Last updateTue, 24 Nov 2015 12am


Bullying in our schools

If we look back over the years, we will find that bullying is not new to any community or school. There has always been the class bully. There were some unique ways in which my father dealt with the situations that arose in relation to bullying. However, times have changed, and society has also changed, but the problem yet arises.

Many children are afraid to report the situation, yet there are some who are merely aware of the situation and not involved in the bullying. There was a recent episode in which a child was being bullying by most of her third grade class. The teacher was not aware because the child had a talkative personality and when she complained it was merely dismissed. The problem went unsolved until another student cried to her parents and revealed the problem. The parent of the student being bullied was not aware until those parents got involved and alerted them. A possible detrimental situation was avoided and the teacher was alerted.

Our children as a whole are wise and extremely astute. They seem to have some unique ideas that will help combat the bullying situation as a whole and I feel that we should give some serious ear time to their ideas.

It’s going to take parents, teachers, the community, the churches and other governing bodies to combat these issues. We all need to listen so we can avert the disasters accompanying bulling and help make Alachua schools and Alachua County a model.

The children of M.A.P. (The M.A.P. Muppets) are putting on a program co-sponsored by the Alachua County Library entitled : “If I Could Change the World...” This program features the children’s ideas and is a free event scheduled for Saturday, March 16 at the Alachua Branch Library at 11:30 a.m.

It has been reported that in the 2010-2011 school year there were 143 cases of bullying in our public schools. This meant that Alachua County had the 4th highest rate of bullying in the state, with one case for every 192 students. We want to make Alachua the best. Please come and join us.

Jacqui Moorer

Alachua, Fla.

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Letter to Mr. Jamison

I read the article in the Observer regarding Bob Barnas blog. In the article you made the following statement regarding Bob’s comment about one of our citizens “you just don’t treat women that way.” Mr. Jamison, are you talking about the woman who has been seen by many people in town giving them the “finger,” or the woman who during a club meeting referred to one of our most productive citizens and a past recipient of “The Citizen of the Year Award” as a bitch or the woman that refuses to help the senior citizens by putting the tables and chairs back up at the Civic Center after the Zumba class is over even though that is one of the requirements for using the space. Are you talking about the woman who dumped a pile of dirt and debris on Bob Barnas’ area at the dais during a commission meeting causing the dirt to get into his computer and in his drink? Her conduct caused the meeting to be suspended and she was asked to leave the room? Is this the “woman” you are talking about? Is this the woman you have expressed righteous indignation about?

Mr. Jamison, proper conduct has no gender. Have you forgotten or chosen to ignore the misconduct of those opponents of Bob. Have you chosen to ignore the constant assault on him for months on end and the countless lies told by the “citizens” you refer to? Open your eyes, Mr. Jamison, and look at the whole picture. You professed at the time you ran for office that you would be unbiased. I believed you, but your comments and your actions have proven that to be a lie. While I dislike the hatefulness I see in this town, don’t pretend that it is one sided. I support Bob for finally fighting back after months and months of abuse, attacks and false accusations and just plan flat out lies about him.

Several weeks ago I approached the commission complaining about the excessively loud music coming from Catherine Taylor Park. My complaint was that the music was so loud that I could hear it clearly even with my windows closed and my television playing. The event lasted many hours. Mr. Jamison, your response was to suggest that I approach them and tell them to turn the music down. I later asked the Police Chief his feelings on that and he said that was a very bad idea and extremely dangerous. He said that I had no way of knowing what the reaction would be, that perhaps it could turn hostile. He stated to me, that was their job. When I later spoke to you about it informing you what the Police Chief said your comment was, “that is what I would do.”

I reminded you that while you are a much younger man, I was a 73 year-old woman. You abruptly stood up, turned and walked away. Mr. Jamison “you just don’t treat women that way.” Hypocritical, Mr. Jamison.  

Leda Carrero

High Springs, Fla.

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Thank you

You have tremendously honored me with the opportunity to serve as your city commissioner for another three years. Running unopposed for re-election was certainly a surprise.

