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Pensacola News Journal from Pensacola, Florida • 17

Pensacola, Florida
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Kill News Journal Sunday, February 21, 1993 17A I Viewpoint 'Readers9 TP Public health Stop treating pair's UFO stories as fact 4 sky watches in hopes of getting auto-, graphs from Ed and Frances Walters (oi Hanson, as they sometimes like to change their last name). Fat chance! The WaltersI divorced on Nov. 18, but not before split ting a cool $2.5 million in assets. (Check the public file, Escambia Circuit Court! 92-1053-M.) Surely some of that cash; came from their lucrative UFO book deal. No, there aren't any "green men" wan- dering Gulf Breeze, just a lot of ill-gotten "greenbacks" lining the pockets of two people who may have fleeced the goods people of their community.

It all started as a practical joke, accord- ing to a brave, young Tommy Smith who came forward and blew the whistle on Walters in 1990. Smith said he had nessed Ed faking the UFO pictures. It may be funny to Ed and Frances Walters, but I doubt anyone else i laughing especially their own two chil dren. What a legacy to leave your kids! Mark C. Curtis is a former reporter for-WEAR-TV, Channel 3, and is in Wash-, ington on a fellowship.

4 I was saddened to see that the Pensa-cola News Journal has "resurrected" the Gulf Breeze UFO story, especially after the fine efforts of some of your own staff members showed that his case was in all likelihood a giant hoax. While I know people in the area continue to see unusual lights, reporter Kim-berly Riegler's article leaves the impression that no serious doubts have ever been cast upon the "Gulf Breeze Sightings," especially as told by Ed and Frances Walters. A trip to the News Journal archives would have taught her a lot! Reporter Craig Myers and former staffer Bill DiPa-olo did a wonderful job in 1990 of showing how the Walters case and photos were phony as a $3 bill (remember the paper-plate UFO model found in Walters' With the help of my former colleagues at WEAR-TV 3, we were also able to show how "Mr. Ed" likely faked his pictures and UFO video. Even MUFON (The Mutual UFO Network) appointed its top two investigators, Rex and Carol Salisberry, We're pretty healthy, but problems remain Question: Just what is the director of the Health Department in charge of? Answer: The main functions are divided into control of communicable diseases, primary care for chronic diseases for adults and children, dental services, school health and environmental health services such as infectious diseases, air pollution, food hygiene, water systems, sewage and septic tank systems and environmental toxins.

The first impression I had when I took the job is that I was amazed at the number of really expert, dedicated people working in the Health Deptartment I had no idea. I started a column in the Escambia County Medical Society Bulletin to bring up current problems, such as when we had the menningitis death, or if there's an outbreak of hepatitis What did you find at the Health Department? The major problem is our poor facility. Our center is spread out over a two-block area in eight buildings, and it's user unfriendly. Thirty-two years old, hard to heat and cool, floods frequently. -JJ The good news is we have plans for a new building and a new site.

1 he bad news is the governor hasn put in any money for new construction yet. A second local problem is a lack of funds. example, the non-nursing staff has raise in three years. We're underfunded and understaffed in our Healthy program and primary care services. Renewed Bank regulation Eric Geiger it the new director of the 1 i bounty Health Department.

arthritis, all the general diseases. For had no Start What Primary for sick care child care It covers badly needed followed the "scent" on this one! is primary care? care is all the services we do or indigent people who can't get elsewhere for chronic diseases, and (pediatric services). heart disease, diabetes, obesity, lii'ii II" 4 I I How about putting the team that uncovered the garbage can caper on the Cox Cable TVcity county love fest? The price increase announced in the paper today, and the packaging of the basic channels, appears to have a similar smell. Mr. Lewis, the general manager and vice president, admits that the cost of the Cox expansion and upgrade is the cause of the price increase.

If this cost is to be passed on to the users rather than to the firm and its stockholders, does this mean we also get to share in the profits? It must be nice to be able to invest your customers' money, make a profit on it and not have to risk your own capital. City Attorney Don Caton is quoted in the paper as saying that, "Under the 1992 cable act, cities can regulate local cable rates and service if they choose. But the regulations are so complex the city would have to hire a high-priced consultant." If Mr. Caton feels incompetent to perform these duties, I recommend he resign from his position so the city can hire someone who is capable of doing the job. I recommend a panel of users be appointed to regulate the firm.

I certainly feel entirely competent to perform this task and ensure the stockholders a fair return on their money at the same time. We could probably find a few upper-management jobs which could easily be cut along with other operating efficiencies. How about it? Let's take thi one on before it gets so rancid that we have to move to get away from it. Robert L. Kennedy Pensacola iM )', Mark Curtis to reinvestigate.

