Morse, Moffitt, Ritchie and Villages Bashing

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2011, 12:15 PM
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Default Morse, Moffitt, Ritchie and Villages Bashing

I opted to give this topic a separate thread because it suggests a broader perspective then current threads concerning the latest Orlando Sentinel and Lauren Ritchie contrived assault on The Villages. While existing thread topics are included I am attempting to define a bigger picture. Apologies to similar thread starters....no hijack intended. Administrators feel free to adjust if you disagree.

Moffitt Center, Relay for Life and the Morse family.

Today's Village Sun pretty much spells out what prompted the Relay for Life decision that Lauren Ritchie and the Orlando Sentinel manufactured into a sinister, evil plot by the Morse family. In simple terms, a disproportionate share of the funds raised were going outside the Villages. The developer exercised leverage to insure a larger share went to medical care for Villagers. To this end, a new charity called Mission for Moffitt will insure that goal. Editorial articles by the founder of Relay for Life, Sonny Resmondo and Evan Richards should expose Ms. Ritchie's pattern of Villages bashing. Speaking of which.....I wonder how Lauren and the Orlando paper will spin this into another assault on Villagers and the Morse family?

Further, it occurred to the me that Ritchie and the critics are selectively painting the developers role with Moffitt and the physical plant in a fashion that perpetuates their bias. It appears to me that the Morse family is contributing the land and construction. The Orlando paper is selectively vague on that point while stressing largely by innuendo, potential lease revenues as a diabolical plot to generate contributions. In any case, that is between Moffitt and the developer. I haven't seen anywhere where the Morse family is the recipient of contributions to the Moffitt Center. Further, no one is being forced to contribute so why are some trying to demonize and intimidate vicariously, those who contribute. It's not your money. I choose to contribute and respect your right not to. Please take care to do no harm to honest fund raising that can help my family, friends and neighbors benefit from what Moffitt and Boissoneault offer.

Litany of Bashing the Villages

In fairness to Ms. Ritchie, she has emphatically disclosed that she is not a reporter. She is a columnist whose work product does not have to be supported by fact or empirical research. Accordingly, in my opinion, she has in the past used her pen to incite angst and distress for many Villagers. Relevant excerpts from my previous posts are included below.

In the August 29 Orlando Sentinel, Ritchie further tweaks Villagers with her recent statement, "Ritchie: It's got to be unsettling and frightening to wonder what's in store. Not to mention expensive. The district already has spent more than $209,000 of residents' money so far, nearly all on high-powered lawyers on both coasts."

http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...www.google.com

The most frightening and unsettling circumstance is Lauren Ritchie's selectively alarming language created to further distress those who view them. In my opinion and notwithstanding opinions to the contrary, it is desperate, insidiously sinister and ethically challenged. Ask yourself, do you get the impression Ritchie is rooting for the IRS and would love to be able to say to Villagers....I told you so? .........and that is why balance, or lack thereof is significant.

She lost all credibility with many when in an early article she, with cavalier arrogance and presumptuousness stated, "And it is time for homeowners to worry less about their tee time and marvelous activities and more about their future property values and financial liability."

http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...www.google.com

Copyright 2009, Orlando Sentinel

What is her purpose in admonishing Villagers to worry about their "property values and financial liability"?

That calculated statement created angst with many Villagers and potential Villagers. It did what Laura Ritchie wanted.

Here's another Ritchie hatchet headline on the Villages. We Villagers are such a greedy lot....according to our friend Lauren.

Greedy Villages fires first salvo in water war COMMENTARY - LakefrontMarch 11, 2007|By Lauren Ritchie, Sentinel Columnist

Starting to see a pattern?

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/...water-villages

Has the columnist reported on the positive developments that have blossomed and benefited the people of Sumter, Lake and Marion counties as a direct result of the growth of the Villages?

The hospital and copious medical services and resources that came with development would not exist for so many area residents that have availed themselves of its services and care.

The tax revenues from new Village property owners that have improved police, fire, emergency medical, public safety resources, roadways and general municipal service would not exist.

Multiple safe, planned, quality entertainment and shopping venues that are enjoyed by thousands of non-Villagers would be on some one's drawing board.

Not once, to the best of my knowledge, has Lauren Ritchie written about the the evil developer's role in bringing the Charter Schools to the region. Thousands of children benefit from first class facilities and quality educational processes now in place. Not once has Ms. Ritchie written about the scores of Villagers, many with professional education backgrounds, who volunteer and work with kids from the area....who generously donate and raise funds for educational programs. That, from my viewpoint would be a benefit to the area's educational services that would not exist without the development of the Villages....and the "evil" developer's vision.

