Letters to the Editor - Jan. 24
Published: Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 23, 2009 at 6:07 p.m.
How to save Newnan's Lake
In Newnan's Lake's deepest areas there is as much as 30 feet of organic sediment on the bottom and only 10 feet of water on top.
Hence we have a lake with depths up to 40 feet that is 3/4 full of organic sediment.
This lake bottom is blanketed with a thick layer of organic sediment with a ratio of 3 parts organic sediment to 1 part clear water. This relation holds true all the way to shore, with 4 feet of water containing a 3 feet depth of organic sediment. The only variation to this is the sediment distribution is deeper sediment on the windward side of the lake and almost a sandy shore on the leeward side with no organics.
With a pumping operation similar to a septic tank, we could suck that pudding-like sediment up from the bottom of this lake and never disturb the water. (see submersible sludge pump http://www.ddpumps.com/sludge-pump.php).
Sediment can be piped directly to waiting sludge-spreading tanker trucks.
Dredging is a whole different and separate process and a poor practice in this instance.
I am proposing a pilot study to determine feasibility. Studies have shown that we would only need to remove 20 percent to 30 percent of the total organic sediment to achieve an 80 percent improvement in water quality.
Stop complaining and start doing
This county has a lot of complainers, and I admit, I'm one of them.
We complain about traffic congestion, over-development, taxes, lack of recreation facilities, pollution of our water resources (Newnan's is the worst in the state), and the list goes on and on.
The county commission is currently in the process of updating the comprehensive plan which governs the direction in which our community will head for the near future. On Thursday a public meeting was held (one of three) by county staff to receive input on the issues and strategies relevant to updating the plan. I attended this meeting, as did nine other citizens.
The staff had obviously gone to a lot of trouble to organize this thing, and after an overview, we broke into 7 groups, with appropriate staff, to discuss the elements of the plan; i.e., land use, transportation, resource protection, etc.
The meeting was very productive, the staff highly informed and enthusiastic, and our concerns were duly noted on flip charts. I'm sure we all walked away with a sense that we had contributed our input and with a lot of additional reading material about the plan.
The point of my letter though, is that out of a county of 247,000 who would have guessed that the number of staff in attendance would have exceeded the number of interested citizens?
I suppose that most people simply like to whine and aren't really interested in improving conditions, or at least staving off the further degradation, of our community.
If any of the remaining 246,990 county residents are interested in these issues, there is one more meeting; Thursday at 5:30 p.m., at Kanapaha Middle School.
Too much religion at inauguration
For all the comparisons between the inaugurations of Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln, one striking difference remained unnoticed — Lincoln's contained no invocation.
Like so many religious features of our democracy, our Founding Fathers did not create the inaugural invocation, which was added in 1937 for political reasons.
It is difficult to argue there is no establishment of religion when Rev. Warren begins "Let us pray," states that "one day, all nations and all people will stand accountable before you (Jesus)," and then leads our government officials and millions watching on television in a Protestant Christian rendition of the Lord's Prayer.
America is a nation of diverse religious traditions. The vice president and speaker of the House are Catholic, the Senate majority leader is Mormon, there are 13 Jews in the U.S. Senate, and neither of our president's parents believed in God, although one was raised Muslim.
To assume that Rev. Warren's invocation was fair to the upwards of 65 million Americans who identify as non-Christian is a gross violation of the basic principles of our Constitution, and unhealthy for our democracy.
Why bother with lanes, sidewalks?
I've discovered a way for the city and UF to save tons of cash. Remove all traffic lights, white lines on roadways, sidewalks and bike lanes.
The general public does not use these objects in this city or on the UF campus, so why bother paying for them.
I frequent the roads in the city and the campus, and it's been my observation that people drive, bike, walk, and in some cases sit where and when they want. So paying for these services is a waste of taxpayer money. Let's just let people go where and when they please with no regard for anyone else's right of way.
A little more enforcement of the rules would certainly go a long way in preventing such drastic measures, but I'm sure that is too much to ask.
Wrong about Stearns
The Jan. 18 letter from Harold Saive contained major errors, and your readers should have the facts.
Saive declares that Congressman Cliff Stearns is not a fiscal conservative and offers no details. How about this fact: The National Taxpayers Union gave Stearns an A rating for his record on fiscal responsibility. Only 48 House members received that distinction.
Stearns stands out with one of the best records in Congress on opposing wasteful spending.
Saive goes on to dredge up an old and inaccurate story about used vests donated to the National Guard. Far from engaging in an attempt to stop a shipment of bullet-proof vests, Stearns, in June of 2004, wrote this to the Acting Secretary of the Army, R.L. Brownlee: "I am writing to urge your office to expedite the review and approval of approximately 1,200 bullet-proof vests awaiting delivery to Iraq."
However, the vests were rejected since they were surplus vests and, according to the Army, could pose a threat to our troops.
Stearns has a strong record on fiscal responsibility and on standing up for our men and women in uniform.
Cold weather vs. global warming
I wanted to respond to the people who have written in the last couple days inferring that the weather this week proves global warming is a farce.
It is not debated in the scientific community whether the earth's temperature is rising. That is a fact acknowledged by both sides.
What is debated, is whether or not this rise in temperature is created by man or not. To use a few cold days as evidence against global warming displays shortsightedness and a lack of knowledge of the issue.
Mark Stephen Tjia,
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