Letter: Keep county sales tax revenue away from Cultural Council

www.public-domain-image.com (public domain image)

Believing that sales taxes and other government-controlled public revenue should go only to government controlled-public services, I do not favor putting a single dollar of sales tax revenue toward cultural projects.

If cultural projects cannot stand on their own, those with the cultural interests, and not the general public, should be called upon to support them as they wish.


Letter: We Snowbirds get that you don’t like us. Here’s the solution.

Snowbirds are currently migrating north, which gives Florida back to Floridians.
Snowbirds are currently migrating north, which gives Florida back to Floridians.

With respect to the article back in January, “Snowbirds: We love you!* * Except when you annoy us,” we get the message loud and clear. You like our money, but if we could just mail you a check instead of showing up and disrupting your lives, that would be preferable.

We understand: We are incompetent drivers; our accents are incomprehensible to you; we are difficult customers; we don’t tip enough; we clog your restaurants; we contribute to your highway congestion, etc. Given all these difficulties that you experience, I have a few suggestions.

Stop spending money on tourism promotion; instead provide the funds to Mexico, Spain and the Caribbean so they can attract these tourists where they are wanted and needed. Stop providing financial assistance to airports promoting new flights and carriers; instead, spend your taxpayers’ money blocking new transportation options for tourists.

Stop being so polite and welcoming in your stores and restaurants (actually, some places have that pretty much under control). Enact an open-carry law to instill fear in tourists (underway). Increase coverage of drive-by shootings and road-rage incidents in your media (should come naturally as the number of incidents increase). Raise your sales tax (underway). Drive offensively (done).

Pretty soon, the only attraction for snowbirds will be the weather, and El Niño can help with that. You see, this is all manageable, and with a little luck and some hard work, the problem can be solved — and you can get back to the good old days of 2008.

And, you should remove all accolades to Henry Flagler. Based on what a problem tourism is here, he has indeed done a great disservice to the state of Florida.


Yes, women still earn less than men

A girl holds up a sign for equal pay for the U.S. women soccer players. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
A girl holds up a sign for equal pay for the U.S. women soccer players. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Dear Fellow Women,

Happy Equal Pay Day! Today is the day when our average pay from January 1, 2015, equals the same amount our male co-workers earned in 2015. In other words, it took us over 15 months to earn the same amount as men did in 12.

And that’s only the best case scenario.

If you’re an African American woman, you’ll need to work until Aug. 23, while Latinas must work until Nov. 1.

From Jennifer Lawrence’s reaction to the Sony hack (editor’s note: link contains adult language) — which revealed she was paid millions less than her male co-stars — to the recent pay gap lawsuit filed by the U.S. women’s national soccer team — who despite currently being ranked 1st in the world with four World Cup championships and four Olympic gold medals, earn far less than their male team counterparts who have yet to win either a World Cup or an Olympic medal, and are currently ranked 29th in the world — women are making their voices heard.

On average, women make 78.6 cents for every dollar men earn in similar industries and job titles. Here in Florida, the gap is smaller at 84.9 cents, and while that may seem like a small(ish) victory, the devil is in the details.

First, on average, salaries in Florida are lower than the national average, and as research shows, the higher the salary, the wider the gap. The gap also widens as workers advance in their career, so while a woman may start out at 16 earning only slightly less than her male co-worker — 91 cents for every dollar — by the time she is 45 years old, that gap has widened to 77 cents.

The gap also gets wider when women earn degrees.

Earning less also makes it harder for us to pay off the student debt we accumulated to get the degree we earn less for. Oh, the irony.

There have been arguments made that women choose different jobs to accommodate a better work/life balance or be in a more comfortable setting. But a study by the American Association of University Women found that even men who worked in traditionally “female” fields earned more than their female co-workers. Female administrative assistants earned 84 cents on the dollar compared to males doing the same job while female nurses earned 90 cents on the dollar.

Other professions, such as medical scientists, computer programmers, lawyers and pharmacists, where men and women work in the same environment, male workers consistently made more than their female co-workers.

But women in the workforce know all of this. We know we likely earn less than our male counterparts, and we know that if we try to negotiate our salaries, we are seen as “difficult” (whereas our male co-workers would be seen as “business savvy”). It’s a loop that women find themselves in throughout their career.

The tide is turning, though, albeit ever so slowly.

