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Tallahassee Democrat from Tallahassee, Florida • Page 10

Location:
Tallahassee, Florida
Issue Date:
Page:
10
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

Tallahassee Democrat Editorials Letters EDITORIAL BOARD CARROL DADISMAN, PRESIDENTPUBLISHER LOU HELDMAN, SR. VPEXECUTIVE EDITOR ANDREA BRUNAIS, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR BILL EDMONDS, OP ED EDITOR DAVE BRUNS, ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAN PUDLOW, ASSOCIATE EDITOR KEITH THOMAS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR BILL MANSFIELD, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR EMERITUS Tallahassee Democrat ESTABLISHED 1905 A KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWSPAPER A MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS OTHER OFFICERS, DIRECTORS DORIS DUNLAP, SR. VPGENERAL MANAGER BOB SHAW, MANAGING EDITOR TOM PRIVETT, VPMARKETING CHRIS NORMAN, DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY MICHAEL SMERNOFF, VPOPERA TIONS TOM BARTLETT, DIRECTOR OF CIRCULA TION SAMUEL NOTTAGE, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER JEAN BUFORD, DIRECTOR OF EMPLOYEE AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS 1 0ASaturday, April 22, 1995 OUR OPINION BUT UNTIimME. ROOSEVELT 50 years later, FDR might not win presidential office Tragedy on campus: FAMU strives to cope mth student fears On April 12 I had more than just a passing interest in the observance of the 50th anniversary of the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As special as he was to our nation, our 32nd president was special to me in Violence-plagued students pressure the administration.

TTTT hen Thomas Tucker and Thom Roosevelt Wilson CAPITAL OUTLOOK as Gibbs launched the inau BRIAN DUFFYDes Moines Register gural class of what became Florida University more than 100 years ago, they took to the dusty roads of North Florida to persuade parents to entrust their children to the school's care. The as JD pirations of many of those parents stretched only as far as the of their land. But for their children, they dreamed the big dreams of FAMU student. In an unfortunate turn of phrase, student body president Larry Tait said the campus had become "a jungle." True, some incidents, including a gang rape and several shootings, happened off campus. But the overriding question remains: Can FAMU protect students and ease their fears? Students resented Humphries' absence from an impromptu candlelight vigil held hours after Stewart's death.

Then, this week, his failure to show up at a student meeting prompted students to storm his office. In an emotional session they questioned his sense of caring and called for leadership. The campus is awash in grief and loss. The steps FAMU officials took hours after the murder (they set up a hot line for concerned parents, hired nine additional security guards and offered grief counseling) seem lost on the students. Administrators from Humphries down say they care.

The challenge remains to effectively communicate that solicitude to students. Humphries' decision Thursday to sit down with students points the way to common ground. It's unfair to say the Humphries administration does not care, just as it is unfair to assume that crime happens on no other campus. But it is fair to say that only continued dialogue between students and the administration can help students see that their university father does heed their concerns. YOUR LETTERS anyone who works In Processing and Distribution will tell you how the numbers game is first priority, and the result is usually production bonuses for the managers.

While your readers are most concerned with winning a new car from the Lottery, the employees here have accepted the practice of sorting presorted mail. But we realize that it is a waste of time to produce numbers that have no real value. The impact of automation has not been what it was predicted to be. The machines that were purchased to increase production have increased postage rates and are being used to count mail rather than sort it It seems that service has not improved and standards have been reduced. Yet the Tallahassee managers will probably be rewarded with some kind of production bonus, because they have counted your Lottery tickets.

Terry Joe Chapman Humphries Students see him as a lather figure. transcending poverty and racism through the power of education. Today, FAMU president Frederick Humphries continues the work of Tucker and Gibbs, jetting across the country in search of young talent. But will parents drop big dreams when they think of FAMU, and instead field images of that most basic of concerns: safety? The murder of Tamika Stewart, a 19-year-old sophomore, on FAMU's campus last week is the latest incident of violence on or by a Physics course is not as hard as it seemed In a recent article on tough courses at Florida State University, several physics courses were cited as being particularly difficult. There is usually a story behind any table of numbers and this is the case here.

PHY-3048, General Physics was cited as being the second most difficult course, with a failure rate of 44 percent. However, this was based on a sample of only nine students. In fact, PHY-3048 is a subset of PHY-3048C. The latter course has a laboratory section associated with it. A student who already has credit for the lab can sign up for PHY-3048.

In the spring 1994 semester the combined enrollment for PHY-30483048C was 145 and the grade distribution was 20 percent 28 percent 32 percent 4 percent and 16 percent F. While General Physics may be a difficult course, it is nowhere near as hard as your article implied. PHY-3101, Intermediate Modern Physics, was cited as having 10 out of 38 students failing. While true, it is worth noting that the 10 failures were due to students not completing the course. For the 28 who attended the entire course the grades were six As, 14 Bs, six Cs, two Ds and no Fs.

