Letters to the Editor, June 11, 2023

Second Amendment

What the heck happened?

Very frustrated at the current condition of the Space Coast Field of Dreams park.

How could city management, former and current, and the elected leadership allow this slow deterioration and lack of maintenance to happen? What an embarrassment to the city and a black eye to the literally hundreds of folks who worked so hard for so long to make this nationally renowned project a reality.

I have built parks nationwide for the past 35 years and still tell folks all over the country at national parks tradeshows we attend often about the SCFOD park in beautiful West Melbourne. Fix the damn park and don’t allow this to happen again … be better as a local government serving the good folks and those out of town guests visiting. Be better than most folks think when it comes to government.

That park is not that old, frankly, and needs the city staff to embrace its importance and care for it as those like myself, and hundreds of other volunteers, did when it was built. Time to step up and do your damn jobs!

Michael J. Hazlett, West Melbourne, is a former West Melbourne city council member.

‘Unimaginable grief’ for local couple

The only daughter and granddaughter of Barbara and John Rumpel of Melbourne were passengers in the Cessna Aircraft that crashed near Montebello, Virginia, on June 4.

Barbara is an esteemed executive of the NRA and staunch supporter of our Second Amendment; Barbara and John are longtime Christians, conservatives and members of the Republican Party who have donated their money and time, for several years, to candidates and causes. In the political arena, they are very well known, loved and revered.

A daughter, Victoria, lost her life in 1994 in a scuba-diving accident. Their riverfront business, Victoria Landing, a beautiful retirement, assisted living and memory care community, was named in remembrance of her. 

Because of who they are and what they have given to our community and beyond, it is my fervent hope that this mysterious crash will be extensively investigated, leaving nothing to be questioned.

Barbara and John are dear friends of mine as well as of hundreds of thousands of Brevard County residents.

While the Rumpels have given so much, they have lost dear family members, which is unimaginable grief.

Diane Norwood-Steven, Rockledge

Titusville: Do the right thing

Philosopher Aldo Leopold said: “Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one is watching even when doing the wrong thing is legal.”

Titusville City Council will not do the right thing, even when the citizens come to watch and demand them to not sue Speak Up Titusville because they wrote the petition to place the Right To Clean Water charter amendment on the November ballot in 2022.

Therefore, Titusville is not practicing ethical behavior for the needs of the citizens..

Please read “Titusville continues fight to overturn Right to Clean Water charter amendment,” a June 8 FLORIDA TODAY story by Tyler Vazquez.

William Klein, Titusville

More: Titusville continues fight to overturn Right to Clean Water charter amendment

People move to Florida, too

FLORIDA TODAY’s front page, lead article of June 4 was titled “Goodbye to Florida.” It chronicled the concerns and relocations of three families that did not find Brevard County, and/or Florida, either “safe” or friendly enough to LGBTQ+ people.

This is America; people can choose to live where they want. These families all seemed to think they made the right choice to leave. An update in a year from now would provide interesting insight, with both the pros and cons, please.

I hope that in the pursuit of honest journalism that this paper will also do some in-depth, extensive reporting on three families who chose to leave other states and why they moved to Florida, or specifically, why they chose Brevard County as their new home.

For example, some families may choose to move to Chicago because they want the change of seasons, or they desire the big city life with the restaurants, music, and museums. Other families might leave Chicago because they hate the winters, the traffic congestion, and the gun violence, with 30 to 50 shootings on any given weekend. Only showing one side gives the impression that either Chicago is great, or that Chicago is a less than desirable place to live.

I hope the families that chose to leave Brevard find happiness in their new locations. Additionally, I look forward to FLORIDA TODAY providing a comprehensive and thorough article about three families that are happy about their move to Brevard. I know I am.

Lonnie Jones Taylor, Indian Harbour Beach

More: Brevard families leaving Florida: Why they say Sunshine State no longer feels like home

Constitutional conversation

Kudos and thanks to Professor Nicole Jones for an excellent and timely lesson on the U.S. Constitution and our Federal system of government. Today when many seek to “fundamentally transform” our nation, it is important that all citizens understand the Constitution and the genius of the founders of our nation who established a system of government which effectively protects the individual and fundamental freedoms and liberty we Americans enjoy and so many of other nation’s envy.

In past centuries American history, government, and other related social studies subjects were taught repeatedly starting at the intermediate elementary grades, through high school and even at the college level in all of our schools both public and private.

