What happened to the ‘free state?’
I have a question for Gov. Ron DeSantis. You opened the state of Florida to “no restrictions” because, in your words, “Florida is a free state.” Unfortunately, in the last couple of months, that is not true. Florida is becoming a “control state.”
State Sen. Lori Berman’s comment that Gov. DeSantis is an “aspiring dictator” is 100% correct. He has interjected himself into areas that should be beyond his scope. After the Florida Senate had completed and approved new congressional maps, the Governor tossed their maps and created his own, which is not his responsibility. This entire situation is starting to look more like a dictatorship. I agree with Sen. Berman. I urge every Floridian to seriously consider these issues when you vote for our next governor.
Sharon Castrillon, Boynton Beach
Safe working conditions still needed
Floridians go to work each day expecting to return to the comfort of their homes and their families that depend on them, but, each year, hundreds of Floridians never return home. According to the 2021 AFL-CIO Death on the Job Report and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 306 workers in Florida lost their lives in workplace fatalities in 2019.
Fifty-one years ago, on April 28, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), promising workers the right to a safe job. On April 28 of each year, working families and union members gather for Workers Memorial Day to commemorate workers who have lost their lives or livelihoods at work because of a workplace injury or illness and to organize to ensure the end of these unnecessary, preventable deaths, and injuries. Florida has just under 9 million workers who are covered under OSHA in 717,855 workplaces and only 54 Florida OSHA inspectors. It would take them 477 years to inspect each Florida workplace once. The number of OSHA inspectors is near its lowest number since the agency opened 51 years ago.
That’s why workers and their unions are standing up, speaking out, fighting back, and organizing. There is no stopping until there are strong standards & enforcement to protect workers from harmful exposures, dangerous conditions, and retaliation for reporting unsafe conditions. All workers should be able to go to work each day and return home safely to their loved ones.
Ted Parsons, Palm Beach–Treasure Coast Florida AFL-CIO, Jupiter
Shameful abuse of ‘COEXIST’ flag
I read with sadness the April 23 article “‘COEXIST’ flag deemed potentially political.” As a retired Palm Beach County teacher, I hung COEXIST posters in my classroom for years. I received these posters from the school district after attending an exhibit of international artists’ individual renditions of the term “COEXIST.” These posters weren’t political at all. COEXIST means to exist in a mutual tolerance despite ideologies or interests. I wonder if principals and school administrators do not understand what is acceptable to display in classrooms, as well as what to teach. We can see that the state leaders have already gone after social studies and math curricula. Language arts teachers, no doubt you will be next. Our state leaders are instilling fear in teachers, a first step towards a dictatorship. Instead of Florida being known as the Sunshine State, perhaps we are becoming the Fascist State.
Lisa Hanser, Palm Beach Gardens
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism