Commissioners must read the room on spending
Creating new ways to spend county money from the Tourist Development Tax is dumb and irresponsible. None of the current (before this past election) Brevard county commissioners were in commissioner positions in 2004, during Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne, so what do they know about being prepared for big beach damage after one, two or three storms?
After being elected, do any of them do any studying of county history to understand the risks and disasters of Brevard County? Heck, no. All they do, on the fly, is figure out ways to spend tax dollars foolishly. And these current commissions proclaim they are conservative Republicans. Baloney. After Hurricanes Nicole and Ian, they will have to dip into available reserves of $10 million from the Tourist Development Tax fund, to repair and replenish our beaches. But wait: Estimates to do this come in at $17 million dollars. Ahh: Where are all the dollars collected from the tax? If you guessed these dollars were spent on businesses, you win.
Heads up commissioners, current and newly elected. Our beaches are why we are a tourist community. Beach maintenance and repair should be your No. 1 consideration. There should be $25 million in county reserves annually to address storm destruction.
It's long overdue for this to be understood by our county government. Get with it.
Gary Neff, Cocoa Beach
Pride of Mel Hi shares love, respect through parade
I am writing in response to the Nov. 13, 2022, article written by the Rev. Joel Tooley, titled “Veterans Day Parade is no Place for those Representing the Confederacy.”
While I agree that groups with indistinguishable links to white supremacy should not be given a place to march in a Veterans Day parade in Melbourne, encouraging Melbourne High School marching band students not to participate in the parade punishes the veterans viewing the parade, not the other participants in the parade.
As an alumnus of the Pride of Mel Hi, I have marched in this parade and seen how excited the veterans get when the bands march by playing the "America the Beautiful/Grand Old Flag" mashup and "Hey Baby." It is everyone’s favorite part of the parade. Petitioning the school to not participate in the parade and encouraging students to opt out only takes away from the veterans that the parade is honoring. The Pride of Mel Hi has always promoted messages of inclusion and love, exemplified in the 2017 marching show titled “Love is Love.”
Perhaps it would be better for our band to continue to march in this parade and stand against hate by promoting messages of love and support in our community. Rather than removing a good part of the parade, we should turn our attention to the parade organizers and petition to have the Confederacy veterans group removed from the parade line-up. I agree with that this hate has no place being celebrated, “our veterans fought to destroy the Confederacy, not prop it up in a city parade,” but these hateful groups are the ones who need to leave the parade, not the Pride of Mel Hi.
Our marching band has always viewed parades as an opportunity to give back to a community that always supports us, and I feel it would be a disservice to the community of veterans that we are trying to honor to remove their favorite part of the parade.
Lily Hall, Boca Raton
Ivey's headline-grabbing move is just that
I read with alarm your story titled Sheriff Wayne Ivey announces a 'brand new day' for discipline at Brevard schools.
There are many ways to address discipline in the classroom that result in a dramatic reduction in suspensions and disruptions as described in this resource-rich article, "Decarceration Begins with School Discipline Reform." Educators must fight back against Ivey’s draconian policies as they are doing across the country. They must “use trauma-informed and restorative justice practices to shift paradigms.” The successful paradigm implements reasoning and restorative justice and resulted in the complete elimination of suspensions and prevention of further disruptions in school districts that adopt this paradigm. Isn’t that the goal?
Recent legislation and activity by such groups as Moms for Liberty are making it tougher to navigate youth and adolescence while fomenting hatred. Do we really want to blame them for acting out after we’ve made their lives harder and more confusing? Is that justice?
Clearly, we have a discipline problem as shockingly described in your article but that is largely of our own making as we have failed to fund the resources needed to do anything about it. Those resources address discipline without resorting to exposing children to the criminal justice system.
This is not pandering. Adopting these methods solves the problem, full stop. It is how we restore school discipline.
Ivey’s headline-grabbing pronouncement is just another way for him to continue the historical repression of citizens of color. Don’t let him get away with it.
Kathryn Creedy, Indian Harbour Beach
Corporal punishment is not the answer
I don't know what school Sheriff Wayne Ivey went to but I can relate my school experiences.
It has been 80 years since I was a student in the public school system. The most disciplinary action I witnessed was cleaning the classroom or washing the blackboards after school, or putting those who acted up in the coat room with a closed door. In one case, a student was put under the teacher’s desk for a whole period. Physical disciplinary action was taken by the parents. Of course, most of the parents thought the teachers were “next to God” and woe to the kid who was reported as a problem child. Mom or Dad did the slapping but none reportedly as bad as the sheriff’s description, one he stated in a recent press conference, since that would have been considered as child abuse.
The whole attitude of parents and teachers was different then. Now many parents think they are better and brighter than the teachers and their kids reflect that same attitude. I don't think police work is the answer. That is something you would expect in Russia or China.William Schwarze, Rockledge
Let Putin know: Get out of Ukraine or face consequences
The time has come for President Biden and all G20 leaders from democracies to give Putin this firm future policy statement.
The policy is simple. Get out of Ukraine and pay to rebuild the country or Russia will be banned from all future trade and diplomatic relationships.
What a farce. We are spending billions of future taxpayers' money to help Ukraine, which prolongs the agony and losses of lives and property.
And we have done nothing powerful enough yet to get the attention of Putin’s followers. They really ought to remove him from office.
We should crank up our natural gas production and find a feasible method to transport to Europe.
I don’t think President Biden has the courage. Why? Nuclear fear from a madman that we should remove from power if his followers don’t do it first.
K.D. “Don” Williams, Palm Bay
Here's a little (real) history for the books
Here's some history and CRT (critical race theory) for you. You may not find this information in your history books today.
Black slaves, men and woman built the South on their backs. They worked cotton, tobacco and other crops as well as labored in other industries.
Chinese workers built the Central Pacific Railroad and other rail lines in the West, opening up the country. Many perished. They also supported the growth of many cities in the West working humble jobs.
Another industrious group, the Japanese, were forced from their homes, housed in unfit detention facilities, relocated to inland communities, or put into internment camps during WW ll.
On the other hand, the white settlers largely drove out the Native Americans, put them in reservations or killed them off and also precipitated the Civil War, which freed the slaves but did not integrate them as equals.
Oops, my bad. Those are facts, not "theory." I'd like to know how they overcame their past and how that influenced where they stand today. They never taught all that in school.
Brian Dean, Melbourne
This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Ivey goes for headlines; band marches with pride; Letters, Dec. 4, 2022