Letters to the Editor for Sept. 2


Published: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 11:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 11:36 p.m.

State is guilty of child neglect

At the Partnership for Strong Families we just received word that our state funding will be cut by another $500,000 (this on top of a million dollar-plus cut earlier in the year).

Surprise, surprise, money is not rolling in to the state treasury as had been hoped for by our state leadership.

The partnership is responsible for the safety and support of 3,000 area children who have been born into circumstances over which they had no say; abandoned, abused, neglected, born into poverty, often involving single, uneducated moms.

These are not “cases.” These are real children who have real and often desperate needs. Children who deserve a chance at a decent and successful life.

How can we do this job under these shortfall conditions? Do the people we have elected to Tallahassee think there is “fat” to be trimmed or that our costs have somehow lowered?

The state children’s abuse hotline is actually 15 percent busier so far this year than last. More and more children need our help.

The governor, the legislators, and the tax commission they appointed, have done nothing to address the antique methods of funding our state government. There is no professionalism, no vision. Like deer caught in headlights, they are frightened, frozen, vulnerable but unable to move away from danger.

God help us. And God please help our children.

Jim Stringfellow,

Chair, Partnership for Strong Families

Gainesville

A whale of a story

Kathy Muni (Voice, Aug. 27) correctly and intelligently argues that the “evolution” of Mickey Mouse (David Campbell, Aug. 24) has nothing to do with biological evolution. Unfortunately that intelligence seems to take flight when she writes that “evolutionists theorize that cows became whales.”

Please share with us the names of one or two actual evolutionists who have published this fantastic concept, and cite references to reputable scientific publications in which this claim appeared. Perhaps Muni confused the cow-whale story from the equally confused speculations of Intelligent Design theorist David Berlinski.

Edward P. Previc,

Gainesville

Gov. Palin’s experience deserves questioning

Much valid criticism of Gov. Sarah Palin rests on her absolute lack of foreign policy experience. Equally valid, however, is her minuscule domestic policy experience.

While her supporters argue that her political experience in Alaska is adequate, what is that experience?

Sarah Palin was the mayor of the town of Wasilla, Alaska, from 2000 until 2004. At that time Wasilla was approximately the same size as the town of Alachua. She held no political office from 2004 until 2006, when she was elected Governor of Alaska, the population of which is approximately the same as Jacksonville, Florida.

About Iraq, Iran, Israel, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Pakistan, India, China, Russia and the rest of the world, she knows little, if anything.

What then does she know about job loss and job creation, outsourcing, the Bush trillion dollar deficit, nuclear proliferation, genocide, free trade, health care, homeland security, immigration, social security, tax reform, technology and a plethora of issues we in the lower 48 states have interest in?

As vice president, she would be President of the United States Senate, and she would sit on the National Security Council. What specific qualifications does she have for those functions, or for making American voters comfortable with the fact that she has the judgment to be the commander-in-chief who decides that a nuclear weapon must be launched?

Many don’t care whether those questions are answered. They are satisfied with the knowledge that she is a pro-life mother of five and a lifelong member of the NRA as sufficient reason for her selection. I want more.

Jerry Sanford,

Gainesville

UF partnership needed

As I watched our glorious Gators in their season opener, I couldn’t dismiss the irony of a great university: unbelievably successful in athletics while languishing in unacceptable funding for academic programs.

The University of Florida is embarrassed for achieving top “Party School” status while slipping in the top public university list.

Though President Machen and his administrative staff have done an exemplarily job of maximizing meager resources while managing minimal losses of faculty and staff, the lack of regard for higher education by the state executive branch and legislature has Florida’s flagship university facing severe future cuts and an inevitable brain drain.

Meanwhile, our athletic department is reveling in an era of historic financial success. While academic units lose valuable programs, faculty, staff and graduate students; our coaches and their staff are enjoying extravagant salaries, facilities and perks.

Jeremy Foley, Urban Meyer and Billy Donovan enjoy the benefits of a business model that would be the envy of any NFL or NBA team owner; with no player salaries, no taxes, designated contributors, a 102-year-old brand and hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide.

I’m suggesting that interdependence exists between athletics and academics. As any business executive knows, an organization may have some profit centers that at times are more financially successful than others, but all are needed to make a successful enterprise.

I’m proposing that athletics pay an equitable share of university costs for the privilege of carrying the Gator brand. That way we will all continue to prosper, and produce Rhodes Scholars as well as Heisman athletes.

Mark Davis,

Gainesville

Our judicial candidates made community proud

As an attorney and lifelong resident of Alachua County, I was proud to see that once again my colleagues have kept up our long-standing tradition of judicial candidates conducting themselves professionally and ethically.

Unlike candidates seeking election for other offices, judicial candidates must be lawyers and usually have had the opportunity to work with their opponents for a number of years.

We are fortunate that judicial candidates in Alachua County have historically not resorted to negative attacks or mudslinging. Instead they rely on their own individual merits and the will of the people.

A fine example of this was illustrated in The Gainesville Sun article of Aug. 28, regarding the recent Alachua County Group 2 judicial election results. After finishing third in the initial election results by a mere 62 votes (a margin of two-tenths of 1% of the total ballots cast) candidate Rob Groeb was entitled to a recount to determine who would face Denise Ferrero in a run-off election.

However, in a professional and unselfish manner, Groeb sent a letter to the Supervisor of Elections waiving his right to a recount, stating, “because I have no reason to question the validity of the preliminary vote count and I have no wish to impose upon the taxpayers of Alachua County the burden and expense of conducting a recount.”

I wonder if candidates seeking other positions would be so gracious in defeat?

To the voters of Alachua County, I advise that when it comes to selecting our county’s next judge, ask those who work with the candidates. Attorneys, law enforcement and court personnel work closely with the candidates and often have valuable information as to their qualifications.

Miles Kinsell,

Gainesville

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