Re: Owner of tall truck sues city | Oct. 23 story
Who pays for fight over truck?
When I called Dunedin about handyman Mike Conley's lawsuit in federal court against the city because of $186,000 in fines resulting from him failing to pull a building permit (which entails several hundred dollars in hoop-jumping) and because the city doesn't want him parking his eight-inches-too-tall truck at his house, not one person I spoke with was aware of the suit.
The reason I called was to find out what the city's end game is. I'm a resident of Dunedin and I'm not sure the highest priority during a major recession — which may yet spiral into a depression — is a truck that is eight inches above code or an uninspected backyard shed.
Does the city expect Mr. Conley to pay the $186,000? Does the city intend to defend itself all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court? Is Dunedin's city attorney even accepted by the Supreme Court as an advocate? How much are the additional attorneys on the team going to cost the taxpayers?
Even if the city wins in the end, is it Dunedin's goal to destroy the Conley family financially? To bankrupt him, take his house? I didn't get answers to any of these questions, because, as I said, no one in City Hall was even aware of the suit. Of course, even if they had been, I'm sure the response would have been, "No comment."
Joe Arthur, Dunedin
Re: Socialized medicine? It's been working fine | Oct. 18 guest column
Medicare works for a select few
According to retired journalist James Pettican, we've been living with socialism in this country and it's been working fine. Really, for whom?
He states, "Most of us find our Medicare quite workable and wouldn't part with it …" Workable for whom? It's not workable for the Medicare providers. They're getting reimbursed for less than their cost. More and more doctors are refusing to take Medicare patients (ditto for Medicaid, only worse).
Today's unfunded Medicare liability is projected to be over $54 trillion (source: Federal Reserve). That's not very workable for the U.S. taxpayer.
The waste and fraud in Medicare is well known. Even the president says that costs the program $500 billion. Medicare is broke.
How about Social Security? Pettican says, "Yes, it works, and everybody loves it." Really? Well I don't love it. Today's unfunded liability for Social Security is projected to be over $10 trillion (source: Federal Reserve). Social Security is broke.
He also goes on to mention other socialized examples, such as the U.S. Postal Service (running huge deficits) and the public school system. Can anyone argue that the public school system is cost effective and produces superior results to its private counterpart? No, I don't think so.
Pettican writes, "We have the world's most expensive health care, but we get surprisingly low ratings in quality and performance. At least, that's what the World Health Organization says." What do the citizens of the world say? For every person he can find who loves their care in other parts of the world under a single-payer system, I can find 50 who hate it.
So "it's been working fine" means it's working for you. You are getting much more out of the system than you are paying in. It's working for you at the expense of your children and grandchildren. There has never been a government program that has been cost effective or financially sound!
You would think that Mr. Pettican, at age 89, would know by now that there is no Santa Claus.
Steve Gibson, Palm Harbor
No dancing at jazz festival?
Headed to Clearwater Jazz Holiday for the Neville Brothers concert. Read the do's and don'ts. Made my son leave his Boy Scout knife at home. Made sure we were not blocking anyone's view. The Nevilles were fabulous. I could not sit still and began to move to the music.
Nowhere in the rules did it imply that enthusiastic fans who rise and dance because the music moves them would be harassed by others who chose to sit in a lethargic state. Please add to your do's and don'ts "Dancing, enthusiasm not allowed."
I will not be attending again, as I am too appreciative of fine musicians. Thanks, Nevilles, for bringing a few people to their feet.
I hope you dance.
Janie Place, Istachatta, FL
Sweet! Dentist helps kids, troops
A Palm Harbor dentist and Rotarian, Dr. Jay Pitts, will be buying up as much Halloween candy as possible. All children are welcome to sell their collected sweets for $1 per pound. Dr. Pitts will pack up the sweets and send them to our troops in Iraq. What a great idea! Kids reduce cavities, the soldiers get goodies from home and Dr. Pitts does heart-felt service to our community and country.
Bill Coleman, Dunedin
Library decision is appreciated
On behalf of the Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County Branch of the NAACP and the Upper Pinellas Ministerial Alliance, which joined together in leading the effort to keep the North Greenwood Library open, we want to express our appreciation to the city of Clearwater for the decision made.
We recognize the many challenges our city is facing. However, we know this decision, among others, was one of the right ones made. Many North Greenwood residents and other great supporters from other parts of the city joined in and all together our voices were heard.
As our city begins a new fiscal year, we will also begin our efforts in encouraging increased usage of the North Greenwood Library. We want all the readers out there to know that we are thankful to our city all those who supported keeping this much-needed library open.
Alma K. Bridges, NAACP branch president