Nov. 6 Mail: ‘Lombardi,’ JaxPort-Navy Swap and Rick Scott

Give ‘Lombardi’ Play a Chance

In response to Steve Miller’s [Oct. 30] letter on “Lombardi” currently being staged at Theatre Jacksonville: It sounds to me like Mr. Miller only read the article and didn’t actually come join us at the theater!

I mean that with no disrespect. I understand Mr. Miller’s view completely. That’s why I would encourage him, and anyone else for that matter who is unsure of Vince Lombardi’s legacy, to come view the production before it closes.

As the reporter in the show, my character attempts to ask the hard questions and get to the heart of Lombardi’s story, which puts him at odds with the legendary coach. Lombardi throughout the show struggles for ultimate control, while Michael questions whether or not you have to be “single-minded” in order to achieve your goal.

Mr. Miller, when you come to see the show, listen to the lines that are dropped in about the relationships with his children, or what the other players and his wife think of his coaching style and outlook. Remember: They have to be on their best behavior, because they are talking to the press, but the truth, like in life, is just underneath the surface.

That’s the great thing about art: It’s subjective. Some may leave the theater thinking Lombardi is a hero; others, a villain. As an audience member, that’s your right, and I think the team at Theatre Jacksonville has done a superb job at giving you the chance to form your own opinion.

Daniel N. Austin



‘Brilliant Idea’: Navy-Port Swap

Good grief! I can’t believe it. Someone in this berg I call home has actually thought something through and came up with a brilliant idea. I’m referring to Rod Sullivan’s Backpage Editorial “What a 47-foot Deep Port Means to You” [Oct. 30].

The idea of moving the Navy out of Mayport for a bigger and higher use is the most common-sense solution to several issues. I once proposed the use of the carrier basin for the cruise ship terminal when that fuss was going on and before Mayport village was destroyed, but was summarily dismissed as “nuts.” After all, around here the Navy is sacrosanct and above question. Thank you, Mr. Sullivan, for succinctly bringing to light the total good sense and feasibility of moving the Mayport Naval Station to another location.

As a two-term supervisor of the Duval Soil & Water Conservation District, I have more than a passing interest in the preservation of our quickly dwindling and precious natural resources, and a clean, freshwater river is the jewel in the crown. There is no question that deepening six miles of the river to an unnatural 47 feet will do irreparable harm to the river ecosystem.

For once, can’t we put aside politics and special interests for what’s right and best for all? Are you listening, Congressman Ander Crenshaw and Congresswoman Corrine Brown?

Carlton Higginbotham



Rick Scott’s ‘Double Standard’

Earlier this year, someone complained that Liberty County Sheriff Nick Finch had improperly released a person charged with carrying a concealed firearm and destroyed a booking record. The complaint made it to Gov. Rick Scott, who had the FDLE perform an investigation for “official misconduct.” Having read the affidavit, it lacks cause that the needed elements of the crime were met, mainly there was no corrupt intent. The sheriff’s stated intent: “I believe in the Second Amendment.” Nonetheless, Scott suspended the sheriff after he was arrested on a felony charge of “official misconduct.”

In the process of researching the red-light camera scheme in Florida, I found a claim by the state of nearly 1 million tickets from the cameras in fiscal year 2012. Taking into account the ones listed as dismissed, this adds up to $81 million in state revenue. The Department of Revenue only accounted for $51 million, a $30 million discrepancy. Being a retired law enforcement officer who worked criminal investigations for the last five years of my career, I wrote a detailed complaint and submitted it along with evidence documents to the governor’s office last month. No one there would accept responsibility for it by signing a receipt.

I received a response from Warren Davis, who is the director of the Office of Citizen Services for Scott. In his response, Davis suggested I take my complaint to local law enforcement. These are the same people who work for the ones who have either stolen money or falsified ticket numbers. Additionally, with more than 70 local agencies using the red-light camera scheme in Florida, a local agency would lack jurisdiction. It is more cost-effective to have a state agency investigate this matter than to have 70 separate local investigations. As I specified in my complaint, Florida law authorizes the attorney general to prosecute violations encompassing multiple judicial circuits. This is a prime example of why a state investigation is needed.

The message and double standard from Scott is clear: If you stand for things such as the Second Amendment, then you are subject to arrest on trumped-up charges despite the lack of a law being broken. If you are a local government and are either stealing millions or falsifying ticket numbers to make your red-light camera program look better (without an investigation, we’ll never know which), then you get a free pass. When someone breaks into your home and steals your TV, you call local law enforcement, which investigates and make an arrest if cause is found. Who do we call when the government is the one breaking the law? It is not Gov. Scott.

As voters, we have a chance to rectify the error many of us made in 2010, myself included. We can vote for more of the same via either (presumably) Charlie Crist or Scott, or we can elect someone with integrity who truly understands freedom and smaller, honest government: Libertarian Adrian Wyllie. 

Paul Henry