Miami-Dade mayor is sued by Miami Wilds — for listening to her constituents? | Opinion

Voices heard

I was not surprised to see that the developers of Miami Wilds have filed a lawsuit to protest the rescinding of the lease to build a water park on critical habitat at Zoo Miami. What did surprise me was the reason they feel their lawsuit is justified.

They claim that Miami-Dade County Mayor Levine Cava “made a political decision to kill the Development Agreement and appease some of the political activists who make up her base.”

Putting aside the fact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recently officially declared the entire Zoo Miami footprint as critical habitat — validating all of the claims being made by the conservationists fighting to protect it — am I to understand the mayor is being sued because she listened to her constituents, those who voted her into office?

She campaigned on the promise to listen to her constituents and protect the priceless natural treasures of South Florida that are under constant attack. She kept her promise to her constituents, as opposed to the corporate developers and their highly paid lobbyists. It’s a concept that all politicians should strive to emulate.

Ron Magill,

West Kendall

Affordable rents

I read with interest the April 18 front page story, “‘Let justice roll.’ Religious leaders draw up a plan to combat rising rents in Miami-Dade.” We must put our issues in perspective as to why rents rise.

As a landlord of an eight-unit apartment building in Coral Gables, my insurance rose from $14,000 to $19,000 to $22,000 and this year, to $55,000. I would need to raise rents considerably just to cover that one cost, not taking into consideration increases in real estate taxes, waste management and more. At a great risk, I opted not to carry wind insurance.

If we want affordable rents, we must have affordable costs. May I suggest that Miami-Dade County lower taxes according to median rent percentages and provide assistance to those landlords who choose not to carry wind insurance, in the event a hurricane hits. These two actions should resolve a great part of the problem.

Olga Ramudo,

Coral Gables

Other evil

In the April 18 story, “Florida K-12 students will learn about ‘atrocities’ of communism,” Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decree to brainwash and distract students hides the errors of our ways. He omits the other opposite evil, fascism, which also has similar tragic results, destroying the individual. We should spotlight both.

Instead of teaching the results of the “ism,” teach the history of the causes of why societies have chosen either, then teach how to create a capitalist society and a government that would prevent them.

Some people reach out for communism because they have been oppressed, colonized, “othered” or because there is an imposed wealth disparity suffered by the middle class and poor due to corrupt rulers colluding with the wealthy and elite.

Education should focus on prevention and removing any allure toward communism or fascism. Teach the ounce of prevention and strive for those ideals.

Brian Carter,


It’s the economy

Constant talk of “inflation” makes me want to vomit.

Does anyone remember when mortgage interest rates were at double digits between 1981-1990 when Ronald Reagan was President (1981-1989)?

The average American knows even less about history than economic issues.

Joanne Tomarchio,


Curry favor

Re: Fabiola Santiago’s April 17 opinion, “Rocha, the spy, blames Yale as he plays pro-Cuba politics.” Cuban spy Victor Manuel Rocha is not the only conservative who smeared his alma mater to curry favor with the right wing.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas also smeared Yale for giving him an opportunity to acquire a law degree through affirmative action.

Tim Turman,

Cutler Bay

Beware professors

Re: the April 16 story, “Rubio questions State Department about why ‘red flags’ regarding agent for Cuba were missed.” In his confession, Victor Manuel Rocha, the former U.S. Ambassador, said that in the late 1960s to early 1970s, he was radicalized by a professor at Yale University, an Ivy League hothouse.

Ironically, at a congressional hearing on April 17, we learned of Columbia University’s out-of-control radical professors expressing antisemitic, anti-American rhetoric to their students while the university’s president and administrators were apparently helpless to control the situation. This is not a single event; it is rampant at many of our most prestigious universities.

We don’t need to worry about TikTok when we have radical professors teaching our next generation of students.

Steven Z. Levinson,

Miami Beach

Just too loud

Do you live across the water from the Miami Marine Stadium? Are you locked in traffic for three hours trying to get home when the city has events? Are you kept awake all night when there are concerts and festivals in the parking lot next to the stadium?

If the answer is no to any of these, then respectfully, please stop endorsing the stadium. It is nothing but an outdoor concert venue and now more than 100,000 people live within hearing distance of it.

We do not want the stadium restored and would appreciate the Miami Herald stop pretending that its support is city-wide. The city should not only not restore the stadium, it should stop having loud events on the site. Nearby residents are entitled to peace and quiet.

Andrew Levin,


Calling all angels

Watching the speaker of the U.S. House and a handful of congressmen parade over to the Senate to present articles of impeachment against Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was so discouraging. Meanwhile, the border problem continues.

The energy invested in the symbolic gesture of impeaching Mayorkas, when these same politicians, at the 11th hour, scuttled compromise legislation that would have provided some relief at the border, is especially sad.

The compromise was abandoned at the urging of former President Donald Trump, who wanted to preserve border legislation as a big campaign issue. This kind of gamesmanship must stop. We suffer while symbolic gestures overtake substance.

We “Boomers” remember the days when the art of compromise was an essential skill required of our national leaders. Today, it has become a dirty word.

Many attribute the change to the birth of the internet and the polarization that has followed. Sound bites and dramatic messaging have overtaken responsible leadership. This new era is, in part, our own fault, as we allow appeals to our emotions and anger be more effective than appeals to the “better angels of our nature.”

That was the precise message of President Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address, as he spoke to our hopelessly divided nation in 1861. The kind of division we faced 163 years ago can only be avoided by electing leaders who are rational, fair and who appeal to those “better angels.”

Robert Sturges,

Coral Gables

No breakfast club

As I read the reporting on the first few days of the Manhattan trial of former President Donald Trump, I recall my own disciplinary experiences in schools. I was principal of the middle school division of an independent school for 12 years and taught at that level more than 35 years.

Our worst behavioral problems centered around tardy kids and dress code violations. Eventually, we found an effective deterrent: keep the students in detention after school for an hour. They were required to sit and do absolutely nothing. It was the ultimate torture for that age group.

After serving three of these “regular’” detentions in a semester, the next infraction required a student to show up on a Saturday morning and sit for a similar three-hour detention. This was served in the library with the students seated at a table in front of the clock. In 12 years, I only had to do this only five or six times.

From what I’ve observed, I don’t think Trump is going to make it through a six-week trial.

John Lewis,