“I’m proud to share that at Facebook, men and women earn the same,” Facebook CEO Lori Goler said.

Microsoft is on a similar trend.

“Today, for every $1 earned by men, our female employees in the U.S. earn 99.8 cents at the same job title and level,” said Kathleen Hogan, executive vice president of human resources at Microsoft.

Now, while that’s good news, fewer women tend to hold tech positions like those offered by Microsoft and Facebook. But, small victories.

The bottom line is, women need to continue educating our employers and government leaders on this issue. We need to stand up for ourselves and not be intimidated by the prospect of being labeled “difficult” (or any other word that comes to mind), negotiate for our worth, and teach the young girls in our lives to do the same. We need to encourage the next generation to pursue whatever profession they want, and show them that, yes, women are actually very good at science and math (and maybe introduce them to Mayim Bialik and Danica McKellar).

Letter: Let the Atlanta Braves be brave and use own money

Letter writer Christine Schwartz, left, and Michael Witherwax, of Lake Worth, right, show their opposition and support to a proposed spring training complex in John Prince Park during a Palm Beach County Commission meeting last Tuesday. RICHARD GRAULICH / PALM BEACH POST
Letter writer Christine Schwartz, left, and Michael Witherwax, of Lake Worth, right, show their opposition and support to a proposed spring training complex in John Prince Park during a Palm Beach County Commission meeting last Tuesday. RICHARD GRAULICH / PALM BEACH POST

It was interesting and yet disingenuous to listen to supporters for the Atlanta Braves telling Palm Beach County commissioners to bring the Braves home, using yet more taxpayer money for yet another spring training stadium (“Braves’ possible return fuels opinions,” Wednesday).

Bring home the Atlanta Braves? Quite an oxymoron. If you remember, they decided to thumb their noses at Palm Beach County in 1997 for a new, better stadium in Orlando. Their Orlando stadium will be 20 years old (heaven forbid, it’s so old); so it’s time for yet another new stadium at taxpayer expense.

Taking a public park from the citizens is not an issue for them or some of our county commissioners.

I’ve heard from commissioners and the stadium supporters of the huge economic impact it will give to the county. This is hyperbole. I have yet to hear or see any actual statistics from independent economists who have studied this issue. Supporters, show us your numbers and who gave them to you.

Before the commissioners approve this welfare for billionaires, perhaps they should consider putting the issue to the taxpayers to vote on. They want to take John Prince Park and give it to billionaires who will only tire of it in 15 to 20 years and move on again. I think the residents of Palm Beach County should vote on this issue, don’t you?

How about the Braves doing something “brave” to help the poor, such as build a new spring training stadium with their own money in economically deprived Belle Glade?


Letter: ‘Jupiter is tired of development, and Harbourside Place certainly made its mark on the election’

Harbourside Place in Jupiter

I would like to respond to the article in the Local & Business section of the April 2 issue, “Vice mayor: Town should buy Love St.” The article states that the town of Jupiter should buy the Love Street property and build a public park.

Charles Modica paid $4.2 million and wants $8 million, with improvements including a dock. We do not need improvements and a dock.

Then our new mayor claims we do not have “$8 million lying around.” Perhaps if Modica wants to make nice, he could lower the price. Also, I do not agree that Jupiter does not have money lying around. I am a taxpayer, and I don’t mind using money for such a project.

Jim Kuretski was re-elected hands down because of his stance on issues in Jupiter and has stood (many times) alone looking out for the quality of Jupiter. I would have thought, since our recent election, that the new Town Council would figure out that the majority of Jupiter is tired of development, and Harbourside Place certainly made its mark on the election.

Those who were elected should look at how many votes were for them and how many voters were not. Then fix it. Do not ignore those who may have chosen another, because it will come back to bite. Three years go by quickly.

My husband and I drove through State Road A1A on a Sunday afternoon to go to DuBois Park. Traffic was horrible; people were crossing the streets everywhere. Some, carrying drinks from one side to the other.

I have lived in Jupiter since the 1970s. My children were born and raised here, and I see such sadness driving through that little part of SR A1A. People are being forced out of their homes, and it is now catering to the party people.

Now that “the season” is over, let’s see how many restaurants and shops make it through the summer with us locals before you start adding more.

