Letters to the editor

Published: Sunday, January 5, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 4, 2003 at 11:29 p.m.

Giving life, not taking it

In reference to the story of stores pulling Barbie's pregnant pal Midge from their shelves: It makes me wonder if concerned customers and parents feel just as strongly about war toys and tapes glorifying and promoting the taking of lives.

In contrast, Barbie's pal Midge is giving life.

Monika Baty,


Congestion problems

With all of the new construction in southwest Gainesville, you would think that the city would be planning new roads and traffic lights to help direct and alleviate congested areas.

Permits are being issued for new apartment complexes and businesses, but future problems are not being looked at.

Expansion is definitely an improvement to Gainesville, but at the same time we need to accommodate problem areas to make our town a worthwhile investment in the future.

David Sims,


Bush on track with Iraq war

Chas Chiodo's letter (Dec. 25) assumes that because many of us passed his anti-war protest at the Oaks Mall without an outward display of emotion, we support his view that the United States is wrong in the invasion (his word) of Iraq. He could not be farther from the truth.

The Iraqi government has caused this problem and can easily remedy it. It agreed to certain stipulations to prevent a war and has not lived up to any of them.

If Iraq wants to tempt a superpower that does not want to play games, then the whole country will have to pay a great price.

Chiodo has surrounded himself with people that feel the same as he. I have done the same.

Most of my friends feel that the president is on the right track, and if he thinks we should bomb Iraq, then start loading. We do not feel he will act without fully considering the consequences and the long-term effects of such actions.

Chiodo states he is a veteran and is ashamed of it. I am a veteran, as are most of my friends, and we are all proud of that fact.

Some of us were drafted and some of us joined, but we all went where we were told and did what we were ordered without question. Not one of us went to Canada, sought draft exemptions, or protested.

Chiodo has the freedom to feel as he wants, but he should not assume that most share his views. Wouldn't it be great if he and his liberal friends could present their views without assuming the rest of us don't have the intelligence to form opinions that do not agree to their platform?

One other statement Chiodo makes is that most news outlets are pro-war and that most media sources support the president.

That could not be more inaccurate. One newspaper in North Florida could be considered almost conservative. Two others are owned by The New York Times Co. and for the most part support the Times' ultra-liberal position, which is pure socialist Democrat.

Most of us who did not respond to Chiodo's protest have jobs and are much too busy to stand on a street corner with a bunch of homeless-looking people waving signs.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our military personnel and our duly elected commander-in-chief.

James Harrell,

Worthington Springs

All of us can help the homeless together

I'd like to reply to Kelli Brews' letter of Dec. 31 about the homeless, not only here but throughout the country.

I think we all have to pull together to make this situation disappear, and it can be done. I look to all the county, city and national officials, and I think we have to do more with our taxes than we're doing now.

Locally, I see us buying land to "Keep Alachua Beautiful." Nationally, it's the same, and this is one of the main problems: We are putting land and creatures in front of the human race.

We should put the dollars we are spending buying land to better use like, rehabbing homes.

There are many homes in Gainesville that need work in order for families live in them, so they can get a job and provide for themselves.

Once that is done, they will be taxpayers and give back to the community in a positive way. We all know you can't get a job if you don't have an address; the homeless shelter is not a homestead.

This would also build self esteem, which is important for all of us. And we would be a better community for doing all of this.

It's like Brew said in her letter: the homeless are "families." Children are the future, and we need to protect them. The human race is the endangered species in 2003.

It's time we re-evaluate where all of our tax dollars are really going. There should be less spent on buying up land and building bike paths for a few and more spent for the human race.

We can do it if we all work together to make Alachua County a truly a "better" place to live for all.

Darlene Pifali,


Cutting down on loose gravel

As I drove on an out-of-state interstate in a 75-mph zone, there was little traffic. It was getting late but the automatic headlights had not yet come on.

I was passing an unloaded low-bed semi-trailer truck, and a pebble struck and damaged my windshield. There was no gravel truck to be seen. The windshield chip was repaired a few days later.

A couple of weeks later, in a 60-mph zone near a large city, an unloaded low-bed trailer bounced several times. Much of the gravel on the flatbed became airborne and was blown off in my direction.

The gravel hit the pavement, slowed as it lost linear momentum, and spun as it gained angular momentum.

Spinning rapidly, the gravel bounced higher than the low-bed, came directly at my face, and bounced noisily off my windshield and the front of my car. The stream of traffic was going exactly 60.

I called the police and gave the license number, the interstate exit number and mile marker, direction of travel, and approximate number of minutes (miles) since my car was struck. Further along I saw two lowboys and a police car pulled over together. Neither lowboy was the one I reported.

The truck tractor displayed an 800-number. The salesman told me that each lowboy is provided with a broom for sweeping off gravel tracked onto it by construction equipment.

Their national safety expert told me it is a violation of EPA storm water runoff regulations to wash equipment at construction sites unless there is a proper truck wash.

Whether they use brooms, tarpaulins, vacuum cleaners, truck washes, etc., I think there must be some way to cut down on the loose gravel.

James R. Schueler,


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