How is banning AP course legal? Letters to the editor, Jan. 22, 2022 – Florida Today

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I was saddened, although not surprised, regarding local politicians’ silence about Rep. George Santos of New York, his Brevard “business” connections and his recent assignment to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
What has become of our society when it allows such a fraudulent individual to represent the best interests of the U.S. and our beloved Space Coast?
Kathy Ojeda, Merritt Island
Let me tell you about the “great deal” Florida has to offer.
My original monthly billing after I installed solar was between $7.99 and $11.58. To have solar installed with nothing down was over $25,000, so my bill for solar payment was $69.02 monthly for the first 18 month; after that, $99.12 monthly.
Then FPL decided to add a minimum monthly bill charge which totaled $29.91. Two months ago, they added another fuel charge for kilowatts used, so now my bill totals $44.93 monthly.
Add $44.93 per month plus $99.12 per month, and my electric bill totals $144.05 monthly, which is more than I paid before I got solar. I live in a two-bedroom, two-bath home, of 1,007 square feet.
This is another of Gov. DeSantis’ lies.
Don’t expect your homeowner’s insurance to be reduced this year either. His promises add up to nothing. Insurance will go up — mark my words.
Geraldine Hoyt, Melbourne
In a recent issue, FLORIDA TODAY’s John Torres reported on the retirement of Randy Moore, public defender.  I know nothing about Mr. Moore but I love him. 
The reason is that no matter the excellent work he did as a public defender, Mr. Moore is willing to help children he does not even know. To me, the epitome of service is to aid the most vulnerable in our society and that is our children. In all the world the United States stands above the rest in treasuring our children. Yet look at how we treat our children. Sometimes as a burden instead of a treasure they are. Sometimes as a throwaway or an annoyance instead of the greatest gift that can be given by G-d. Despite some parents who do not understand the concept of parental responsibility many people will come forward to help a child. If you help a child, I will love you forever. If you neglect, hurt, or abuse a child, though, and with respect to the Almighty, I will not turn the other cheek and will condemn you in my mind forever. 
Hats off to Mr. Randy Moore for being a guardian ad litem and to others like him who put the needs of a child above their own.
Bob Barnes, Melbourne
Well, it seems to be coming true: Twenty-five years ago, the Brevard County Commission had a huge debate on whether to build a government complex (courthouse, replacing to one in Titusville), plus a school board establishment, in the flood plains of the St. John’s  River west of I-95.
Encourage residential growth. We’ll forget that we live in the 100-year St. John’s flood plain.
We are now encouraging more houses in Viera. Are not 292 more expected this next year?
With so many flooded communities in the news these days, let us hope we don’t wake up one day and find flatland Viera flooded.
Frank J. Thomas, Melbourne Beach
On Jan. 18  FLORIDA TODAY published a guest column from Wayne Mills, a neighbor to our south on the Indian River Lagoon.  His column dealt with a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution. 
Read it, heed it and get on it.
This may be the last chance many of us will have if we truly cherish the Lagoon. 
Go to
Read it, heed it and get on it.
Max Taylor, Melbourne Beach
I was not at the Brevard County delegation to the Florida Legislature meeting on Jan. 11, but from accounts, it appears to have had all the hallmarks of a rally reminiscent of Germany or Italy from the 1930s, flags and all.
It seems one of the themes of the meeting was to foster a “free” Florida agenda. Free, of course, unless you’re a woman choosing what to do with her own body; free, except to choose your own gender identity. Free, except for protecting others from infectious diseases; free, except letting parents decide which books their own children can read which are available in public schools. Free to allow speech by those with whom you agree, but also free to cut off the microphone of those who dissent.
There was also whining about election integrity being an issue, but DeSantis himself, about Florida elections, said on Nov. 4, 2022: “We’re now being looked at as the state that did it right.” I guess we don’t need Ron’s poll-watching police after all. I guess “free” means different things to different people. The hypocrisy endemic within this party is absolutely astounding.  
Also, permitless concealed carry? What could possibly go wrong there? Curiously, there didn’t seem to be a discussion about the sheriff procuring body cams for his deputies to ensure public safety and assure transparency.
If all this sounds familiar, read up on fascism; the similarities are striking.
Ed Dean , Merritt Island 
I do not believe what Gov. DeSantis is doing in overseeing the banning an AP course on African American studies is legal. I’m no lawyer, but it smacks of race-based discrimination.
