Speak Up

My ’61 Impala

At 15, I took my junior driver’s license test in a 1954 Chevy.

At 19, I saved $1,000 for a down payment to purchase my first car: a new 1961 Chevrolet Impala, white, a red stripe on the sides and an all-red interior.

Recruited, in New York City, for a job, I drove down to Miami with my lifelong friend, Arnie. Excited, before dawn, we approached a darkened toll booth, which seemed closed. I drove past the booth. suddenly there were flashing lights and ringing bells. Embarrassed, I backed up and paid the toll.

Driving down U.S. 1, braving torrential downpours, we could see no more than three feet in front of us as we arrived at the Casablanca Hotel in Miami Beach that night.

My Chevy was one reliable car. It took us over the causeways to nightspots, where I met my oldest Miami friend, Tommy. We became two wild and crazy guys, driving around in my hot ’61 Chevy. We made lots of friends -- I was the only young guy with a job, so I became a popular go-to driver, reaching any place in town in less than 20 minutes.

I had my 1961 Chevy four years and replaced it with a 1965 Chevy, which served me six years before upgrading to a 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado.

Joe Cardona’s article brought back wonderful memories as I embarked on a new life in a town which welcomed me with open arms.

H. Allen Benowitz,


Acosta failed

The Miami Herald has performed a great public service exposing how former U.S. prosecutor Alex Acosta handled the Jeffrey Epstein case. It was a terrible miscarriage of justice.

Acosta had an ethical duty to disclose to the court that his former law firm was representing the defendant and his relationship with Jay Lefkowitz. That disclosure, together with a plea deal reducing a felony to a misdemeanor, would have made any judge sit up straight.

I served 30 years as a state circuit judge and I would never have approved such a sweetheart deal, especially if I knew the prosecutor’s former relationship to the defense attorney.

The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Standards for Prosecutors 3-17 (H) says: "A prosecutor who has a significant personal, political, financial, professional, business, property or other relationship with another lawyer should not participate in the prosecution."

In this case the prosecutor’s supervisor, as an officer of the court, is the judge.

Thomas M. Gallen, Bradenton

Facts are facts

Jimmy Tate’s letter to the editor is off base. The Alex Acosta/Jeffrey Epstein case should have a complete investigation by an inspector general into the facts reported by the Herald. If Tate believes that Epstein was ‘tried to the letter of the law’ and received what any other sex offender would have is just, he needs to take another look at that report. Facts are facts. Can all of Epstein’s accusers be wrong?

The Epstein deal should be examined under a microscope. If there’s nothing there, so be it. This is not an attack on Trump. It was about covering up illegal acts of a wealthy sexual predator.

Jim Angleton,

Bay Harbor Islands

Young patriots

George H.W. Bush flew 58 missions for the Navy in World War II. My father, Michael Marmesh, about a month younger than Bush, was part of a B-29 bomber crew in the Air Force. Both men had barely turned 21 when the war ended. My father-in-law Herbert Spahn, now 92, enlisted when he was 17. He spent his 19th birthday serving in an Army chemical ordnance unit on Okinawa.

Both Bush, the scion of a New England dynasty, and my dad, a first-generation American son of Russian immigrants, served because they felt a deep obligation to protect and defend this country.

They rarely talked about their service in the following years, maybe because they thought they just did what was right — as so many others of their generation had. Or maybe because they had seen and been part of the terrible toll that war extracts. My father told me a few recollections of his service the night he passed away, so I know the memories were still there.

We are watching the passing of the greatest generation. Bush’s recent death should remind us of how much so many gave when they were hardly more than boys.

Michael Marmesh, Miami

Alternate reality

Is there any chance that we can have Claire Underwood as President?

Kevin O’Brien, Key West

Bush’s legacy

In 1987, I founded The Sports Authority, which grew to be the largest and most profitable sporting-goods chain until I retired in 2000. I was motivated by President George H.W. Bush, who realized that our country had a drug problem.

I decided that every employee, from cashier to executive, would have to take a drug test. It was the hair test, which was more expensive and could not be compromised.mAfter our first two years we were 100 percent drug tested and proud to be 100 percent drug free.

Bush invited me to the White House to thank me for supporting his program. Two years after he left the White House, when he was invited to speak at a conference for the National Sporting Goods Association, he took the time to thank me for supporting a program that was important to him.

I will always remember him as gentleman who was dedicated only to the making his mark in history or, as we say in retail, leaving tracks in the snow.

Jack A Smith, Aventura

WLRN’s future

I am appalled by the Miami-Dade School Board's latest attempt to usurp the independence of WLRN radio. To suggest that reporters and editors now employed by an independent nonprofit should now reapply for their jobs and work for the school district is laughable and certainly would promote the School Board's ability to dictate programming and/or broadcasting content.

Leonie Hermantin’s complaint that WLRN lacks minority voices is wrong. I suggest she listen to the various programs that address issues specific to our community. In fact, WLRN's minority listenership is 48 percent, a respectable number for a radio station.

Our democracy's health and well-being hinge on having a free and unbridled press. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to protect the independence of our news media. The only decent solution to this issue, and to ensure the independence of its broadcasting, is for WLRN to sever its relationship with the Miami-Dade School Board and to either have the Friends of WLRN buy the station or have a separate nonprofit manage it.

Angelica LaMorto-Corse,


Too much information

The Dec. 5 story on Jeffery Epstein gave a vivid description of his alleged sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old girl. This description went way to far for a news report, possibly exploiting the young woman again. It read like a racy novel.

However, there are children who might pick up a newspaper and would read this. The Herald should commit to not allowing this to happen again.

John Arroyo, Miami

Lack of character

It was impossible to listen to the various people who spoke at President George H.W. Bush's funeral, about his character and not wonder what positives will be spoken about, when the time comes, about our current president's character.

Christopher Cooke-Yarborough,

South Miami

Kindness returns

The Nov. 22 introduction of the Herald’s 2018 Wish Book, "Kindness is back" rings louder with each story of our brothers and sister in need that you publish.

I have sometimes wondered if kindness has been lost. Thank you for showing me, once more, that it hasn’t been.

Angelina P. Rodriguez, programs director,

Spinal Cord Living-Assistance Development, Inc., Miami