Speak Up

FIU in top 100

Florida has much to celebrate this week, with several of our universities ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. In South Florida, we have seen the steady rise of our own Florida International University to the top 100 public universities in the country. FIU is changing lives, fostering entrepreneurship and uplifting our community.

As a long-time supporter, I am proud of what FIU has accomplished in its short history and look forward to seeing its reputation starting to catch up with the research, teaching and learning that goes on at the finest university in the universe. Go Panthers!

Albert Dotson, Sr.,

chair emeritus,

FIU Board of Trustees,

Miami

On point

Fabiola Santiago’s Sept. 13 column, “I lived in a real socialist-communist regime. Andrew Gillum is no socialist,” exemplifies her ability to discredit false news so aptly. She knows truth from fiction. Ron DeSantis, suggesting that Democrat candidate Andrew Gillum is a socialist, or that he is proposing a far-left platform, is ludicrous.

Social programs for the needy is humane and should not be labeled as pathways to a Venezuela-type of government. I have often heard people equating social programs as somehow a path toward Communism, instead of exemplifying principled democratic values.

We cannot allow bigoted, misguided leaders to warp our political outlook with falsehoods.

Oksana Piaseckyj,

Sunny Isles Beach

Missed the point

Fabiola Santiago’s Sept. 13 column misses the point entirely. Having lived inside a socialist-communist regime doesn’t qualify you to know how that regime came about. Having lived and experienced the beginning of such a regime, on the other hand, does.

I doubt, due to her youth, that she was around in 1959 when Castro was telling the Cuban people that his revolution was greener than Cuba’s Royal Palms. It wasn’t until 1962 that he declared that he had always been a Marxist-Leninist. By then, he had total control of the country. Similar to what has happened in Venezuela.

I pray that we don’t fall in the same trap.

Angel Alonso,

Miami

Replace wording

Having grown up in Scandinavia, I find this country’s left-wing Democrats’ use of the word “Socialism” somewhat befuddling. I suppose that Bernie Sanders — although I love the man — is responsible for branding his movement wrong.

The facts are that the socialists in postwar Europe never played a role in any Northern European election or government. However, the Social Democrats in these countries have been at the forefront in formation of governments, frequently on their own, but also taking on coalition partners, and successful in their introduction of social programs and minimum wages.

My hope is that any Democrat running for office will take note of these facts and modify their reference to their platform by replacing, wherever possible, the use of the words socialism and socialistic with Social Democrat and Social Democratic. These words offer a much softer connotation and a distance from the past and the Bolshevik’s use of the word.

Louis Donde,

Hollywood

Bad advice

Re the Sept. 13 letter, “Curbelo a ‘hero.’” The writer from North Carolina wants Floridians to re-elect Carlos Curbelo because he feels the congressman is a “climate hero.” Yet voting for Curbelo will greatly enhance the Republican Party’s chances of maintaining control of the House of Representatives.

Curbelo’s party has been a proud, emphatic enemy of climate-change legislation and has striven to kill programs and legislation to reduce carbon emissions and control polluting corporations. Allowing one of its members to retain a seat would be particularly foolish as any Democrat, including Curbelo’s opponent, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, will be a champion of the climate platform.

We in District 26 must focus on the big picture — flipping Congress to control the runaway train of the Trump administration and return sanity to our government. An added benefit of unseating Curbelo would be no more votes against the Affordable Care Act and for deficit-exploding tax cuts for the wealthy, both of which Curbelo voted to pass.

Florida’s District 26 voters are smart enough to choose wisely and do not need advice from a North Carolinian.

Maritza Silverio,

West Kendall

Moving on

Brava, well done and an additional High-Five is certainly deserved. Hilarie Bass has had an outstanding career with Greenberg Traurig and the American Bar Association, but she’s not resting on her laurels!

Her new endeavor, the Bass Institute on Diversity and Inclusion, will indeed be her “brass ring.” Congrats, Hilarie!

Diane Goodman Dolcourt,

Pinecrest

Send Scott home

Governor Rick Scott talks about cutting taxes, regulations and “draining the swamp.” However, he seems to have created one out of Lake Okeechobee. The Feds only maintain the dikes, not water quality!

