Letters to the editor

Has anyone noticed the increased clutter in our city? … The political signs may be an eyesore, but at least they go away.

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  • | 8:00 a.m. August 22, 2012
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
  • Opinion
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Clean up the eyesores

Has anyone noticed the increased clutter in our city? There are window signs galore, yard signs planted whenever a vendor makes a house call, and sidewalks jammed with clothing racks and board signs. The political signs may be an eyesore, but at least they go away. If your business or residence is an offender, please consult the city codes or just consider whether you are contributing or detracting from the beauty of our city. Let’s clean up Winter Park!

—Bonnie J. Jackson

Winter Park

Devil is in the details of voting laws

In her letter of Aug. 8 (“Re: The freedom to vote is at stake”), Ms. Kathryn Grammer expresses her concern about being disenfranchised by voter fraud and notes that she has a proper ID. She is not alone in worrying about being disenfranchised. In state after state, including Florida, the poor, African Americans, the elderly and students are also worrying about being disenfranchised too. These new laws, which purport to be designed to stop voter fraud may seem so on their face, but, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. If those states that have put in place the voter laws had shown the slightest interest in assisting those populations by providing methods for those eligible to get their IDs and sufficient time to do so, we would not be having this conversation. Add to the ID requirement the number of polling places, number of hours and/or days for early voting and absentee ballot voting restrictions and it becomes clear that voter fraud is, in itself, a fraudulent issue. The issue is voter suppression.

I too scoured the Internet looking for information on the type and scope of voter fraud. I found that fraud, especially in-person voter fraud, is rare. (See the Washington Post, the Brennan Center for Justice, among others.) Regarding the Mississippi NAACP official, the only article I found was written in July 2011 by Matthew Vadum in the Daily Caller. However, Mr. Vadum also wrote an article in September 2011 titled, “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American.” In this article, he says of the poor, “Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly anti-social and un-American to empower (them) to destroy the country.” This does not sound to me like a fear of voter fraud, but something far more sinister and antithetical to our democracy.

This summer, I spent time in Massachusetts, the birthplace of America, retracing the path that Paul Revere took from the Old North Church, through the countryside to Lexington and Concord. Seeing the sites and reading the words of our Founding Fathers has reinforced my belief that we are an incredible nation. We have fought hard for what we believe and that includes the right of all eligible citizens to vote. Now is not the time to turn back or to turn our backs on our citizens.

—Vicki Krueger

Winter Park

Social Security and women

Aug. 26 is known as Women’s Equality Day. On that date in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was signed, giving women the right to vote.

Social Security treats men and women equally. Men and women with identical earnings histories are treated exactly the same. However, there are things women in particular should know about Social Security. Although treated equally by Social Security, there are trends and differences in lifestyle that can affect benefits.

For example, women tend to care for many people: spouses, children and parents. Taking time away from the workplace to care for a newborn child or aging parent can have an impact on your future Social Security benefits.

Also, despite significant strides throughout the years, women are more likely to earn less over a lifetime than men. Women are less often covered by private retirement plans, and they are more dependent on Social Security in their retirement years.

And women tend to live about five years longer than men, which means more years depending on Social Security and other retirement income or savings.

If a woman is married to a man who earns significantly more than she does, it is likely she will qualify for a larger benefit amount on his record than on her own.

Want to learn more? Visit our Women’s page at www.socialsecurity.gov/women. Follow the link on that page to our publication, What Every Woman Should Know. You can read it online, print a copy or listen to it on audio. We provide alternate media as well to reach as many women as possible and to provide the information the way you’d like to receive it.

Learning about your future Social Security benefits and how men and women are treated just the same in the eyes of Social Security: what better way to celebrate Women’s Equality Day?

—Blanca Taylor

Social Security Public Affairs Specialist


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