Has anyone seen an article from Ms. Ritchie about the economic and employment opportunities that result directly from the development of The Villages. Now that would be an interesting series of articles comparing the region's economy and job growth before and after development. It would probably sell papers.....ahhhh.....but wait. It might put the evil developer in a positive light and that would be inconsistent with Ms. Ritchie and the agenda of an assortment of Village bashers. Further, it would require a real journalistic effort accompanied by empirical research and Ms. Ritchie has often reminded us that she is a columnist....not a journalist. She is unencumbered by the journalistic concepts of objectivity and balance. From a personal perspective, I am not a shill for the developer. On balance, I believe he has done more good than bad and I believe that is a net positive.

Notwithstanding those that think her "scare" commentary is beneficial in some abstract way, I believe the dearth of real, in depth reporting on this issue speaks louder than her contrived assaults on the developer and the vicarious, intended or unintended distress it may contribute to Villagers of good will.

For balance, I guess if I was born and raised here, I may have some resentment about what progress has taken away. A quiet, idyllic countryside dotted with watermelon patches, horse farms, cattle grazing peacefully and fishing holes that never heard the whine of an outboard motor. A lifestyle that insulates you from car, truck and traffic noises. A lifestyle that keeps you from the pollution of progress. Damn Walt Disney and Gary Morse.

Moffitt Center Controversy

I have had suspicions that the biased reporting on the Moffitt/ Robert Boissoneault Oncology Center controversy has been used as a circulation booster and/or part of a continuing pattern of contemporary Florida style yellow journalism directed at the The Villages and the developer.

I have heard nothing but positive accolades about the Robert Boissoneault Oncology Center and the Moffitt Cancer Center. I recently lost a family member to this insidious disease and do not understand why having both centers would be anything but positive for Villagers who need treatment options.

Wouldn't the competition offer patients more options?

Wouldn't two outstanding centers facilitate prompter treatment by virtue of more beds or appointment opportunities?

As we grow as a community, would we want to block Sloan-Kettering from opening here and competing with services?

I'm sure you can add to the list.

It's a wonderful country that gives us freedom of the press. It's equally wonderful that you can take exception to the commentary that you disagree with. If you disagree with my assessments, I would welcome divergent opinions.

For the record.....I have no connection to the developer, the Morse family or any of its varied interests. I am a 5 year Villages resident who has never met anyone in the Morse family. On occasion, I have publicly disagreed and questioned some of the developers decisions.
  #2  
Old 02-10-2011, 12:51 PM
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Very convenient timing for such a long post. Talk about a media blitz!
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:58 PM
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cabo35;

Extremely well written thread!! You make many excellent points and I hope this will start people thinking about the misconceptions and innuendos that are so blithely being bandied about. I'm not asking anyone to agree with your opinion or mine. Just give it all a thought.

Thank you for your most thoughtful post.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:10 PM
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Default Morse,Moffitt,Ritchie and Village Bashing

Cabo35

Very well written and agree with your comments. You pointed out many of life's truths.

No good deed goes unpunished.
OPM (people always are very generous and envious with other peoples money).
Competition and more choices are always better for the people.
We are free to support any charity we like.

I believe someone went to the Orlando Sentinel to squeeze the Morse's and I think they let them do it. Private business people do not roll easily with threats.

I am glad to see other people feel like I do on this subject.
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2011, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo35 View Post
Today's Village Sun pretty much spells out what prompted the Relay for Life decision that Lauren Ritchie and the Orlando Sentinel manufactured into a sinister, evil plot by the Morse family. .
I just went through today's Sun & can't find the article that you speak of.You sure it's in today's Sun? 2-10 11
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:23 PM
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Interesting...I missed the article also. What date and page please.
And Morse is building the building with his own funds and financing it and leasing it to Moffit....typical business transaction.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosoxfan View Post
I just went through today's Sun & can't find the article that you speak of.You sure it's in today's Sun? 2-10 11
Both articles appear on today's Daily Sun, February 10, Thursday, page C8, Opinion page.

