Letters to the Editor for Jan. 22


Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 21, 2008 at 4:43 p.m.

CHOICES program made health care affordable

i have read many letters attacking Alachua County's CHOICES health care program. I want to share my CHOICES story.

I am 31-years-old, born in Gainesville, and have lived here for the majority of my life. I have taken good care of myself for years with healthy nutrition and plenty of exercise. In February 2004, though, I was very surprised to find myself in the hospital diagnosed with diabetes.

I tried to work but was receiving inadequate, unaffordable health care. Between my sub-par health care and diabetes it was practically impossible for me to work. I was frustrated and sick.

Two years ago I enrolled in CHOICES. During this time I have worked at two very successful local businesses. These companies provide great services to members of this community. Unfortunately, neither offer health insurance to their employees.

Thank goodness for CHOICES. Getting enrolled was a simple process and the CHOICES staff is very helpful. With CHOICES, I was immediately able to afford doctors visits and my prescriptions. Now, I receive the care I need so that I can work full time and be a productive member of this community I love so much.

I'm healthier today than ever before. My improved health has allowed me to become more active in volunteer activities and increased my quality of life. My family, friends and the customers I have served over the last two years are grateful for my improved health. All of this was possible with CHOICES.

Tim Bryant, Gainesville

American 'government' is comprised of the people

A recent letter published in The Sun opposing Alachua County Forever suggests that maybe government already owns too much land. Maybe it wouldn't seem so bad if we think of this as land owned by the public.

In our country, "government" is "of the people, by the people, and for the people." Government is not some alien power. Moreover, there is no single "government," but several; not only the three branches of the federal government but also state, county and municipal - all elected, directly by citizens, or appointed by elected officials.

Libertarians, often masquerading as conservatives, like to rail against "the government" and "government regulations." What really bugs them is the fact that federal, state and local governments often stand in the way of exploitative, destructive, predatory and criminal activities on the part of enterprising individuals and corporations seeking to advance their own interests at public expense.

In our American democracy, citizens are responsible for the kinds of government leaders and policies we have. Those who do not vote, cannot be heard to complain about "the government."

Speaking of voting, for example: If just 1 percent of the 90,000 Floridians who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 had voted for Gore instead, we would have had a very different federal executive branch than we've had the last seven years, and also a different Supreme Court.

Jan. 29 will soon be here, and early voting has already started. In America, governments are us.

Richard H. Hiers, Gainesville

County should build proposed arena

I think an arena for the county fairgrounds is a great idea. Not only will it lure conventions and social events, but think about the concerts that have either not come here or have been turned away, either because they wanted to perform on the same day that a Gator basketball game is being played in the O'Connell Center or because someone else has already reserved it.

We could have really big name bands come in. I have been to concerts at the arena in Inverness and thought about how much time and money I could have saved if Gainesville had a place like that.

I will not support any commissioner who does not approve this. The commission has done a lot of things that nobody wants, and rejecting this would be the last straw for me.

James Simmons, Gainesville

Florida Democrats don't have a vote

In the days and weeks following the 2000 presidential election, I sat in Missouri and marveled at the spectacle of Florida politics.

In the beginning I had faith that Al Gore would win Florida because, quite simply, he did. When the Supreme Court decided George W. Bush was the winner in Florida I was dismayed and I lost a great deal of trust in our government.

The irony is that I had just recently begun to believe, again, that we could have the government that our founders intended.

Two years ago we moved to the Gainesville area and now the Florida Democratic Party has stripped every Democrat in this state of our right to participate in the process that will ultimately determine the next Democratic nominee for president. By moving the Florida primary to Jan. 29, in violation of DNC rules, our votes, for whichever candidate we support, will have no meaning whatsoever.

Is it arrogance that motivates the state Democratic Party? Do they really believe that the national DNC will relent and recognize the Florida delegation? No matter what their thinking, the Democrats in Florida have been marginalized when all along the stated purpose was to allow Floridians to have a greater impact on the outcome of the nominating process.

In its ill-advised quest to get out there ahead of the other Super Tuesday states, the Florida Democratic Party wound up denying the state's Democrats the most basic right of every American - a chance to vote for the person he or she wants to lead the country.

Deborah B. Maguire, Newberry

Time to think about issues

In the upcoming election cycle it might be wise for voters to consider past deceptions. We face problems that will become very ugly if not solved.

Tax cuts are a political selling point that ensnared many voters. While taxes were cut mainly to the wealthy, money that didn't exist was printed to cover the traitorous waste of treasure by the administration. Everyone said our grandkids would get the bill, and they probably will, but we have been getting the bill in the form of inflation for years.

Inflation is little understood by the public who whine about higher prices. In fact the value of the paper dollar due to excessive printing has been more than cut in half since the Iraq war began, which can be seen in the fact that it takes more than twice as many paper dollars to purchase one ounce of gold.

That means your wages or your money in the bank is worth half what it was just four years ago! It would have been cheaper to pay taxes.

Many evangelical voters, deceived by promises to change laws concerning certain moral issues they were concerned with, got none of them; only more blood in the Mideast, more pollution, more immigration, more outsourcing, more corporate welfare, more inflation.

Perhaps this time people will actually think through the issues rather than fall for ideas created by crafty propagandists. Major contributors to each candidate should be publicized frequently.

Randall Lance, Wellborn

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