Letters Will Flagler Shore experiment be made permanent?

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2:28 p.m Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 Opinion

Will Flagler project

be made permanent?

If the many letters regarding the Flagler Shore project are any indication, the prevailing public opinion appears to be negative. And no one should be surprised. Downtown West Palm Beach has a serious problem with traffic. In this context, closing two lanes is counterintuitive on its face, and does not align with the need to mitigate congestion on downtown’s main street — Okeechobee Boulevard. Appropriately, the mayor considers the lane closures to be an experiment. What she has not said is how this experiment will be evaluated, and how the evaluation will be used in deciding whether the temporary lane closures will be made permanent. What are the criteria? How will they be measured? Who gets to decide?


Schools, sheriff are

taxpayer black holes

Here we go again. The Palm Beach County School District is suggesting raising additional money by hiking property taxes, to give teachers a salary increase, This, after last year pleading and getting a substantial amount of money from a temporary increase in the county sales tax. The district only publicizes what entry-level teachers get when announcing how underpaid educators are, and never state the salaries of veteran teachers who work a lot fewer hours than workers in the private sector. Maybe the spread between salary levels is too great and should be condensed.

The School District and Sheriff’s Office are no more than a black hole for taxpayers’ money with far too little accountability. If this blank check mentality continues, many people will eventually be taxed out of their homes.


Losing net neutrality

will further divide us

With regard to net neutrality, the concept of withholding information or trying to market easier access to this information to a select few is embarrassing and morally corrupt on a cosmic scale. The only hope for humankind is to have a source of equal and free information for all humans. This information is necessary for any viable species to survive.

We already live in a world where the majority of humans who work the hardest are getting minimum wage and earning no return from their hard work, while a wealthy minority are intellectually bankrupting humankind. As long as the so-called “free market” exists there will be “minimum-wage slaves” and unfair class distinctions.

I am not a religious person, but it is painfully obvious to me that we humans are doomed to live in a world without compassion. With the enticement of profit dangling on the horizon, certain greedy humans will be motivated to parcel out information depending on income alone.


Not too late to stop

dreadful tax bill

It’s not too late to call and protest the new (Republican) tax bill. Anyone getting health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), who has a child on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), any senior who deducts Medicare co-pays from taxes, teachers who deduct school supplies they’ve purchased, homeowners who deduct mortgage interest payments, folks getting Social Security benefits and many others in the middle class will lose out. Meanwhile, those who pass on property worth over $5 million dollars to their heirs benefit.

This bill greatly increases the deficit. The GOP can no longer call itself the party of fiscal responsibility if it passes. Republicans will own the ACA, and become responsible for whatever happens to millions of Americans who lose health insurance. All that’s needed is to tweak the plan, but they’ve opted to remove the mandate that funds it instead.

In the future, could those who think President Donald Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress have achieved great things since January 2017 please list them? This is the only piece of legislation they’re likely to pass before the New Year, and it’s dreadful.