Scott cut $700 million from the state’s five water management districts. These districts regulate everything from water supply and quality management to flood and natural systems management. Scott also signed a bill limiting property taxes which fund these districts. Scott blames the districts for setting budgets; however, according to section 373.536(5)(a) of the Florida Statutes, the governor has the final say.

Scott banned terms like “climate change” and “global warming.” Under two previous governors, the state opened 1,000 to 1,500 cases a year to crack down on bad environmental actors. Under Scott, the number is closer to 250 per year

In 2014, 75 percent of voters approved millions of dollars for the “Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative” (Amendment 1). Later, those funds were re-directed.

Instead of sending Scott to the U.S. Senate, perhaps we should send Scott back to his hometown of Bloomington, IL, enshrouded with green algae blooms and a dead fish necklace.

William Calfee,

Milton

Replace wording

Having grown up in Scandinavia, I find this country’s left-wing Democrats use of the word “Socialism” somewhat befuddling. I suppose that Bernie Sanders — although I love the man — is responsible for branding his movement wrong.

The facts are that the socialists in postwar Europe never played a role in any Northern European election or government. However, the Social Democrats in these countries have been at the forefront in the formation of governments, frequently on their own, but also taking on coalition partners, and successful in their introduction of social programs and minimum wages.

My hope is that any Democrat running for office will take note of these facts and modify their reference to their platform by replacing, wherever possible, the use of the words socialism and socialistic with Social Democrat and Social Democratic. These words offer a much softer connotation and a distance from the past and the Bolsheviks use of the word.

Louis Donde,

Hollywood

Bad advice

Re the Sept. 13 letter, ‘Curbelo a hero.’ ” The writer from North Carolina wants Floridians to re-elect Carlos Curbelo because he feels the congressman is a “climate hero.” Yet voting for Curbelo will greatly enhance the Republican Party’s chances of maintaining control of the House of Representatives.

Curbelo’s party has been a proud, emphatic enemy of climate-change legislation and has striven to kill programs and legislation to reduce carbon emissions and control polluting corporations. Allowing one of its members to retain a seat would be particularly foolish as any Democrat, including Curbelo’s opponent, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, will be a champion of the climate platform.

We in Congressional District 26 must focus on the big picture — flipping Congress to control the runaway train of the Trump administration and return sanity to our government. An added benefit of unseating Curbelo would be no more votes against the Affordable Care Act and for deficit-exploding tax cuts for the wealthy, both of which Curbelo voted to pass.

Florida’s District 26 voters are smart enough to choose wisely and do not need advice from a North Carolinian.

Maritza Silverio,

West Kendall

Bass moves on

Brava, well done and an additional high-five is certainly deserved.

Hilarie Bass has had an outstanding career with Greenberg Traurig and the American Bar Association, but she’s not resting on her laurels!

Her new endeavor, the Bass Institute on Diversity and Inclusion, will indeed be her “brass ring.”

Congrats, Hilarie!

Diane Goodman Dolcourt,

Pinecrest

Send Scott home

Gov. Rick Scott talks about cutting taxes, regulations and “draining the swamp.”

However, he seems to have created one out of Lake Okeechobee. The feds only maintain the dikes, not water quality.

Scott cut $700 million from the state’s five water management districts. These districts regulate everything from water supply and quality management to flood and natural systems management. Scott also signed a bill limiting property taxes which fund these districts.

Scott blames the districts for setting budgets; however, according to section 373.536(5)(a) of the Florida Statutes, the governor has the final say.

Scott banned terms like “climate change” and “global warming.” Under two previous governors, the state opened 1,000 to 1,500 cases a year to crack down on bad environmental actors. Under Scott, the number is closer to 250 per year.

In 2014, some 75 percent of voters approved millions of dollars for the “Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative” (Amendment 1). Later, those funds were re-directed.

Instead of sending Scott to the U.S. Senate, perhaps we should send Scott back to his hometown of Bloomington, IL.

William Calfee,

Milton

Drug store closed

I support folks getting a day off for Labor Day. I close my office.

However, why, on many holidays, is my chain drug store open, but the pharmacy, where I need to pick up my previously submitted prescriptions, is closed?

The drug chain’s obvious priority is such that I can get an emergency supply of my wife’s makeup, and any candy I might need, but no prescription drugs. Sure, they do have one open pharmacy, but my local store has my scripts.

Why do we take such nonsense for granted?

Robert Kemper,

Pinecrest

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