My first three years on the commission have been an eye-opening, as well as a rewarding, experience in serving all of the fine folks who call “The Good Life Community” home. I have been blessed to have had the privilege to serve with Mayor Coerper and Commissioners Hardacre, Boukari, Brown and Hills (former commissioner) in representing your interests.

With your support and sense of community, much has been accomplished in making our charming city even better.

However, there is still a great deal to do as we continue to face tremendous challenges in an uneasy economy.

The executive and legislative branches of government in Washington failing to put America first over partisan politics do not help the situation.

Despite the challenges ahead of us, you have my sincerest promise that I will do my utmost by remaining a faithful steward of the tax dollars placed in my trust in carrying out your business. I will do my very best to undertake every challenge and turn it into an opportunity for success.

Thank you again, Alachua. I am humbled by your trust in my abilities.

Robert W. Wilford

Vice Mayor, City of Alachua

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Bob Barnas responds

This situation that came up with Suzie Clark and me calling her a name is something I certainly regret. But this came out of years of frustration dealing with Ms. Clark.

Over the last three years, Ms. Clark has made obscene gestures to me, verbally insulted me and dumped dirt and string onto the commission dais in front of me, which got her escorted out of the meeting by the police chief.

The most recent incident where, in my opinion, she mistreated the senior citizens at the Civic Center was the straw that broke my back. That is what led me to say something on my website that I maybe should not have said. And for that I’m sorry.

Three years ago at a meeting, before I was a commissioner, I turned to Suzie Clark and offered an ‘olive branch’ saying, “We have to work together for the city.” She laughed at me and my attempt at reconciliation was completely rejected. I still wish our city could stop the infighting, but I don’t think it will happen.

With regard to Scott Jamison’s decision to close the road behind City Hall and my feeling it benefited his contributors, he must remember he is a public figure. The record is clear about who donated to him and the record is clear on the votes he made. Every day in this country politicians vote for and against things. If they benefit a contributor, that’s politics in America.  

I am not saying he did anything unethical or illegal or even unusual. As I said above, that’s politics in America. Although I found it hard to believe that the most important item he wanted to deal with after he was sworn in to the commission last November was the road closing. So let the reader be the judge. Did he make a vote based on his contribution?

Bob Barnas

High Springs City Commissioner

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A source of Revenue for the Federal Budget

How to handle the “Sequester” is the news of the day. The question is “What steps do we do to lower the federal deficit?” Raise taxes or cut expenditures?

On the expenditure side, there is no argument that we need to cut wasteful spending. The disagreement is over which expenditures should be considered “wasteful”.

As to the revenue (tax) side, it would be helpful to ask “Where might we find some additional sources of income?” Most ordinary citizens have been paying their fair share. In fact, the fair share that ordinary citizens pay increased Jan. 1 of this year. What about the large corporations who are so often heard to complain that they are over-burdened with taxes? Are they paying their fair share? Here are some interesting numbers:

From 2005 through 2010, General Electric made $26 billion in profits. Their federal income tax paid for that same period? Zero.

Bank of America made $4.4 billion in profits in 2010. To date, they have received more than $1 trillion (that’s trillion with a “t”) in bailout money, federal loan guarantees, and 0 percent or near 0 percent interest loans from the Federal Reserve. How much federal income tax did Bank of America pay on their $4.4 billion in profits? Zero.

In 2010, Citigroup made $4 billion in profits. To date, they have received more than $2.5 trillion (again, that’s trillion with a “t”) in bailout money, federal loan guarantees, and 0 percent or near 0 percent interest loans from the Federal Reserve. Their federal income tax paid on that $4 billion? You guessed it – zero!

In 2009, Exxon made $19 billion in profits and Chevron made $10 billion. Neither of them paid a dime in federal income tax on those profits.

The Internal Revenue Code is now over 72,000 pages long. Inserted into that code are special privileges for large corporations that allow them to escape paying their fair share of income taxes. These laws were put there in return for donations made by large corporations to the campaigns of our Senators and Congressmen. This is not a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, are equally responsible.

It is clear that we are no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people. We are a government of the corporations and wealthy interests who control our political process. The question is, “What are we going to do about it?” The time for that discussion is now.

Carlton ‘Duke’ Fagan

Jacksonville, Fla

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