Letters to the Editor - Feb. 1
Published: Friday, February 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 5:33 p.m.
Don't malign Eastside
I find recent statements by parents about Eastside High School to be short sighted and extremely upsetting. A school rating of "D" does not mean that Eastside students are dumb or that they are incapable of learning.
In fact, many Eastside graduates have gone on to very successful professional careers. This, I view such uninformed statements against Eastside as a slap in the face to the many hard-working teachers and parents who are committed to academic success for the students.
On another subject: During the public comment section of the Jan. 14 City Commission meeting, an individual made some insensitive and sterotypical comments about east Gainesville. Specifically, this gentleman indicated that a halfway house should be located in east Gainesville because that's where all the drug activity occurs.
Clearly, drug activity occurs throughout the community, without regard to geographical or socio-economic boundaries. To suggest the location of a halfway house in east Gainesville on the basis of drug activity by some is a slap in the face to all east Gainesville residents.
Rosa B. Williams,
Don't malign Loften
I read the Jan. 28 letter about Loften High School, and I'm quite appalled by it. As a student of Loften, I feel that what the letter said was wrong. Loften is a small school, but it helps in many ways for everyone.
By having fewer students everyone knows each other, kind of like a big family. There are not as many fights or as many problems as bigger schools have.
Loften is trying to change its reputation by turning into a magnet program school. They built a new building just for the program, and the teachers are very excited about it.
The teachers, they are all fantastic and wonderful. To me, having small classrooms with only 10 to 15 students is better. You're not as distracted by others and the teachers are able to spend more time with you. Its easier for them to teach without disruptive students, since we all choose to be here.
The school has done so much for me and others as well. The next time someone writes a letter about Loften make sure to get all the facts.
Gainesville, not 'Nirvanaville'
It seems at times, that the city of Gainesville tries to be more than it reasonably can be. And in the process, loses focus on the community's truly pressing issues. I'm speaking about the transgender issue.
How many times, as men, have any of us stood at a bathroom urinal next to another man who's dressed as a woman and lives his life as such. Or watched a woman who lives as man try on a pair of jeans in the aisle of a department store? I would assume that most of us haven't witnessed things of this nature.
I also would postulate that most persons with gender identity issues have already assimilated into the fabric of society without notice. And have been and will continue to use public accommodations, as he/she feels most comfortable.
Instead of trying to create a "Nirvanaville," city leaders should focus on traffic concerns and the numerous lots that are now empty, due to developers pulling out of projects that should have never been approved in the first place.
As for the vocal right that stormed city hall recently, I say "Get a life!" It always amazes me how some on the right are fixated upon linking persons of different sexual orientations with sex offenders.
Some voiced concerns that pedophiles would use the propose change to prey on little girls in women's restrooms. Such an assumption is basically ignorant; it suggests that pedophiles are law-abiding enough to wait for a legal chance to perform an illegal act.
I for one believe that we all should use public accommodations that are specific to our physical anatomy. However, transgender people have been and will continue to do as they please.
Dereck R. Jones,
Gas tax burden modest
In response to John Elton's Jan. 29 letter regarding the increase in gas taxes: As a fairly average driver the increase in the Alachua county gas tax will cost me about $20 a year. That's about half what the general sales tax in Alachua county costs me and only a very small fraction of the property taxes levied on my home.
To describe a 12 cent per gallon county gas tax as the "single most damaging financial burden on the local economy" is rather dramatic. And to suggest that slashing the county gas tax - at the expense of much-needed road maintenance - would provide a substantial boost to the economy is just silly.
Commissioners didn't listen to their constituents
The "progressive four" city commissioners (Craig Lowe, Gina Mastrodicasa, Pegeen Hanrahan, and Jack Donovan) who foisted the "gender identity" ordinance on this community must feel extremely gratified.
Only a handful of people supported the ordinance, while more than a hundred adamantly opposed it. The ordinance is fraught with problems, including vague language, excessive cost to businesses, and lack of measureable standards of compliance.
The single most serious objection, however, was the mandate that 99.75 percent of the public must reliquish safety and privacy in facilities such as restrooms because transgenders want to use whichever facilities they choose whenever they "feel" like it.
Commisioners Ed Braddy, Rick Bryant, and Scherwin Henry did a heroic job representing the majority. And the citizens appealing to the commission to reject the ordinance were very diverse by race, religion, gender, political affiliation, educational background, and economic level.
The "progressive four" must feel very powerful having summarily dimissed the concerns of the multitude in favor or their predetermined elitist opinions. Of course, they made certain that their new ordinance does not apply to the city.
It is pointless to try to reason with the "progressive four." They turn a condescending deaf ear to the public's needs and they will never allow those who are most affected by their decisions to have input.
There are still a few ways citizens can preserve what they value. When you vote, remember who ignored your pleas. Place important issues on the ballot and reject the city's initiative. Use the courts when there is a legal basis to challenge the City.
Kennedy is the problem
Regarding your article "Kennedy gives Obama stamp of approval," in the Jan 29 edition of The Sun: Does anyone beside me see the hypocrisy of this guy.
Here is a career politician approximately fifty years in the Senate telling the American voters he supports Obama because we need change?
Kennedy is the poster child for why we need term limits in our government at all levels. They become way too powerful. Now he believes the mystique of the Kennedy name will sway an election. Give me a break.
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