Reader Mail: Down With the TSA

Disappearing Millionaire

No mystery here: Despite all the mystery surrounding what happened to Fort Lauderdale millionaire Guma Aguiar ("One Way Out," Stefan Kamph, September 20), it seems clear to me that he committed suicide. Guma was a mentally tortured person with bipolar disorder who believed he was a messiah and was a perfectionist. As a very impulsive fellow, he dared the impossible by swimming alone in the darkness and during inclement weather far from shore in a very rough open ocean. mbm01201932

Armed Passengers

Quit supporting the TSA: Writing a story about all the bizarre weapons confiscated at South Florida airports is really nothing more than pandering TSA propaganda and a disgusting excuse for journalism ("Packin'," Chris Sweeney, September 20). Does anyone doubt the TSA would be gone in days if people actually had a choice? This agency is nothing more than a bloated jobs program feeding on public ignorance and relying on fear-mongering to maintain its budget. The TSA is inefficient and focused on only its own expansion, not the mission of airport security. fisher1949

Bad Journalists

Putney is the man: Uncle Luke missed the mark by putting Michael Putney on his list of the five worst journalists in Miami ("Bad Press," Luther Campbell, September 20). He criticizes Putney for backing Genting's bid for a casino in Miami, but maybe he supported the casino proposal because it would have at least given some people in Liberty City and Overtown an opportunity at employment, even if it's part-time work with no benefits. That's better than the grant authored by Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones — and rightly criticized by Putney — that would have helped only a few businesses, which just happen to have close ties to Spence-Jones and her family. That whole grant was simply a way for the commissioner to get her name in the paper again and put some coin in her purse. I'm glad Putney speaks up about issues others are afraid to. We need more journalists like him.

Luke is just bitter: I found this article pitiful because it suggests that these journalists have written about Uncle Luke in their stories over and over again, because obviously it's impossible to write about a news topic without including a tidbit about him. Just for grins, I Googled "Luther Campbell" with "Barry Jackson" and "Miami Herald." Yes, there were a lot of hits, but they were mostly because Campbell and Jackson went to the same high school. It seems like the only time Jackson has mentioned Luke is when he wrote that Nevin Shapiro had called himself "Little Luke." Have some fun. Google "Luther Campbell" with the names of the other reporters he dinged. I think you'll find that they weren't terribly interested in him and that he doesn't figure often, if at all, in their work. This is to say, poor Luke seems to be angry because he's not getting enough attention. Boo-hoo. Miami Penguin

Bad choices: Luke's list loses credibility because of his top three choices. Fred Grimm is a respected local columnist. Barry Jackson's work is consistently well-researched and interesting. And Michael Putney is the dean of political reporters. There's nobody better in Miami. drinas

Look in the mirror: Hey, Luke, you missed a few folks on the Miami New Times payroll. Is there going to be a Part 2 to this article? Harry The Handyman

Ballot Shenanigans

Illegitimate governor: I never thought for one second the criminal Rick Scott was actually elected, and with your report that he paid an accused boletero $5,000 to collect absentee ballots, I have no doubt ("Rick Scott's Fraud," Francisco Alvarado, September 20). The man spent $71 million of his own money on that election, and I didn't see one commercial in Miami. That money buys a lot of ballots down here. nevernot

Pay to Play

Jealous stage mom: Maybe the parent who complained that New World School of the Arts teacher Ron Headrick isn't fairly picking students for his elite theater group should evaluate her child as well as herself ("School Play Payola," Tim Elfrink, September 20). Headrick should be nominated for teacher of the year. He is an example for all and probably fair to a fault. If someone has something negative to say about him, she needs to come forward, not send an anonymous complaint to the school district that he's picking kids based on their willingness to go to the summer camp where he teaches. Talented kids go to performing-arts camps to work at their craft. There are many camps like this, and some are free, while others are costly. But talent is talent, and good kids are good kids. I suggest this troubled stage mom evaluate herself before lashing out at Headrick. lauren528

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