Does Gov. Jeb Bush think we are dumb? As anyone who reads the newspaper knows full well, numerous Bush appointees have left under shady circumstances and revelations of corruption.
He should be remembered for appointing one incompetent or corrupt person after another to run Florida's vital agencies.
And now Bush ends his reign of administrative terror with the shameful disgrace of Department of Corrections honcho James Crosby and his silly excuse that he defended the thief because to do otherwise would interfere with state and federal investigators.
To quote U.S. Army's attorney Joe Welch's famous utterance to Senator Joe McCarthy, "Sir, have you no shame?"
Crosby did some good
for our prisoners
Former Florida Department of Corrections head James Crosby may be taking a hard fall, but as prisoner advocates and anti-death penalty activists, we found his door open and his heart compassionate. Or perhaps he just understood that treating prisoners and their advocates with dignity and respect is an appropriate management style that helps keep prisoners calm and prison workers safe.
With Crosby's nod, we were able to hand deliver warm clothes to the Death Row prisoners at Florida State Prison in the winter, when it was so cold that the water in the toilets froze. In the summer, we were allowed to donate fans to all prisoners on Death Row, where temperatures approach 100 degrees.
Crosby hit the roof when we told him that hobby crafts had not been restored to the Death Row prisoners, six months after he had ordered that done. The latest improvement that we requested and which he agreed to and paid for was to install eating/writing surfaces in the Death Row cells.
That such prison conditions exist in this age is a scandal, but relief for prisoners is hardly an issue with which one can approach the current Legislature. Nevertheless, Crosby always had time to meet with us, and he ordered his regional directors and wardens to work with us.
Clearly, Crosby was not perfect, but in some ways he was exactly the person needed in that job. Now that he appears to soon be joining the ranks of the incarcerated, we hope he finds similar compassion from his jailers.
ABRAHAM J. BONOWITZ
Director, Floridians for Alternatives
to the Death Penalty
Director, Florida Death Row
I fail to comprehend the negative remarks posted, mostly in Zing!, regarding the departure of Tony Grippa from our County Commission in order to accept a wonderful new opportunity in his chosen field.
I vigorously opposed his initial election to the board, but within a few weeks I saw him busily going about the business of representing his district and seeking solutions to problems that had plagued the county for years.
In litigation resulting from previous bad land-use decisions in Bradfordville, he single-handedly turned a $50 million dollar potential liability into the dismissal of all those lawsuits. He has always been accessible to hear citizens' suggestions and complaints, and he moves in a remarkably direct and very purposeful manner to solve problems.
He sets a new standard, in my opinion, for service above self on our County Commission. He will be sorely missed. (And I am a Democrat.)
It's about rules,
not saying 'thanks'
Re: "Where is the thanks for helping in Iraq?" (letter, July 12).
From what I am told by those I know serving in Iraq, when you are out of country, you do not pay taxes on that income. If you do not pay taxes, you are not paying for "services" back in the states.
There are also rules regarding who qualifies for unemployment. They go for everyone, including those who have worked in Iraq.
I hope I do not come across the wrong way, but it is not about being thankful; it is about playing by the same rules as everyone else. There are student loan programs available. I took out $25,000 (and my wife took out $120,000 for her Ph.D.) to go to to school, because my parents could not pay for it.
Center won't bring
more visitors to town
Here we go again with more taxes in Leon County. It seems that the county would like to add another 1 percent to the already high bed tax for guests visiting our city.
I could understand if this was for road construction, schools or an overall improvement to our everyday life. However, it is not. We are now trying to participate in funding for a new city/county performing arts center. The response by the folks supporting this is that it will bring more visitors to town and that "people don't call hotels and ask what your bed tax is."
Well, being a hotel manager in Tallahassee, I can tell you that this will not bring any new visitors to our city. Look what happened to the Challenger Center, which nobody frequents. This new tax will just get us as high as big cities and charge our visitors more money.
Just because they don't ask about our bed tax doesn't mean we should raise it. If the county and city want to build it, let them pay for it.
Hampton Inn, North Monroe Street
We need to be
In May, Vice President Dick Cheney enraged the Russians by criticizing the deficiencies in their democratic system. Now, our president is getting ready to attend the G-8 summit hosted by Vladimir Putin and plans to elaborate on these criticisms with the Russian leader.
This is the last thing in the world we should be doing. Isn't it obvious that America desperately needs Putin's support on issues such as missiles in North Korea and nuclear weapons development in Iran? And what about securing all the "loose nukes" in the former Soviet Union? Many experts agree this is the single greatest threat to world peace, and it can be resolved only with Putin's cooperation.
Our leaders are poking Putin in the eye and then asking for his help on these vital issues. We should be putting America's security interests first and not be going around the world moralizing about other countries' problems, particularly when we can't even solve our own.