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Letters to the Editors

Debate over pay inequity between sexes misleading

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 17, 2000

Editor: Re: Jan Glidewell's May 9 column The value of work can't be measured by gender:

The column was quite amusing, but it only serves to propagate the pay gap myth.

Unfortunately, activists tout intentionally misleading statistics about a pay gap between the sexes to incite women. For a long time now, most people have agreed that gender-based discrimination is wrong, which is why there already are laws on the books to protect women in the workplace and to ensure equal pay (the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act).

The 75-cent statistic might lead some to believe these laws simply don't work. But the figure used to demonstrate discrimination is simply the ratio of men's to women's average annual earnings. It does not account for many relevant economic factors that affect wage determination, such as experience and tenure, years and type of education, hours of work, and industry and occupation, which all can differ between the sexes.

In fact, our research shows there is no pay gap among full-time workers age 21 to 35 who live alone, and there is a pay gap of only 3 percent among full-time workers age 21 to 35 who are married but have no children. As early as 1971, never-married women in their 30s who had worked continuously earned slightly higher incomes than their male counterparts. What these data show is that in our society, women still tend to be primary caregivers and as such often take some time away from work to have and care for their children. They also tend to gravitate toward jobs that can accommodate their family responsibilities.

What proponents of pay equity don't tell you is their solution to the "problem." They would eliminate the role of the free market in setting wages and replace it with a system run by bureaucrats who would value all jobs based on their subjective views of the societal worth of positions. Points would be assigned to all jobs, then pay would be equalized for those in supposedly underpaid jobs that also happen to be dominated by women.

Attention would be better focused on helping working parents balance work and family.
-- Anita Hattiangadi, economist Employment Policy Foundation Washington, D.C.

Water regulators display uncommon bad sense

Editor: Re: Swiftmud decision a permit for folly, May 4 editorial about Swiftmud approving a landowner's request to fill ditches with water for airboat racing:

Where is the logic for such a decision? Homeowners have thousands of dollars invested in their yards and in their community, and we are restricted to the point many will need to replace their yards. How can anyone in their right mind justify such action?

The watering of two days a week was a no-brainer, too. There is no water pressure, since we are all doing the same thing at the same time. It was a wise suggestion to water Monday through Friday with guidelines. It makes more sense than racing airboats.

In the meantime, let's pray for rain.
-- Joyce Teague, Brooksville

Thanks to all who helped make Super Saturdays work

Editor: Altrusa's Super Saturdays for Kids program, held at the Lakes Region Library in February, March and April, was a great success. We would like to thank everyone who helped make this new program possible.

Our thanks to Mary Ann Koslasky and Paulette Ritchie for their support publicizing the program in the Citrus Times. We also would like to thank the Citrus County Library System staff, especially Melissa Walker, communication specialist for the Citrus County Library System, and Judy Fischer, Lakes Region Youth Librarian. We also would like to thank all our commercial sponsors, and the many Altrusans who conducted the fun-packed sessions designed to help spark children's interest in reading.

We measure the program's success in the happy faces of the kids who participated and shared our joy in reading, and the children saying they want to come back for more. A fall program is under development, and more outrageous fun is in store for kids and Altrusans alike.
-- Leslie C. Fraze, Barbara Greiner, Altrusa co-chairs

League of Women Voters is recruiting new members

Editor: I joined the League of Women Voters to meet and work with other individuals who shared my sense of purpose. Though we often had different political views, we came together as a group. What brought us together was a belief that democracy needs informed participation and that educated citizens are our nation's greatest asset.

Although we often had different opinions and views and struggled to reach a consensus on difficult policy issues, we work hard as a team when it comes to League action. We are strong because of a common commitment to the League mission and the strong diversity of experience, background and perspective every member brings.

We are attempting to increase our membership. People are urged to consider becoming a full member or a friend. We need people with diverse beliefs, backgrounds and ideas, who are not afraid to ask questions or respond to questions in a non-confrontational way. Remember we are non-partisan and present most issues pro and con, then come to a consensus on a position after studying it thoroughly.

The next months will be busy. The League of Women Voters, the Supervisor of Elections, and the Citrus County and Homosassa Chambers of Commerce will be sponsoring Voter Registration and Awareness week June 12-17. The goal of this sponsored time is to reach and educate voters, increase and update voter registration, as well as generate interest and enthusiasm in participating in the election process.