PHY-4513, Thermal and Statistical Physics, was cited as having six failures out of 19 students enrolled. Three of these were for students who stopped coming to class and one received a passing grade after making up some incomplete work. Two students had opportunities to do additional work to make up for poor test performances, but chose not to take advantage of this and received Fs. The first example cited above shows that it can be misleading to draw conclusions based on small numbers of students. The other two cases support the point made in the article that it is possible to pass tough courses provided that one keeps up with the work and attends class.

Physics is a demanding discipline, but not an impossible one. Joseph F. Owens III, chairman Distinguished Research Professor Department of Physics Florida State University That's $100 for the shoes, sir, and $24 for the tax Don't knock volunteers who work at Civic Center Gerald Ensley should do a little research before complaining about Civic Center volunteer workers! Obviously he's never had the pleasure of standing on his feet for five or six hours after a long day at the office, or waiting on people who change their order three times, or decide what they want after getting to the counter and reviewing every selection. And he certainly has never had the pleasure of being threatened by a drunk who could get only one beer! Fortunately, it's not always bad most people are very nice and understanding. Florida High Athletic Boosters is a "core" group at the Civic Center.

That means we work every event held at the center. In the month of March, we worked 20 out of 31 days and during the NCAA games, we sometimes had workers there from 2 p.m. until after midnight. We have eight to 10 workers for every event, and these people also work their regular jobs. It is very difficult to get as many volunteers as we need, so often not everyone working is as experienced as most.

Last year, we provided more than half of the athletic budget for our school, in addition to funding major athletic improvements, such as building dugouts and helping with gym renovations. Our contributions to the program for this year will exceed I would like to issue Mr. Ensley an open invitation to join us one evening. He should bring black pants, a white shirt and a little humility. I firmly believe he will sing a different tune after the experience.

Maybe he could even write about how much local athletic programs would suffer were it not for their volunteers. Jan Sheffield, treasurer Florida High Athletic Boosters Postal employees forced to waste time and money I write concerning your article about the Tallahassee Post Office processing the Florida Lottery's Jeep Cherokee give-away (Democrat, April 13). The photograph of a postal employee processing these sorted pieces of mail through our sorting machine demonstrates what the employees here have complained about for the last several years. We are sorting mail that has already been sorted. The Lottery pieces came from other offices in the state already sorted, and when they reach Tallahassee they are loaded onto our sorting machines to increase production figures.

We've been told that the Lottery officials need to know the exact number of tickets they receive, and we are using our machines to provide those numbers. However, other mail that we receive presorted Is also run through our processing equipment after the mailers are given reduced postage rates for presorting. Most DOONESBURY t's easy to kick the IRS, especially this time of year. But buried in the a different way. Born in 1940 in the middle of his 12-year presidency, I was named for FDR, who at the time I was born had been president since 1933.

He was the only president in U.S. history to be reelected three times, and served until 1945, the year of his death. Ills legs were crippled but not his ambition Roosevelt's story is an inspirational one for me. His political career was interrupted in 1921 when he was crippled by polio, but to FDR, that was only a minor inconvenience. The Democrat rebounded to become governor of New York (1929-32) before defeating Republican Herbert Hoover for U.S.

president in 1932. From a wheelchair, Roosevelt steered this nation from the throes of the Great Depression by delivering on his promised New Deal. Many of the social programs being challenged today were put in place by FDR. Interestingly, Hoover had rejected government intervention, particularly federally financed work projects. FDR reasoned just the opposite, and that was one of the primary reasons he defeated Hoover.

Roosevelt said the reason our nation was not recovering from the Depression was because government was inactive and the private sector was ineffective in changing the nation's economic course. He initiated programs that produced government jobs, which put money in people's pockets, which stimulated the economy and put the nation on the road to recovery. In addition, his "fireside chat" radio broadcasts assured the American people everything would be all right. While Roosevelt was not universally liked and he still has his critics today history speaks for itself as one charts the upturn this nation made while he was president Political ideologies aside, however, I wonder if Franklin Delano Roosevelt could be elected today. This nation has become so fascinated with form that it places relatively little significance on substance.

Roosevelt ran this nation from a wheelchair. Wouldn't our media and we today focus more on FDR's wheelchair than the abilities of the man sitting in it? In all probability, yes. Fortunately for our nation, when FDR was in politics, two things were different about our media First, they were not as developed as they are today. Second, the media were more sensitive and actually cooperated with Roosevelt in concealing the fact that he wore leg braces when he was standing and was in a wheelchair when he was sitting. Technologically the media have changed for the better, but that sensitivity they demonstrated during the days of FDR no longer exists.

