Speak Up

Biden a ‘gentleman’

In Oct. 2018, I attended a political rally in Tampa organized on behalf of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson. Former Vice President Joe Biden was one of the speakers. I am a long-standing admirer of Biden, as I was born and raised in Delaware, his home state, before moving to Tampa more than 40 years ago.

When the rally ended, Biden and others began shaking hands with those of us who waited a rope line. Needless to say, I was excited to have the opportunity to meet him.

As he approached us, my husband drew his attention by yelling “Delaware” as he pointed at me. It worked. Biden approached, shook my hand and asked where in Delaware I was from. He then kissed my hand, thanking me like the gentlemen he is.

It was an expression of warmth and appreciation — and by no measure inappropriate. Any suggestion that such kind gestures are improper is baseless.

Jane Paladino,


A common cause

Climate has no party. It asks for us to wake up to the common good. It’s courageous when deluged by conflicting claims to take a stand separate from the party line. George Washington and Franklin Delano Roosevelt both bucked party lines. Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon surprised supporters by promoting progressive environmental policies. Florida Congressman Francis Rooney stands in good company.

Rooney worked across the aisle with U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, bringing the Energy Innovation Act, HB 765, to life in January. It’s been 10 years in the making. It is well researched, good for people and good for the economy. It’s targeted to reduce emissions by 40 percent in the first 12 years.

Jeff Dorian, Plantation

The system works

The Mueller report is in. President Trump was not found to have colluded with Russia, whatever that nonlegal term means. But he was not found “innocent” either. The finding only attests to the fact that the evidence the special counsel worked with was “insufficient to eliminate all reasonable doubt about guilt (collusion).”

The attorney general’s four-page summary is a woefully inadequate tease despite citing directly from the report.

It would be easy and satisfying to discredit the special counsel and attack him. But I applaud the fact that the process was allowed to be completed. I look forward to reading the full report, so that I can have an informed opinion.

Clara Vertes, Miami

Let’s trade

The spirit of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) is alive and well in South Florida. Never have I heard such whining and moaning over Ultra being on Virginia Key.

As a resident of Miami Beach, I would gladly trade the Ultra kids for the Spring Breakers who terrorized our city and turned it into an outdoor MMA exhibition.

Mike Perry, Miami Beach

Gables election

Jeannett Slesnick will put the brakes on mega development in Coral Gables, and she will also put the brakes on the ridiculous public art that has invaded our city. Next Tuesday, let’s put her in the mayor’s seat.

June Frost,

Coral Gables

What health plan?

Trump Casino (bankrupt). Trump Steak (out of business). Trump University (belly-up and sued). Trump’s two failed marriages. Trump Tower failure propped up by foreign loans, etc. Trump now hails a “great, great health Care” (repeal and replace Obamacare for the 50th-plus time — with no plan, as usual.

When exorbitant medical expenses bankrupt you, will you have foreign lenders or Trump’s expensive lawyers to prop you up?

Jude Smallwood,

Royal Palm Beach

Up in the air

Air medical company PHI recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, due partly to “a significant decrease in revenue.” PHI has air medical bases primarily throughout the Midwest, Southeast, Southwest and Mid-Atlantic states.

Operating an air medical base 24/7, 365 days a year is expensive. Yet, more than 70 percent of patients using the services have Medicare, Medicaid, or no insurance at all, and those programs only cover a fraction of providers’ costs. Some private insurers then refuse to negotiate with providers and go in-network. This system is simply unsustainable.

That is why we must find a federal solution — one that updates reimbursement rates by government payers. Private insurers must do right by patients by working with air medical providers to go in-network and reimburse these services. Access to emergency care, and American lives, are at stake.

Carter Johnson,

Washington, D.C.

Extreme math

I read with interest the Herald’s March 31 article “Fest’s Virginia Key debut ends with chaotic crowd exit.”

Buses and taxis routinely ignored the signage to use the left lane, and to leave the right lane open for eastbound through traffic. A further bottleneck was created when the road narrowed to one lane at Bear Cut Bridge.

Ultra chartered more than 200 buses, each with a capacity of 55 passengers. If the entire fleet were filled, 11,000 people could be transported at a time.

Under ideal conditions, round trip to each of the three drop-off points would take 40 minutes. To transport nearly 60,000 Ultra attendees would take at least 3.5 hours, not taking into account traffic and chaotic loading. There is no way to efficiently move that many people with only one access road. The logistics don’t add up. Do the math … move Ultra!

Paul Gluck,

Key Biscayne

Moving forward

Let’s make America great again — through the Green New Deal.

It is normal that new ideas are ridiculed because we are not used to them. A change in direction from a fossil fuel economy to a renewable energy one will create lots of jobs, industrial innovation, business opportunities, top rate educational progress and technological advances in all fields, producing income for all levels of the work spectrum. Let’s look toward the future and not backward any more. Climate change is real and time is running out.

Isabella K. Stevenson,


Behind the curtain

The real power behind the Trump presidency is Ruppert Murdock. He basically runs the Fox News propaganda channel; he sets the stage, tells his talking heads what to cover (and not cover), and directs the spin on any topic.

The heads, in turn, broadcast their version of the news, which is consumed by Trump and his base, and passed on in the Twitterverse. Removing Trump would only allow Murdock to replace him with another gullible puppet.

Robert McIntire,