Letters to the Editor for May 19, 2013


Published: Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 9:54 p.m.

Recognize everyone

I am writing in response to the recent report about the perks provided to Florida college presidents. I am in no position to comment on the report's accuracy, though I will say I admire Santa Fe College President Jackson Sasser. He has navigated us through some lean years, and I hope he has been fairly recognized for his hard work.

However, the lack of a decent cost-of-living increase in several years for many Santa Fe staff has become a crippling reality. We are asked to do more and more with less and less while serving a diverse population of students.

It is no accident that we were named one of the top 10 colleges in the country last year by the Aspen Institute; SFC is awesome. The staff makes sure of it.

It is really time to recognize everyone, from the college president to the person covering the financial aid counter, with equitable compensation.

Julia Jucker,

Santa Fe College employee

Economic lifeblood

Mayor-elect Ed Braddy states that “small businesses are the economic lifeblood of our community.” He seems to equate “economic lifeblood” with his contention that “it is the many small businesses that provide the vast majority of private sector jobs.”

Yes, small businesses are important, but the economic lifeblood of our community is that great public institution, the University of Florida, and the more than 10,000 people it employs in Alachua County, with an additional 900 physicians and over 8,000 nursing and support staff at Shands.

UF is at the heart of Gainesville's burgeoning innovation economy and its well-paying jobs. Virtually all of our small businesses directly or indirectly depend upon the money UF pumps into the local economy. Local government needs to be attuned to the needs of small businesses but even more so to UF, which makes Gainesville a unique and vibrant community in which to live and work.

Hunt Davis Jr.,

Gainesville

Keep working

I am one of the evidently blacklisted Democrats who had the audacity to vote for Ed Braddy. I happened to believe more in his message than in the Democratic Party line.

I am adamantly opposed to narrowing Northwest Eighth Avenue, installing rails for trolley cars (rails curved around the roundabouts?) and rapid transit. I will vote against a tax increase that includes those things; I will vote for a tax increase to fix the roads.

I withhold judgment on a circular shuttle, as that might be good, but I don't see a lot of takers at the moment. Keep working on fixing the roads without making it more difficult to get around town by narrowing them.

Carol Hayes-Christiansen,

Gainesville

Demand more

In Ted Yoho's March 12 column explaining why he voted against the Violence Against Women Act, he said: “The first line of defense for any victim of violence is local law enforcement, not an act of Congress.” I think the three women discovered in Cleveland would disagree.

I also think the young rape victim from Steubenville, Ohio, would disagree. As well as the 26,000 sexual assault victims in our military. The Violence Against Women Act is a baby step in protecting ourselves from sexual predators.

Just imagine if we had conducted a “war on pedophilia” or a “war on sexual abuse” instead of squandering our resources on the “war on drugs.” I applaud Sheriff Sadie Darnell for her recent sweep of pedophiles, but it is just a drop in the bucket.

It is time for us all to demand much more be done to stop the horrific sexual abuse taking place in this country.

Kelly Moore,

Gainesville

Religious diversity

I appreciated The Sun's May 9 editorial on diversity in response to the incident at the Hare Krishna Temple in Alachua. Its call for acts showing support for them is thoughtful.

As an example of respect for religious diversity, I would call The Sun and your readers' attention to the Chapel at Shands at the University of Florida. The collage of faith symbols was completed while I was director of pastoral Services, and was supported in its design by my staff. It affirms all of the major faith groups and shows the geographic location of the origins of each. Some prominent groups were founded near one another, and shared common patriarchs.

This chapel should be recognized and used by UF and Shands as a model for what it means to respect diversity.

James T. Wagner,

Gainesville

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