums, Hard Rock and Marlins. Do we know with any degree of certainty that soccer will draw more fans than baseball? Do the construction, parking and other headaches warrant the gamble?

Let David Beckham’s team play a few seasons in one of the existing stadiums. Should fan expectations materialize and attendance soar, the next step might be a new venue dedicated to soccer and the lucrative business development associated with it.

The city, i.e. taxpayers, should not be on the hook for another white elephant until a market has been clearly established. Vote “No” in November.

Jim Richards, Coral Gables

Traffic, literally

Hesitating drivers in front of us at green lights?

Simple.

It’s clear we have literary stylists crafting compound-complex sentences or iambic pentameter lines while striving to make texting into fine art.

Add to that their pensive quest for fresh verbs and witty asides, and, gah! The light’s yellow again!

Art is long and green lights brief.

Maybe traffic was gridlocked around Stratford-upon-Avon, too.

Miriam Rosen, Miami

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