Department of Education officials say the curriculum “violates state law” and “significantly lacks educational value.” This seems to me discrimination against specific group, that they are trying to eradicate an entire group’s narrative — is this legal?
In Arizona, a similar thing was attempted when they tried to ban a Mexican American studies course, and the courts ruled it illegal to eliminate the course. I believe courts will rule similarly in this instance.
DeSantis is wasting valuable tax dollars and taxpayer time in trying to appeal to a small base of people who want to run history backwards. Be aware, be very aware of this type of illegality — your ethnicity or religious beliefs might be next on his hit list.
Laura Petruska, Melbourne
When one individual’s actions cause harm to another, the government usually intervenes with laws to protect the innocent. 
Outlawing smoking in public places is an example of good public health policy that has been proven to prevent coronary artery disease, stroke, lung cancer and other causes of premature death  Now comes a pandemic that is highly contagious and a significant risk reduction vaccine is developed, yet the “less vaccinated” are now claiming discrimination.
It seems the less vaccinated feel they should be free to spread a highly contagious virus wherever they wish.  At what point do we assume responsibility for our own behaviors?
Donald Thomas, Melbourne Beach
The recent article “Pritzker to sheriffs: Enforce gun law” in FLORIDA TODAY describes Democratic Illinois Gov. Pritzker’s response to many Illinois sheriffs who have “sworn off zealous enforcement of the law” that includes the requirement to register legally owned semiautomatic rifles.
It is interesting to compare Pritzker’s response to that of Florida Gov. DeSantis, a Republican, upon the refusal of Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren to enforce Florida’s new abortion law as described in an article titled “DeSantis suspends prosecutor who refused to prosecute abortions.”
Pritzker said, “These are folks who are entrusted to enforce the law … They don’t get to choose which laws they enforce.”
DeSantis said: “Prosecutors have a duty to enforce the law, not pick and choose which laws they agree with.”
The laws in question are popular with many members of the political parties to which the governors belong.
Lawsuits were filed over DeSantis’ suspension of Warren. I doubt any of those who support that litigation would support similar litigation against anyone who refused to act on gun legislation including the most recently passed laws in Florida.
James Beasom, Melbourne Village
A recent letter writer says he knows why DeSantis and Florida are No. 1.
He cites a Trinity Broadcast Survey (must be true if they say so), quoting “diminished values reap consequences,” and trots out the socialist trope against Democrats without mentioning the coup plotters on the Republican side.
Values like George Santos, who has connections to a Ponzi scheme outfit right here in Brevard?
Values like Trump telling Bob Woodward that COVID was worse than any flu, but telling us don’t worry?
Values like Trump saying “grab them by the (p-word)” when referring to women?
Evangelicals prayed for Trump; dismissed his porn star affair. Evangelist Franklin Graham defended Trump’s “Christian values” and said President Clinton was worse because his affair happened while in office; that Trump had changed since his affairs and that God put him in the White House.
So much for God’s and Graham’s character judgement.
DeSantis attacks Disney for free speech.
Where would Orlando be if not for Disney, and other mega-attractions that followed?
One of those places Trump derisively referred to when speaking of African countries?
Yep, we’re No. 1.
For the most Jan. 6 insurrectionist defendants of any state.
For fraud complaints in 2019.
Brevard  has its oxymoronic Moms for Liberty, only when the “liberty” lets them ban books they don’t like, like Hitler did.
No. 1? Florida is No. 8  for economy, No. 12 for business environment, No. 20 for employment, No. 9 for growth and No. 25 for health care, according to U.S. News and World Report.
No. 1 for gullible Republicans? Yup.
Michael Ruth, Satellite Beach
Just a quick note in response to a recent letter regarding sealing the southern border.
There’s no doubt Native Americans would agree, wishing they had sealed all the borders starting in the 1500s when the Spanish first invaded. Little did they know the invasion of the white people would result in stolen lands, forced abandonment of their customs, relocation to reservations, and destruction of the environment.
There hasn’t been fair compensation to the Native American people who are still treated as third-class citizens.
Yes, the massive influx of immigrants may be cumbersome, but it pales in comparison to what has taken place during the last centuries.
Gregory W. Hewitt, Melbourne, Florida


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