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  • | 4:00 a.m. April 14, 2011
  • Palm Coast Observer
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+ Leave sex education to parents in Flagler
Dear Editor:
I am reading with interest the articles in regard to sex education at our public schools in Flagler County. In September 2008, I asked the principal of Indian Trails Middle School about information in regard to the curriculum of the sex education; my daughter was expected to have “the talk.” I was told that physical education teachers were teaching that topic, and that there were no brochures handed out, or for me to see.

Should sex education not be a parent’s decision, especially at what time and age I deem it appropriate, whether fourth grade, or ninth grade? Also, should not the environment be in a comfortable setting, rather than among blushing, embarrassed, hormonal peers in a crammed gym? Should it not include different views and approaches, that I, as a parent, deem important?

Parents need to retake parenthood, by exactly doing that — talking to their children about issues that our schools really do not have time to be involved in.

Public schools’ focus on academics has already been diverted by having to be the provider of meals, daycare from dawn to dusk, policing theft and drug activity, and now, handing out condoms? Handing out condoms possibly to sixth graders, while the legal age of consent in the United States is 16 years of age — would that even be ethical, or legal?

As a taxpayer, I would prefer my money goes toward a quality education in academics, rather than in quality condoms. How about, instead, introduce mandatory biology classes that teach anatomy, puberty, pregnancy, and baby development — quality sexual education right there!

That would fit with our schools’ mission statement of providing world-class education. The part of the world where I am from does exactly that (and teen pregnancy is about one-fourth compared to that in the United States).

Belinda Macek
Palm Coast

+ Save the horses, but don’t forget the birds
Dear Editor:
Re: “Zorro Returns,” from the April 7 issue of the Palm Coast Obsever.

Good and interesting story. I applaud Drew Bulecza and his position on wild horses in every respect. However, I must take exception with his comment, “What did the bird do for us? Zero.”

Apparently, Mr. Bulecza is not familiar with the “canary in the coal mine,” the bald eagle, or any of the other indicators of environmental health — to both animals and humans — that bird populations provide.

And he must not be familiar with author Rachel Carson whose famous 1962 book, “Silent Spring,” is credited by many as the beginning of the modern environmental movement.

The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds.

Don White
Flagler County

Editor’s Note:
In an online comment, Drew Bulecza wrote: “Just would like to add to the part about the bird in the article. This was where I told the interviewer the wild horse should be the symbol of our government, not an eagle ... after I told him about how horses helped build this country. I then said, ‘What did a bird ever do for us?’”


+ We already have plenty ‘income-based’ housing
Dear Editor:
I just read the article “Project on target” about the “income-based” project to be built in Town Center. We need more jobs and taxpayers, not more people who need jobs and won’t be paying property taxes.

We already have Beach Village.

The current taxpayers in our county have to pay more to subsidize the schools, medical and social issues, police services, street and beach maintenance etc., etc. — without any comparable taxes paid by Beach Village residents. Because of its location, Flagler Beach taxpayers have extra expenses, in addition to the extra school and county taxes. It is also subsidized by the federal government (my other tax pocket).

There is not a shortage of rental houses in our county. The owners of many empty houses need renters to help pay their mortgages and taxes. If they can’t get renters, many face foreclosure. Building many more rental units will cause many more foreclosures. I guess we can then subsidize more $20,000 down payments for people to buy those foreclosures (my other tax pocket again).

The original Town Center plan was to have taxpayer homes built and some low-income apartments. Doing it the other way around will discourage taxpayers from building homes there. The economy changed. Any sensible official should know you then have to change the plan. You do not just proceed with the most important part of the plan (taxpayers) missing.

We pay our officials to manage the growth of our county and cities. We need jobs, home sales and more taxpayers. It seems they think we need more empty offices, parks, sidewalks, bike trails, etc., that the current taxpayers have to pay to maintain forever.

At the same time, they want more people (and soon schools?), without additional property taxpayers. We all better buy more pants with a lot more pockets.

Jean Sbertoli
Flagler Beach

Editor’s Note: The city of Palm Coast staff (namely Senior Economic Development Planner Beau Falgout) provided the following information about the proposed multifamily project in Town Center:

—The proposed project plans to utilize Community Workforce Housing Innovation Program low-interest bond financing to construct the project, similar to the other project developed by the same developer, Beach Village Apartments.

—CWHIP requires that at least 50% of the affordable housing units built using CWHIP funds should be set aside for essential-services personnel. Essential-services personnel will be defined by local governments in their State Housing Initiatives Partnership program plans; however, they could include teachers, educators, police and fire personnel, health care workers, skilled building trades personnel and others.

—CWHIP also requires that 80% of the units built using CWHIP funds should be available to households earning incomes up to 140% of area median income. This program may serve a broad range of incomes up to 140% of AMI, which, in Palm Coast, currently equates to $57,960 for a single person, $66,220 for a couple and $82,740 for a family of four.

Falgout continued via email: “I know we have received a lot of questions whether this project is ‘low-income’ housing. ‘Low-income’ housing is typically defined as housing for persons with an income at or below 50% of AMI. The proposed multifamily project and income range ceilings are well above that level.”



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