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Pointless spending is not limited to football coaches at Whitey’s

Appalled doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt after reading the article about Coach Sulkowski using the school district credit card for dinner at Whitey’s Fish Camp. The use of a school district vehicle for him to go to a weightlifting meet in addition to the school bus carrying the team isn’t as bad, but still annoys me. The alcohol purchase is more or less icing on the proverbial cake of wasted tax payer dollars.

I’m not picking on Coach Sulkowski as I can’t believe it’s a problem restricted to just the football coach. I’m sure coaches in other sports have the same freedoms, at least the ones that bring in the most money. The poor tennis, swim and track coaches are second tier. No free dinners at Whitey’s for you guys.

The discussion from the administration on down about lack of funds for the classrooms is a constant hum these days. I’ve been to Whitey’s and besides the fact it’s a heck of a drive from anywhere, it’s not cheap. So once you factor in dinner for three, drinks and a district vehicle you could easily be looking at over $150.

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Decries mistreatment of hounds

Dear Editor:

Every year, it’s the same here in Northeast Florida and I presume, elsewhere in the nation, based on what I see on Petfinder and Facebook.

Hounds. Coming out of the woods, the swamp, the fields. More hounds. Wandering lost on the side of a highway. Still more hounds, wandering up to someone’s yard looking for, and begging for, some bit of food, some scrap of love and attention.

Still more of them, landing in a kill shelter somewhere with virtually zero chance at adoption, and only a slightly better chance at rescue being able to take them on. And more hounds, laying dead on a road or in a ditch, either having starved to death or having been hit by a vehicle,  or shot by someone who didn’t appreciate having their chickens killed, their trash raided or their sensibilities disturbed by a baying, crying, hungry hound.

Far too many people (yes, I know not all, but it seems the vast majority) believe that a coonhound, regardless of the flavor, is no different from a weed eater, a lawn mower, a rake or a shotgun ­— a tool to be used during hunting season and then discarded in a myriad of ways, none with a happy ending, or just ignored (the lucky ones?) until next hunting season.

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Fatal flaw in new jail: feds are in charge

If you read Joel Addington’s in-depth look at the financial picture surrounding Baker County’s new jail two weeks ago, then his opinion piece last week on the county commission’s funding woes, you might have scratched your head.

Essentially Mr. Addington pointed out in the first instance that prospects of an operating surplus at the new jail flowing into the coffers of the county commission are bleak.

Then he opined that a dreaded operating deficit in this coming year’s county budget may not be as dire as in recent years when Baker County’s $11 million cash surplus was sucked down to its present $3 million.

The main culprit, of course, has been the cost of housing county prisoners at the new jail. Their numbers steadily rise, and county taxpayers are on the hook for the $85 a day boarding fee per inmate, the same as the non-profit running the jail gets for ICE inmates.

That could reach $100 a day soon, and kick in the same obligation for local inmates.

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