They focus on things that have little or no relevance. As consumers of the media, we tend to react to these irrelevant things accordingly. We no longer look for candidates with substance, for example. Instead, we look for candidates with "that look." I low many IDKs do we overlook in today's polities? Unfortunately, by not focusing on substance, we are often unhappy with our winning candidate and begin criticizing him or her as soon as the election is over. And that won't change until we start electing people for what they have to offer instead of how they look.

I wonder just how many FDRs we overlook every election simply because we focus on the wrong thing. Roosevelt Wilson is an associate professor of journalism at Florida University and publisher of the Capital Outlook, a local weekly newspaper where this column also appears. -LL pages of directions on how to fill out Form 1040 is a plea from the tax collectors themselves: Don't blame us, they say; Congress writes the rules. Con Iv Definitely not a fan oflleWlio Is Always Right I see where Mark Harman (Letters to the Editor, April 13) wants someone to prove that Rush Lim-baugh is a racist before calling him one, but no one puts such restraints on Limbaugh. I guess since Rush makes up his own words, definitions, facts and figures anyway, he doesn't have to worry about proof.

I know; let's make up a word for the type of person Rush is: Mascu-linazi! Conservatoid! How about a a fat cat with one foot in his mouth? Mr. Harman wants us to watch more Rush to learn the truth. With all due respect, I would suggest Mr. Harman might want to watch something else for a change to see if he can gather a clue. How about a little "Barney?" Better hurry, though, before Rush, Newt, D'A-mato, Dole and the rest of the blub-berals convince the public that cutting Barney's funding would do anything to help balance the budget destroyed by 12 years of blub-berals In the White House.

CO. Newman dnewman( mailer.fsu.edu A photo of kids playing with cart disturbed reader Accompanying your article about the Bond neighborhood (April 9), there was a picture of some local neighborhood children on the front page. I understood the image of the community you were trying to display. Unfortunately, the context of the picture was disturbing. Without trying to take away from the fun-loving feeling of the photograph, I wish to point one thing out: The grocery cart that the children were playing with probably wasn't their property, since those carts usually cost more than $100 each.

I don't wish to offend anyone but then again I don't wish to see this type of behavior used as a model for my or anyone else's children. Daniel Holton the IRS) and replace it with a national sales tax, collected by the states. "The money you earn is yours," said the Republican senator from Indiana who this week declared his candidacy for president. "You need not account for it, report it or hide it You are no longer guilty until you prove your innocence to the IRS." Lugar's plan is simple but not wise. One, it would throw the federal government into the kind of boom-and-bust cycle that puts the Florida Legislature through the wringer every few years.

Two, it would create an unbearable tax, especially for the poor who spend more of their income on essentials. Consider Lugar's 17-percent national sales tax (some say 23 percent is closer to reality) would be piggybacked on state and local taxes In Leon County. In other words, how does a 24-percent sales tax sound to you? -v- in gress, it seems, has gotten the message and may rewrite those rules in big way. New tax plans abound, including one that would do away with fed Lugar He would replace the income tax with a sales tax. the IRS altogether.

But, hey, don't cheer until you read the fine print on Sen. Richard Lugar's plan. Lugar would kill the income tax altogether (and thus WRITE US To increase chances for publication, letters should be brief (about 250 words). Please include a telephone number and address so we can reach you it we have questions. Writs to: Letters to the Editor, P.O.

Box 990, Tallahassee 32302. Or fax to: 599-21 55. Or send i-mall to: lettered. Ireenct.lsu.edu. Other e-mail correspondence regarding the opinion pages can be sent to: editorials freenet.fsu.edu.

Wlicn cops use coercion for sex by Garry Trudcuu I NO, NOT RlAlLt THE YLARi WLNT BY, trrri iml emw UP STRAIGHT AND STRONG. ncypopUMApe IT INTO HARVARD LAUI SCHOOL! POPS! MUST titO MILLION IN A HObTttf TAKUWtR! This crime by any name is rape. Five female Gulf County jail inmates testified that Sheriff Al Harrison had used his clout as a law-enforcement officer to coerce them into sex. But because of a quirk In state law, prosecutors couldn't charge Harrison with sexual battery. Prosecutors could only allege that by extorting sex, Harrison had violated the women's civil rights.

Despite Harrison's tearful pleas of innocence, he was convicted and sentenced to more than four years in prison. However, a bill by Sen. John Grant, a Republican from Tampa, would provide that officers who coerced sex from prisoners in their custody could be charged with sexual battery. The state Department of Law Enforcement enthusiastically backs the bill (SB 2808). Grant's bill deserves adoption.

It would make law satisfy logic: If a law-enforcement or correctional officer uses his or her power over a prisoner to coerce sexual acts, the crime is called rape. my dad! IJLftTfVr A SOUIRRU. IN THE MK.RDWAVB-! MV 600.. Ht9fTIU. HLV.DADfl NAIUOMi $ATUVST NAILS DEMI 9-.

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