Letters to the editor

Art and culture According to Florida Tax Watch, art and culture are significant in the spending of a whopping 74.9 percent of Florida visitors. When Sebring is mentioned to potential tourists, what might come to mind? Orange groves? Cattle? Car racing? Golf courses? Lakes? Highlands Hammock State Park? A quaint downtown area? Lake Placid can teach how tourism increased dramatically after money earmarked for art was judiciously spent to associate the community as one that supports art and culture. In Florida, tourists spend money that can significantly aid community commerce, but communities must be ones that best cultivate tourist trade. Communities associated with supporting the arts are simply aesthetically pleasing to be in. Well-developed art and culture sets up a vibrant base for escalating visitation and regular injection of money into economy. Locals benefit by living in a beautiful, flourishing community with a healthy commerce and jobs.
Refinements in our Sebring Tourist Development Council could move us further in garnering tourist dollars. The guidelines on how to spend money earmarked for the arts are most successful when done by people actually involved in the arts. Polk County is a great example of this, having experienced results from both ways of operating. Here is a metaphor: A dentist, no matter how knowledgeable and skilled, may not be the best person to lay out and pour a cement foundation. This is common sense. When actual people in the arts are allowed to set up the guidelines for how art-earmarked money is spent, the whole community benefits. Sebring Tourist Development Council can move further in this direction. Roberta Peck Sebring War preparation Okay, see? We gotta kill somebody, “cause we’re the tough old U.S.” Remember how last month, just last month, before Obama went to Israel, war with Iran was imminent? Now, there’s no news about Iran. Did they surrender or something? They were never a threat in the first place. That’s the deal. Oh, wait, it wasn’t Iran, it was North Korea! Now I remember. What made me think it was Iran? This is straight out of George Orwell’s “1984.” War preparation is the way that the elites gobble up excess productive capacity so they don’t have to lower prices on commodities like refrigerators and cars and stuff and make us all equal in standard of living. They have to justify cuts in social programs (butter) because of the self-evident primacy of guns. They burn that stuff up by telling us we’re under attack, or will be by noon tomorrow. Why is it, by the way, that we don’t invade Mexico? Certainly something hosed up is going on down there because their people all want to come here. Since we’re in the business of attacking countries to change their regime so “their people” will be better off, shouldn’t we “fix” our friendly neighbor to the south? And what about those scumbags in Canada that have socialized medicine? Next thing you know, it will trickle into Washington and Wyoming; the domino effect. The truth about North Korea is that we made (in 2012) an extra special dispensation for South Korea and allowed them to circumvent the Missile Control Technology Regime and expand the range of their missiles to target the entire nation of North Korea. And we have amped up the belligerence by conducting intimidating and threatening exercises aimed at making North Korea flinch. Meanwhile, the missiles that the North have tested are universally known to be powered by rockets that are inappropriate for ballistic missiles but are, rather, the type of rocket that are used for orbital boost to launch satellites. But, stay tuned for more “Looney Tunes” episodes. One day, it may well be Canada (closet commies that they are!). Mike Pirkkala Sebring