We have discussed many times that, thank goodness, DuBois Park and Jupiter Beach, as well as Carlin Park, are part of the county. Otherwise, we would have been looking like Fort Lauderdale with condos overlooking our beautiful inlet.


Letter: Hold the line on developing Jupiter’s Love Street


As if we don’t have enough empty houses, empty buildings, empty business space waiting to be filled, and too much traffic already. Now we have a retired builder on our Jupiter Town Council who “wants to bring quality development to Jupiter.” Well, enough is enough.

We’re already over-built, and now we have a builder wanting to forever alter the small-town feel of the Love Street area, and who knows what nightmare is planned for the former Suni Sands mobile home park? I realize the residents of Jupiter have to bear some of the responsibility for allowing Harbourside Place to happen due to our indifference. We should’ve been attending our Town Council meetings and paying more attention to what’s happening.

So now I’m calling on our fair citizens to do just that. Please show how much you care about preserving our small-town feel, our green space and how we don’t want to become another CityPlace or Fort Lauderdale. On April 19, the builder will be presenting his “scaled down” plan for Love Street, and I’d like us all to be there.


Letter: Dance hall was Lake Worth casino’s heyday

Lake-Worth-CasinoRe: the March 4 story, “Officials say negotiations progressing with 3 firms tied to construction woes”: About 20 years ago, I would go dancing at the Lake Worth Casino; it was held every Wednesday, run by the now-late Mr. Kaiser.

The dance hall was always filled with over 100 people, and it was always an enjoyable evening. A few years later, they cut the hall into sections, which never worked out, and the casino began losing money.

It is sad, that a wonderful dance just stopped, with an enormous amount of money wasted by public officials.


Letter: Delray boat residents seeking fix for fees

Letters: Delray boat residents seeking fix for fees photo
The historical marker for the Marina Historic District in Delray Beach.

The All-America City Award, which Delray Beach has won twice, is given by the National Civic League annually to 10 communities in the United States. It recognizes those cities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results.

On March 24, the boating community of Delray Beach organized a meeting at Veterans Park to come up with an improvement plan and a reasonable marina dock-fee increase for the city that would allow its current citizens to stay in their live-aboard slips and still provide the city with increased revenue.

That’s revenue the mayor and City Commission say they need for improvements on the Intracoastal Waterway seawall. The wall is in place to protect the homeowners of the Marina Historic District from rising water levels, not those floating upon it.

All attempts to oppose or discuss the city’s 60 percent increase have fallen on deaf ears. Since the imposed rate hike, five slips have vacated; 12 of the 15 others who at the meeting said they have plans to vacate at the end of their lease; and the so-called “waiting list” that was used to sway and threaten the current residents has mysteriously gone away.

The marina citizens, in keeping with the All-American City theme, are trying to do their part to come up with an uncommon result for their neighborhood. The question is, will the mayor and his city commission continue their arrogance and ignore citizens’ efforts or work together with them to tackle this growing community problem.


Letter: Boat show impact not all positive for West Palm Beach

031816 PBDN Meghan McCarthy Palm Beach Shoppers and browsers stroll through the International Boat Show Saturday. The event runs through Sunday.
Palm Beach Shoppers and browsers stroll through the International Boat Show.

As a West Palm Beach resident, I read with great interest the article in Friday’s Post regarding the Palm Beach International Boat Show (“Rain doused prospects for record boat show attendance”).

The article reports the annual estimated “value” to the local community at “more than $76 million” from the boat show itself, and an additional benefit to the community of “nearly $2 billion” from the marine industry. The numbers are highly suspect.

Were the estimates made by qualified, independent consultants after appropriate study, or are these “estimates” just sales pitches from the promoters of the show? The article did not disclose the direct and indirect cost of the show to the city. Equally significantly, it failed to consider the enormous inconvenience to the public that results directly from the show.

The promoter of the show says that it “is now ranked among the largest boat and yacht shows in the nation.” Precisely because of its size and duration, and the time it takes to set up and disband the show, it severely disrupts traffic, access to residences and to small businesses throughout downtown and along the waterfront.

Who benefits from all of this “March madness”? Certainly not the small businesses that can’t be reached because of traffic and parking issues. Is the city reimbursed for all of its direct and indirect expenses, including policing, landscaping, etc.? Is the city adequately compensated for the use of its streets and waterfront? If not, why not?

What is the real impact on the city?