| Publisher’s Perspective

PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE: The Deerfield Beach gun debate

Posted on 20 September 2018 by LeslieM

(Oops, did I say guns? I meant straws…)

By Dana Eller

One last thought on the “straw law” that the city passed at its Sept. 17 commission meeting. The argument for banning straws is no different than the argument for banning guns. The argument goes something like this… The problem is not with people, it’s with objects. Get rid of the offensive object and the results will be different.

Of course, we all know the argument for the second amendment, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” From my perspective, isn’t it the same with straws? I don’t know who’s dumping their straws in the ocean, but my guess is those “people” don’t care much about Deerfield’s straw law.

Trying to do something good for our environment and the ocean by working to get the city to agree to a ban on plastic straws at local restaurants makes people “feel good.” The bigger question is what’s next? What other ideas can the city (or a group of passionate citizens) come up with in a futile attempt at changing human behavior by banning or restricting our use of an object, the use of which is already legal, but the abuse of it (litter in this case)… is already illegal (littering)?

It’s the small concessions we make for a good cause that, in the end, lead to easier acceptances of even greater limits and laws regulating our freedoms and choices in the future (or, in this case, flexibility… If you’ve ever tried to bend a paper straw, you’ll know what I mean). [Editor’s note: There are bendable paper straws available, along with many other sizes of straws].

We salute the nine citizens who took the time to speak out at the city commission meeting in favor of the ban. I just wish the other 77,000 residents of our city, and the other 1474 restaurants in Deerfield (according to Yelp), would pay more attention to how easily things we take for granted (maybe carelessly) can be so easily and quickly ripped from our mouths and legislated away.

In the meantime, six months from now, prepare for BSO to be writing tickets to distributors, stores and restaurants in the City of Deerfield Beach with a citation to appear in court if they don’t comply. (Read the law for yourself, it would be laughable if it wasn’t true). Our commission is ok with [Medical] Marijuana being able to be purchased legally about two blocks from Deerfield Beach Elementary school, but not plastic straws. [See story on marijuana next week]. As Commissioner Joe Miller says, “Kids learning that plastic straws are not good is wisdom.”

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PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE: Has the City of Deerfield Beach reached its last straw?

Posted on 13 September 2018 by LeslieM

By Dana Eller

My guess is most city residents aren’t paying attention and the city commission functions like the U.S. Congress, just another chamber of “whoever shouts loudest and/or brings in the most supporters.” It’s very cool to have the Girl Scouts participating and supporting your special interest … but it also scares me to death the same way some people are scared of clowns.

Originally, we were told that the “Straw Law” is being promoted as a way to protect the sea turtles, and so the main concern was restaurants on the beach. Now, we understand it is to be a city-wide ban on plastic straws.

I wonder if they are planning on deputizing the lifeguards to keep an eye out for illegal straw use at the beach. Are city residents going to have to get used to subjecting ourselves to bag inspections like the airport or Disney World? Are we going to purchase the lifeguards and Park Rangers larger binoculars to spot plastic straw contraband? (Suggestion: we can use funds from the CRA, or even hire someone for this job). What’s a law worth if there’s no enforcement? I pity the poor families who pack a picnic lunch to enjoy their day at the beach, but stuck a few juice boxes and Capri suns in the cooler for the kiddos. What’s that going to cost them? Better hide those straws in your bathing suit. [Editor’s note: These straws, it seems will be ok].

I also read that Commissioner Drosky researched what medical conditions need to be exempt in this proposed straw legislation. But what about the Slurpee at 7-11 that I grew up with and their iconic spoon straw? ILLEGAL. What about McDonalds iconic large straw? ILLEGAL. Do these fast food franchise owners even have the right to change things that these brands are famous for? Who has to research these questions and consider exemptions for those business owners? Who has to take time off from their busy schedules to attend a commission meeting and debate the merits? Are we going to pay the city attorney to research these issues and make more exceptions?

I don’t know about all our readers, but I would rather have our commissioners’ limited and valuable part-time service to this great city spent on things with a higher return to the residents and our pocketbooks, and stay out of our mouths. Participating in public service is hard enough and too unappreciated as it is. Why waste time on such a silly issue, that public opinion, and Mr. Sparrow’s passion has already accomplished at many beach restaurants?

I also feel that the City Commissioners’ positions are inconsistent. If they are for banning straws to make a political statement about how we should feel about the environment, and are concerned with hydrocarbons, then [why aren’t city workers driving] a Prius or electric vehicle?

I believe the straw issue is a great rallying cry for the environment, and, more importantly, gets us all to think. I just don’t think it’s something to legislate.

