State survives via
tourism; no cuts
I am disappointed in the Florida House of Representatives’ budget proposal, released last week, because it poses a threat to the state of tourism and related jobs here in Palm Beach County.
Cutting Visit Florida’s funding from $76 million to just $25 million is, effectively, handicapping the state’s tourism marketing arm and hampering the efforts of attractions like South Florida Science Center and Aquarium to draw new and returning visitors.
We currently serve 310,000 people through museum visitation, school groups and outreach programs. When fewer people choose to visit Florida, those numbers will decline. This will mean not only lost jobs but the need to replace lost tourism revenues with taxes on ourselves.
The U.S. Travel Association estimates that Floridians would have to pay more than $1,500 in additional taxes to sustain current essential services if we lost a significant portion of visitors to competing states.
We value all of our 57 employees at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, and they depend on their paychecks to support themselves and their families. Visit Florida helps to market destinations like ours.
As the Legislature works in coming weeks to finalize the state budget for 2017-18, it is imperative that they move closer to the Senate proposal of $76 million for Visit Florida. On behalf of the entire team of employees here, I urge lawmakers to support the state’s tourism marketing success with continued full funding.
LEW CRAMPTON, WEST PALM BEACH
Editor’s note: Lew Crampton is CEO of South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.
not really so large
For anyone who is impressed with President Donald Trump’s contributing his first presidential paycheck of $78,000 to a charitable cause, consider it in the perspective of a man who claims to be worth $10 billion.
In percentage terms, it is the equivalent of a person who is worth $1 million contributing $8, or a person who is worth $100,000 contributing 80 cents.
STUART OPOTOWSKY, WEST PALM BEACH
Pay more attention
to Trump’s actions
April is a month when winter transitions to spring, when Jews celebrate Passover, when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ, and when we are reminded of gender inequality and how man affects the environment.
April 4 was Equal Pay Day and April 22 is Earth Day. Women make about 79 percent of men’s equivalent pay and carbon emissions dramatically affect global warming.
Recently, President Donald Trump quietly signed an executive order revoking the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order which forced paycheck transparency and banned forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment on companies with federal contracts.
Then Trump signed a sweeping executive order that “looks to curb the federal government’s enforcement of climate regulations by putting American jobs above addressing climate change” during a photo op with coal miners standing beside him. He boasted about the return of “clean coal.” Coal is the dirtiest hydrocarbon fuel.
Trump has said that he is for women’s rights and that climate change does exist. His actions clearly show who he really is.
Stephen Colbert joked that “clean coal is an oxymoron like President Trump.” Truer words could not have been spoken.
CHRIS CRIPANUK, BOYNTON BEACH