When they also concluded it was a hoax, they were literally chased out jf MUFON by its remaining "true believers." Being a news reporter gives one the wonderful insight of taking the public's pulse on an almost daily basis. While it's not a scientific poll, I would say 98 percent of the people who ever called me or stopped me on the street when I worked in Pensacola, said they believe the Walters' UFO story was fake! But opinions are often based on fact, and I think the investigative reporting done two years ago on this story by WEAR-TV and the Pensacola News Journal clearly showed that West Florida had been duped by a clever hoax! Riegler's story was an interesting update, but she missed one glaring fact. She encourages people to bring their "Gulf Breeze Sightings" books to the nightly I I Letters Yi'lilllffl1 1 Letters should be: 300 words or less. Longer letters will be returned. Original letters only, no copies or open letters.

Signed, with your address and a daytime telephone number. Letters will be verified before publication. We reserve the right to edit and condense all letters submitted to us. We limit writers to one letter a month. We don't publish poetry, letters concerning private disputes with a business or individual or letters that quote scripture at length.

Write to: Letters to the Editor, Pensacola News Journal, PO Box 1 271 0, Pensacola, Fla. 32574. Or fax your letter to: 904-435-8633. have done something to have prevented this particular uncalled-for death. Please stop to realize that there are thousands of safety features that could be added to the autos, or unsafe items removed.

Could any of us afford to buy any autos if all of these things were taken care of? Regardless of what is done we will always have drunks on the roads killing our loved ones, and these killer drunks are usually released from jail to kill again. Henry Boyd Lillian, Ala. He'll be missed Norman K. Silcox came up through the ranks of the Escambia County Sheriffs Department to the position of undersheriff. This in itself is an accomplishment to be very proud of.

I had the privilege of knowing and working for him for many years. Norman was a professional who held himself accountable to the highest standards of moral principles and expected the same form his peers and subordinates. I didn't get to know the personal side of him until after his retirement from the Sheriffs Department. At this time I realized that his family ties and convictions were the most important things to him and this was very obvious by the closeness of his family. Norman also valued friendship.

He felt that a handshake was as binding as any contract that could be written and anyone that knew him knew that he was a man of his word. Norman touched the lives of many people throughout his life. He was a positive influence in my professional and personal life and I know that I was privileged to have had him as a friend. I for one will miss him greatly. Sgt LaRon L.

Summerlin Escambia County Sheriff's Department Pensacola How about it? Thank you for the excellent investigative reporting on ECUA's "garbage can" case. You certainly "He made cuts in the White House staff, but plans to spend money to redecorate the White House. He needs to put aS money saved toward the deficit He needs to cut congressional pay (and) cut the congressional staff." Toby Billiot, 25 Manne Corps North Carolina And Healthy Start? Healthy Start is one of the reasons why I decided to get into public health. It's aimed at reversing the high infant mortality rate. It concentrates on preventive services for pregnant women and infants up to one year.

It involves public agencies as well as private physicians and hospitals. A screening questionnaire is given to every pregnant woman in the state. It asks medical questions, but more importantly, social questions like poverty, family, jobs, divorce. The other is a questionnaire at the birth of every baby. It's evaluated to see if that baby is going to be at high risk.

The mechanism of it is if either the mother or the woman indicates there is a high-risk situation, then the mother and baby are taken into the program with a case follow-up. The idea is to improve access to health care and eliminate the causes of low birth weight, prematurity, teen-age pregnancy and neo-natal infections in order to give every baby a chance to reach kindergarten in his or her most optimal condition. And, of course, it means we won't have to spend money on these children later, which can be a big savings. A case of pediatric AIDS who lives two years costs us an open-heart surgery costs us $30,000 or more; but a low-birth-weight infant can cost us $250,000. And that doesn't touch the real cost to the public.

Many of them end up in trouble as teens, which costs the state in juvenile programs, and many of them end up on welfare. What about the We Care program? We Care brings together the voluntary services doctors, nurses and hospitals give to take care of citizens who are not covered by insurance or government programs. The people who qualify are referred by a central person to doctors and hospitals who have agreed to take care of them. One aspect of the program is that if an injury occurs as a result of the care, the patient agrees at the onset that the doctor is a volunteer employee of the state and any liability will be directed toward the state instead of the doctor and hospital. In March it will have been in place one year in Escambia.

A record is kept of the value of the services. The services through October, the last time it was totalled up, amounted to $237,860. What's the general state of health in Escambia County? I think in general we're a healthy county, a healthy people. AIDS is a growing problem, and sexually transmitted diseases. Another problem just being recognized are the environmental toxins like mercury in the food chain and gasoline and petroleum soil contamination.

