Letters to the editor, Jan. 16

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

Canceling summer classes would be bad for business

Many of us in low-margin businesses could be devastated if UF canceled summer classes. This would ripple throughout the Gainesville economy and put us through a pretty severe, localized recession.

Imagine telling retail business owners in town that they're going to lose between 20 percent and 33 percent of their sales but keep 100 percent of their fixed costs.

I really hope that UF President Bernie Machen's threat is mere political posturing.

Pete Zimek,


Ben & Jerry's,


Learn about animal rights

Animal rights is one of the most misunderstood issues of our time. People profiting from animal wrongs have a vested interest in clouding and distorting the truth. As a result, the rest of society mistakenly believes that they somehow benefit from all of the many wrongs.

This in turn prevents animal rights from getting a fair hearing and keeps it on the fringe of public debate. What most people don't know is that when addressing animal rights issues it almost always translates into vastly improved human rights. Yes, things like improved health and health care all the way to a much cleaner and stable environment. Everyone truly benefits by championing the animal rights cause.

Gainesville residents are fortunate enough to live in the host city for the seventh annual Compassion for Animals Symposium. It will be held the weekend of Feb. 22 at the Holiday Inn, University Center. Additional information is available at (904) 454-4341, chasmoe@earthlink.net or at the Web site www.vegevents.net.

If your readers only "think" they know what animal rights are about then they should attend and learn the whole story. It will surprise them!

J.C. Corcoran,


Claims of cuts to police, fire are scare tactics

Budget planning is something most people have to become good at just to live. A working person with a weekly paycheck has to budget for the priority items first. They've got to have food, housing and clothing. Close behind those are medical care, transportation and utilities. Bringing up the rear would be entertainment, vacations and new stuff.

City and county commissioners have no clue how to budget the taxpayers' dollars. When a tax cut looks imminent the commissions and The Sun immediately tell us that police, fire and rescue will surely be cut to the bone. Such statements are meant to sway the voters against a tax cut and The Sun abets this claim by its reporting.

Why don't commissioners and The Sun propose some alternate measures such as suspending tax breaks to developers, "trim" their own salaries, stop work on sidewalks and median beautification at taxpayer expense, stop using outside consultants for routine information gathering, hold up on roundabouts, bike lanes and road narrowing. Last but not least, reduce the monies spent on homeless projects.

According to local news reporting we already have a need for more police on the streets, and with more population we will have more crime, vehicle accidents, more fires and personal injuries. To suggest cuts in funding for those agencies is self-serving politics as usual.

Pull your heads out of the sand, look at what is proposed by the tax cut amendment and by candidates for local officials and vote!

Richard F. Coleman,


She was already Bill's co-president

The Jan. 10 letter by Fred Depenbrock in The Sun has one serious flaw. He recommends that Hillary Clinton be elected president this year and possibly 2012 to be followed by Barack Obama.

The flaw is that Hillary has referred several times to her co-presidency with Bill Clinton. If she was co-president with Bill for eight years, surely the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution prevents her from running again.

Raymond L. Lush,


Clintons employ the same old "victim" strategy

In response to Phyllis M. Meek's Jan. 13 letter about Hillary Clinton:

First, most people vote for a candidate because of issues and what they believe in. The Clintons have always used the "feel sorry for me, and we are the victim" strategy to their advantage. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have done nothing for their fellow man. They are only concerned with the accumulation of more power.

If Hillary does self-destruct, it will be of her own doing. Hillary has forgotten her Southern roots and family values, as evidence by her support for abortion and her anti-gun position. The idea of giving illegal aliens driver licenses is one other reason she will hopefully never be heard from again after this election!

Robert Monica,


School Board should look for a permanent solution

Alachua County schools have experienced many changes over the last 45 years because of integration, growth and educational philosophy. Rezoning has repeatedly been an issue.

I believe it is time for the School Board to stop trying to remedy the problem with Band-Aid fixes and make a commitment to finding a permanent solution.

I would like to offer an idea that will run contrary to the current philosophy that smaller schools are better schools.

I suggest we change our current elementary, middle and high school system to one where students attend elementary school for kindergarten through third grade, advance to middle school for fourth through sixth grade, to junior high school for seventh through ninth grade, and to senior high school for 10th through 12th grade.

Current elementary schools would be zoned for neighborhood attendance, with magnet programs to achieve socioeconomic and racial balance. The elementary magnet programs would move up to the middle schools, and then to the junior high schools for the purpose of continuing this balance.

Buchholz, Eastside and Gainesville High would become junior high schools and Alachua County would build one new senior high.

I believe the community would be supportive of a bond issue to construct a new high school if it meant an end to the uncertainty that exists now about school attendance zones. A large high school does not have to become a factory but can deliver a quality education and maintain a personal relationship with its students if it is well-managed and adequately staffed.

Joanne L. Sutherby,


Give back UF bonuses to save summer classes

I don't know what UF could be thinking! It seems like all they are interested in is their paychecks.

Cutting summer classes will hurt both the students and the local economy. Maybe the employees and the UF president should give back their raises and bonuses.

Whatever happened to teachers caring more about the students' education than the almighty dollar?

Debra K. Davis,


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