Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday October 31, 2012: Remembering What We Do

By Sylvia Gurinsky

It took a hurricane.

Late last week, as Hurricane Sandy was headed toward the northeastern United States, the country looked as if it was headed toward a repeat of the contentious 2000 presidential election.

That still might be the case. But because of Sandy's damage in the eastern U.S., passions have been tempered a bit, for now.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been a loyal campaigner for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee. But Christie's main priority now is getting his state rebuilt and New Jersey's citizens into safe situations - regardless of the source. That source is currently President Barack Obama and the federal government.

They are working together toward that goal, as will representatives of New York, Connecticut, West Virginia and other states affected by Sandy.

It is what Americans of all stripes will do as they donate money and resources to help those affected by the storm.

In remarks delivered just a few minutes ago, Obama mentioned Americans pulling together to help others. "It's what we do," he said.

Indeed. And while it's a tragedy that it took a hurricane to do it, Americans remembered that we are one nation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday October 24, 2012: Letter - And Request - From A Marlins Fan

Dear South Florida,

I've been a Marlins fan since July 5, 1991 - the day Major League Baseball officially awarded a franchise to South Florida. I'm part of a family with four generations of Marlins fans, with enough invested energy to have the right to speak out.

I've watched the star-crossed history of this team - the tragedy of its first president, Carl Barger, dying at the 1992 baseball winter meetings, the tragi-comedy of Wayne Huizenga's sell-off of the 1997 world champions, Jeb Bush's "no" to John Henry's efforts to secure financing for a stadium site, Bud Selig's complicity in the mess (including the yanking of the 2000 All Star Game)  and the machinations that resulted in the current Laurel-and-Hardy administration of the Marlins by Jeffrey Loria and David Samson - culminating in this year's disaster.

While Larry Beinfest did engineer trades for Dontrelle Willis and Juan Pierre, Dave Dombrowski - whose Tigers (including former Marlins Miguel Cabrera and Anibal Sanchez) are headed to another World Series - gets a lion's share of the credit for building the Marlins team that won the Series in 2003.

Any hopes for Marlins fans since then have been inevitably crushed. Joe Girardi led a young team to an overachieving 2006 season and won the National League Manager of the Year Award. But he insulted King Jeffrey the First by disagreeing with him, and all Girardi has done is take the New York Yankees to the postseason most years since.

I didn't think much of Fredi Gonzalez as a manager here, but he's done decently with the Atlanta Braves during his first two years there. Maybe it's what he's given to work with.

Beinfest and Mike Hill have gone from decent decisions a few years ago to mediocre/bad ones with most young players recently.

Manager Ozzie Guillen was fired, but Beinfest and Hill should go, too.

So should Loria and Samson, kings of self-denial.

So the request goes to my fellow South Floridians - or at least the few of you who fall into the category of very rich baseball fans.

There must be at least one among you who knows how to run a baseball team properly, to hire the right people and let them do their jobs, and bring a quality team to a quality ballpark (Loria got the "quality ballpark" part right, at least.).

For this fan, for others who are loyal fans despite the circus of the last two decades, please step forward and buy this team.

Always with hope (I'm a baseball fan, after all),

Sylvia Gurinsky

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 11: Vote Yes on Florida Amendments 2, 9 & 11. Vote No on All Others

By Sylvia Gurinsky

The Florida Legislature is up to major mischief with the majority of amendments on the November 6 ballot.

So to keep it simple: Vote Yes only to Amendments 2, 9 & 11 - the amendments that would extend homestead exemptions to military veterans who didn't live in Florida at the time of their deployment (Amendment 2), to surviving spouses of veterans and first responders who die on duty (Amendment 9) and to low-income seniors (Amendment 11).

The rest - Amendment 1, which trashes the Affordable Health Care Act; Amendments 3, 4 & 10, which will further limit the state's ability to raise revenues in tough times; Amendment 5, which encroaches on the powers of the state court system; Amendment 6, which steps on health privacy rights; Amendment 8, which further muddies church-state separation and Amendment 12, which needlessly adds a layer of bureaucracy to the state university system's Board of Governors - should all get a No vote and a trip to the scrap heap.