Letters to the Editor: July 18, 2021

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New Federal Holiday Won’t Benefit Most Americans, Or Be Celebrated

Wig Sherman’s letter of July 9 said that with the addition of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, federal employees have up to 44 days of paid leave.

Many industrialized countries have more public holidays than the United States, not to mention the fact that many states don’t even celebrate all of the ones we have.

In 2007, when I moved here from New York, I immediately lost four statutory holidays, two personal days off plus my birthday, and four weeks vacation from my benefits program. I had been working as a nurse since June 1967, with those holidays and eight weeks of vacation.

It’s no wonder Americans are seen as “workaholics.” We are notorious for having the least leisure and family time and the lack of quality of life.

Another federal holiday will not be celebrated across the country. Even if it did, so few workers needed would be paid extra to work on a public holiday.

It certainly won’t happen in Florida. I am now retired and know for a fact that nothing has changed in Florida since 2007 when I moved here, except of course for the upper echelon.

Carol Cardinale, Port Saint Lucie

Judge

What is our plan for the next pandemic when it hits?

Every day in the news we hear about new cases and deaths of COVID-19 etc. The information is sometimes contradictory and somewhat confusing.

What’s the plan for the next pandemic? You know one is coming sooner or later. Dr.Anthony Fauci is good at advising everyone (ad nauseam) to wear a mask, but to my knowledge he has not yet detailed any plans for the future.

What did we learn from it, other than that we were ill-prepared to deal with something of this magnitude? The Publix lottery for the vaccine was pathetic at best. What other developed country uses a chain of grocery stores to provide health care of this magnitude?

As soon as vaccines were available, centers should have been opened. Both active and retired health workers should have been enlisted as (in my opinion) the National Guard and the Army. Mobile units should have been deployed to the elderly and those unable to travel. Who better than the military to put in place an immediate response?

No thought has been given to those who cannot use the Internet or who do not have a cell phone. You only have to look at the poverty levels to know that these people cannot afford the Internet and iPhones.

Many older people already have to decide on food or medicine. Cell phones and computer access are a luxury. Knowing the many communities of seniors that we have here, why haven’t we had mobile units going there instead of expecting them to go somewhere? And while the site that was eventually set up at the Treasure Coast Mall was extremely effective, if you don’t drive, how do you get there?

So again, I ask, what’s the plan? If the answer is “they” are working on it, I hope it works better than this time.

Jan Belwood, Palm City

Pictured are offerings at the fifth annual Highwayman Heritage Trail Art Show & Sale festival along Moore's Creek Linear Park on February 16, 2020, in Fort Pierce.  The festival featured many original and second generation Highwaymen artists.

Artist RL Lewis to demonstrate Florida Highwaymen style in Palm Bay

Famous Florida Highwaymen artist RL Lewis is a very creative and versatile artist with roots in cocoa. His mother was an inspiration to help encourage his desire to draw and draw. This desire came full circle in 1967 when he began actively selling his art in Florida scenes such as landscape, coastal, and inland scenes. Highlights of Lewis’s career include his induction into the Florida Artist Hall of Fame in 2004; and part of the Smithsonian Institute’s exhibit, “A Florida Original: .RL Lewis and the Highwayman Tradition” in 2003.

Lewis attended Edward Water College in Jacksonville, Syracuse University in New York and A&M University in Florida, where he graduated in 1966 with a BA in Arts Education. His artistic talents allowed him to share his knowledge with the students of Brevard County during a 32-year teaching career.

If you haven’t been able to benefit from Lewis’ artistic knowledge, you can watch him in action on July 24 at the “Christmas in July” ice cream party presented by the Space Coast Cultural Arts & Business Organization. It will be held at the Palm Bay Senior Center at 1270 S. Culver Dr. NE. in Palm Bay, starting at 11 a.m. This event will feature the “Highwaymen RL Lewis Art on Apparel” fashion show. Lewis will present a live art demonstration of the Highwaymen style and the signature of the calendar.

Lewis art is in high demand by art collectors nationwide and you can now start your art collection by entering the Christmas raffle in July to win an original RL Lewis painting. A free and fun event for art and ice cream lovers around the world and to be in the presence of a living legend is a definite victory.

For more information, call 321-473-9500.

Patricia Davis, Palm Bay, is the Outreach Coordinator for Space Coast Cultural Arts & Business Organization Charities, Inc. (SCCABO) in Melbourne.


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