Speak Up

FIU’s name dispute

I was astounded to read in the Aug. 21 Miami Herald that the general counsel and board of trustees of Florida International University met to consider the removal of Modesto Madique’s name from the institution’s main campus. This citizen of Miami, praised nationally for his dedication to the now large institution, who spent in excess of 20 years as its driving force, absolutely deserves the minimal recognition of having his name on its main campus.

What kind of board is fostering this seemingly spiteful behavior because Madique rendered criticism at current actions? This is a free country and one’s opinions are just that. Shame on them. Incidentally, the provost is incorrect or consciously misinforming his peers. Universities do name campuses after persons who have served. Does he have Google? He should use it.

FIU and the entire Miami community is indebted to Mitch Madique for his foresight and leadership. To suggest that schools are named for persons who donate big money as the way for recognition is a sad statement on the state of affairs of FIU’s governing board. Schools need money to survive, but also need more brilliant leaders to chart the course and see that the money is wisely spent. Without committed, brilliant leadership schools can not attract donors.

Madique will always be the captain who steered FIU, whether this hostile, spiteful action is taken or not. I hope the members who did not attend the Biltmore meeting will override those who did.

J. Shepard,


Better use of funds

Re the Aug. 21 story, “FIU wants to unname school named for ex-president Maidique.” The article regarded a meeting of the Florida International Universities board of trustees that was held in a conference room at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

Does the Biltmore grant free use of its conference rooms to the board? If not, I suggest that the board hold its meetings on campus. I am sure that adequate space can be found.

The university probably won’t be able to provide the same level of extra trimmings, such as food and beverages, that usually come with a conference room at the Biltmore, but then the board can use the savings for improvement to university operations.

John Falcone,

Palmetto Bay

FIU’s ‘petty’ board

The campaign to remove Mitch Maidique’s name from the FIU campus is a petty and vindictive one. Close observers know the real reason the Board wants to change the campus name is Maidique’s public criticisms of the Board.

As soon as Maidique published the op ed in 2016, the Board began the process of considering a name change, and Maidique’s comments following the bridge tragedy renewed the Board’s interest. This is not about donations — there are no reports of any donors interested in naming rights, and no evidence the Board has reached out to potential donors.

The Board’s actions call to mind a famous Supreme Court case, Pickering v. Board of Education, which established “First Amendment retaliation” law. In Pickering, a public school teacher’s First Amendment rights were violated when she was fired for criticizing the local school board in a letter to a newspaper editor.

FIU’s assault on the constitutional rights of the man who built the university is shameful.

David Nabors,

Pembroke Pines

Gutsy move

The Miami Herald’s Editorial Board has guts. Faced with a field of quality candidates for the Democratic nomination to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the newspaper had several options, including endorsing more than one candidate.

With an accomplished former employee, a retired university president and others competing, the Board went with the quality candidate who not only “is ready on day one” because of his legislative experience, but also is young enough to build seniority like Ros-Lehtinen did, benefiting the entire Miami area. (Being within four years of Shalala’s age, I am far from an ageist.)

We are blessed with a great crop of candidates in the 27th District. I only wish we had the same for other local offices.

As for state Rep. David Richardson, we have a proven legislative leader who is thoughtful and well measured, something we need in Washington.

Bob Ploehn,

Miami Beach

Dolfans no more

My family and I have been loyal season ticket holders and “Dolfans” and since 1966. I remember watching Don Shula design playbooks, which created hometown heroes like Griese, Warfield, Kiick, Morris and Czonka go from goal to goal, win championships and build community. I miss having our local team be part of our community.

Instead, we are forced to watch a few entitled millionaires (who get paid to do what they love in a country that affords them these opportunities), act like spoiled children, dividing our community and disrupting the team’s ability to focus what they are paid to do — win championships.

It takes a lot to lose me as a fan. But Stephen Ross and Adam Gase are doing a good job of not only losing my family as loyal Dolfans, but they also are losing the community.

Shame on you, Steve, for allowing these players to make a debacle out of our team.

Jimmy Tate,

co-owner and president,

Tate Capital,

North Miami

No health plans

The five Democratic candidates for Florida’s governor have ideas on healthcare plans for Florida, while the two Republican candidates for governor do not.

The Republican candidates are most likely following their party’s plan for healthcare: Bring it back to what it was before the Affordable Care Act; that is, no insurance for people with preexisting conditions and very high premiums that pay only minimal healthcare costs.

Irving Gerson,


Security breach

How ironic that Trump would revoke the security clearance of a revered and valuable intelligence professional like John Brennan, while his own actions since taking office mimic those of a Russian asset in the White House.

Michael Bone,

Pembroke Pines

Cautious query

It would seem that the president’s lawyers want to limit the Special Counsel’s questions to the weather and sports.

But even that might prove to be a political minefield for Trump, considering his attitude toward the actions and comments of certain sports figures, as well as his ill-informed ideas about the cause of the California wildfires.

Michelle Finlay,