May 29 Mail: Pensions, Water Hogs and Public Education
Pension Prevents City’s Growth
How ironic that “Hogs” are on the Folio Weekly cover [“Water Hogs VII: Big Drippers,” May 15] and, inside, the “pigs” at the Jacksonville Police & Fire Pension Fund are feasting at the trough of public funds ["Shady Pension Reform"]. The PFPF rules as demonstrated by John Keane (with his cashing in 1,200 hours of leave time for $163,400, the potential $200,00-a-year pension, the paying of $300,000 of legal fees, etc.) and even Richard Cannon, the police officer/convicted child molester, who, instead of being thrown out on his ass, is provided a police pension with the blessings of the PFPF leadership. Sadly, this demonstrates a slick and shifty three-card Monte arrangement of “rules,” with the taxpayers always taking the hit.
Problem is, the city of Jacksonville wants growth, good jobs, things that contribute to our lives, etc. Unfortunately, when the government squanders money this way, the infrastructure of the city suffers. It’s just not a good idea to go swimming with a weight belt on and, as usual, the Mayor’s Office has signed up for the public to do this essentially forever.
‘It Is Impossible to Waste Water’
Folio Weekly really shows the true socialist leanings of its writers and publisher every year when the Water Hogs issue comes out. Where else can can we read about people using their own money to purchase personal property and then be called hogs for such a purpose?
Why doesn’t Folio weekly publish articles about Northeast Florida residents who buy the most electricity or gasoline or clothing or cars or food? There is no difference in those things and water. Once the water goes through the meter at the Water Hog’s house, it belongs to the Hog. Shouldn’t that Hog be able to use his water, his personal purchase, however he wishes? Does Folio Weekly, its editors or Sam Taylor think they have some obligation to inform their readers how private individuals use their own private property? If so, maybe one of your writers could inform us where Sam spends most of his money. Maybe Sam could tell us how much water he thinks every American is entitled to purchase every day. Maybe one of your writers could inform us all how much water it takes to create newsprint in America (300 million gallons per day in the U.S., bit.ly/11dA00X).
Do the writers at Folio Weekly realize that the most abundant substance found on Earth is water? Does Ron Word realize that? Do they realize that the water that came out of George Washington’s bladder, out of T-rex’s bladder, is in someone's bladder today? Do your writers realize that it is impossible to waste water? The answer is no; no, they don’t realize that. They have no idea that the same amount of water has existed on Earth for more than 3 billion years.
All Folio Weekly writers understand is that fear-mongering helps sell Folio Weekly. They have no regard for the truth.
Hugs and kisses.
Ed Malin, aspiring Water Hog
Palm Valley, Florida
Judging the Judge
Your May 1 Editor’s Note “Is Pubic Education a Right? And can a judge take away that right?” raises a couple of interesting questions.
Having come from a family of public school teachers covering several generations, I certainly believe that “education is a right,” and in the United States, we can go one step further and say “a free education is a right.” Which brings us to the second question (Can a judge take away that right?), and my answer to that would be, “Absolutely!” Judges take away “rights” all the time. It’s one of their duties and responsibilities. It’s why judges play a critical role in our criminal justice system.
A man may have the right to walk through a public mall, but if he chooses (the key word) to go into a store and rob it, his “right of public access to that store” will be curtailed by a judge. Such action will not be taken lightly or capriciously, but only after facts have been considered and the accused has given their side of the issue. As noted in your story, [the victim’s attorney John Phillips said] the case against the accused bully was “clear and uncontradicted, that this attacker was a serial bully who victimized children time and time again.”
Trey Csar, president of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, said of the judge’s action, “It’s basically a life sentence for [the bully]. We know that students who aren’t in school, the die is cast for them.” That's probably an accurate statement, but who made the conscious and premeditated choice to viciously assault another female student? This wasn’t a case of someone merely sticking their tongue out at a classmate or uttering verbal taunts. This was a planned, coordinated and vicious attack which resulted in hospitalization for a skull fracture, and it was videoed by the assailants, much like a trophy for a sporting event. I would suggest “the die has already been cast” for this individual.
I also challenge your defense of Superintendent Nikolai Vitti when you say, “Attacking a superintendent for supporting [the right to a public education] is like attacking a supervisor of elections for supporting voting rights.” Really?
A more accurate comparison would be to say attacking Vitti is like “attacking a supervisor of elections who is supporting voter fraud.” We actually expect supervisors of elections to protect those voters who are legally eligible to cast a ballot, and to remove those individuals who would subvert the system to their advantage. Removing a disruptive force from the general school population is all Judge Henry Davis did, and while I fear he may be reversed on appeal, I commend him for having the courage to take decisive action.