Letters to the editor
Karen DupreeGood candidate
Published: September 17, 2012
Published: September 17, 2012
I think it is important to know who the candidates are, what they represent and their character.
I moved to Highlands County from Miami-Dade County in the summer of 1994. I applied for a teaching position at the school board’s county office and then began visiting the schools and introducing myself to the administrative staff. I started at the north end of the county and ended up in the south end, where I met Mrs. Fleck. I had been to dozens of schools and it was Mrs. Fleck who informed me that there was a position available and of Highlands County’s process and procedures for applying for positions.
I became a staff member at Cloverleaf, a dropout prevention program supervised by the administrative staff at Lake Placid Middle School. Later I transferred to Lake Placid Middle School and Mrs. Fleck was my administrator for nine years. She is adept in budgeting, student scheduling, classroom management, curriculum and instruction, exceptional education curriculum, discipline, personal relations and staff management.
I have always admired her because she is able to make difficult decisions, always with the students’ best interest in mind and not her own. She recognizes her staff’s strengths and builds upon them. She is a visionary. She realized the value of computers in the classroom and Lake Placid Middle School became a model school for technology in the classroom and was honored as one of the Top 100 "Wired Schools" in the United States by Family PC Magazine.
I’ve been in the Highlands County School system for 18 years and have always respected Mrs. Fleck’s integrity, hard work and dedication to students and their success. It is my opinion that Mrs. Fleck is the best candidate for Highlands County School Board Superintendent.
Retired Highlands County School Board employee
Pushing guns bad
Drive-by shootings are a problem in Miami. In July, Miami police put out a random shooter alert. In June, a woman who was eight months pregnant was killed this way. A Miami Herald story says that surveillance cameras don’t seem to be helping.
There are 250 gangs with 2,000 members in Dade County, according to police. For gang members, the area is divided into areas known as "turf." This was reported by WFOR, a CBS station.
Dade County leads the state in the number of concealed carry permits. Does this help? No. it plays into the hands of the gangs.
Lt. Luis Almaguer of the Miami-Dade Police says that gangs use teams of three. One drives, one holds drugs and the third carries one or more guns. The gang gets someone with no criminal convictions to carry the guns and that person can get a concealed carry permit. He may have arrests, just no convictions. When a gang member has a state-issued concealed carry permit it makes it harder for the police to prove intent to commit a crime.
George Zimmerman had a concealed carry permit. He had no criminal convictions, although he had been arrested for assault on a federal officer, an ATF agent. Also, his ex-fiancée had been granted a restraining order against Zimmerman. This was reported on MSNBC.
Those who are concerned about domestic violence and stalking may find it frightening that someone under a restraining order can have a concealed carry permit. Under Florida law, neither an arrest after assaulting a police offer nor being the subject of a restraining order stops a person from getting a permit.
An editorial in the Toledo Blade in Toledo, Ohio, says that the sheriff doesn’t know how many permit holders there are in the county. Ohio recognizes out-of-state permits and Florida and Utah issue permits to non-residents. A sheriff in Ohio can never know how many Ohio citizens have a non-resident concealed carry permit.
It looks like the Florida legislature just doesn’t know where to stop when it comes to pushing guns.
Dale L. Gillis