Letters to the Editor - Jan. 25

Published: Monday, January 25, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 22, 2010 at 12:44 a.m.

Support in our time of grieving

On Jan. 14 I experienced the most traumatic and trying time of my life and certainly in my career as a law enforcement officer. Although as law officers you know the possibility of danger exists, you are never really prepared for the experience of losing not only an employee but a true dear friend.

I watched as Chad Reed's friends and co-workers worked diligently through this event and continued to serve not only the people of Dixie County, but also Chad himself. They persevered during the loss of their friend and performed stoically.

As the events unfolded, neighboring law enforcement agencies rushed to our aid and began serving not only our needs but those of the community. I always knew this would be the case and that we could depend on assistance when needed, but I never imagined the magnitude in which it would unfold as we began to receive offers of assistance from throughout Florida.

Thursday night (Jan. 14) and throughout the weekend this generosity was not only received from our brothers in law enforcement, but from the citizens of Dixie County. Your offers of prayers, support, condolences along with food and beverages for my staff and me were remarkable. There is absolutely no way to remember all of these kind offerings or from whom they were given but understand we as your public servants are truly thankful.

I ask that you continue to pray for Chad Reed's family, friends and co-workers in this their time of loss.

Dewey H. Hatcher Sr.,


Dixie County

Time to confront childhood obesity

Kudos to The Gainesville Sun for putting the spotlight on childhood obesity. The Body Mass Index data collected by the School Board of Alachua County mirrors statistics being cited by health professionals across America.

The first step is recognition which will lead to much discussion and then, I hope, timely action.

There have been many dedicated parents and professionals beating this drum for years. They even formed a task force after the passing of the school system wellness policy. This task force, ACT (Alachua County Team) for Healthy Kids, has been meeting for three years, completing a toolkit for schools to use in implementing their wellness policy and attending school health fairs.

The frustration has been how little action is being taken now to curb these obesity statistics. We need parents and teachers to form wellness committees at their schools and choose two projects to improve the health of their students.

Quality after-school programs with physical activity can be put in place at community centers and schools, and opportunities for children to participate in parks and recreation programs need to be expanded. My hope is that this article will inspire and motivate a grass-roots effort to improve the health of our children.

Jennifer Bleiweis,


What's wrong with a little socialism?

Ted Belser (Voice, Jan. 21) calls President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi socialists, hoping perhaps to unseat Reid, Pelosi and other Democrats in November.

It's unfortunate that most of the examples of socialism used in our country are of totalitarian regimes. It was the view of Karl Marx that a totalitarian government was necessary for socialism to succeed.

But in a country where the people are the government, socialism makes a lot of sense to me. Why shouldn't the rich want to help the poor? Sheer greed I suppose, but can we endorse this quality in our people?

Marxism says from each according to their ability to each according to their need. What is wrong with that? Isn't that a great ideal?

Many condemned Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a socialist, but even among the most anti-Obama-Pelosi-Reid citizens in America FDR is considered a hero who put people back to work.

This Congress has a chance to be great, but those who scream socialism impede its progress.

Eddie Bryan,

Keystone Heights

Let's stop blaming and start fixing

Ted Belser's Jan. 21 letter is quite humorous. “Many conservatives believe in personal responsibility. Many liberals believe that the “nanny state” trumps personal responsibility.”

Wow, what an incredible generalization. If you believe Belser, all liberals want a free ride.

How about this for a generalization; many conservatives want nothing to do with the federal government paying for anything that would personally benefit them. Equally absurd, right?

If conservatives and liberals alike tried to fix instead of blame, we would have a wonderful place to live. For individuals to use the “socialistic system” and refute its benefits to make them sound like they are a card-carrying conservative, is nothing more than a shell game.

Martin Werts,


Overpaid and underworked

I read in the Gainesville Sun that the City of Gainesville expects a large shortfall of revenue for 2010. I believe a lot of that could be prevented if not for the unions' involvement in the workplace for the city and county.

Too many times I have seen workers slacking on the job and, in some cases, doing nothing. If city or county officials would monitor them on a continual basis a lot of this would stop.

How much money could the city or county save if they got rid of half of these unneeded people? I think overpaid, little-work union jobs could be replaced by hiring good workers and having someone accountable to make sure that they give a good day's work.

Paul Duffey


Time to abolish teacher tenure?

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