Letters to the Editor: Feb. 25 Edition

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By The Staff

The Gadsden County Coalition for Change (of which I am a member) is a no budget public service group of local citizens whose work supports the county's food banks, library system and Shanks Middle School. Our belief is that one is not likely to learn if hungry or if there are inadequate reading materials, or if there is a lack of support for the student.

Every healthy student in Gadsden County is capable of learning deeply – learning that happens at home and is reinforced in the classroom. It's through reinforcement and repetition that the brain learns.

We have a county full of concerned parents, but what we do not have yet is parents and guardians working together with the schools to insist that kids study and learn deeply.

The coalition is working with Shanks students and parents to help them become involved in their children's education. We encourage all parents and guardians to get on board.

Rick Soskis


I was very disappointed to receive notification yesterday that the city of Quincy, like all of Florida, was omitted from a $1.5 billion Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant by the United States Department of Transportation.

Application had been made by the city of Quincy for some of these funds to construct a truck bypass around the eastside of Quincy in order to get the hazardous heavy truck traffic out of downtown Quincy. This news is a real blow to public safety and job creation here in Gadsden County and to our Capital regional area.

As the District Two Gadsden County commissioner, I want to express my thanks to Quincy City Manager Jack McLean, the Quincy City Commission, The Capital Regional Planning Agency and the Florida Department of Transportation for their respective roles in the collective effort to move this major transportation improvement forward. Since nothing beats failure but a try, we just all need to keep on trying!


Douglas M. Croley

Gadsden County Commissioner, District Two

(Croley represents Gadsden County on the Capital Regional Transportation Planning Agency.)

I am writing in response to recent reports about the animal abuse case involving Sam Hawkins and "Horse A." Why is it that this case was given so much attention and another case has received no publicity?

The other case involved horses owned by a white man and there were nine horses instead of one. Nothing has been mentioned about this case. Don't say you didn't know about the nine horses because that would only make you look incompetent. An explanation is warranted by Mr. Bert.

Why did the county commission get involved in this case but not the other? Why didn't the state attorney's office file charges against the owner of the nine horses? Why did the owner of the nine horses get his horse back but Hawkins is being charged? The  state attorney's office shouldn't be used in this way.

It is wrong when government is used in such an unfair and unjust way. We are close to putting the race issue behind us in this county and incidents like this, when used for political purposes, do nothing but pull us back down.

Why are these two cases being handled so differently. This is politics at its dirtiest and it must stop. It will stop.

Leon Alexander


Sam Hawkins has helped several individuals in this county over the years.  He has gotten housing for people, helped them retain their jobs and acquired legal help for many.  

When he was president of the Gadsden County Branch of the NAACP he stopped the building of West Gadsden High School on a gravesite on Flat Creek Road.  

But few of you know how many animals he has helped.   Hawkins once found a baby deer beside US 90 whose mother had been hit by an automobile and lay dead.  The baby stood guard beside its mother, until Hawkins came by.  He caught the baby deer, only a few hours old, and brought it home and made a feeder for it.  He took the baby deer to next door to a neighbor that takes care of animals.  

Another time, he found a dead turkey near a nest that contained eggs, and he took the eggs and placed them in a warmer and hatched them.  The donkey that he has been helping had a large sore on its shoulder; Hawkins bought medicine and took care of the donkey.  When he got his horse, Sugar Foot, I thought what does he want with that bag of bones?  

But he fed him, washed him, brushed him and ran beside him for exercise. That Sugar Foot went from a bag of bones to over 1,000 pounds.

I have no interest in animals.  I think all animals should be free.  Hawkins wouldn’t hurt a horse but the people that are after him will.  But he loves them and we should all respect that.

Johnnie L. Holt