This country is the greatest country in the history of the world. An experiment in small-d democracy – “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
One of our freedoms is the opportunity to speak freely and honestly. You should take the freedom to express your views and opinions very seriously.
This page is here to offer readers a place to voice cutting edge opinions and views on politics and the economy, arts and entertainment and a plethora of other subjects taking an honest look at the areas that are currently having the most affect upon Lehigh Acres and the American people.
Letter to the Editor,
I have noticed that there is some possibly incorrect information that is being circulated about the LAFD and ISO ratings so, I thought I would share my personal experience with ISO ratings with you. I do not work for ISO, this is my opinion only. I have no control over what they do or will do.
Prior to Lehigh opening the 2 new Fire Stations (Sunshine and 16th St SW and the Bell Blvd station), properties in Lehigh were either a Protection Class 4 or 9. Both require that you be within 5 miles of a fire station. A PC 4 meant that you were within 1000 ft. of a fire hydrant. A PC9 meant that you are more than 1000 ft. from a fire hydrant.
A few years ago, the PC9 rating was changed to a PC8B (I believe this had to do with the capacity and availability of pumper trucks). This did not affect most premiums and if it did, it was minimal.
Unless any of the 3 original Fire Stations (Joel Blvd, Homestead Rd and Gunnery Rd), the ISO ratings for Lehigh residents should NOT ever be a PC10. A PC10 means you do not have a fire hydrant within 1000 ft. AND you are MORE than 5 miles to a Fire Station. A PC10 is where you will probably see a significant increase in your Homeowners premiums or have it affect your ability to find coverage.
I am sharing this information so that all residents can make an informed decision about the proposed Amendment. The LAFD is an important part of our Community and we owe it to ourselves to have ALL of the information before we choose how to vote.
To the editor:
Following the 2013 Florida Legislative Session, I wrote a commentary concerning the passage of HB 7065 and SB 768 which amended the 1994 Everglades Forever Act.
Representative Matt Caldwell sponsored HB 7065 under the guise of increasing the sugar industries funding commitment to Everglades restoration when in fact his proposed amendment was a smoke screen to ensure that the sugar industry was able to limit their long term obligation to fund Everglades restoration.
The 1994 Everglades Forever Act, which was ostensibly written to restore the Florida Everglades, capped the sugar industry’s clean-up costs at $320 million and obligated the public taxpayers for the remainder of the multibillion dollar restoration project. The so-called privilege tax of $25 per acre that the sugar industry pays to continue their discharge of pollution runoff to the Everglades, as well as the Caloosahatchee and coastal estuaries amounts to approximately $11 million per year. A truly insignificant sum in contrast to the billions required by the public taxpayers to restore the Florida Everglades.
To the Editor:
On Friday May 2, some 41 Republican senators voted against increasing the minimum wage to an hourly rate of $10.10. ($404 weekly). Lehigh Acres has many workers that could have benefitted from this increase. Many work low-rate, no benefit jobs.
* If these workers made more, it follows that they could spend more; ultimately helping other businesses in Lehigh.
* Their school children would not be saving their lunch food for others at home.
* Even at the $404 weekly wage, it is an impossible budget to provide a living.
* 25 percent of the budget for food with prices going up, up, up!
* 25 percent housing
* 50 percent for doctors, drugs, car insurance, shoes, clothing, expensive childcare, and gas also going up, up, up.
* We have a challenge to raise the wages of the middle class, but the minimum wage of the working poor must be elevated to a livable wage NOW.
I would ask these 41 senators which include Florida Sen. Marco Rubio: “What is the percentage of working people living in poverty in their states.”
Do they not feel obligated to help their own? Do they not feel obligated to represent all the people in their state? It is really just the right thing to do.
Written by John Wayne Fire Chief Lehigh Acres Fire Department
I am requesting that you make a correction to the recent article you posted (May 1, 2014) regarding the possibility of a “Sunshine Law” violation between Fire Commissioners Danis and Becker. It is important to have all the facts straight when publishing an article, not make misstatements and accusatory remarks about public figures that can be damaging to the Fire District.
The District has this position to forward regarding the matter…
The next to the last paragraph of the Lehigh Acres Gazette article which reads as follows:
|“Commissioner Jackie Danis told the Lehigh Acres Gazette after meeting that Chairman Larry Becker told her, he is going to schedule a special meeting middle of next month to fix the so called mistake. (This communication between Commissioners Becker and Danis could be a Sunshine law violation since they must vote.)”|
Letter to the Editor,
In response to your inquiry, attached is the resolution the Board voted on last night that outlines the fee rates per category and the actual ballot language that will be presented at the polls in November.
The vote was 4-1 in favor of the resolution and fee schedule.
The estimated net revenue generated from the assessment would be approximately $13,442,604.00. The District needs approximately $15,000,000.00 per year to sustain the same level of coverage we provide today. The difference here will be accomplished through our ambulance transport fees that we budget at approximately $1,500,000.00 per year.
