Letters to the Editor for Jan. 21

Published: Monday, January 21, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 4:53 p.m.

Remember Dr. King's courage and conviction

Forty-three years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke passionately of his dream for America. He dreamed of an America where all citizens would be judged "by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin."

He dreamed of an America where all would enjoy the riches of freedom and the security of justice. He dreamed of an America where the doors of opportunity would be open to all of God's children.

In Florida today, we strive to make his dream a reality for every citizen. Our state has made great progress in battling discrimination, reducing crime and improving education. With the leadership of our governor, the Florida Legislature created the landmark Marvin Davies' Civil Rights Act, giving the attorney general the authority to initiate civil rights action when there is a pattern of discrimination.

I sincerely believe discrimination can be eliminated with education and opportunity. Dr. King so correctly wrote, "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity," and it is up to this generation and those after us to ensure ignorance is replaced with knowledge. Gov. Charlie Crist supports education by appropriately funding the public school system and giving parents more choices in their children's schooling.

Dr. King's devotion to helping others reflected the true spirit of service and citizenship and his example continues to motivate individuals to serve causes greater than themselves. As we honor Dr. King's accomplishments, we pledge to work for a nation in which all people of every race realize the promise of America.

Clovis Watson Jr.,


City of Alachua

Government should learn to live within its means

Two articles in the Thursday, Jan. 17. Sun are prime examples of why Florida is talking about property tax cuts.

One article states that the county is campaigning against the property tax cut amendment. The Alachua County Commission says the amendment could cost them approximately $11 million.

Directly above this article is another about a consultant telling the county to build a $27 million arena to attract concerts and trade shows. Even if the property tax amendment fails, where would they get the $27 million? The commission says it would come from grants and a proposed 1 percent increase on the already 3 percent county bed tax.

Well, OK, but if those things don't generate enough money, I guess Alachua County can up the gas tax or property taxes. For what, again? Oh yes, to build an arena.

The problem, as I see it, is that all counties, cities, states and the federal government are always looking to hire consultants and/or to do studies to find ways to spend money (which tells me they have enough already). Why not just relax spending for a while, build up the coffers, and do with what you have?

Enough is enough! The amendment will pass or fail. We all need to start living within our means. If you're rich, spend it. If you're not, tear up those credit cards.

Wendell Snowden,


Machen's bonus would help summer school budget

In this time of crisis befalling UF, I wholeheartedly agree with Patricia Schmidt, professor emerita ("An agenda for Bernie Machen," Jan. 12), with one slight observation: Prestigious universities do not recruit Nobel prize winners, they grow them!

I would like to mention that Professor Schmidt was one of the ablest administrators UF ever had. She was a part of the administration when UF achieved its present national status. Yes, there has been a lot of huffing and puffing since, but except for hiring highly paid administrators, UF's standing hasn't changed essentially.

And speaking of President Machen's latest bonus, in my opinion, the only action on his part that would have justified it would be to put his bonus into this year's summer school budget.

Z.R. Pop-Stojanovic,

Professor emeritus of mathematics,

University of Florida

Make a difference with United Way

United Way of North Central Florida was founded more than 50 years ago by leading business people seeking to work together to make a real difference in their community. This spirit of caring and civic engagement lives on through the hundreds of volunteers and thousands of people who invest in our community through an annual campaign today.

Our annual campaign gives organizations and their employees the opportunity to make a difference for charitable and civic initiatives in a meaningful way. We improve people's lives and the well-being of our shared community.

Today's campaign is supported by more than 180 workplaces across the region including state and federal employees and the University of Florida. We expect to break records all across North Central Florida, raising more money than ever for health and human services.

I believe that giving to United Way is the most effective way to maximize the value of my charitable investments and make a difference in my community. United Way makes giving convenient and affordable for all of us, through electronic pledging, payroll deduction services, and the flexibility to choose how much and to whom to give.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who participated in this year's campaign. Your investment of time, talent and money are creating a meaningful and tangible impact in our community.

Brian K. Hutchison,

2007 Annual Campaign Chair,

United Way of North Central Florida ,


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