Did you hear the one about how Ron DeSantis solved climate change in Florida? | Opinion

Ignoring reality

Florida is one of the states most vulnerable to the costly and deadly impacts of climate change, rising sea levels, high temperature records and higher hurricane intensity and frequency. Yet our sage Gov. Ron DeSantis apparently thinks that by signing legislation that eliminates references to climate change in state law, future natural disasters will be cleverly prevented.

This is just the latest in a series of state rule-making denying the existence of climate change. The governor may close his eyes, plug his ears and barricade himself in his mansion with the A/C cranked to max (electricity paid by taxpayers, of course) all while issuing goofy platitudes such as, “We’re restoring sanity in our approach to energy and rejecting the agenda of the radical green zealots.”

Meanwhile, Floridians from the Panhandle to the Keys are paying the price of his insane governance. He needs to wake up before he finds himself voted out of office.

Ashby Cathey,


Higher standards

For decades, Coral Gables has served as a paramount of integrity and efficient management in municipal government. Unfortunately, recent comments among some of our elected officials have brought us to a crossroads. Allegations of corruption made during city commission meetings are not only disheartening but, if left unchecked, have the potential to undermine trust in our city officials and hard-working employees. We have a duty to act decisively and transparently to dispel these doubts.

Therefore, I call on all my commission colleagues to establish and support an independent inspector general for our city. This is crucial in maintaining continuous oversight of our operations, ensuring that our actions align with the law, public interest and deter malfeasance.

I also ask my colleagues to put their differences aside and support a forensic audit of our city’s finances. While the cost associated with such an audit may be substantial, we must consider this an investment in the foundation of the city’s administration.

Our commitment must be to the citizens we serve, ensuring the administration they depend on is operating not just effectively but ethically. I urge my colleagues to unanimously approve both measures at the next city commission meeting.

Rhonda A. Anderson,


Coral Gables

Rent vs. buy

The May 7 Miami Herald online article, “‘We cannot afford it’: Miami-Dade’s waste director resisted mayor’s $269M office deal,” misrepresents the financial implications for the county’s Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM). Some of the officials quoted in it suggest that leasing a different property is more cost-effective than purchasing and focuses on the square footage costs for the first year.

Over a 30-year term, with leasing starting at $24 per square foot, escalating annually by 3% and rising to at least $56 per square foot, the 9250 West Flagler Street property would cost DSWM about $69.8 million, excluding operating expenses and insurance.

In contrast, the acquisition costs and additional major expenses of purchasing the property would be stable at $35.67 per square foot or about $56.5 million over 30 years. This represents about $13.3 million in savings compared to leasing. Furthermore, ownership includes accrual of equity as the debt is paid off and the asset appreciates; centralization of services for residents; possible development of housing on the property and scaling services in response to future population growth.

Carladenise Edwards,

chief administrative officer,

Miami-Dade County

Less giving trees

As a long-time resident of Miami’s Shenandoah neighborhood, I am disappointed with the city’s tree policy. After a prolonged rebuilding of swales around my house, the city eliminated large trees which provided necessary shade for residents and local intersections.

The excuse is that new building laws prevent trees from being too close to intersections, allowing a safe line of vision for drivers. The city has apparently designed its tree policy for speeding cars rather than overheated pedestrians.

Additionally, the few trees the city has planted in my neighborhood are small species and shrubs. They will never rival the shade- producing effect of the native grand oaks and mahoganies Shenandoah’s founders planted over the years. Those trees made our neighborhood unique within Miami’s urban core. I implore the city to get rid of its ridiculous rules.

Lazaro Priegues,


Hurtful words

As a part time Miami Beach resident, I understand why the nonprofit Oolite Arts removed the “art” from visual artist Vũ Hoàng Khánh Nguyên. That phrase, “from the river to the sea,” is a call for the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel and for all Jews. The artist likely had no clue of what river and of what sea they had written about. This is true of most protesters marching with these hateful signs.

Siding with monsters like Hamas has become the trend against Jews. This is the exact opposite reaction of what should be. We in Israel are the victims of genocide over and over. Hamas has been able to re-arm, re-group and infiltrate tunnels that haven’t yet been destroyed and are shooting rockets onto civilian homes.

I thank Oolite Arts for removing the battle cry.

Terri Granot,

Ramat Raziel,


Disorganized program

Rebuild Florida is a state-run program funded by a federal grant designed to rescue uninsured residents in storm-ravaged homes. In reality, it is a sham that wastes tax dollars. The Department of Economic Opportunity and HUD have taken a slipshod approach to managing the program.

I was approved five years ago, but my land lease community blocked the home replacement due to widely known issues of subpar workmanship, zero transparency and program inefficiency.

While caring for two at-risk dependents and left with no options, I scoured the state for a suitable cheap lot. I settled on a distant rural mobile home park, depleted my 401(k) and incurred monthly homeowner association fees.

The roof of my mold-afflicted home began to crumble as subsequent storms and delays exacerbated the situation. Rebuild Florida cited supply chain issues and the bait and switch began. My lot sits empty. Communication between case workers is non-existent. Promises and contracts are made, revised, retracted and deemed “inactive” to improve monthly fulfillment reports.

Vulnerable seniors still wait in hotel rooms with no case progress. Florida must do better.

Wendy Miller-Aguilar,


Miami’s future

I was glad to read Ana-Marie Codina Barlick’s May 15 op-ed, “Let’s work together to forge a Miami that works for all.” Cities of the future need collaborative civic leadership to help solve challenging issues of the day, such as housing affordability, transportation, emerging technologies, sustainability, education, urban livability and economic viability.

Miami has all the elements to distinguish itself as a world-class community by positioning itself as a leader in the global knowledge economy. This convergence of thought leaders will carry the nonprofit’s “Miami2035: A Miami That Works for All” into the future.

I extend a hearty Godspeed to the “Partnership for Miami.”

Margarita Rohaidy Delgado,

Coral Gables

Our top ally

Re: the May 15 letter, “Public disgrace.” The writer mischaracterized the reason Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott voted against the Democrat-proposed bill for aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. His ludicrous assertion is they wanted to appease the “pro Putin side of the Republican party.”

Putting aside the fact there is no such thing as a GOP “pro-Putin side,” the real reason is that we have thrown billions of dollars at a thug in Ukraine and have no idea where that money went. Sending money to Taiwan is just as wasteful.

On the other hand, Israel is our best and only real ally in the Middle East and needs our support. That President Biden is withholding support until Netanyahu bends to his will is worse than shameful — it is borderline treasonous.

Dave Schaublin,

Key Largo

Perfectly “Stormy”

Neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden thrill me as a presidential candidate.

What do I do now?

I’ve got it.

Young, good-looking, intelligent, calm under pressure and honest to a fault — Stormy Daniels for president!

Gloria Nichols,