Letters and feedback: Jan. 23, 2022

·7 min read

We must keep scrub habitat intact

It’s essential to keep the scrub habitat as low scrub and bushes for the threatened scrub jays. The land was purchased and set aside for scrub jays, gopher tortoises and indigo snakes, because developers were building on the rest of the county. The jays live in families and one member acts as a sentinel watching for predators. Tall trees harbor predators like hawks.

When I served on the EELS Recreation and Education Committee, Murray Hahn represented the 400-member bicycle club. He said the bikers like the trees to rest in the shade. I said that if it’s too hot to bike, don’t go. Or bike on a residential street with trees. Preserve the only remaining habitat the birds have for survival.

Beverly Morgan, Viera

The fight for equity, fairness in schools

A word of support for the Brevard school board for supporting teacher training based on evidence-based practices, regarding the Jan. 19 education article.

Conscious Discipline Methodology is an evidence-based mental health and substance abuse intervention designed to improve problem solving and discipline in our kids' classrooms. Some angry parents have decided to brand anything like this program as "critical race theory" simply because they found the word "equity" in the literature. Groups like Moms for Liberty claim to fight extremist ideas while making their own alarmist and dishonest claims. There's nothing wrong with striving for equity and fairness in our schools.

Ken Ludwa, Indialantic

To save the remaining threatened scrub jays there, thousands of trees, including a few hundred yards of old oak hammock that shades trails at Malabar Scrub Sanctuary, must go, Brevard County officials say.
To save the remaining threatened scrub jays there, thousands of trees, including a few hundred yards of old oak hammock that shades trails at Malabar Scrub Sanctuary, must go, Brevard County officials say.

Sirois' seagrass bill should be sunk

Okay, I'm confused. House Bill 349 filed by Rep Tyler Sirois doesn't make sense. If seagrass mitigation efforts have not resulted in the intended outcome, why would anyone support this legislation? Developers would be able to destroy one area and purchase mitigation credits in another. Really?

It's going to be a long road to recovery as it is now without further jeopardizing the health of our lagoon (one of many of Brevard County's jewels of nature) by allowing additional development. Leave it alone, and let nature heal itself.

Karen Adair Croft, Rockledge

Law enforcement deserves support

With the dual plagues of political in-correctness and mass media bias, law enforcement all across this great nation are taking a brutal beating.

I was recently involved in an incident where a Brevard County Sheriff's Office deputy presented a sterling example of a decent person doing an ever-potentially perilous job with nothing but precision — professional, polite, thorough, and understanding.

This deputy clearly demonstrates what most media, constrained by foolish agenda, do not highlight. Allow these brave, helpful individuals, who forthrightly lay their lives on the line every day the for the good of society, the civility and respect we all so sorely need in this vastly troubled world.

Jon Leone, Grant

Politics shouldn't play role in this crisis

FLORIDA TODAY's Jan. 21 editorial was spot-on. What nonsense the Florida Department of Health is practicing. Your comparisons to a dentist and to a military commander are quite apt.

The vaccination and mask issues have become purely political rather than scientific, another damaging impact of our national divisiveness. Politics should play no role in this health crisis. DeSantis loves to tout Florida as a free state, yet history shows that some freedoms — especially unjustified freedoms — lead to disaster. The key is to balance the freedoms against common sense and public health, a balancing act that society’s trained professionals should discuss. Dr. Pino is such a professional. Disagreements among professionals should eventually lead to wise decisions — the more input the better.

Dr. Pino would be accused of hypocrisy should he ignore his training and the science. Seems like he’s damned either way.

Peggy Jacobson, Melbourne Beach

Suspended doctor is 'voice of reason'

Regarding the suspension of Orange County Health Department administrator Dr. Raul Pino: Someone is extremely jealous of the good doctor's capabilities and popularity. He has been the primary advocate and source of accurate knowledge for the people of the county since the start of the pandemic.

Nowhere in the email (as shown on TV) does he demand that anyone has to get vaccinated; he does say that it is ridiculous, the low number of employees who aren't. This negates the reason for the state health department's case/investigation — such a waste of time and money.

Dr. Pino has been the voice of reason and knowledge and deserves the people's respect, not criticism for speaking the truth.

Garey Hartman, Melbourne

Don Landgren, USA TODAY Network
Don Landgren, USA TODAY Network

Not insurrection? Give me a break

Bill Mick, in his Jan.12 column, says Jan. 6, 2021, was a "protest," not an insurrection or riot. His own dictionary definition states insurrection is "a usually violent attempt to take control of the government." The rioters were violently taking over the halls of Congress to stop the certification of the duly elected president and vice president.

He says that there was little organization. Why then are 11 members of the militant Oath Keepers being charged with "seditious conspiracy" with possible 20-year jail sentences?

His #1 point: "It wasn't even close to an insurrection." He also states that the protesters are "actually mostly peaceful. A few ... decided to breach the Capitol." A few? Give me a break.

Get real. A legitimate protest is fine; but when four people die, hundreds of Capitol police are injured and the U.S. Capitol is taken over by an angry mob, it is an insurrection.

Tom Wickham, Indialantic

Forget Jan. 6: Congress has work to do

While Congress fritters away its time pursuing the prosecution of fake insurrectionists, Rome burns. The IRS has over 34 million unprocessed 2020 tax returns and millions of unopened correspondences. They just announced that the number of 2021 unprocessed returns will be even higher.

Now their automated delinquency system has kicked in and they are sending delinquent notices to innocent taxpayers who have filed returns not yet processed by the IRS.

Another area that is ignored: college tuitions which have been growing at rates faster than inflation. At the same time endowment funds have grown from $10.9 million in 1970 to an astounding $647.9 billion in 2018, a growth rate of 25.1% a year. Rather than use the income from these funds, as allowed by law, to reduce tuition, the universities are building administrative staff and plants as well as giving football coaches absurdly expensive contracts.

Congress needs to begin focusing on these real issues before we burn to the ground.

Raymond J. Land, Satellite Beach

Participants march across the 16th Street bridge to support the right to vote for all during the Deliver For Voting Rights march in Phoenix on Jan. 15, 2022.
Participants march across the 16th Street bridge to support the right to vote for all during the Deliver For Voting Rights march in Phoenix on Jan. 15, 2022.

'The Senate is broken'

Republican state legislatures are doing extreme things to gain an electoral advantage. Restricting voting access through techniques like strategically shutting down polling locations (over 1,700), and restricting voting hours and the ability to vote by mail. Also, replacing non-partisan voting administrators with partisans to promote a slate of electors that don’t represent the voting result.

Senate Republicans are doing nothing to stand up for a fair electoral process. There isn't one of 16 current Republicans senators, who voted unanimously in 2005 to extend the Voting Rights Act of 1965, who voted to support a one-time filibuster carve out to debate and vote on Joe Manchin's Freedom To Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Not one. Sadly both Manchin and Sinema voted with the Republicans. Even when a majority of Republican, Democrat and independent voters support both bills.

The Senate is broken. The Republicans are totally united against supporting any part of Biden’s agenda. The only exemption to that obstructionism was last month’s filibuster carve-out to allow the debt ceiling increase to pass with only 51 Democrat votes. For McConnell, it’s easy to create a filibuster carve-out when it suits his purposes. In that case, to avoid blame for an international financial catastrophe.

This time McConnell held his caucus of 50 together better than Schumer's 50. Those 52 senators represent 34 million fewer voters than the 48 Democrats. The minority rules again. And a voting rights bill the Supreme Court requested of Congress is dead for the time being.

Jeff Dorman, Satellite Beach

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Letters and feedback: Jan. 23, 2022