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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Time-out -- or lock out -- for 2 mothers

Two women duked it out in front of a school when they went to pick up their children ---who have the same father. If parents act this way, can we expect anything different from the children?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Not a good thing

The tax cut we approved is going to bite us in the butt. As I've said before, it's a band-aid solution to an inequitable tax structure. We took the easy way out. Just as the original Save Our Homes amendment was short-sighted, this one is, too.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The wonderful right to vote

Wow! We're actually voting -- in record numbers for the primary. Can it be that we're recognizing the value of democracy? Have we realized how lucky we are to be able to vote?
I haven't gone to the polls early, as so many of my friends have. But I will be there tomorrow. After much thought, I'm voting against the property tax despite the fact that it would help me plenty when I downsize in the next couple of years.
The current proposal is a band-aid solution that will help some people but not others. It will also cut badly needed funding for our schools.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Higher education is becoming elitist

The board that governs the state university system wants to increase tuition by 8 percent. That sounds like a lot, but the reality is that Florida's universities charge lower rates than other state schools. We still get a pretty good deal here.
I'm worried, however, for middle-class students who don't qualify for grants but must instead take out loans to advance their education. Some of these loans turn out to run in the tens of thousands, and if you're, say, a teacher, it's an onerous debt to take on.
Unfortunately, higher education is becoming very elitist.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Noise pollution?

Let's hear it for silence. It seems everywhere I go there's a ring or a bong or a ping going off -- the result of our electronic gadgets. The noise pollution has been getting to me so much lately that I find myself hiding in my bathroom to get away from it all. Sweet soundlessness.
Yet, I can understand why some long-distance runners don't want to give up their headphones despite orders to do so in the upcoming marathon. There's nothing like a good song to make a situation easier.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The story behind the diamond donation

Want to write a good book? Start with this story: The Salvation Army is raffling off a donated diamond ring in time for Valentine's Day. Frankly, I'm not as interested in the ring as in the woman who walked into a donation center and told S.A. people to do something good with it.
Is she a jilted loved? Someone with better jewelry? A woman wanting to get rid of sad memories?
I'm very, very curious.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Losing ground

I feel fortunate in many ways. I have a good job, a nice house and healthy children. But there's no doubt I've been losing economic ground for the past 2-3 years. Now there's confirmation from muckety-mucks that inflation is squeezing the middle class.
Our income is not keeping pace with our most basic expenses for food and health. Milk is through the roof. And health costs? Forget it. The medicine I take now costs me twice as much as it did two years ago, and that's with higher premiums.
What's the solution?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Booting insurance companies

It's about time! State lawmakers are putting insurance companies' feet to the fire for not lowering homeowners' premiums as the law requires.
How about telling these wayward companies that they can't write auto and life and other insurance until they meet the spirit of the law?
Granted, my homeowners insurance did go down this year -- but it was by a negligible amount.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Smugglers prey on desperation

I can't imagine anything more heartbreaking than these relatives waiting to hear any news about 40 Cubans who are lost at sea after leaving the island in November. The boat they were being smuggled in was fit for 8 people, and the smuggler who was making the clandestine trip stood to make $400,000. What a criminal! He new he was running a high risk in terrible weather by cramming five times the number of people on the boat. Smugglers such as these should be severly prosecuted.
Yet, what desperation must these people face on the island to risk their lives!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Is "repurposing" a real word?

Miami-Dade school officials are proposing to close down schools that are underenrolled in order to use the buildings for other functions. The term use? Repurposing.
Is that even a word? I looked it up in my pocket Merriam Webster Dictionary and couldn't find it. I wonder if our educators made it up.
Bet the kids wouldn't pass the FCAT writing if they used it in one of their essays.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Need a urinal? A stadium seat? Scoreboard?

I've got to remodel one of my bathrooms. How about installing an Orange Bowl urinal? That would be a real conversation piece.
Officials are auctioning off parts of the venerable, wonderful Orange Bowl before demolishing it. I would really love to have a seat -- for old times' sake -- but realize that I probably won't be able to afford it. It would be nice to have part of Miami history and my childhood in my living room.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

From making a killing to foreclosure

Surprise, surprise, hundreds of condos are in foreclosure and plenty of them along Brickell.
Wasn't it just a year or so ago that people were boasting about making a killing in the real estate market?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Preying on women's fears

Oh, for pete's sake! Apparently the rage in home parties these days is not Tupperware, candles or scrapbooking. It's Tasers. "Independent contractors" are hosting or giving parties to sell the stun gun as a self-defense accessory.
Companies will do ANYTHING to make a buck, won't they? This is one sick way of preying on people's fears.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Violent children: warning signs?

I can't think of anything as horrible as this 12-year-old boy accused of killing a toddler with a bat. Twelve years old!
The mother is quoted as saying that her son is not a violent child, but children don't just erupt in such uncontrolled anger suddenly. There are usually warning signs.
This poor, poor family.