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© St. Petersburg Times,
published October 28, 2001
Editor: Re: Veterans: Bands are essential to parade, Oct. 11 Citrus Times:
The events of Sept. 11 have been devastating to all Americans. Events like these make one realize how important veterans have been to our country. Every year, bands from all around Citrus County have made an attempt to attend the Veterans Day parade. This year, however, this is impossible, and the fact that we cannot attend does not make us "unpatriotic."
I am a member of the Citrus High School Band and every year I have been in high school, we have attended some form of activity to show our appreciation toward the veterans of Citrus County. Last year, we were not able to attend the parade, but we attended an inauguration of a World War II memorial in Homosassa.
This year we will not be able to attend the parade because we must attend the district Florida Bandmasters Association Marching Band Festival. This is a festival we must attend and the date of this festival is not set by our band director. The existence of the band depends on this crucial festival, without it, the band will not be able to attend any future competitions and therefore the whole point of having a band will be gone. The band is a major source of entertainment and we work very hard to keep the public satisfied. Without this festival, Citrus County will be left without a band, not only for Veterans Day, but also for the Christmas parade, St. Patrick's Day parade, and all high school football games.
I don't think it is fair for anybody to accuse us of being "unpatriotic." Now is a time for all Americans to unite and accusing others of being unpatriotic does nothing but separate us.
It would be appreciated if both sides of the story would be consulted before directly accusing anyone of anything, especially if it involves the patriotism of fellow Americans. Our veterans have fought bravely for our country, but we young people will be the ones fighting for this country in the future, and we also deserve respect.
-- Maria Delfin, flute section leader, Citrus High Marching Band, Inverness
Editor: Thomas Jefferson wrote, "I place the economy among the first and most important of Republican virtues and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared."
As a small boy growing up in a large Italian family in one of the worst sections in Brooklyn, I was told to work hard and to be frugal and to save for a "rainy day." Both my parents worked hard and voted Democrat, because they said, "The Republicans only care about big business." Evidence of this is seen when one considers that every program that benefits working families, the elderly or the poor was put in place by the Democrats. Democrats are working people; we understand hard times and saving for a "rainy-day."
When Jeb Bush moved into the Governor's Mansion, he and the Republican-controlled Legislature inherited a projected budget surplus, meaning if current budget practices were continued, the state would have plenty of money to pay the bills, fix infrastructure, fund public education and put some away for a "rainy day."
The party of big business saw this anticipated revenue as a windfall to give away as tax breaks. These tax breaks most benefited those large corporations that had contributed to the campaigns of candidates who would look out for the interests of big business. The successful state or federal candidate's campaign is funded today almost two-thirds by dollars from large corporations. Big business effectively elects our government and big business was the beneficiary of the tax breaks, not the people of Florida.
The terrorist attacks have escalated the budget shortfall problem, it did not cause them. The Republican-led charge for tax giveaways to their wealthy contributors started the budget shortfall ball rolling. The Democrats, "the party of the people," warned that these "giveaways" to the wealthy would result in "takeaways" from the working poor, the frail elderly, public education and children's programs.
Nancy Argenziano is upset about the lack of input from "average Joes" in government. Where was her concern when Jeb Bush was giving away millions to his wealthy buddies?
Argenziano is worried about having to "make it" on her House member's salary and disagreed with the state Legislature not accepting cost-of-living increases. The truth be known, the attempt to reduce salaries of those on the government dole was token, at best. The Legislature, if it really wants to share the shortfall suffering, has within its power to reduce the salaries of state and county elected officials, including School Board members.
A person in Citrus County has to work two jobs and still struggles to make ends meet. It's time the governmental elitists do the same. I am sending Argenziano one of my hard-earned Democrat dollars to start the "Nancy Argenziano Relief Fund" to save her from suffering financial hardships imposed by her Republican cronies.
-- "Average Joe" Cino, Homosassa
Editor's note: Cino is chairman of the Citrus County Democratic Executive Committee.
Re: It is time to get our priorities straight, Oct. 16 Jan Glidewell column.
Editor: I very rarely ever agree with anything Jan Glidewell has to say and I'll not take any more space to put him down, but when he wrote, "It's time to get our priorities straight," he hit it right on the money.
To quote him, "The people on whom we most rely to protect and maintain the continuity of our society are the ones we pay among the lowest salaries." He was referring to the firefighters, police officers, and, yes, even our teachers.
I realize these folks chose these professions, but I'll never understand how sports figures sleep well accepting their kind of pay. Yes, this is America and we are out of balance.
-- Elizabeth Birdwell, Hudson
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