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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Mar. 21, 2017 3 years ago

Truth about the MacDonald House needs to be told

Also in letters: Challenges remain for the working poor

Dear Editor:

I recently attended a City Commission meeting regarding the future of MacDonald House. The architects retained by the city submitted their findings and recommendations. They noted that the building had substantial water damage to the ceiling, walls and floors due to leaking from the roof and windows.

The Commission was “surprised” at the large price tag for renovations/restoration, as they should be. However, it strains credulity that they were “surprised” when each of them has seen the condition of that building almost daily, for at least the past five years!

The roof has holes and is covered with only a blue tarpaulin, which besides being an eyesore, is hardly sufficient to keep out water in Florida’s hard rains.

Imagine the saving to the damage to this building and the saving in repair costs if the commission had done basic repairs five years ago. Every day that condition continues, the repair or restoration price tag may increase. 

Additionally, the architects reported that the building has asbestos and lead paint, a continuing health hazard, and yet the building has been occupied by the Historical Society throughout.

It is essential that the community learn about the condition of the building, and the commission should act to repair it immediately. I am convinced that the only way to get that to happen is if you continue to report on this situation, which will galvanize key constituents to demand that the city act promptly.

Thank you for providing the coverage and details about the happenings Ormond Beach.

M. Farook Sait



Challenges remain for the working poor

Dear Editor:

One of the primary goals of CareerSource Flagler Volusia is to increase the prosperity of all workers and all employers in the region. While we continuously measure the outcomes of our services, we also pay close attention to external indicators to assess our effectiveness. One of these indicators is United Way’s ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) report.

In February, United Way of Florida released the updated ALICE report, detailing the plight of the working poor. The rates of households within the poverty and ALICE thresholds in Flagler and Volusia counties were unchanged and in some cases improved. But the challenges remain for those struggling to provide for their families.

The ALICE Report is designed to call attention to these families that make more than the federal poverty guidelines, but less than enough to survive. One way to help stabilize these families is to provide them with educational opportunities in managing and maintaining a budget.

Programs like the United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or free financial education courses help to equip individuals with financial literacy skills. Last year, the VITA free tax preparation sites saved Flagler and Volusia residents over $1.5 million in tax prep fees. Studies show that there is over $28 million in unclaimed tax credits in our two-county area alone.

The United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties is focused on solving these community challenges by supporting education, financial stability, and health programs across the two-county area. Together, we can change the course of our community and help families become more financially stable.

Robin King

President and CEO

CareerSource Flagler Volusia

Nice gesture, but release balloons is a bad idea

Dear Editor:

It was very sad to learn about the sudden passing of Trish DeWitt in the March 9 paper. For the community to lose a beloved teacher is especially disheartening.

Seeing the photo of balloons released in her honor added to my sadness. This practice is an abomination anywhere, but particularly horrid when performed in a coastal community. The ceremony was not a good example to set for the students. I hope that perhaps the balloons were biodegradable and will not end up as trash, choking and killing wildlife upon their return to earth.

In the same issue of the Ormond Beach Observer, there was an article about Ormond Beach Elementary's 100th birthday celebration. It included a photo of Anita Banks with a magnolia tree planted in memory of her grandson, Michael Penland, demonstrating a much more constructive and everlasting way to honor someone who has left us.

Georgann Meadows

Ormond Beach


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