Speak Up

Reporting child abuse

In her Opinion piece in Wednesday’s edition, Florida Sen. Lauren Book (D) misstates the facts regarding mandatory reporting of child abuse.

The law, Florida Statute 39.201, states that any person who knows or even suspects child abuse is mandated to call the hotline and report at 1-800-962-2873. Some occupation categories, such as teachers, are also required to provide their name, which would remain confidential.

If administrative clergy, such as bishops, did not report the abuse by pedophile priests, then they have broken the law and failed the child.

Don Deresz, Miami

Avoiding tariffs

It is entirely possible for American auto manufacturers to avoid the punishing tariffs on steel and aluminum and other materials imposed on China by assembling vehicles in a Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ).

An FTZ is an area within the United States exempt from U.S. Customs regulations and import taxes (tariffs/duties), allowing assembly and manufacturing in the zone with tariffs being applied only when the finished product legally enters the country.

According to the Foreign-Trade Zone Corporation, some American companies, including auto manufacturers, have taken advantage of what are known as inverse tariffs, wherein the tax/duty on the finished product is lower than the tax on the part/component/material used in making the auto.

Therefore, when an auto manufacturer here purchases parts/components/materials from China or elsewhere, the firm can direct these imports to the FTZ, where they are assembled into a finished vehicle.

The vehicle then enters the country from the FTZ, declared as finished, with import tax levied at the tariff rate established for vehicles, substantially lower than the protective rates now applicable to such components/parts/materials entered into the country.

Stanley Flax, Surfside

Hiaasen’s job

It must have been very difficult for Carl Hiaasen to write his June 9 Opinion piece, “Scot Peterson must live with the fact he didn’t do the right thing:” It had to bring up very painful memories of the recent loss of his brother Rob in a similar incident.

Then again, in a way, it may have been easy in that he was doing what he and his brother and all great newspapermen try to do: Tell the public the truth.

Carl, great reporting, once again.

Mike Marmesh, Miami

Grove Playhouse

Unfortunately for those of us who love South Florida’s regional theaters and the arts, the resurrection of the Coconut Grove Playhouse has become a political football, depriving us of the landmark scenario which was, for years, probably the most popular of our excellent local theaters.

For the last two weeks, I was at the Main Street Players, Actors' and GableStage Playhouses, watching our local actors perform in excellent fashion and dedication. Invariably, at all three productions, I recognized several other local actors in the audience, enjoying and supporting the work of their colleagues.

These admirable professionals could care less if Miami Mayor Francis Suarez or Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is the winner of the playhouse deal, or if we get a “big or a small” house, or who restores it. These are devoted achievers, who will never be rich in this profession, but they do it for the love of the theatre.

I am sure they will welcome the opportunity to perform again at a properly restored Coconut Grove Playhouse.

Nelson Benedico, Miami

Not so green

The Publix grocery chain has 1,215 stores; 799 in Florida, three in Miami Beach.

Its Greenwise bakery products first came packaged in paper containers. Now they are packaged in plastic. I called the corporate office to ask why. No one ever returned my call, which is not like Publix.

The bakery staff at the West Avenue store couldn't care less.

Publix needs to become more active in a plastic-free Miami Beach.

Patrick Pecoraro,

Miami Beach

Beware of scammers

I’d always firmly believed I would never be a victim of a robo-caller. But I almost was! For three days, I’d received door tags from Fed Ex regarding a missed package delivery.

Coincidentally, I also received a message on my cellphone saying I had to call a number regarding my “noncompliance” or I’d be “arrested.”

My gut instinct was to call back immediately because of the missed package. But I decided to Google the number first. I discovered multiple warnings: This was a scammer! I am so glad I didn’t act in haste, and just ignored the call. But it taught me that anyone can get upset and become victim of a clever crook! So, always be on your guard!

I picked up my package from the Fed Ex office. It bore no relation to the scam caller.

Karin Stahl, North Miami

Dorsey’s legacy

Recently, some friends and I visited the restored house of Dana Albert Dorsey at 250 NW Ninth St. in Miami. Dorsey arrived in Miami about 1897 with only a fourth grade education, and began building housing for blacks who came to build the railroad.

He became Miami’s first black millionaire. He built the Dorsey Hotel, the first black-owned hotel in Miami. He donated the land for the Dorsey Library, Dorsey Park, and the Dorsey High School (now the D. A. Dorsey Technical College).

Dorsey became a member of the Bahá'í faith in 1926, evidently through the efforts of Howard MacNutt and Dr. Alain Locke. Weekly Bahá'í meetings were held at the Dorsey Hotel.

Inside the house, we found original paintings by Miami street artist Purvis Young. Right across the street is the Historic Ward Rooming House, which displays signed posters by African-American artists — a great and memorable trip I can recommend to all.

Thomas Carsey, Palmetto Bay

Editor’s note: Due to an editing change, the next letter is being reprinted.

Leahy’s hypocrisy

Reading Sen. Patrick Leahy’s June 11 opinion, “Americans and Cubans deserve better,” makes one wonder how a sitting senator for the last 44 years could still have such a myopic view of Cuba.

In all those years, not once has he referred to the Cuban regime as a dictatorship.

His many trips to Cuba never led to a call for freedom or free elections, only calls for closer ties with the dictator, without denouncing his atrocities.

Now the senator wants us to believe he is concerned about the impact the end of American cruises to Cuba would have on the Cuban people. His hypocrisy is pathetic!

This move by the Trump administration would hurt the regime — that and only that is the senator’s concern.

Armando Caravia,

West Miami