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Opinion
Palm Coast Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 1 year ago

How government spending on tourism helped my business

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Plus: letters on bullying, Trump's executive order, Jim Landon, the American Flag Project.

Tourism funding makes a big local impact

Dear Editor:

Not quite two years ago, my husband and I packed up our house in Birmingham, Alabama, and moved to Flagler Beach to open a restaurant. We didn’t know a single person when we first got here, but we joined the local chamber of commerce and became involved with the Flagler County Tourism Development Office. 

Getting involved with our local Tourist Development Council was one of the best things we ever did. When we opened VESSEL Sandwich Co. a little more than a year ago, they helped us gain exposure through catering jobs. Their marketing efforts brought Southern Living Magazine to town and generated a mention of our restaurant in one of the magazine’s article. That single article has brought us so much business from tourists and has made our first year in business a successful one.

We are so thankful for tourism marketing efforts, such as these, that exist at the state and local level. That kind of support makes the difference between profit and loss for small businesses like ours. As state and local leaders consider funding for tourism promotion, I hope they’ll see the tremendous impact it has had on our lives and the lives of our employees.   

Haley Kirk, owner, VESSEL Sandwich Co.

Flagler Beach

 

Executive order could provoke the very violence it’s intended to stop

Dear Editor:

I think most people agree that the roll out of Trump's refugee ban was a bit sloppy. Some people believe (and it will continue to be debated) that it was unAmerican and even unconstitutional. What is really not debatable is the proposition that actions have consequences. In this regard, the consequences may not be benign in that it may very well energize Islamic terrorists.

National security decisions require great insight, finesse and most importantly foresight. I worry that these criteria were not fully met in his executive action.

Given that refugees from the seven banned countries have not killed anyone on U.S. soil in 40 years, and given that refugees are already being thoroughly vetted, I wonder how much of Trump's actions were based on perceived rather than real danger. In other words, in this case, could the perceived danger cause itself to become true by the very terms of the perception?

Bob Gordon

Palm Coast

 

You ask, ‘Who gets in?’ I ask, ‘What happened to the Observer?’

Dear Editor:

Has anyone else noticed that the Observer is practically blanking out their front page with dark colors, instead of news?

Just this week, half the page is covered with a dark blue graphic, asking, "Who gets in?"

It’s a story about one Palm Coast family that is affected by our new president’s timely decisions!

So sorry this family almost lost touch with their parents, who are not even citizens. They chose to come here, leaving the parents behind in a suspect country that happens to be on the president's watch list (with good reason).

Thousands of people from the various countries on the president’s list have come into our country, several committing terrible acts of terrorism. Sure, some become great citizens, but history shows us that many do not believe in the values of the country they came to live in.

I found the story to be repetitious, with the writer repeating over and over one of the subject's opinions, taking up almost three pages of the little paper. It's no wonder the Flagler News-Tribune is now included in the Pennysaver. That little paper now rivals the Observer in local news and has surpassed it in the last three months.

Where’s the good old Observer?

Carol Propper

Palm Coast

 

Do not approve salary increase for Jim Landon

Dear Editor:

City Manager Jim Landon’s base salary of $168,878 excludes Landon's life insurance premiums the city pays. It also pays the city's portion of his health insurance premiums, plus a $7,200 car allowance. Mr. Landon's combined compensation package adds up to $218,296.00.

It is most interesting to note that Mr. Landon's package of compensation is greater than more than 40 governors of our states, as well as all members of Congress. It is also interesting to note that the last time he was evaluated by the City Council, his job satisfaction was 70%; very slightly over a D: barely passing. And he believes he is entitled to a raise.

It is my understanding that the city of Palm Coast is considering a salary increase in excess of $6,000. Mr. Landon does not deserve the $218,196 that he is now receiving, and yet he has the unmitigated gall to ask for a raise.

It is Mr. Landon's responsibility to be in charge; that's what managers are supposed to do, and yet he has grossly shirked his duties in overseeing the renovation of Holland Park. There were problems and delays of one type or another, but it is his obligation to make certain that the park is completed within the anticipated time frame. He has been appointed to solve the problems. No lame excuses, just get it done. That's what we pay him $218,196 in compensation.

A raise? He must be kidding; he should be fired.

Eugene W. Holland

Palm Coast

 

Bullying story has given others the bravery to speak out

Dear Editor:

Thank you, for giving Ashley Stuart’s story about the bullying she endured the space that it deserves. A story of this magnitude can only be told by the victim, and I am thankful and proud of the bravery of Ashley and the Stuart family for allowing it to be told.

When you know the depth and breadth of her story, it only serves as a reminder that this is just the first step. Her story has allowed others to speak in their own voice about this and other challenges that face students, parents and teachers in Flagler County.

A bright Flagler Auditorium spotlight needs to shine throughout the district, the Government Services Building and the School Board into the nooks and crannies of others’ stories that have either been swept into the corner, have been hidden behind a curtain or a thin coat of paint.

For far too long, many have been afraid or have been encouraged to keep quiet about the things they see and experience in the life of Flagler Schools. Perhaps the bravery of an 18-year-old girl and her family will give others the strength and courage to tell their stories as well.

Paul Anderson

Palm Coast

 

Kudos to the founders of the American Flag Project

Dear Editor:

Like many others, quite often I find myself composing emails and letters expressing my displeasure about one thing or another. I am pleased to say that today I am writing for the exact opposite reason.

Larry and Nikki White are the founders of The American Flag Project. The name is pretty self-explanatory, as is the group’s mission: to deliver 1 million American flags every year.

Lofty goal? Yep. Will they ever reach their goal? Does it really matter? What matters to me are these two dedicated souls are doing things we mere mortals could only dream of.

They are present at nearly every Palm Coast and Flagler County event. If given the chance, these tireless workhorses will not hesitate to engage you about their mission. Sure they’ll hit you up for a couple of bucks to help fund this ambitious endeavor, but the lion’s share of their solicitation is simply to share an American flag and their pride in what it represents. The result of their efforts is the wallpapering of Flagler County with this lasting symbol of patriotism.

We live in a very tumultuous time when events transpire around the world and even in our own backyards that have most of us scratching our heads. Though it is our constitutional right to turn our back on the American flag or even burn it, in this day and age the stars and stripes are one of the few iconic representations that unites the great majority of us. Kudos to Larry and Nikki. Keep us the good work!

Tom Bexley

Palm Coast

 

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