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PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE

Posted on 05 September 2018 by LeslieM

By Dana Eller

Just read that the city has passed first reading of an ordinance to ban straws. It seems that our city is run by commissioners who have no appreciation of the power vested in them by the residents, since they flippantly use it so easily and believe it is so great and all encompassing as to give them the power to legislate what dining utensils we use.

I’m not opposed to restaurants wanting to use paper straws if they want to, but the beliefs that lead elected officials to make everyday items illegal on a whim, or based on current popular issues of the day, illustrates both a “nanny-like” attitude toward their residents, and a gross abuse of power and authority. Really, straws??? What’s next? No plastic bags at stores? How about a soda tax? How about where and who you can buy a dog from (forgot they did that)? How about no liquor sales on Sunday before 12…? Oh, wait , they got rid of that law… I guess they thought people should have a choice of when they can buy alcohol … I guess now they changed their minds … Maybe they are just drunk with power. Hope they are using a paper straw…

[Have an opinion on the issue? Feel free to contact commissioners or the mayor. Call 954-480-4263 or e-mail web.commission@Deerfield-Beach.com].

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Publisher’s Perspective: SMOKING POT CAUSES BRAIN DAMAGE

Posted on 01 May 2014 by LeslieM

Per a new study from Harvard Medical School and Northwestern University.

The study conducted by Dr. Hans Breiter of Northwestern University compared the brain scans of marijuana users with brain scans of nonusers. The results showed a direct correlation between the number of times users smoked marijuana and abnormalities in the brain effecting motivation and emotion.

The study determined that pot users who smoke one to seven joints a week had negative changes in the volume, shape and density of their brain’s nucleus accumbens and amygdala, which are regions of the brain that regulate emotion and motivation.

What we are seeing is changes in people’s core brain regions that you never ever want to fool around with. More studies are needed to determine how these changes may have long-term consequences and whether they can be fixed with abstinence,” said Dr. Breiter.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy helped fund the study, which was published in the Journal of Neuroscience by Harvard Medical School, in cooperation with Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Publisher’s Note: The people of the State of Florida are going to be voting on this issue in a few months. You may want to keep and distribute this information.

David Eller

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PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE: It is now time to stop the charade…about “medical” marijuana

Posted on 13 February 2014 by LeslieM

If you truly have Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis or certain types of cancer (the main “legal” reasons now being mentioned), and your doctor recommends for you to smoke marijuana for relief, be sure to get it in writing from the doctor. That is so that when you suffer the negative consequences of smoking marijuana, such as emphysema or cancer, there is someone else to blame and perhaps sue.

It is shameful how this issue is being manipulated by certain politicians, especially a certain former governor, who is proving again that he has no shame, and will do or say anything to try to “win” an election.

Negatives far outweigh any benefits from people smoking pot, at least based on my experience as an employer. One of my first negative experiences a number of years ago was when I sent three of my young mechanics down to a Caribbean Island to install some of our equipment on a sugar plantation. The job should have taken a week.

However, three weeks went by and we had not heard from them. This was before cell phones. Therefore, I called the customer, who checked on them and complained that my guys were just sitting around smoking “pot.” I ordered them back home, fired them immediately and sent a supervisor with some others to finish the job. That one incident cost us tens of thousands of dollars and lost a multi-million dollar customer. Lunch time started becoming a problem as some of our folks began indulging themselves in their pot smoking during lunch and came back to work causing accidents. Our workers compensation rate doubled, then doubled again before we figured out what was causing the accidents and took proper action with drug tests, etc. However, just one of the after lunch “accidents” put a man in the hospital for several months and cost over a million dollars in medical costs.

As a final example, a few years ago thousands of brochures on our products had to be thrown away when our man in charge got high on pot and changed the instructions to the printer to weird colors which made them unusable. We fired him, of course, but thousands of dollars were lost, as the brochures had to be corrected by others and reprinted.

These are just a few examples, and we are just one small company. The Florida Supreme Court recently agreed to put the issue on an upcoming statewide vote requiring only 60 percent approval. Certain special interest entities who will make big money are positioning themselves already to finance pushing it through. If it passes, and I’m being told there’s a good chance it will pass, many people will lose their jobs as many employers will simply “throw in the towel” and invest elsewhere.

David Eller, Publisher

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Publisher’s Perspective: We need to protect our schools

Posted on 31 January 2013 by LeslieM

Appropriate personnel should be armed and assigned the responsibility

The first time I had to fire someone (it was for drinking alcohol on the job while running heavy machinery), I was told by the recipient of the firing: “You can’t fire me!”

