08/10/2017 Letters to the Editor

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Paper plays vital role in community

Last week’s Riverland News had a very informative front page report about the possible sale of the city’s utilities. Where would the general public in the Dunnellon area get factual reporting on current events concerning Dunnellon without the Riverland News?

It is a natural reaction in all of us to want to kill the messenger when we do not appreciate or agree with events being reported. The initial action of the city even suggesting that companies that do business with the city help finance a invitation only party for two key city employees they will be dealing with is inappropriate to say the least.

So the Riverland News did its job which is to report the facts. What would the responsible course of action be for a newspaper?

I believe the parties involved were given a chance to respond to the reported facts, and were not blind sided by the reporting of events. Then everybody does it defense, proffered last week is bogus and did not work even in the fifth grade, both years I attended it. I am also a financial contributor to Dunnellon, unfortunately, via my water bill payment, so I guess that is why I was not invited.

I give the editor or the Riverland News credit for handling this and other issues in a professional manner. It is not easy reporting facts that may not be welcome in a small town like Dunnellon, where the only thing large is the debt.

I have seen Jeff Bryan at every City Council meeting when I attended them often. He is hard working and professional in his reporting.

By the very size and nature of Dunnellon, it would be easier for him to go with the flow and softball local issues that needed to be reported and addressed. It is not easy to be honest, factual and analytical about people you often personally interact with due to the nature of your job.

At times, a newspaper should render opinion based on its interpretation of facts to give its editorial viewpoint. To surmise that the Riverland News organization or the editior have a personal vendetta against Dunnellon is not supported by the historic facts.

There was no personal attack on Mayor Green or anyone. There was coverage of an event that happened. Mayor Walter Green is honest, earnest person who truly cares about Dunnellon, but might have made a poor decision based on his trusting nature and being caught up in his enthusiasm of events.

When you are personally good and decent without guile it does not mean everyone else is or you can act in haste without reflection

This recent event was brought on by the seemingly foolish actions of the city, not the Riverland News. Councilman Chuck Dillon jumped in and tried to put the genie of poor decision making back into the bottle, but it was too late.

It is like the job following the elephants at the circus parade, you clean up the mess the best you can, but you cannot ignore the mess. At least the elephants cannot help making a mess, but Dunnellon could.

I was not aware until last week’s letter that Dunnellon had founding families of such great current import. The founding families should have found out by now their city child is a mess.

The founding fathers seem to have abandoned their child to neglect and abuse certainly since 2011. I believe Dunnellon should now get child support. It appears the founding fathers dropped their noblesse oblige commitment to their children.

As my only connection to Dunnellon is via utility bill payments, I am probably a stepchild to the founding fathers. If somehow Dunnellon operates under a clandestine government of aristocracy rule of family founders, that might explain the historic pitiful management of Dunnellon. I was beginning to think Dunnellon was an orphan as nobody would take responsibility for its actions.

I think Jeff Bryan has integrity and is professional in his duties. I write this as a concerned Dunnellon area resident who depends on the Riverland News to keep up with events that affect me.

I really believe the paper is valuable to the whole Dunnellon area and is a great community paper. I believe the Riverland News has more journalistic integrity than NBC, CNN, New York Times and the non-Pulitzer Prize winning, never to be forgotten newsletter, “On the River.”

I support the Riverland News, even when I do not agree with its opinion viewpoint, the Riverland News is vital to the community’s well being.

Steve Swett,


Secrets, lies, ambush and blame

Recognize these characteristics? You should. I’m referring to our current administration in the White House. This is a description of the motus operandi there. No one is safe! No one is indispensable, and both our country and democracy, as we know it, is under siege.

Putting aside the constant self-aggrandizement, more commonly referred to as incessant bragging, this administration more closely resembles a reality TV show than the management of the most powerful country in the world. The difference, you ask? Reality TV shows are watched for entertainment and this administration is watched in horror and rebuke by most of Americans and the rest of the free world.

Loyalty only goes one way in this White House. That is to the president, not from him. No one is exempt from being thrown “under the bus” at any given time or place, except for the president himself, or one of his family members. That should answer another question as to why this president has seen fit to bring so many of his family members into his administration.

After all, conflicts of interest have no meaning in this administration. Ethics are a thing of the past and only relevant when defying them becomes known. Then the strategy is to defend, defend and defend again, the action that would otherwise be unacceptable is acceptable, in this administration.

Ask yourself, what other president have you ever known, starts campaigning for the next election in the first six months of his presidency? Why, you ask?

Because it is all about the president, not the people he serves or the country. He enjoys it, he revels in it, he is at his best when he is the center of attention and running the show. So why, you ask, isn’t he running the country?

Because he has no idea what to do with respect to any issue, foreign or domestic. He leaves it to the Republicans to decide domestic agenda and to the military to decide foreign agenda. He is subject to change his mind at any time and like a petulant child, if a mistake is made; there must be a sacrifice. Someone else must be blamed, another head must roll, for surely it was not his fault. Good strategy for keeping ones’ hands clean.

However, to the contrary, any successful action was entirely his doing and his alone. He is all beaming, all knowing and it was his plan, all along.

