Letters to the Editor for Jan. 13
Published: Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
It's not about skin color
In response to the Jan. 10 column by Courtland Milloy in which he ponders whites voting for a black man: I think it would surprise the black community to know how many whites don't see color as a prerequisite for holding any office in this country, including that of the president.
Barak Obama just appears to be the best offering of the candidates for this election, and I think it would be a great healer for this country to have a black president. It is a very unfortunate truth that ignorance has caused such a great divide in this country for so long.
The generation of children coming up, I believe, holds great promise for the future in regards to overcoming the ignorance that has gripped this country. We have enough problems to solve without worrying about what color our skin is.
Let's all start, right here in our own community, to have a smile and a nice word for one another. I think that it would improve our quality of living in a really big and noticeable way; one planet, one world, one people.
Sell this city land
At a meeting between residents of the Stephen Foster neighborhood and a group from the City Commission, James Harnsberger spoke for 30 minutes about a new recommendation.
For those who are not familiar with the issue, the city of Gainesville paid $25,000 for a new site plan at the city garage adjacent to the Stephen Foster neighborhood. It intends to make large additions to the garage, which are contrary to the original use permit on the site.
The neighborhood group is uniting in opposition to the expansion of the facilities. The Gainesville Development and Review Board last year voted unanimously to reject the city's petition to enlarge the facilities. Since then, the membership of the Development and Review Board has changed and now it is accepting the city's petition.
Harnsberger made the following recommendation: Instead of pursuing the expansion, the city can sell the whole land parcel to real estate developers, recovering the $25,000 it spent on a new site plan and acquiring additional new funds which it sorely needs. The garage facility belongs on an industrial park location with adequate gasoline and fire facilities. There are vacancies on existing industrial park locations.
This recommendation was met with a rejection by city officials.
Robert D. Ivey,
Invest in natural lands
Once acres of land have been despoiled, dug up, clear-cut, reshaped, paved over it is no longer land that inspires awe and wonder in the hearts of children of all ages.
Alachua County Forever has purchased and preserved many thousands of acres using leveraged dollars. Your investment is, on the average, $25 per year. ACF has assisted landowners who cherish their property to preserve their land by using conservation easements, stipulating that the property will remain as the owner desires.
Now this unique program needs your help. The funds that you authorized in 2000 have been spent wisely and well. Treasures such as Barr Hammock now belong to you and your children.
The purchases and acquisitions were made systematically, using a professional plan of nomination, evaluation, and ecological assessment.
Thanks to ACF, we now absorb the peace of Cofrin Park, we walk the trails of Prairie Creek Preserve, thrill to the exuberant honk of the sandhill cranes who winter on Paynes Prairie.
Just as we strive to preserve an inheritance for our children and beloved grandchildren, so must we also preserve the natural heritage of Alachua County.
Call your county commissioners, your county manager, your family and friends. Urge them to work toward the renewal of Alachua County Forever.
Gladys M. Lane,
Founding board member,
Women for Wise Growth,
The surge isn't working
In my letter of April 2007, I stated that the real objective of the "surge" in Iraq is to keep the war going until Bush leaves office so he can claim he did not lose the war. It's been a year now and there is no indication that the surge is winding down.
Bush lied to us, and he is cowardly walking away from the debacle that he created. But it might seem that the surge has succeeded in that violence has subsided and American casualties are down. Unfortunately, these accomplishments are unsustainable because there has been no progress toward creating a viable Iraqi government.
Ultimately, our massive military occupation must end, leaving Iraq in a political vacuum, which history teaches us always leads to war. Perhaps the next U.S. president will have the courage and wisdom that Bush lacks, but absent political progress the prospects for peace are dim.
Charles Ray Martin,
Don't deny my vote, let's reform our elections
I am now a Republican! I changed parties so that my vote would count!
The National Democratic Party decided to deny our votes in the Florida primary so I've changed parties. The Republicans only took away half my vote!
I find it immoral, if not illegal, that back room politics can prevent our votes from counting! Someone please tell me how they can get away with this?
How do we change our election laws so that our votes in primaries will start counting in future elections? I have heard of "one person, one vote" being promoted, mainly by independents, and I know a lot of people feel that the last presidency was won by someone who didn't win the popular vote! Let's fix these problems!
Let's change how we elect our president! Instead of national conventions, we should let national parties present their candidates as they have done. We then hold a national primary election and elect our party's candidate (Democrat, Republican, independent, etc.) to run against the others!
Do away with caucuses and primaries on different dates and hold them all on the same day, using the one person, one vote rule to elect the candidates who go on to the national election in November! While we are at it, let's also do away with the Electoral College. It serves no purpose! It has seen its day!
Let's save our trees from rampant development
Does Gainesville plan to remain a Tree City? The Jan. 7 Gainesville Sun article about clearing trees for development is timely. In a poor housing market with no shortage of rental units, very large developments continue to be built with what appears to be total disregard for green space.
Apartments across from Publix on Tower Road replaced woodlands. The large development taking shape on SW 2nd Avenue looks like it's going to come almost to the street with little space for plantings. Land on Waldo Road next to Lincoln Middle School has been totally clear-cut to build new houses.
Seems like every time we turn around there's another piece of denuded land and a little less of the character Gainesville has prided itself on.
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