Today it appears not so much, as there are many citizens unable to discern between a democracy and a democratic republic and the role of the Electoral College in our presidential elections. It would seem that those officials who wish to reintroduce and emphasize the importance of American history, government, and social studies in our school curriculums have a good case and owe Ms. Jones and others like her a note of gratitude.C W Helfeldt, Rockledge

Federalism, then and now

The June 7 opinion page column by Nicole Page was very enlightening for readers. Her closing paragraph said “that the government of a nation is to be used for the benefit of its citizens, not against them. That is what it and federalism means for us.”

Precisely what our federal government actually did for most of our nation’s history. But it changed in the last 15 years or so. U.S. leadership, starting in the late 1990s, allowed a huge increase in the bureaucracy of unelected officials who became entrenched and basically unremovable. This massive organization slowly began to further its own interests of keeping power which was not always beneficial to its citizens. 

In the last five years this trend has accelerated and today the benefits have been reversed, no longer for the citizens. Why else do we have a southern border that is no longer enforced and allows thousands of outsiders to pour in? Why else did a small group of unelected people essentially shut down the economy under the guise of a pandemic and force draconian measures like mandating unproven vaccines on everyone or else? 

Who benefited from the federal government essentially stopping domestic energy production with the attendant impairments to the economy thereby creating uncontrolled inflation?

There are other examples of the new “federalism” working against us.   

Today’s “federalism” is a huge behemoth which ideally should be stopped. But that is looking doubtful.                   

George Minto, Titusville

PGA move way off course

My father always taught me that you either stand for something or you stand for nothing. And I believed him until today. Now comes Jay Monahan, commissioner of the former PGA, and I learned my father was mistaken. Your principles can be bought. And they can be bought by someone who has no principles at all but plenty of cash. It’s a sad day for the PGA but saddest of all for human qualities like character and principles.

Donald Thomas, Melbourne Beach

Say no to ‘woke nonsense’

Recent letter writer Ed Taylor has called for people of faith to make their voices heard in opposition to the woke attack on our traditional values. (“Faithful Must Stand Firm,” May 26).

In his “Democracy in America,” written almost 200 years ago, Alexis de Tocuquelle exposed the same sediment. “Freedom sees in relation the companion of its strengths and its triumphs, the cradle of its infancy, the Divine source of its rights. It considers religion as the safeguards of mores; and mores as the quarantines of laws and the pledges of its duration.”

These safeguards have served us well since our country began. I join with Ed Taylor in calling for those of us who value these time tested mores to stand up with and say no to the woke nonsense.

Dave Riemondy, Indialantic

Bad review for book committee

If you didn’t already know this, the newly formed Brevard Public Schools book review committee had its first meeting on June 2. While the meeting was recorded and a link to the video can be requested, it was not live streamed or posted publicly on the BPS YouTube channel. After over five hours discussing three works of poetry by New York Times best-selling author, Rupi Kaur, the meeting ended with all three books banned entirely from Brevard Public Schools for a period of eight years with no ability to appeal.

Currently with meetings scheduled through October, these books will be joined by others in the forbidden pile as three members of the committee voted against following the state statute which states material that is sexually explicit also has to be harmful to minors. During the review of the final book, “Home Body” by Rupi Kaur, legal counsel was consulted on exactly what the statute states. This changed the mind of one committee member, while not moving the others.

So, why does this matter? The precedent set is that books these members deem inappropriate are banned. Not because they violate the law but because they just don’t like them. While I acknowledge the committee’s right to set this precedent, I do wonder if it will be applied when we pivot to books challenged for other reasons, like religion, culture, race. Something tells me, it won’t.

Kelly Kervin, Palm Bay

This grandma’s got advice

A common-sense solution from a wise grandmother.

If you don’t like a book that is in your child’s library don’t let them read it. If you don’t like what is sold in Target, don’t buy it. If you don’t like the music on a station, change the channel. If you don’t like a political philosophy follow another. If you don’t like one religion try another.

But don’t force anyone to follow what you feel is the only way; don’t force anyone to abide by your individual ideas, principles, religion reading choice just because you say so.  Freedom we have the freedom to choose. When that freedom takes away our books, our clothes, our philosophies and our politics then it is no longer freedom.  Follow the history – and understand the words “fascism” and “strongman” and follow where they lead.

If you don’t like it change it for you and your family, but leave me and mine alone.  But above all: Let’s talk.

Laura Petruska, Melbourne

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