Speak Up

Phillip Frost allegations

Allegations are not facts. At least, until and unless proven before a judge and/or jury and/or a guilty plea.

That presumption of innocence applies to three recent cases filed by the Justice Department: Miami’s Phillip Frost is accused by the SEC of participating in a $27 million penny stock insider trading scheme; New York Rep. Chris Collins (and his son) are facing another insider trading case; California Rep. Duncan Hunter (and his wife) have been indicted for improper use of campaign funds.

The reported details are sketchy. Each defendant has pleaded not guilty. Therefore, innocent they are. They stand in sharp contrast to the many recent political guilty pleas and jury verdicts.

The congressmen are from other areas of the country and are relatively unknown to Florida residents.

On the other hand, Frost is very well known, especially in South Florida. Frost, a billionaire, has shared his fortune repeatedly. He has proven to be one of the most philanthropic individuals in recent memory. The Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum is a spectacular addition to the many fabulous venues in Miami.

While it remains to be seen if the allegations against Frost hold water, it seems inconsistent that such a wealthy, generous individual would stoop so low and commit securities fraud, especially in an insider trading scheme regarding penny stocks to collect a relatively paltry sum ($1 million).

I hope that Frost is innocent of these charges.

Tom Murphy,


Gables manager

Having lived in Coral Gables for more than 70 years, I have witnessed a small village grow into a city that I am proud to say I live in. I have watched the city mature under the leadership of many administrations, most good and some not so good.

I read in the Miami Herald that our city manager, Cathy Swanson-Rivenbark, will resign effective Sept. 14. Swanson-Rivenbark made significant improvements in the four years she was manager and the city will be hard pressed to replace her with a person of equal ability and enthusiasm.

The city has lost a caring administrator and I hope the elected officials are able to find a worthy replacement.

Scott Singleton,

Coral Gables

Too much clout

I read the newspaper because it is a newspaper. If I wanted news from social media I’d look at that.

Why does the Miami Herald waste space with this “Influencer” series? We all know that term comes from social media. Can’t it just be called an op-ed?

I read different papers, then I form my own opinion. It’s called critical thinking. I don’t need Influencers. I already have enough influencers telling me that climate change is not related to pollution and that constant construction of roadways and buildings is good for me.

Yes, I read op-eds. Just call these people op-ed writers, but “Influencers?” Wow. Guess that makes them more important than your op-ed people. Marketing. I hear your reasons.

Neris Franco,


Scooters for all

Living in an area with commodities and necessities too far to walk and too close to drive, electric scooters revolutionized how I commuted. My ride-share to work could take 30 minutes in traffic, but with electric scooters I got to work faster, at a lower cost, didn’t contribute to the congestion and minimized my environmental footprint. Beyond getting to work, it became a convenient way to run errands or simply head to Wynwood to meet friends.

Miami has always had traffic problems, and the way most of the city is built makes the pedestrian experience nearly impossible, yet there is an accessible and enjoyable solution.

If other major cities like Paris and Dallas can embrace this alternative form of transportation, I hope my hometown commission can do the same on Sept. 12 when they take up legislation to bring scooters back to Miami.

Daniel Zamora,


Frustrated Serena

Serena Williams claims that she was fighting for women’s rights when she went on a tirade against the umpire at the U.S. Open finals.

Please, let’s not confuse the frustration of a professional athlete who broke a tennis racquet in anger, with fighting for a greater good.

Women have enough true battles to fight.

We don’t need this kind of help.

Rebeca Ramos,


Covered stadium

Joe Robbie and Steve Ross spent mega-millions to build a splendid football stadium in Miami Gardens.

With much criticism, former Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and local government built a fine Major League baseball park where the Orange Bowl stadium used to stand.

During the Dolphins/Titans game on Sept. 9, players and fans had to endure four extra hours of tedium because of two weather delays.

If the same weather occurred at a Marlins game, there would have been no such delay.

Perhaps the many folks who have been bad-mouthing Marlins Park may want to soften

their criticism.

Dave Oliver,

Miami Lakes

Tropical depression

Why is there so much information about how poorly the insurance companies have done in Florida after Hurricane Irma and how much people are still suffering a year later? Why are there no answers or solutions to the problems? That’s very depressing.

Barbara Parker,

Palmetto Bay

Republican no more

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s response to the New York Times op-ed illustrates why I’m no longer a Republican.

Supporting Trump’s policies doesn’t justify ignoring the threats of his presidency. When Trump claims Democrats are violent and tells Evangelists to repeat it, he maligns an entire political party and promulgates hostility.

When he’s sorry for Paul Manafort’s convictions because “everybody does it,” he endorses criminal activity. Cheating is okay, just don’t get caught!

When he claims the press is the enemy of the people, he is Kaa in the “Jungle Book,” singing “Trust in Me” while coiling around Mowgli’s body to kill him, castigating a whole profession and cornering us to choose.

When he claims law enforcement is dishonest, he tells Americans to think so. Seventeen federal agencies claim Russian interference; Trump cannot. When he maligns Sessions for following the law, he urges him to break it. The goals of independent, politically neutral justice, he thinks, should be bent to his will.

This is not a personality issue. These actions have grave, lasting national implications. Years from now, this will be known as the Nero Congress, because it fiddled while our democratic institutions were destroyed by a U.S. president and senators like Marco Rubio.

Claudia Allen,

Emmaus, PA