The Biscayne Times

Aug 11th
Letters July 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by BT Readers   
July 2019

bigstock_Mail_Button_1727945Whose Opportunity Is It?

The Solé Mia’s Shoreline luxury apartment project is quite something to behold -- at least from street level. Kudos to Mark Sell and his reporting on the development (“Game Changer,” June 2019).

When I say from “street level,” I’m serious. Who are the renters going to be, and where will they spend their money?

There’s a dire need for both affordable and workforce housing in North Miami. But what’s being done? Bigger cities with greater-magnitude problems have brokered judicious affordable and workplace housing partnerships for Opportunity Zone designations and other tax and code breaks.

I’m talking about Chicago and Detroit, the Silicon Valley Housing Trust, the nationwide Turner Multifamily Impact Fund. There are responsible and creative ways to deploy public-private partnerships that benefit all parties and fill housing gaps.

It’s time to do your homework, city leaders, and get on the bandwagon. Too bad that nobody except city manager Larry Spring apparently had the vision to imagine affordable housing early on. But you guys didn’t negotiate for it. I suggest you look at whatever leverage you still have and work for your constituents next time at the negotiating table.

And will Solé Mia follow the spirit of the Opportunity Zone mission, even if it’s not bound by the letter of the contract it outsmarted the city on?

People in North Miami need real opportunity, too. Big developments won’t magically produce fairy dust that solves local economic woes. Developers have their eye on their own rates of return. The city has to get a spine, remember the partnership, and demand results for all those tax breaks it has forked over.

Otherwise, they’ll just leave the rest of us in the dirt.

Yolanda Baker
North Miami


On His Game

Thank you, Mark Sell, for the story “Game Changer.” Good research and interesting information on Solé Mia. Next, do the same with the history of unincorporated Miami-Dade along Biscayne Boulevard and beyond.

Kathleenjoy Cooper
Biscayne Shores


Taking a Long View

My eyes popped, not in a good way, when I read the June article “Game Changer.”

In it was the detail that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was the featured speaker last year before a group of billionaire investors and developers at a private breakfast hosted at the home of Richard LeFrak, one of the main partners in Solé Mia. The topic: “Opportunity Zones and U.S. Housing Policy: Taking the Long View.”

Talk about a stench of insider tips, insider information sharing, and privilege.

Those cabals underscore the fact that we have entered a dangerous era: Billionaires in the administration and those who support them are trying to convince the rest of us that we’re overpaid, not underpaid; that collective bargaining (strength in numbers, not dollar signs) is a socialist plot; that they can cut pensions, insurance, and health benefits with impunity; and that the “gig” economy, with its piecework hustle rather than a career path, is the greatest thing since tipping.

The upshot is a whole generation coming up as an underclass, burdened by student debt, unable to gain job security, and without the means to afford a home of their own.

Ah, and that’s where the long view comes in. Keep them renting for the rest of their lives as part of your steady income stream.

It all has the toxicity of the landfill that Solé Mia sits on. And like the landfill below with no protective curtain, it’s a time bomb with potentially devastating, long-term, and rippling effects.

Shauna Meltzer
North Miami Beach


King’s Wake-Up Call

To Mr. Jack King: You are doing God’s work writing your articles on Don “the Con.” I can only imagine the amount of hate mail you are receiving, but do not give up. History will be on your side.

One day this great country will wake up to the tricks of this charlatan.

Name Withheld by Request
Miami Beach


They Got Him Under Their Skin

Thank you, Jack King, for getting under the thin skin of Trump supporters. Love the way they emulate their “leader” with accusations and vulgarity. Keep up the good work.

Roberta Leonard
North Miami


The Fear, Hatred, Tribalism Industrial Complex

The folks who think Jack King is writing to “low-information readers” have had a great disservice done to them (likely by Fox News and talk-show hosts making money off fear-hatred-tribalism) if they think they’re aware of what Donald Trump is actually doing “for” the country.

They don’t realize that huge harm is befalling millions because of his lack of true values, leadership, knowledge, and any sort of vision other than the dollar signs his family instilled in front of his corneas.

He has no compass other than the small and deadly “win-lose” mentality that he cannot see beyond, including his racist, homophobic, nationalistic opportunism, and the claim that climate change is a Chinese hoax.

I doubt the man truly cares about any political stance except as it serves him.

So, Mr. King, please keep trying to inform people. Thanks for your efforts.

Pepper Black
Berkeley, California




Save Our Community Pool

I’m writing about the Morningside pool predicament, as described in Erik Bojnansky’s article “Not in the Swim of Things” (April 2019).

This has been a community pool since the 1950s, for children and adults alike to enjoy -- just not for a few elite newcomers who apparently don’t consider themselves part of a community of kindness and shared cultures. They must consider themselves above the community they live within due to financial backgrounds.

I’m a resident of the Upper Eastside for the past 20 years. My children, now 17 and 19, attended the summer camps of Morningside Park every year growing up, enjoying not only the playground, tennis lessons, and basketball courts, but mostly on those hot summer days the pool. It was the thing these children looked forward to most.

They were able to mix and make friends with other children, kids of different backgrounds, cultural diversity, and financial status, which allowed them to grow up understanding that friendship and fun are made of human quality, not your financial status or the color of your skin.

It is imperative that this way of life and community openness continue, especially for all the children in the area. It’s how we share our human space as a community and human beings. The only ones who get truly punished by elitist thinking are the children, whose filters or boundaries are the ones that are taught to them by their elders.

I urge the Miami commissioners, the public works department, and Mayor Suarez to come together and understand that gentrification can be upward, of course. But they can also save what is part of our history and culture as a community, and allow mixed use as well in the planning of our city.

Mariella Lopez de Albear


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