The campaign kick-off will be held at the two chambers of commerce luncheons, on June 5 in Crystal River, and on June 15 in Homosassa. Chamber members are encouraged to call the Supervisor of Elections Office at 341-6740 to schedule a visit to register employees, make address and party changes, and answer election questions.

The League will plan time in Old Homasassa and Chassahowitzka. League members and the friends of the League need to call and volunteer for this endeavor. This is an opportunity to reach as many voters as possible.

Election dates for the 2000 election: first primary: Sept. 5, last day to register: Aug. 7; second primary: Oct. 3, last day to register: Sept. 5; general election: Nov. 7, last day to register: Oct. 10.

The Citrus County Chronicle and the League of Women Voters are co-sponsoring a water forum on May 25 at Crystal River Middle School. There will be an informative panel of water experts and elected officials with diverse information on our water and sewage situation. Please remember, this is a League function, so there will be no banners or politics. Come, listen, learn and ask pertinent questions of the panel. Join us to understand and become informed about Florida's water.
-- Anita Taylor, president Citrus County League of Women Voters

Story, editorial about WTI were inaccurate

Editor: Your May 12 article WTI director's job in question contains two severe inaccuracies. You reported that Withlachoochee Technical Institute Director Steve Kinard "had a teacher give the board a letter signed by all but one WTI staffer opposing the charter." On May 14, columnist Jeff Webb repeated that WTI employees shared Kinard's opposition to the charter school. You are mistaken. Kinard did not direct our action, and the employees did not present a statement of opposition to the proposed charter technical school.

The staff at WTI initiated and delivered the letter. It was our project. Mr. Kinard had absolutely no part in the preparation or delivery of this letter. All of us, save one, signed the letter without any pressure from anyone.

The letter presented to the board is not a statement of opposition to the charter. The letter requests that several serious unanswered questions be addressed prior to reaching a decision on the issue. The letter clearly states that the employees at WTI remain open-minded on the proposal. Some employees lean toward approving the charter. Some employees are undecided. However, all employees signing the letter agreed that unanswered questions were far too numerous and serious for the School Board to reach a logical and informed decision.
-- Joe Ciaramitaro, representing the WTI staff Inverness

Tollway issue about right and wrong, not politics

Editor: Re: Chris Lloyd's May 4 guest column, Politics of exclusion on Earth Day:

I also am involved in opposition to the Suncoast tollway. I am a member of COST since the beginning and the operator and owner of a Web site, This site supports COST and several other groups against the tollway. It is totally funded by my husband and me and is not political in any way.

I wish to inform the editor and readers that the Suncoast tollway issue is being kept from the public in several ways, one of which Mr. Lloyd brought out in his column. I have on several occasions requested advertising space of a business card size on local group and club publications and newsletters. All turned down the $50-$75 fee because it was "too political." Several local restaurants also were contacted for placemat and menu advertising, also turned it down as "too political."

Some of you who are reading this also know Mr. Lloyd and I were hosts of live local television shows on the closed-down Naber TV station. The station was called "too political" by some. The underlying reason we were closed down? You be the judge.

Too political. Does this phrase start to make a light go off in your head? Just why is the parkway issue called "too political?" It has nothing to do with politics or voting rights. It has everything to do with personal choice and quality of life.

Earth Day is not a political day. It is a day to observe nature and what we are doing to it. (Earth Day also happens to be my birthday, and I like that.) The Earth Day event at the Wildlife Park should have been about nature and how to keep our precious resources. No matter the sponsor of any event, to let it be controlled by undercover issues is wrong.

Seeing what is going on here over the tollway makes me wonder why it is thought of as a political issue. Who is giving this opinion and why are businesses and clubs afraid to advertise for a fee?

I think it is time for everyone to think about what is happening here with your freedom of choice. Voice your opinion and speak out unafraid of political repercussions. The tollway is not a good thing for man and nature. It is not a good thing for the Nature Coast.

As another Earth Day has come and gone, we are now in a serious drought. Does it make you wonder just what we would be doing if it was 2020 and the tollway was built and several thousand more people lived here?

The tollway is wrong: the wrong idea, the wrong area, for the wrong reasons.

The tollway is not political, it is survival. It is extinction for thousands of living and breathing things. One of them is human.
-- Kathy Evilsizer, Crystal River

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