FOUNDER OF VILLAGES RELAY FOR LIFE SETS RECORD STRAIGHT

THE FACTS ARE SIMPLE, VILLAGERS ARE POSITIVE


Go Red Sox. My wife is a die hard Yankee. Makes for an interesting household especially at playoff time.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STARBUCKSSAMMY View Post
Interesting...I missed the article also. What date and page please.
And Morse is building the building with his own funds and financing it and leasing it to Moffit....typical business transaction.
I haven't seen an investigative report from a real reporter and only suggest what appears to be the deal based on limited input to date. I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary. I doubt the contract between Morse and Moffitt will ever be public info.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:55 PM
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First off let me say thank you to Cabo for alerting me to these well written letters in today's Sun.I have to say this topic has been one that has been bothering me for a while & these two letters in the opinion page are very enlightening.Sonny Resmondo's ,founder of the Relay For life in the villages,really brought to light the facts that I was unaware of .The american cancer society said no to an event organized that could have resulted in more money if it meant they had to share a single dollar with Moffit?
I now believe if "The Mission For Moffitt" organizes a fundraising activity that recognizes survivors the sting of the Relay For Life leaving the villages will be lessened.I wish the two could coexist but it sounds to me that the American Cancer Society has it's guidelines and isn't going to change.Too bad!
So Thank you Mr Resmondo,cabo & Evan Richards for putting me at ease in this debate.I now feel good about The Moffitt center & will be donating to this cause!!
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Last edited by Bosoxfan; 02-10-2011 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:35 PM
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I hear Sun City has homes for sale.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:37 PM
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There is no question that Ritchie and the Sentinel have an agenda against the Morses (it's a Democratic paper; the Morses are diehard Republicans). Anything written in the Sentinel should be taken with a grain of salt and investigated.

The "articles" in today's Sun are NOT articles -- they are letters to the editor appearing as articles or columns. They should be taken with the same grain of salt that should be applied to Ms. Ritchie.

As to the Relay for Life incident, I'll happily take the word of F16 and Whalen, both of whom were at the meeting and both of whom are very active in Relay, where it was announced there would be no Relay on Villages' property. ACS has always had the policy that it will not share proceeds with another entity -- it is in their Bylaws. To make them the heavy in this patently unfair.

So, maybe someone can explain how it was that the Morses donated the land and the cost of building to the Moffitt Center on TV property and it is now a lease deal? The Sun did originally say the Morses were donating the land and building and that $6.3 million in contributions were needed for the equipment. Now, the land and building are not donated and the money has decreased because some of the equipment was found to be already available.

I still see no advantage to having a Moffitt on TV property and one in Leesburg. At best, it seems superfluous. Tell me one is a Moffitt center and one is a Shands center and it might make more sense -- there might actually be some difference in treatment plans between the two facilities, but not if both are from the same cancer center.

As to Morse bashing, I'm the first to admit I'm not a fan of the Morses and do feel they are a bit too greedy. I also believe that Harold Schwartz's vision would never have occurred without Gary Morse's hard work. I also believe that the Morses are a great business family and have created something truly remarkable here. That doesn't mean they are perfect. Nor does it mean that everything they do is altruistic or greedy. It means they fall in the middle -- some things are truly done with the best of intentions; some things are done because of personal beliefs; some things are done out of pure, unadulterated greed and the belief they can get away with it because they are the Morses. Regardless, we shouldn't blindly revile them nor praise them without getting all the facts possible. In the case of the Moffitt Center, it will be hard to get the facts -- too much of it is closed off to the public and too much is already lost in rumors, half-truths and lies. Some of us do the best we can with the information we have. We may interpret things incorrectly but we do the best we can with what we have.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:47 PM
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I recall that the Morses were greedy bums when the Buffalo went away.

It was a huge fiasco. The mother buffalo gave birth and were acting nasty to the grandkids being held over the fence. The buffalo were occupying space as farmland to keep the taxes low. Tch. Tch.

The Morses moved the buffalo just to build houses. They should have kept the buffalo, some said it was promised to them.

We are all still here and the buffalo aren't.

The building will be built and rented to the cancer specialists and when you are diagnosed you will be grateful.

The Relay for Life will return to the high school track and life will go on.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:50 PM
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Couldn't agree with you more, Red. You definitely have to look at the articles in the paper today with skeptical eyes - one written by a Villages exec and one by the VHA VP. Not exactly unbiased or without a conflict of interest, I'd say. And you're absolutely right, Morse is above all a business man and his job is to make money. Good for him - he's made a lot of it. Just tell me the truth when you want mine.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:26 PM
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Redwitch......as usual, your post is articulate, enllightening and contributes to the dialog. I don't share all your views but your insight is always appreciated. I also hold Whalen and F-16 in high regard. I do not dispute the facts that are represented. However, until recently, no one from either side mentioned the controversy over where the bulk of contribution revenues were going was at the root of decision making. If in fact, apparently, the developer used his leverage to insure greater financial advantage for Villagers. If there is fault to be found, I'm not sure finger pointing helps the cause, it is my opinion the developer could have disclosed his decision making rational earlier in the process. I think many, not all, would have agreed with him. I do understand that sensitive negotiations with Moffitt may have been underway and caused certain confidential material information to be held back.

Thanks for offering constructive insights.

Have a good evening.

Last edited by cabo35; 02-10-2011 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:52 PM
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The Daily Sun is what it is. Why spend $.25 for something that doesn't provide you with the information that you desire?
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