This is the real reason as to why even key people in the administration don’t always know what our position is on this or that, because, Trump himself doesn’t know. He must wait and see the end result so then he can blame or bask in the adoration of the country. Either way, he wins – as he is the either the savior or the punisher of a failed mission.

That leaves us with lies, so many lies. When faced with cold hard facts, it is still lies, because it doesn’t fit with his agenda, or his needs.

So, like everything else, lie some more. Eventually, others will tire of trying to convince him, and once again, he will be victorious. Because in the end, it was all the Democrats fault.

Everything he has done or continues to do, is the fault of the past administration or the current plots against him by those “unpatriotic Democrats” in the house. They are all against him and, therefore, subject to all the retaliation that he can provide, to keep his kingdom safe and secure in Trump Land.

Sherre Lacy Hayes,


Congress must obey 10th Amendment

No family in America can perpetually run a deficit in their spending habits. Americans are required to balance their checkbooks. States are required to balance their checkbooks. Why should the federal government be any different?

President Trump has asked Congress to increase the spending limit. Candidate Trump excoriated President Obama for his profligate spending habits, and rightly so, but now he embraces the same pathway. Candidate Obama uttered similar criticisms of President George Bush, but then proceeded to do the very thing he previously opposed.

The executive and legislative branches have been complicit in furthering the bankruptcy of our nation. When will we say, “Enough is enough?” Our national debt soon will exceed $20 trillion, and our unfunded liabilities far exceed that amount. Everybody knows this cannot go on forever, and everybody knows that this will end badly. Yet, nothing gets done to correct this impending disaster.

Congress does not deserve to take a recess until this budget crisis is under control. Kicking the can down the road and hoping this mess will somehow go away by itself has been the method of operation for far too long. Whole departments and agencies need to be abolished. Just trimming a little bit here and there and calling that fiscal responsibility is like using a squirt gun to quell a raging fire.

We do not need a balanced budget amendment. If Congress did only the things listed in the enumerated powers of the Constitution in Article I, Section 8, the federal government would shrink to a fraction of its size and the budget crisis would be contained. It is because Congress has, for decades, ignored the Constitution and legislated outside its constraining boundaries that we are in this crisis. Obey the 10th Amendment. Turn many of the federal powers back to the states and to the people where they belong. Stop fighting endless foreign wars. Stop being the policeman of the world. Yes, we must bring entitlements under control.

There will be a lot of pain if we do these things. I realize that, pain for many of us. Yet, someday, there will be a whole lot more pain for everyone if we don’t take the steps to correct this now. National bankruptcy will be very ugly, and many Americans will die when that happens. It is time to work on averting the death spiral before we are past the point of no return.

An important aspect of this must be the abolition of the Federal Reserve System. The only reason that the federal government can do what nobody else can do including the states is that the Fed can print money to cover the ongoing deficits.

There is an incestuous relationship between the bankers who can print money out of nothing and charge interest, which allows the politicians to spend beyond their means without accountability. Unless this evil system is contained, politicians will never listen to the pleas of their constituents to use fiscal restraint.

The impetus to spend money and bestow goodies on favored constituencies in order to buy votes is too strong a temptation for most politicians to resist.

Steven M. Schlei,


Climate deniers, a closer look

Climate denier and editorial contributor, Barry Widman claims to be both a scientist and environmental engineer with a career in mathematical modeling, yet he denies that recent manmade 50 percent increase of CO2 can cause the oceans to rise. He prefers to believe that oscillating solar activity has a greater effect on global warming than CO2 levels.

Fact: Oscillating solar activity refers to the sun’s coronal mass ejection, better known as solar flares, that increases and decreases roughly every 11 years. It, therefore is, on average, neutral and has no long-term effect on global temperatures.

Widman also claims that the rate of sea level rise has “been surprisingly uniform” for a century, despite the dramatic increase in CO2 levels. Therefore, he claims, there is no correlation between CO2 and sea level rise. Totally false.

During the early 1900s, the sea level rise was roughly 1 millimeter per year. During the middle of the 1900s it rose to almost 2 millimeter per year. Today, it is almost 4 millimeter per year. Hardly linear as he claimed, and closely correlates to the increase level of CO2.

While water vapor does significantly add to global warming, as Mr. Widman pointed out. Warmer air can hold more water vapor. It is the addition of CO2 that creates the warming that allows the air to hold more water vapor.

Ice and earth core sampling, covering more than 400,000 years of earth temperature cycles, shows that a level of 300 ppm has preceded several climate calamities. Widman wants us to believe the current CO2 level of more than 400 ppm will not have any effect.

We are currently at the hottest we have been in more than 1,100 years, with 16 of the past 17 years the warmest on record. It is scary to think of the damage global warming is going to do to our world. What is even more frightening is how a man with Widman’s education can fall for the Republican rhetoric, propagandized by fossil fuel companies.

Deniers claim that they have many scientific and professional groups that agree with them. Well, here is a partial list of credible organizations that do not agree with the deniers: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, The American Chemical Society, The American Geophysical Union, The American Meteorological Society, The Geological Society of America, The United States National Academy of Scientists, NASA and NOAA.

B. Charles Williams,