Speak Up

Kendall Parkway

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, in his Sept. 23 op-ed, “Mayor: Doing what is best for the Everglades and South Dade residents,” misses the point of Laura Reynolds’s Sept. 14 op-ed.

While he discusses how long and far the county has gone to review the proposed Kendall Parkway, Gimenez fails to recognize that environmentalists have been calling foul on it because building yet another highway will do nothing to ultimately solve our traffic issues, and it will further degrade the environment and the Everglades.

There must be substance to the environmentalists’ concerns if U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has said a solution to the traffic problems “cannot come at the expense of Everglades restoration.”

As a West Kendall resident stuck in traffic gridlock, I know Miami-Dade needs more public transit options, not another highway. Fewer cars on the road means less harmful emissions that are driving climate change. Miami-Dade is ground zero for climate change and we need to protect our main drinking water source, the Biscayne Aquifer.

We deserve a SMART transit plan that will make commuting more efficient and safer for the environment. We need world-class transit if we want to aspire to be a world-class city; not more toll roads.

Sharon Van Smith,

West Kendall

For Gillum

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis states on his TV commercial that he will be there for Floridians from Dunedin to Tallahassee.

That leaves South and East Florida outside his scope. Miamians need a voice in Tallahassee, so Andrew Gillum needs to be our obvious choice.

Norma Hanna,


Chartered leverage

Re the Sept. 25 letter by Lynn Norman-Teck, “Charter school students outperform those in other schools.”

Norman-Teck neglected to mention that charter schools have the luxury of sending students back to the public school system who do not perform or fit a specific profile.

The public system, on the other hand, is obligated to teach all students who walk through the door. Additionally, charter schools often wait until after they have collected the state-allotted funds for students before sending them back and before standardized tests are administered.

As a 32-year career special educator in the public system, I have seen many students with special needs bounce back and forth between public and charter programs. It is easy to claim superiority when circumstances and finances are skewed in your favor. It is also misleading.

Christina Garcia,


Let’s grow algae

When blessed with lemons, make lemonade. A series of sequential filtering paddies can grow algae for bio-diesel, food products, medicines and soil improvement while providing cleansed water to the Everglades. Here’s a boon: The fertilizer is free! Belle Glade can become the Houston of Florida.

Oil tankers need not deadhead back to the Persian Gulf; they can haul algae to North Africa and the Mideast to improve the soil there for additional carbon sequestration by trees and crops. Growing algae also captures carbon, the second biggest problem confronting the planet.

Peter Wagoner,


Poking polity

In his Sept. 25 letter, “Morin humor,” George Mihalakos states that he sees no humor in Jim Morin’s political cartoons. Perhaps he should stick to reading “Peanuts.” Political cartoons are just that: A poke at things that our government and politicians do that are ridiculous and often destructive. Stick to the comic pages if you want silly laughs.

Roberta Leonard,

North Miami

No honor

A 51-year-old man comes forward and speaks of a sexual abuse he suffered 36 years ago by his parish priest. The priest now faces criminal charges. The man is showered with empathy and applauded for his courage for speaking out.

A 51-year-old woman comes forward and speaks of a sexual abuse suffered 36 years ago. She is attacked. She gets death threats. She is told that she must be confused or that her accusations are political.] The hypocrisy turns my stomach.

Peggy Lowell,


No respect

I was aghast as I read the Sept. 24 letter by Bob Cebrat, “Kavanaugh’s past.”

I do not know of one man who would act in such a disrespectful — not to mention criminal — manner. Most men and boys are taught that “No is no.”

All of us have sinned in some way as we go through life, but not that way! It is not acceptable behavior. Not for my son. Not for my grandsons. Not for any man that has respect for women. And if that male never learned respect, that is a failure of his parents.

Trudy N. Lechner,


We’re the worst

Areas of my Westwood Lake neighborhood have become a slum. Owners have converted their single-family homes into rooming houses. Some convert sheds into apartments. Since Team Metro was disbanded, code enforcement is non-existent. When we complain to the county, we’re told there’s nothing they can do without a search warrant; well, get a search warrant!

I’m no economist, but five or six individual tenants each paying $600 per month to rent a room, falsely drives up home values, squeezing out families and destroying neighborhoods. I doubt this is happening in Coral Gables, Pinecrest or Aventura. Could this be part of the reason why Miami was named the worst city for renters?

Mike Pryslak,


GOP baffles c

I have been struggling to understand why so many conservatives, particularly within the GOP, are comfortable with the scandals of the Trump administration: The constant dissemination of alternative facts; the collusion with Russian officials; the sexual assault accusations; payoffs to porn stars; the chaotic trade war; denials of climate change; insulting our allies; praising dictators; refusal to denounce neo-Nazis; the attacks on the news media and our justice system and the ridiculous Twitter comments.

I have concluded that as long as the 1 percent are satisfied, and the religious right gets its social agendas supported, and that racists, homophobes and xenophobes feel empowered, the conservatives are willing to overlook the aforementioned absurdities and the numerous red flags.

Today’s conservatism has degenerated from the traditional fiscal and taxation, to radical extremism that seems to border at times on fascism and nationalism. It is all very disconcerting, to say the least.

Don Allen,

West Kendall