State is 40th for child well-being | June 14
Florida's failures linked to politics
It is disheartening to read headlines about how poorly Florida ranks in health and human services. In this case, it is the Annie E. Casey report on children's well-being. The week before it was on mental health services. Last month it was child deaths.
The news of our downward slide is always accompanied by commentary of nonpartisan advocates. In this case, the spokesman for the Children's Campaign says, "Public investments in children have not kept up with population growth." And from the Florida Policy Institute: "State lawmakers aren't investing enough in public services. … Across party lines, everyone can agree the well-being of children is of utmost importance."
History tells us the facts are not nonpartisan. Florida's per capita funding in health and human services has been going down for 20 years. Republicans took control of the Legislature in 1996 and of the executive in 1998. Jeb Bush's campaign was all about cutting taxes and reducing the size of government. His actions served as the model for the tea party and Freedom Caucus that now govern the nation.
Unfortunately, the Policy Institute follow-up, "Across party lines … the well-being of children is of utmost importance," is not true. Of utmost importance on the Republican side is keeping taxes low and keeping government small.
Alvin W. Wolfe, Lutz
Don't take storms lightly
I was born in New Orleans four years after World War II and since then have experienced every hurricane and tropical storm to hit that region.
On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina violently flooded our home, with no warning. My wife and I avoided drowning by escaping through a window. Once outside, the raging water violently tossed us onto our roof. Tethered only by an anchor rope, Katrina pounded us for hours. When the hurricane ended we were physically exhausted. In less than a full day, we lost everything — our home, camp and business warehouse filled with inventory and trucks. We had no flood insurance, a financial reality that mentally drained us, almost to the point of despair.
Hopefully, our story can serve as a warning to others. Hurricanes are dangerous on many levels, packing energy more powerful than a nuclear bomb. Cavalier attitudes regarding emergency preparation are recipes for disaster. While skies are blue and seas are calm, plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Joseph E. Bellande III, Chalmette, La.
Gunman targets GOP congressmen | June 15
Divisions reach boiling point
The hate and divisions in this country have finally come to a boiling point — Republican congressmen targeted by a Bernie Sanders volunteer. Of course, Sanders is in no way responsible for this shooting, but we must all ask why can't we all come together in this country and let our lawfully elected president do his job.
Since President Donald Trump was sworn in I have seen nothing but attacks against him in this paper. The ridiculous article by Jennifer Rubin was another hit job on our president, and you cite her as a conservative? Let's move on and give the president a chance to do the job he was elected to do.
Kathryn Glynn, Sun City Center