The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on September 15, 1999 · Page 24
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September 15, 1999

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 24

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Wednesday, September 15, 1999
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Page 24
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I mriiii a.""j"HH fl ny1--y-"1-'-"- '19 Blll BIHIIIIIII llll I I W V V " T V V V WW V V V V V f f "V WV1' MSL THE PALM BEACH POST WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1999 17A " I ; K i V I V i m GMNS YOU TWO PRESCRIPTION?. mM THE FIRST ONE 15 TO CURE WHAT 'mm AlL$Y0U.THE$EC0NPONEl$TO I Ir6 "T CAIM YOU POVVN WHEN YOU FINP M, 0UT WHAT FIRA" J The main reason vouchers Mil fail? They don't work crime prevention. i oV. Bush and a Republican-dominated Florida I Legislature took leave of their senses this I year. On June 21, Gov. Bush signed into law J.L Gottlieb W. Palm Beach a sweeping revision of the Florida education code that, as early as next year, could qualify as many as 15,000 of the state's 2.3 million K-12 public-school students for vouchers. For political reasons, the program is known as the Opportunity Scholarship Program. But the opportunity scholarships S I99S FrVffi$WK-T&fmJ II ill X -ir- SigfVN v Arbitrary cap hazardous to health Jewish dilemma unfairly depicted Regarding Douglas Belkin's recent article "Pay to pray: Kvetching begins over high holiday tickets": After quoting selected "authorities" in lambasting the temples and synagogues for a situation that is very difficult for them, he allows for rebuttal in muted terms. But, by that time, the scare headline and lead-ins have created a negative, unfair depiction of a sensitive dilemma that is being faced in a positive manner by the Jewish community. Sam Sherdell Boca Raton Masilotti heard Lyons Road concerns As a resident of Palm Beach Ranchettes, I would like to publicly thank Commissioner Tony Masilotti and the Palm Beach County Commission for all they have done to assist us in our battle to (HUES (IS have a dim future, for reasons that are readily foreseeable. The voucher system tucked into Gov. Bush's A Plan will almost certainly be declared unconstitutional perhaps as early as next June. talk or swallow andor physical therapy to regain their ability to walk. It can force those who hit the financial limit of treatment to need more costlier care or even rehospitalization. A growing number of members of Congress have recognized that the arbitrary cap is not good health policy. Both the House and Senate are considering the Medicare Rehabilitation Benefit Improvement Act of 1999 (HB 1837 and SB 472) that would provide exemptions to the arbitrary cap to Medicare beneficiaries in need of services. The Senate has more than 50 co-sponsors backing this important legislation. Representatives in the House should also co-sponsor and pass this bill. Sheree Syden West Palm Beach Sam a speech-language pathologist who provides services to older Americans who have degenerative neurological diseases, or have experienced debilitating strokes or head trauma. As a health care professional, I am troubled that my clients' ability to recover has been compounded by a breach of faith committed by the U.S. Congress. While saying it would not cut Medicare benefits, Congress did just thai when it passed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which put an arbitrary cap of $1,500 a year on speech-language pathology services and physical therapy combined. In some instances, patients find themselves having to choose between speech and language treatment to regain their ability to limit Lyons Road. Each of the commissioners listened to our concerns and genuinely seemed to understand just how this road will destroy the quality of our neighborhood and the quality of life for all its residents forever. I believe coming out and seeing the actual area we are speaking about and meeting some of the residents this summer helped Commissioner Masilotti realize that we are not just a grid --vr v .J IS. L. There are also far too few places in Florida's 1,262 nonpublic schools for an influx of 150,000 students. In addition, many parents of children in "failing" schools will prefer other public schools to the nonpublic schools available to them. ' Finally, a voucher-receiving school must have been in existence for at least a year or certified as financially viable by a certified public accountant No one yet knows where this provision of the law might lead. - Even if the courts fail to declare the voucher plan unconstitutional, there is a good chance that the public will. Although the new law requires almost no accountability for academic progress by voucher students, it should soon become apparent that nonpublic schools are powerless to accomplish more than their public counterparts. Too many pervasive forces in society have more influ-ence;on academic achievement than school "quality" as measured by standardized tests. I would bet the Flqrida Lottery that the victory of A proponents in pushing vouchers through the Legislature will come back to haunt them by the end of Gov. Bush's term. , -., Dr. Richard Hughes, principal , . Highland Elementary School ,. Lake Worth Mr. Masilotti Write us on a county map; He now realizes the impact of his decision to do the right thing. Mr. Masilotti has worked diligently and continually in an open and honest forum to help us in reaching a compromise we can all live with. Kathy Britt Lake Worth 'Strivers' striving for controversy Now that affirmative action is being justifiably buried, here comes "Strivers," a new idea of the Educational Testing Service and another head of the hydra-headed monster. This misbegotten formula is designed by frustrated liberals not to level the college playing field for minorities but to tilt it in their favor. It not only labels African-Americans as inferior but casts doubt on their legitimacy as college students. Wherever this program is utilized, watch for racial rancor and court challenges. Wallace Waldon West Palm Beach Safety of fluoride still not proven Dentists and better diet, not fluoride, primarily are responsible for the great improvement in dental health these past 50 years. Decay rates have declined equally in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities. Peer-reveiwed articles in major journals indicate there are increases in dental fluorisis in children, bone cancer in young males and hip fractures in the elderly associated with water fluoridation. Animal studies paint an even bleaker picture of fluoride's toxic effect on the brain Of particular concern are babies given formula made with fluoridated water that will exceed the recommended ' dose of the National Academy of Sciences. I must retain the freedom to choose what I ingest. Therefore, I oppose the use of the public water supply to medicate me by artificial fluoridation against my will. David P. Segal Boca Raton The Palm Beach Post welcomes letters from readers. All letters are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Even e-mail and faxed letters must include the writer's name, address and daytime telephone number. You may receive a phone call for verification. 'Open letters' or letters addressed to a third party will not be published. Our addresses: Letters to the Editor The Palm Beach Post Martin County Bureau 2101 S. Kanner Highway Stuart, FL 34994 Fax: (561) 287-0241 Internet: letterspbpost.com GOP takes aim at other foot -Looks like the Republicans are about to shoot themselves in the other foot now. The first was the impeachment fiasco, and now it's pushing a tax re-fund.bill down the throats of the public, who for the, most part do not believe it will benefit the majority of the people. 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