Letters to the Editor for March 10, 2013

Published: Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 11:24 p.m.

We did it right

The recent death of the surgeon general reminds me that since the time warning labels were put on cigarettes, we have largely become a nation of non-smokers.

This is a signal achievement, and untold numbers of malignancies have been prevented. We did this without outlawing cigarettes, and no one went to jail.

We did it with education and patience. Smoking became more expensive and more inconvenient. Attitudes changed; it was no longer a mark of sophistication to smoke. And with time, more and more stopped.

This time we did it right. Drug war, please note.

Samuel Greenberg,


Open a closed mind

Regarding the March 3 letter describing rural people as “willfully and/or genuinely ignorant of important issues,” I beg to differ.

Rural people are as diverse as any other segment of the population. It may seem unfair to the writer that the only opinions that count do not exclusively come from Gainesville, but something in me feels that more than Gainesville voices are important to this area.

Maybe the writer should come to the country for some fresh air and possibly open up a very closed mind.

Cynthia Johnston,

Old Town

Growing problem

Wage theft is a growing problem in our community. In my capacity as a professor, I've known students who have had to withdraw from classes because employers did not pay wages in a timely manner, or at all.

In several instances, my students have told me that certain dishonest employers even calculate their “bottom line” by subtracting legitimate wages from their employees — in advance!

An increasing number of college students in Florida work full time or near full time to pay their bills, and wage theft is undermining their (and our) future. Because of phenomenon, I strongly support a wage recovery ordinance in Alachua County.

Our community, as well as our honest businesses, simply cannot afford unscrupulous employers and the wages that they steal from workers. I call on the leaders of the city of Gainesville to “opt-in” to the proposed Alachua County wage ordinance as soon as possible.

Paul Ortiz,


The leisure of a year

I want to thank and credit the Alachua County School Board for its action on Tuesday night approving the year-round calendar for The One Room School House charter school. As a founding board member of the school, I appreciate the support and collegiality we have received from the school district for the past 16 years.

Innovations like year-round schooling, the resultant increase in tutoring opportunities and early graduation will lessen the negative consequences of curriculum compression. Most educators believe that squeezing a year of scholarship between September and March has resulted in a stressful learning environment with too much emphasis on test preparation. This is especially true for at-risk learners.

One Room students now have the leisure of an entire year to prepare for the rigors of the new nationwide Common Core Standards and the FCAT.

Arthur Newman,


Prevent accidents

After reading the letters and Feb. 2 editorial about jaywalking, I would like to add my voice.

After traveling for almost three years in the College Park area to work on student apartments, I was always worried about the times I had to travel on University Avenue and 13th Street around the university.

The worst offenders of jaywalking and impeding traffic were students. They have no respect for crosswalks or the people who are trying to get to work in the area. They would walk out in front of traffic and make cars stop while almost hitting them.

There are a lot of accidents and injuries in this area each year and the police do nothing about it. Maybe if they ticket some of these kids, they could stop from them getting hurt and prevent some accidents.

Richard Moore,


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