Letters to the editor - Oct. 1


Published: Monday, October 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 1, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Planetarium is a hit

Thanks to The Sun for the outstanding coverage of the recent public premier of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe Community College. And thanks to the people of North Central Florida for their awesome support.

The premiers were an overwhelming success. We planned for a second show each night if the crowds warranted it, but nothing prepared us for the turnout. People showed up from as far away as Ocala, Levy County, Lake City and Palatka.

The planetarium seats only 64 people; this size allows us to provide the live, interactive presentations. Due to the overwhelming demand, the college is changing the planetarium's ticketing and scheduling policies. Beginning Oct. 5 and 6, through December, shows will be offered at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. both Friday and Saturday nights.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 30, free advance tickets for four weeks of future shows will be available at the reception desk of the Alan J. Robertson Administration Building (Building F) at Santa Fe's Northwest Campus during business hours on weekdays or at the planetarium before the weekend shows.

For further information, check our Web site: (www.sfcc.edu/planetarium).

Laurent A. Pellerin, Jr.,

Planetarium coordinator,

Kika Silva Pla Planetarium,

Santa Fe Community College

Fuller is a cartooning thug

Jake Fuller, The Sun's editorial cartoonist is a journalistic thug. Logic, much less any sense of fairness or decency, is beyond him.

Jake Fuller's latest crude assault with a blunt pen is on Hillary Clinton, (Sept. 23) whose apparent sin is that she wants every American to have decent, affordable health care.

Your cartooning thug's alternative, assuming he has any, would appear to be "care" from profiteering, soulless free-market providers. These so-called health care firms have siphoned off billions of dollars in profit instead of providing their customers with adequate doctors, hospitals and medicines. They have left many millions of Americans either unable to afford any heath care at all or forced them to beg and plead for minimally adequate health services.

Do you need proof? I suggest you read the article in the the Sept. 23 Sun about how big Wall Street firms are taking over America's nursing homes and "earning" billions in profits by leaving the helpless elderly in their care to rot, without enough nurses in crumbling physical facilities.

Robert J. Siegel,

Gainesville

What about the roads?

Our roads have deteriorated and are becoming overcrowded. Public outcry has pushed county leadership into action. Now it seems there is one new tax initiative after another to "fix our roads."

A major bond initiative was approved, impact fees instituted, a 5 cent per gallon gas tax increase voted in, a second round of major impact fee increases, and now there is talk about a penny sales tax increase.

But wait, from 2001 to 2007, the county budget grew 63 percent. Early on, under the leadership of the current county manager and eager county commissions, the annual $1 million to $2 million in general fund dollars used for roads upkeep soon disappeared. More recently, it was noted at their July 17th meeting that "new development" generated 28 percent of county tax revenues over the last five years. How many of these tax dollars were used for roadway capacity needs? None.

Ignoring their responsibility to maintain a safe and serviceable road system, county leadership used the increased tax revenues and record budgets noted above to pursue their agendas. As public outcry increased concerning road conditions, and to maintain their own programs, they have now turned to new taxes and bond issues (deferred taxpayer debt) to fund road projects.

Talk about piling it on; the commission also succeeded in having over half of you pay more in property taxes even under the constraint of mandated cuts by the state. And guess what? With all the hype about tax cuts, the commission just voted in a larger budget for 2008 ($327 million to $334 million).

Does anyone care?

Ernie Taylor,

Gainesville

Tasing human rights

Timing is everything. Less than 24 hours after Sally Field's Emmy Award speech, in which she called for the world to be run by women instead of men because it would be less violent, the Taser debacle occurred at a venue in which the city, county, sheriff's department and campus police are all led by women.

Furthermore, despite the plea of "Don't Tase me, bro," it was actually a woman who Tased the student, not a man. No doubt Field must be horrified.

For years, UF faculty have written letters to The Sun claiming that George Bush is a trampler of human rights. Rather than having occurred at Abu Grab or Guantanamo Bay at the behest of George Bush however, the inhumane Tasing happened at the very same academic ivory tower that houses Joseph Little, Winston Nagan and the rest of their ilk. I find that irony utterly delicious.

Simon B. Cantley,

Gainesville

What was he thinking?

When I read Sam Ulbing's Sept. 21 response to my Sept. 14 letter, I thought: What did this confused man read? The premise of Ulbing's letter is based on ideas that no objective reader would've extracted from my writing.

Ulbing erroneously claims I suggested that since there's not been a single attack on American soil since 9/11 it is a sign of progress in Iraq. I never came close to that suggestion.

I wrote that no serious person would comment on the war on terror without mentioning that since 9/11, we've successfully avoided further domestic attacks. I have no problem with attempts to challenge my ideas. I simply ask that it is my ideas that they challenge.

Cliff Knizley,

Gainesville

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