Letters to the Editor - Nov. 1

Published: Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 30, 2009 at 4:09 p.m.

Unfit for office

A few years ago, New Yearís Eve fell on a Sunday, when bars are mandated by law to close at 11 p.m. Bar owners petitioned the city to suspend the Sunday bar closing law for that Sunday, December 31. The city passed a resolution and it was done!

With a similar resolution, the meal limits at St. Francis House could be suspended for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

City Commissioners are trying to drown us in bureaucratic babble about how their hands are tied, but they are doing their best to find a solution.

This has been the quality of discourse between the city and advocates for the homeless and hungry for years: We tell them that the elderly, the sick, the disabled are living in the woods and behind dumpsters and are hungry. They talk to us about zoning laws, codes etc.

In the meantime homeless and hungry people in our town suffer and die. In 15 years of volunteering in the homeless community, I have known only a few who have made it past the age of 60.

None of our current crop of city commissioners are fit to hold public office. It is up to us to do something about it.

Arupa Freeman,


Overpaid officials

There have been recent discussions regarding Alachua County Commission salaries. I believe there are proposals to review the current pay structure to consider reducing their present salary to that of the average county worker.

Even if it was a full time job, I believe the current pay structure is far too generous. It is supposed to be a part-time position, with a county manager and elected officials fulfilling the actual responsibilities of county government.

Perhaps it would be of value to look at other parts of the country. For instance, in New Hampshire, the governor receives $104,758 per year (the current governor, Lynch, returns his to the state).

Members of the Governorís Counsel, which acts as a cabinet, each receive $12,397 per year. And state senators and representatives each receive $100 per year.

It is obvious that politicians in New Hampshire are primarily interested in serving their state and not filling their pockets. And they must be doing something right because they live within their budget and have no income or sales tax.

Norman R. Poulin,


What we value

If one takes the $4 million paid to the football coach and divides it by 365, the number of days in the year, and then assumes an eight hour day, one gets $1,369.86 per hour. Or, if one assumes one works only 52 weeks of eight hour days one gets $1,923.07 per hour.

At the same time, hundreds of hard working men and women at the University of Florida are working for $9 an hour, plus health care of course. Is it not clear what our values are?

William D. Hedges,


Yes, Fox is fair

Fair and balanced? So says Fox News. Those who disagree probably never listened to Fox, which is more than fair and balanced, particularly when compared to CNN and CNBC.

An AP story printed in The Sun (Oct. 19) relates that Glen Beck and Sean Hannity are strong critics of Obama. That is true, but the article fails to mention that Juan Willliams and Geraldo, both of Fox News are Democrats in their leanings and defenders of Obama.

The article also fails to mention that a night never goes by that such Demo luminaries as Bob Beckel , Lanny Davis, Susan Estrich, Ellis Henigan and others are seen at least twice voicing their opinions.

Al Sharpton is a guest just about every month. Does CNN or CNBC have any Republican staffers or conservatives (ie Rush Limbaugh or any other right wing zealot) as a guest on their network? Never would be the correct answer.

Surveys show that nearly half of the Fox audience to be Democrats or Independents. They hear both sides of the story on Fox, and thatís why its audience continues to grow.

Obamaís efforts to deny access to the White House was not only unfair but also arrogant. To think he could get away with it shows the president to be unbalanced.

Alfred L. Lino Sr.,


Dixonís low grade

William Dixon, of Inverness, says (Speaking Out, Oct. 26) about proposals to change health care in the United States, that ďAll this has been tried elsewhere. The results have been universal health coverage of poor quality and health outcomes below current American standards.Ē

He gives no specific examples or cites any evidence or studies that support his opinion. Failure to do that, when I was in college, would get the student a low grade.

Evidentially Dixon has not studied Thomas R. Reidís ďThe Healing of America,Ē a careful and comprehensive analysis of health care systems in seven industrialized nations, and more, throughout the world.

Reid acknowledges that American medicine excels in education and research, but demonstrates that on nearly every other measure it does not come near, let alone stand above, the health opportunities and outcomes of other countries.

I suggest that Dixon ponder Reidís analysis and let us know, with specifics, what facts he has wrong, why his conclusions donít follow from the evidence, and why Dixon still thinks that American standards are so exalted. Is everything just peachy and we canít learn from anyone else?

Robert R. Sherman,


Keep ĎDonít ask ...í

On Oct. 27 The Sun reprinted an editorial from the Fort Worth Star Telegram about gays in the military that raised many questions for me.

What does the editorialist propose to replace the ďdonít ask-donít tellĒ policy? What percentage of the homosexual soldiers were separated from the service in the 17 or so years that the policy has been in force? What did they do to bring about the separation? What will or should the new policy be?

I am not convinced that the policy adopted under President Clinton was wrong and should be changed. What will the new policy be? Should sexuality or sexual preferences be a matter of record? What do the other soldiers, sailors and airmen feel about sharing quarters, showers and latrines with those who have told?

Robert W. Bertcher,


Fluoride works

In her Oct. 25 letter, Gertrude Block praises the fluoride treatments received by her family through the years. I agree.

I was in elementary school (Kirby Smith) in the í40s and was part of a school testing program for fluoride treatment. I donít know how long it was after that our water supply began to use fluoride.

I am age 68 now, have all my teeth, and all of our family membersí teeth are good. After we moved out into what used to be called the country and had well water, our dentist continued fluoride treatments. We have a mentally handicapped son who is 41, and I treat his teeth each night with fluoride, as prescribed by our dentist.

I would advise that the fluoride remain in our water supply.

Linda H. Avery,


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