My father, who owned the company and had taken a well deserved vacation, had let everyone (about 20 employees at the time) know that I was “in charge,” and asked them all to cooperate with my leadership.

I knew that one of our main foremen had a drinking problem, and sometimes drank an alcoholic lunch. My father knew it, but put up with it for some reason. I was not inclined to do so, and asked Dad to tell him in my presence not to be drinking while I was “in charge.”

Dad had only been gone a few days when I smelled booze on the foreman’s breath. I immediately told him to go home and not come back until he could follow the “no drinking on the job” rule. He refused to leave and brought the other foremen over to confront me and back him up.

After a short heated discussion, I told them both that since Dad was gone, I was the only one who could sign the paychecks, and I didn’t intend to sign any for either one of them, so they may as well go home. They both stormed off alter inquiring when Dad would be back.

I then called a general meeting of the rest of the work force and explained that I would temporarily be doing the job of both the foremen, and asked everyone to cooperate. They did, and by the time Dad got back, I had identified replacements and restructured our workforce in a positive way.

Dad was pleased, as though I had taken a couple of thorns out of his side, and he didn’t hire either one of them back.

What has this got to do with protecting our schools? Nothing, except for the good management principle of solving problems as they become obvious.

Today we have a problem of providing security for our schools in a cost-effective manner.

Why don’t we seek out teacher volunteers who can be armed and specially vetted and trained to provide security at our schools? They would be “on call” within the school as needed, and receive a modest “bonus” for assuming that responsibility.

We tried it at our company, and it worked well.

David Eller, Publisher

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Publisher’s Perspective: Thank God for my gun: The night I needed it!

Posted on 24 January 2013 by LeslieM

A couple of years ago, about 2 a.m., I was peacefully sleeping at home here in Deerfield Beach when, suddenly, I heard a noise at the window close by. At first, I thought it was the wind blowing a tree branch up against the window. But as I became more conscious, I realized we did not have a tree branch that close and it was someone actually trying to get into our window. My heart started beating fast as I realized the situation.

Suddenly, the noise stopped, but I woke up my wife, whispered to her what I had heard, and we both lay there listening intensely.

A few moments later, we both heard the sound of the sliding glass door in the adjoining living room being pried open by someone. Whispering confirmations of the sound to each other, we both slid out of bed to get our guns.

We keep a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun and a 36-caliber short barrel pistol conveniently close by. I grabbed the shotgun and passed the pistol to my wife, who is an excellent shot (we go to the gun range occasionally).

We quietly opened our bedroom door and, leading with the shotgun, I flipped on the living room light. Suddenly, we heard our patio furniture being knocked over as the home invaders, who obviously had seen us, decided to run rather than confront the mad man who had a big gun and was ready to shoot them at 2 a.m. in the morning.

The loud “ca chunk, ca chunk” sound as I applied the pump action to my shotgun, which loaded the 12-gauge shells into my gun’s shooting chamber, definitely helped to get their attention. I was starting to aim in their direction when I realized they had turned and were running out the door knocking patio furniture in every direction.

If I had pulled the trigger at that point, I could have shot them both in the back, which I knew to be against the law, and they may have been able to sue me. According to my son-in-law lawyer, you can’t shoot someone who is not an immediate threat to you, i.e. running away.

However, if they had been running toward me, I definitely could have, and would have pulled the trigger to shoot them.

This brings up another important point — if you know you would not pull the trigger in such circumstances, you’re probably better off not having the gun because they could then take it and use it against you.

The above described incident is the third we’ve had in the 40 years we’ve lived in this house.

The first incident 40 years ago we slept through as thieves came right into our bedroom as we were sleeping and took the wallet from my pants and my wife’s purse.

We were young and had less than $20 between us in our wallets so maybe the thief world was told not to bother with us again. However, I put in an alarm system after that, and the second break-in, about 20 years later, scared the thieves away when the alarm went off.

The last incident, which was described at the beginning of this article, occurred after we had become lazy about turning on the alarm system at night. The moral of this story, therefore, is if you have an alarm system, use it.

Attention thieves: We now turn on our alarm system every night and both our guns are still loaded.

David Eller, Publisher

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Publisher’s Perspective: 180,000 Potentially ineligible voters in Florida

Posted on 16 May 2012 by LeslieM

David Royse, with the News Service of Florida, reported over this past weekend that the Florida Division of Elections plans to verify the eligibility of nearly 180,000 registered voters in the state. Earlier last week, state election officials forwarded the names of about 2,600 registered voters whose citizenship is questionable to local supervisors of elections for further scrutiny.