Thank you for your inquiry and we would appreciate any coverage you may be able to provide on this matter. The main thing to remember is that this fee will be replacing the fire taxes already paid by the residents. It IS NOT in addition to what they are paying now. The amount they would pay in the future could be greater or less than what they are paying today. They will only be paying or saving the difference between the two (2) fees. Currently, the District WILL NOT be charging a property tax (ad valorem tax) on top of the assessment; this has been a point of confusion lately.
Letter to the Editor,
Will our 2014 vote be marginalized by the obscene amounts of money that now will be spent to elect our new representatives? The source of money will influence how they will vote on issues.
Each and every election becomes more and more expensive because of the cost of TV advertising (both negative and positive ads). Representatives’ need of more and more cash indirectly will cause more and more corruption. Our elected representatives will vote the issues in a way that favors their donors, not their constituents.
Our new laws favoring corporations with the rights of people – new rulings that super PACs can donate to an unlimited number of to individual candidates, will determine a winner by who outspends, who out-advertises. Sadly, the media also affects how voters cast their ballot, even by influencing voters to stay home because voters feel their candidate cannot win.
The negative politics in the current GOP special primary for the U.S. House of Representatives District 19 has reached new lows. Virtually every citizen here is disgusted, and can hardly wait for the radio and TV attacks to be over, and for their mailboxes to be relieved of the oversized, expensive, and despicable fliers that insult our intelligence with falsehoods and misrepresentations about the various candidates.
It’s sad, but politicians in search of power often act far less honorably than they do in their ordinary lives. And once one candidate starts slinging mud in a multiple candidate race — the others are forced to strike back, if only to defend themselves.
In such a case, we the voters must ignore the negative noise and discover which candidate is in the race not in a quest for power or personal aggrandizement, but to selflessly serve “we the people”.
To the editor:
Some 7.1 million people just enrolled is only the tip of the Affordable Care Act. This is an issue that our Republican Congress does not even acknowledge.
Now that the ACA has reached its goal, why doesn’t the Congress just accept it, instead of voting uselessly to repeal it? The Republican Party does not support this reform. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld this Law. The millions of people it has helped, need it and want it.
Back to the rest of the iceberg, the 80 percent that is underwater. This part added to the 7.1 million will add up to 20 million people now benefiting from ACA.
Children up to age 26 are now covered by parents policy.
People with pre-existing health issues are now covered.
Dear Voter -
Please take a moment to read this email, and watch the sort of funny ad linked below featuring my mamma, Cherie Clawson.
When I decided to run for Congress, several people told me to watch out for all the lies that the other candidates and their SuperPAC’s would tell about me.
Well, it is safe to say that I didn’t realize the race would get this negative. Pretty much everything has now been said about me, most of which isn’t true. Let me quickly address a few of them:
· I am pro-life and always have been pro-life. I am a person of faith. I learned my pro-life values from my mother.
· Hayes was $2.2 billion in debt BEFORE I was hired to run the company. It already had big safety problems BEFORE I got there. I was hired to solve problems that I didn’t create.
· We never received a government bailout. The pension guarantee is an insurance program much like the FDIC. It receives ZERO taxpayer funds. During its restructuring Hayes established trusts for retiree medical benefits. These trusts were funded entirely by the company and received ZERO taxpayer funds.
The holiday season was one of our best ever. The generous donations for clients were above and beyond our hopes and dreams. Our community of Lehigh Acres is the ultimate. We received turkeys, all the trimmings, beautiful baskets (filled with everything and then some for Thanksgiving) gift cards, wonderful toys, dolls, remote control trucks, paint sets, legos, you name it, someone donated it for a family for Thanksgiving or for a child for Christmas.
Each year we wonder what will be donated; will we have enough for everyone? And every year, we are blessed by the generosity of this community. The holiday season truly brings out the best in each of us.
Santa Claus was at our distribution, we had activities for kids, music, gifts, & candy canes for all – Thanks to Microtel Inn, Lift Up Lehigh, & LCSD.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, & staff, we want to sincerely thank the following for all their tremendous donations: Specific Care Chiropractic, American Legion, Moose Lodge, Kiwanis Thrift Store, Majestic Golf CC, Tuscan Auditing Firm, L.A. Soccer, US Post Office, Lion’s Club, L.A. Church of the Nazarene, 1st Presbyterian, New Life Assembly, Lee County Sheriff’s Department, LDS Church of Latter Day Saints, General Woman’s Club, Lehigh Council band, World Gym, Max’d Out Fitness, Healthy Harvest, Mirror Lakes Elementary, First Baptist of Lehigh, Lee Boulevard Baptist, Professional Women’s Network, Teresa Goodlad State Farm, Frank Szalai, Bower’s Accounting, Lee county Tax collector/Lehigh BRanch, and many individual donors. Our cup runneth over! Thank you!!
Respectfully submitted, Charlotte Rae Nicely, Executive Director