Another problem is the resurgence of TB. It was thought to be under control, but for various reasons it is increasing. The Health Department is able to meet the needs, but we wouldn't be able to without the support of other programs throughout the county, including the indigent clinic Baptist and Sacred Heart hospitals operate. We're doing a good job with vaccinations. There is one area we got worse in a couple of years ago measles vaccinations in children under 2.

But that is being rapidly overcome because of the interest of the Kiwanis Clubs and their help in putting on after-hours vaccination clinics, and the Immunization Coalition, a broad group of citizens attacking the problem. We have an excellent program (Women Infants and Children) throughout the district in nutrition for pregnant women and babies. It furnishes pregnant women with a nutritious diet and then follows the infants up to school age. We have good relationships with the schools we have full-service programs in six schools. Anytime you have people and agencies there will be problems.

You can take any one program and there are deficiencies, but overall we have the structure and the people to help the citizens maintain their basic health. The reason the banking system is unraveling is that federal deposit insurance, coupled with deregulation, resulted in banks making loans to people who never had any intention of repaying them. If there hadn't been deposit insurance, that never would have happened. On the other hand, no one wants to go back to a system in which all the townspeople lose their life savings when a local bank fails. So here's the solution: Set up two types of banks.

The Type A bank would maintain the current level of federal deposit insurance $100,000 per account. But this type of bank would be closely restricted in how it could invest depositors' money. The only assets it would be permitted to buy are Treasury and government-agency securities. Period. The bank would pay the depositor a 5 percent to 6 percent interest rate and the spread would cover operating expenses and profits.

It would be just like the old days. The second type of bank could lend money to anyone, for any purpose, at any interest rate it wanted. But there would be no federal deposit insurance. The individual depositor would have to decide whether he was depositing his savings at a sound bank or not. If he didn't want to take the risk, fine.

He could use the Type A bank. Depositing money in the Type bank, however, would be more like investing in bonds or stocks: The risk is high, but so is the return. And just as our money is not guaranteed when we invest it in the stock or bond market, there would be no guarantee on deposits at this type of bank. In this way, these banks could attract the capital needed to make loans without having the federal government bail them out. JackMorley Pensacola Filled with disgust 1am writing this with a lot of disgust in my innards, and not being better informed of the English vocabulary, it will be difficult without using a lot of profanity.

But here goes: First, I cannot imagine myself being a loving parent willing to work toward and accepting over $100 million from my son's life whom I am supposed to love with all my heart and not my pocketbook; also sitting by and allowing the greed of a high commission lawyer talk some poor unfortunate batch of 12 naive followers to tell me that yes, we can replace our loving son with enough almighty dollars. Notwithstanding the embarrassment of accepting multi-millions for my son, but practically bankrupting an insurance company that in turn will raise liability insurance premiums on American auto companies up to equal the medical malpractice premiums then in turn raise the cost of the American automobile that are worth $5,000 from $15,000 to $20,000. I am sure that General Motors could "I like what he is doing now, cutting the staff of the White House. He needs to look at political job cuts, cutting the perks, but he doesn't need to make cuts in Social Security." Jo Ann McSwain, 40 Clerk -l I 'j i ft tri i i liiJti 1 I. Urn VOICES: If you "He needs to raise taxes to 36 percent on the rich to make them pay their fair share and cut perks like he is doing.

The deficit and health care are our two biggest problems. Speaking of abuse 3 The wetdry issue has been put to bed in Santa Rosa County, at least for a nap. The Bible freaks have fallen silent and the money again flows into the collection plates of fundamental hysterical churches that have their national headquarters in Milton. "4 We were told of drug abuse and alcohol abuse. Alcohol, we were told, was the most wicked and insidious of all drugs.

If you really want to witness abuse, stand in front of the stores on Saturday afternoon, the gathering place of pachyderms in polyester who migrate there for their weekly Oreo fix. These bulging beauties -J know what real abuse is. They abuse food. Their fingers are too fat to count their chins on the small calculators for sale at each cash register. These debutante bed crushers would certainly not take a drink, but measure their daily grits consumption in five-pound bags.

There are very few drunks on the streets of our local dry county. They're afraid a local lumpy lovely will fall on them. If taking one drink is a sin, what is career two-handed face-stuffing? The pot they surely abuse is not an agricultural product it is a saucepan. Karl Smith, Pensacola- were the president, what spending would you cut? "Lower the salaries of elected officials. Cut spending on unimportant things to the public, such as space exploration and animal experimentation.

He needs to pay more attention to farmers." Brian Glass, 22 "He should cut the military and cut down on the number of duplications we have in the military." Keith Grant, 34 Marine Corps New York City Marketing Pensacola Edwin J. Bertheau, 69 Retired Iowa.

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