Whenever a foreign citizen who is a resident in Florida applies for a driver’s license, they are automatically asked if they wish to register to vote. No attempt is made to confirm that the person is a U.S. citizen and many of them respond in the affirmative – without understanding the question – and suddenly become registered voters. When election time rolls around, they receive a ballot to vote by mail and if they do not know any better, they may then vote illegally.

I recently attended a party at a neighbor’s home and I met a young man originally from Nicaragua who has an application for U.S. citizenship pending. Somehow we got on the subject of politics and he told me that he was once sent a ballot to vote, even though he was not yet a citizen. He knew better and, therefore, did not cast the ballot. He wondered out loud how many other noncitizens may have received the same ballot and ended up voting.

Over 30 percent of the residents in Broward County have come here from a foreign country. Many have become citizens and many have not. Our democracy is in jeopardy whenever a non-citizen casts a ballot in one of our elections. This is potentially a big problem that needs to be fixed immediately.

If you agree and love this country, you need to get involved. Tomorrow may be too late.

David Eller

Publisher

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Publisher’s Perspective: Obama wants more jobs?

Posted on 01 December 2011 by LeslieM

He needs to decrease taxes … for everyone!

The politicians used to say, “It’s the Economy stupid.” Now Business owners are saying, “It’s the high Taxes (stupid)!”

The formula is really quite simple:

Increased taxes = increased costs = increased prices = decreased business = decreased jobs

Decreased taxes = decreased costs = decreased prices = increased business = increased jobs

Therefore, it should be obvious to the President and his advisers that if they want more jobs, they need to decrease taxes on the people who produce the jobs.

He apparently is willing to consider that, but stubbornly wants to limit it to those making less than $1,000,000. That probably sounds reasonable to most people. However, what he and “they” don’t understand is that if a businessman is fortunate enough to “make” $1,000,000, very little may be left for him to live on after he pays his taxes and, typically, a bank loan from those funds.

For example, assume a businessman or woman borrows $5,000,000 for a business to employ 100 people. First, he would probably need to have saved at least $1,000,000 to invest in the business in order to get a $5,000,000 loan. So he has $6,000,000 invested in the business. But now, he must make enough money from the business to pay back the bank loan and interest. Assuming the loan is at 6 percent, and he has 10 years to pay back the bank, he has to make $300,000 just to pay the bank interest, plus another $500,000 to pay the bank loan principal. If he is successful and “makes” $1,300,000 from the business, he pays the bank $300,000 in interest leaving him $1,000,000 in taxable income. He pays income taxes to the U.S. government of approximately $330,000, leaving him $670,000. From that, he has to pay the bank $500,000 principal on the loan, leaving him $170,000 to live on. To some, he may look rich. However, in order to get that big loan, he probably had to sign away everything he owns, including his home. If business slows down and profits are squeezed, he may lose everything he owns to the bank, including his home. That actually happened to a good friend of mine recently.

However, under Obama’s current plan, it gets worse. If someone grows their business and hires more people, their tax rate will increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, for a 13.1 percent increase in tax rate, which equates to a $46,000 tax increase, reducing his net income to $124,000. The employer has taken a lot of risk to try to make that money, and the risk goes up as the tax rate increases, which also decreases the amount of money the employer can pay their employees.

Thus … increased taxes increase costs, which increases prices, which decreases business and decreases jobs.

Whereas … decreased taxes decrease costs, which decreases prices, which increases business and increases jobs.

Bottom line is you can’t increase, or threaten to increase, taxes on the people who create 90 percent of the jobs in America and then wonder why they don’t go out and hire more people. No wonder folks are worried. They ought to be.

Our political gurus need to study the effects of the Kennedy and Reagan Tax decreases. In both cases, the U.S. economy took off, the government income increased substantially, and we obtained essentially full employment for everyone who wanted to work.

David Eller, Publisher

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Publisher’s Perspective: Can We Save the USA?

Posted on 11 August 2011 by LeslieM

A Guest Editorial from a famous Historian and our Publisher

 

In 1887, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

 

From bondage to spiritual faith;

From spiritual faith to great courage;

From courage to liberty;

From liberty to abundance;

From abundance to complacency;

From complacency to apathy;

From apathy to dependence;

From dependence back into bondage.”

 

Therefore,the question for each of us today as Americans  is — “What am I going to do about it?” (With an emphasis on the “I”). Everyone who loves this country needs to get involved. It will require a massive effort.

We need you!Get involved!

David Eller, Publisher

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