Readers weigh in on both local and state issues.
Separation of church and state exists
Yes Mr. Fine. There is a separation of church and state.
In the Feb. 18 article "Florida House backs moment of silence in schools," PreK-12 Appropriations Chairman Randy Fine, R-Brevard County, states, in part, that: “There is no such a thing as a separation of church and state.” He further claims “that it is a fiction created by some people.”
However, I believe historic records show Mr. Fine’s statement to be false. President Thomas Jefferson believed in the concept of the separation of church and state. He referenced the term in an 1802 letter to the Baptist Association stating, in part, that the American people "...declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”
Indeed the Supreme Court has cited Jefferson’s letter in key cases such as the landmark 1947 case Everton v. Board of Education. The court cited a direct link between Jefferson’s view of a wall of “separation between church and state” and the First Amendment establishment clause. That is a fact Mr. Fine, not “a fiction.”
Sheila S. Zinkerman
Defend the Loop
I have now lived here over 31 years. In years past, it was "Save the Loop." We fought long and hard and the fight was successful in many many ways. Now we have a new group, and we want to "Defend the Loop."
Before writing this letter, I searched Google for information about the Loop. Everything was written to entice me to come to visit the most beautiful place on Earth. Winding peaceful roads with trees creating a cathedral ceiling called a hammock. Google urged me to stop on the roadside when possible to drink in the quiet beauty and listen to the birds sing. Perhaps I might take along some gear to fish in the water along the roadside, or just sit and watch blue heron, eagles, or an occasional alligator.
Nowhere did Google entice me to look at all the new developments lining the roadway; displacing wildlife and interfering with water shed. I looked at photos published on local websites with trees reported to be as old as the ages, small parks along the way to stop and picnic, a draw bridge operating over the Intracoastal Waterway, a state park... That 32-mile loop could take an entire day of exploring if you have the time.
The Loop is the very first place I take my out-of-town visitors. I drive it every weekend just for the peace. Don’t let intensive over-building along the Loop destroy our way of life here. Defend the Loop.
Letters up to 400 words can be submitted for publication by emailing [email protected]. Editor may edit for clarity and length.