Letters: We love Oprah, but not for president

We all love Oprah. She appeals to our humanity. She is charismatic and easy to listen to. She speaks from the heart. She is certainly smart. She’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and do the work. She is trustworthy. She is a good businesswoman who would most likely surround herself with bright and trustworthy people if she were to be president. We “know” her.

However, I am worried. In spite of her popularity, I feel her candidacy would continue to stir up a bee’s nest. I am worried that those who do not accept kindly having another black president (and possibly those objecting to a woman head of state) would become more provocative and manifest their beliefs in ways we do not need at this time. It would only continue to make our country more divisive at a time when unity is a much more important factor.

It probably would serve the country best to have a more “traditional” political atmosphere with the likes of a Joe Biden or Romney campaign.


Winfrey in the light

for liberal partisans

In the moments during and after Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes award show, a collective light bulb went off over the heads of liberal partisans countrywide.

If a “TV personality” could capture the undivided political attention of the voting public, such as the unprecedented rise of the Donald Trump phenomenon in 2016, why not draft another such candidate in 2018 to step up and do battle with the kleptocracy that has resulted?

But where to find such a person, especially in the flawed, narcissistic culture of broadcast television? Didn’t we learn a lesson last time by electing a borderline sociopath whose campaign promises evaporated into thin air after the election? Were we so very sick of the Clintons that we elected a regime so incompetent and mendacious that our republic is in danger?

Where could we find a person so wealthy that she could genuinely serve the American people, and stand up to corporate special interests that rule our Congress?

Where could we find a mature, but creative and highly intelligent political novice whose ability and good intentions have been proven over decades of scrutiny in the public eye?

Where could we find a person who has suffered the pain of being poor, of being victimized in the worst possible ways and still has achieved amazing accomplishments?

Where could we find a person who has a special skill that could help bring together all of our colors, classes, ethnicities, long enough to help heal our country and get the powerful engine that is America running at full blast again?

Most of all, where could we find a person who is genuinely good of heart that we could all be proud of?

Maybe we just saw her, in a new light the other night, on TV.


Penalty too low for

school district thefts

Two prominent women (Lisa Rivera and Cathleen Spring) steal close to $100,000 from the county’s school district and neither goes to jail or has to pay back the money they stole? And can stealing $23,000 be called petty thief? (“Former Greenacres councilwoman sentenced to house arrest, probation,” Tuesday)

Probation and house arrest don’t seem to be appropriate for such serious crimes committed by people in such public positions. Sure, they cannot apply for a position with the school district. That’s no punishment, as I hope, if they did reapply, the city would not even consider rehiring them. Rivera has to forfeit her pension. Big deal! She worked for Greenacres for less than a year and I don’t think a treasurer at a high school would be looking for much of a pension.

I’m sure this will set a good example for other school employees to reconsider the way they handle the school’s money. Why not steal? The punishment these two received does not fit the crime. Steal $50,000 or more, enjoy spending it, stay home for six months on house arrest and not have a criminal record — charges will be expunged from their records.

Great examples the court has set to deter others from doing the same thing.


Using bed tax to pay

for natural areas is fair

Once again, The Palm Beach Post is shedding light on the precarious footing of our county’s outstanding natural areas (“County weighs price of conserving nature,” Monday).

Funding for continued maintenance has been slashed through a high-stakes shell game at the hands of the County Commission. This has to stop and a secure revenue stream must be restored.

As far back as Nov. 25, 2015, the Post told us about the projected shortfall. At the time, there were hopes that the state Legislature would share Amendment One funds with the county. After all, 75 percent of Floridians voted to spend tax dollars to buy and maintain sensitive lands.

Fast forward to 2018. The Post tells us the shortfall still looms, but the solution du jour is funding natural area maintenance through the Tourist Development Council’s bed tax. I say, why not? The natural areas are the best parts of Palm Beach County.

Our natural areas provide beautiful habitats for native plants and animals, some of which are rare, threatened or endangered. Most natural areas have trails or watercourses, offering tourists and residents alike opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, paddling, fishing, photography and just communing with nature.

Recently the Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management staff have been holding “Running Wild” trail running events as well as swamp tromps, and hiking and paddling tours. Ecotourism.

Whether or not tourists choose to frequent our natural areas, the influx of tourists increases residents’ need to get away from the hustle and bustle of our busy roads, shops and restaurants. It seems fair that tourists would foot the bill.


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