Speak Up

Shark finning

Re the “War on sharks” story that appeared in the Miami Herald online Aug. 2, as a Master’s student who has spent the past semester studying marine biology and sustainable fishing, I found the news that Miami is the top shark fin importer in the nation shocking and horrifying.

Sharks have inhabited this planet for more than 400 million years, making them older than dinosaurs. They’ve never faced a predator as detrimental to their population as humans.

We should encourage our locals to fish sustainable, plentiful populations and use shark ecotourism to replace finning. Ecotourism, which is travel intended to support the conservation of local species, has proven that animals are worth more alive than dead. The Pacific Island nation of Palau created a shark sanctuary in 2009 and their shark ecotourism grosses about $18 million annually, according to the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

Shark finning should be outlawed across the nation, and I’m embarrassed that Florida has not adopted this ban. We can do better, and we must do better for the future of our planet.

Courtney Nachals, Boca Raton

Nation of laws

Re the Aug. 2 letter, “Immigrant girl” by Seth Lefkow. He is absolutely correct regarding his first conclusion. The shop owner did the right thing in calling the authorities to handle the situation when the 15-year-old girl showed up at his business. He had to. It was also the legal thing to do. We are a nation of laws.

However, his final conclusion, that the real criminal is our unfeeling government, is absolutely incorrect. The real criminals are this child’s unfeeling parents. They made the conscience decision to illegally enter this country knowing the possible consequences for their daughter, such as the ones mentioned by Lefkow.

We are a nation of laws. That is why we are the great place that everyone wants to come to.

Doug Hardin, Coral Springs

Remembering Camilo

Re the recent death of Miami businessman Camilo Lopez.

Camilo epitomized the story of Cuban exiles in the U.S. He built a successful furniture business, based on style, excellent quality, and hard work. Camilo Office Furniture could be found everywhere in Miami. It was well made, so anyone could enjoy it for a long time. I am sitting at one of his desks as I write this.

If you had a problem or needed an adjustment, you could count on Camilo taking care of it quickly. He was a man of integrity, a gentle man. He will be missed.

Rene V. Murai, Coral Gables

New slogan

President Trump’s campaign slogan for the 2016 election was “Make America Great Again.” I took issue with that statement; I felt at that time that my country was already great.

Since Trump took office, our government has devolved into theater of the absurd. Perhaps he sees himself as the star of the show “Trump Knows Best.” I cringe when I listen to his speeches, watch the crowds that he has whipped up into a frenzy of hate, and read about all of the policy reversals implemented by him, his party, and his appointed cabinet members.

“Make America Great Again” now seems to be the appropriate slogan for 2020 because he has managed to decimate all that America represented with his blatant disregard for truth, civility, accountability, facts, and science. Defensive tweeting is not governing.

Sadly, we cannot count on our current elected officials to rein in this aspiring dictator who treats the presidency as a popularity contest that he claims to have won.

For those of us who cannot tolerate the mockery that Trump has made of governing, it’s time to have a slogan of our own at the voting booth — “Take Back Our Country.”

Sheila Gewirtzman, Plantation

Hard Rock fútbol

I travel the Florida Turnpike daily. On July 31, I got caught in a traffic jam near Hard Rock Stadium. I later found out that 64,000 fans attended a soccer game at the venue.

Although I am in favor of a dedicated, privately funded soccer stadium, I am convinced that voters will not approve the proposal to build one in place of Melreese Country Club.

The repeated success of these matches at the Hard Rock made me wonder why the new soccer club couldn’t play there? Have there been serious negotiations with Hard Rock? Is Stephen Ross demanding unreasonable terms? Is the Beckham group unwilling to compromise for anything other than total control of a facility?

I fear that this whole thing is going nowhere. If soccer is this popular in our community, someone needs to come up with real solutions instead of pipe dreams.

John Borsa, Miami

Unhappy Trump

Poor President Trump is unhappy that the “witch hunt” continues.

The answer is simple. Just release his tax returns and testify truthfully — an impossibility based upon his record — before the special counsel.

Then everything goes away and he can continue his quest for God status — unless of course, his testimony might reveal the extent to which he has been compromised.

David Harris, Miami

Manafort trial

One would think that Judge T.S. Ellis III, presiding over the Paul Manafort trial, would not be so obvious as to set himself up for a reversal because of his intolerance for the way the prosecutor began to establish his case and evidence.

As in any kind of construction project, a good foundation must be laid to fortify the structure being built. Forcing the prosecutor to speed through and even omit the bricks and mortar of his case will lead to an unproven case, acquittal and reversal on review by an appellate court.

Let the jury hear the evidence so they can decide the case.

Donnie Horne, Miami

Losing democracy

For anyone who believes that the GOP cares that you have honest voting rights and that this country is a true democracy, that idea has now gone down in flames. The GOP Senate voted against a bill that would have given at least some hope to secure our votes.

Sen. Leahy of Vermont proposed a $250 million grant for states to improve their voting security. The vote required 60 percent of the Senate, but because Republicans like Senators Marco Rubio and Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and the rest of the vote riggers feared making our votes fair, we find ourselves once again being stuck with no voice in determining who we want to lead us.

Watch for yourselves on C-Span2 while more votes on the 2019 spending bill takes from the poor and gives to the rich. Keep voting for Republicans and keep losing our democracy.

Marsha Sherman, Englewood