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Letters to the Editor - May 1, 2009

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By The Staff

Fear is Dissonant

We are all witnessing how the dissonance of fear is developing to disrupt change. There is a tone, a song of the universe that is playing for those who can hear it – but the discord of fear and paranoia is trying to drown that out.

It is a matter of survival to pull back any energy from that and instead focus on generating peace.

Calming the noise is our task – to quietly hum while others scream.

The music of the spheres plays within our hearts. We each have a tone, a harmony residing in our DNA that is striving to be expressed.

From the day we are born, our task is to bring our consciousness to equal the vibration of this tone. Our left brain gives us the skills for survival and as it increases in experience and understanding, the vibration rises; constantly reaching into the depth of our capacity to be wise, meaningful and noble.

Our fears are the dissonance that interferes with the tone. We are constantly tuning our thinking; when we bring our consciousness equal, we will know from the peace, harmony and compassion that we are part of the symphony of the Universe.

Call it what you will – you are submerged. That sound is the constant; the infinite and fulfilled. Breathe with your heart and exhale into this harmony – it is feeding the consciousness of all.

We welcome each of you to join us, visit, breathe; inhale deeply. Peace enters graciously.   

Bill and Estelle Marder

Who is our enemy?

The number two enemies of America are the banks, financial institutions and large corporations who thumb their noses at our government while giving themselves large salaries and bonuses while their companies lose billions of dollars.

Our government’s strong response is to say, “Gee, I hope they use some of the bailout money to help our country in its time of need.”

Our elected representatives in congress have the spine and backbone of a snake to accept the lies they are being told from the banking industry executives.

The number one real enemy of our government is the unionized American automobile industry worker who is now receiving a reduced salary more in line with the workers of the American-made foreign automobile industry.

Our government feels that the negotiated health benefit package that the American automobile workers negotiated in good faith is too expensive for their industry to survive.

Who do these American auto workers think they are that they should have health benefits for their families? Members of congress?

Wake up America. There are those in our government who are against auto workers receiving health benefits. Of course, it is proper for our members of congress to receive the best health care in the world at no cost to themselves because they are entitled.

Jerry Segovis

OTOW

State readies

park cutbacks

Recent news indicates significant cuts to Florida state agencies delivering services to our citizens. What has not been mentioned by the media is the proposal to close 58 state parks two to three days each week.

On the days that these parks open, it will only be for eight hours rather than the dawn till dusk access we now enjoy.

Over 110 full-time park employees and ALL seasonal part-time employee positions are eliminated under this proposed reduction.

The Florida state park system as we know it will change significantly and the entire operation for the Office of Greenways and Trails is proposed to be eliminated. Programs, services and access to our public lands will be dramatically curtailed.

The park service will be lucky to be able to pay their utility bills and provide for the over 20 million people who visit our parks each year.

While gloomy economic news, bailouts and greed continue to make headlines, Florida State Parks have seen record attendance over the past three months.

This is proof positive that Florida’s families need these parks in order to participate in healthy outdoors activities during times of stress. A family of four can visit a park for an entire day for a $5 per carload entry fee.

They can even bring along grandma and grandpa. While visiting their favorite state park, Florida’s citizens can enjoy swimming, hiking, biking, picnicking and nature study, or just spend time reconnecting with each other. Contrast this with the typical $28 cost of a two-hour movie for just Mom, Dad and the kids.

This is not the time to downsize the last affordable outdoor recreation for our citizenry. Some facts to put this cut in perspective:

Our park system is one of the most efficient in the nation. It is the ONLY state park system that has twice achieved the National Gold Medal award.

Our 160 parks involve management of over 700,000 acres of public land including 3400 campsites, 230 cabins, over 100 miles of beach. Over 14,000 education and cultural programs are provided for Florida citizens.

Florida state parks already generate over 54%  of their operating budget through entry, camping and concession fees. Many of these fees are paid by out-of-state visitors.

Florida state parks budget represents less than 0.1% of Florida’s overall state expenditures.

Florida state parks generate over 1 billion dollars in direct economic impact and produced $70 million dollars in sales tax revenue while supporting over 20,000 private sector jobs – green economy jobs for nature based outfitters, concessionaires and all the support services that visitors use when traveling in our state.

Over 6,000 volunteers contributed well over one million hours of free service to the park system in 2007. Individual parks enjoy the support of over 80 citizen support organizations that are passionate about their park and prove it through contribution of their time and energy.

If you are as concerned about the proposed changes to our award-winning state parks as we are, please call, write or e-mail your local legislators and tell them to protect our public open space and outdoor recreation.

Visit our Web site to learn more about the Friends of Florida State Parks and how you can become involved in saving Florida’s state parks for our children and grandchildren.

Elaine McLaughlin, President

Friends of Florida State Parks