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Friday, September 22, 2023

Frustrated by a senator’s grandstanding

As a military spouse and a native of Boca Raton, I am disappointed by Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s continued hold on essential military business, and the lack of concern for the human toll that this charade is taking on service members and their families.

The former college football coach has personally stopped confirmations of at least 319 military leaders, inflicted direct harm on service members and caused confusion and frustration for the entire military community. This political grandstanding continues to cause uncertainty for military families like mine and directly threatens our national security.

The military is a family business. Seeing our service insulted, ignored and belittled by a sitting U.S. senator harms morale now and will negatively impact retention in the future. Military families such as mine have been sounding the alarm on Tuberville’s blockade for months, and we need civilians to hear our concerns and join us in calling for him to stop.

They must urge Tuberville to stop playing politics with the military so they can confirm all the nominees and put this unpleasant period in military history behind us.

Alexandra “Ali” Simon, New Orleans, La.

Las Olas makeover a mistake

Regarding the proposed $167 million redesign of Las Olas Boulevard, it is way too much money for a design that’s not particularly well-liked by many.

From the loss of trees in the downtown zone to the narrowing of the traffic lanes through the Isles by widening bicycle buffer lanes to nine feet on each side of the boulevard, this design is difficult for some to embrace. And the city spends far too much money for consultants to perform work that city planners should be doing.

Now, what’s next? Wasting $30 million on a downtown streetcar system? Or wasting $4 million to improve the previously improved area south of Tunnel Top Park so mystical spring waters can flow unimpeded to the New River?

Or spending millions in rent for Fort Lauderdale Police Department offices because of an ill-advised choice to build the new headquarters on the same valuable property as the old headquarters, instead of on the city’s 60-acre Wingate landfill site where the city stands to collect a measly $50 a year in rent from a movie studio operator?

George Mulhorn, Fort Lauderdale

A belief in self-determination

Modern Israel was created by secular Jews. It is a progressive liberal democracy.

Yet the land of Israel is central to Judaism. Israel, which defines itself as both a liberal democracy and a Jewish state, maintains a sometimes tense balance between religious identity and civil society. Zionism means support for the development and protection of a Jewish nation in the land where Jews are indigenous. Israel is integral to the Jewish religion.

Prayers for a return to Israel and Jerusalem are included in daily prayers as well as many holiday observances. I agree with Lana Melman’s column in the Jewish Journal: Every Jew should support the self-determination of the Jewish people regardless of their political leanings.

Holly Rothkopf, Boynton Beach

For homeless police, a new idea

There was much discussion and disagreement on the location for a temporary headquarters for the Fort Lauderdale police department.

Was the former car dealership on East Sunrise Boulevard ever considered?

It is large and has plenty of offices and parking. There are booths that drivers used to check in their cars for maintenance. Just think: Staff the booths for people to drop off paperwork and get it stamped and received immediately instead of relying on a problematic postal service. Oh, the possibilities!

Cheryl Fox, Fort Lauderdale

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