Letters to the Editor - Aug. 1

Published: Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 at 4:57 p.m.

Ashamed of City Commission

Dear Gainesville city commissioners:

I have had it with the incredible lack of leadership from all of you!

Your leadership is not based on your pay. I know many people who would be happy making $30,000 a year and living great on just that money alone.

You ran, got yourselves elected, and have let the people down again and again. And this time it is truly a disgrace!

The whole economy is depressed. Folks are out of work and losing homes, lacking shelter and just looking for a meal. They want food, sustenance, a piece of bread or anything!

A place in our city is willing to give them food without getting anything in return. Yet this place is asked by you city commissioners not to give food to too many people!

I was a business owner and rented a store on Southwest Second Avenue. I was there seven days a week. So-called homeless "bums" would come by daily and sometimes ask for food. No one was mean or evil.

What right do you have, as officials, to deny others food? This is an awful reflection on Gainesville and on you as individuals.

All "those" people who are against the many homeless; let them step up and give a parcel of land, a facility or money. You folks need to work together on this.

I am embarrassed as a Gainesville resident to have this happening in such a small community with so many folks who have the resources and time to work toward a solution.

Let the people eat!

You ran for these positions, now it is up to you to do the right thing.

Lynn O'Keefe,


Long VA backlog mistreats vets

In response to Carlos Rainwater's letter of July 27:

He states: "A backlog of 400,000 cases nationwide is unacceptable and the complexity of the processes imposed on the VA need streamlining. No veteran or dependant should have to wait months, sometimes years for a claim to be decided."

The backlog he mentions is not a correct number. The New York Times reported two weeks ago that the 400,000 claims are for "post traumatic stress disorder" cases from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. This does not include other claims: only PTSD claims!

This number also does not include the prior conflicts and claims by veterans from Vietnam, the Gulf War, and even further back from Korea and World War II. One only needs to read the complete figures to realize there are far more than 400,000 backlogged.

As a former administrator, it is certain that any time Rainwater was in presence of VA staff they were on their toes. Rainwater would have been more informed if he had been invisible and able to witness the rudeness of some of the staff responses to veterans; not all, but many!

I am a service connected disabled veteran from the Vietnam era. I waited nearly five years for my claim for PTSD to go through. I find it hard to accept Rainwater's comments as accurate. We keep getting inaccurate information from those in control.

Jay Herron,


A crisis of costs

The health care crisis is not so much about health insurance as it is about health care costs. As a supporter of free market capitalism, I believe doctors should make what the market can bear.

However, our health care system is not a free market, and Obama's plan will make it even less so.

So how much should doctors make in our social health care system?

The doctor profession is close to a guarantee of at least upper-middle income status for even the worst performing doctors. For specialists, "obscenely wealthy" is typical, as indicated by numbers of vacation homes, yachts, airplanes, kids in private schools and fancy cars in multiple car garage homes.

While the health care debate focuses on fragile hospital profits and insurance rates, there is little discussion about the massive transfer of wealth from a large group of hard-working Americans to hard-working doctors through the massively bureaucratic, overly regulated and costly health care insurance industry. This monster bureaucracy essentially fixes health care costs that support doctor incomes and condemns prices to steady annual increases.

If we are going to have socialist medicine then doctors should have to accept socialist-style remuneration.

Some argue that "doctors work hard," "have student loans to pay," "spent a long time in school," "might leave medicine" or "not seek to become doctors." I don't buy those arguments. Perhaps society doesn't need those doctors who are only drawn to medicine for the virtual guarantee of obscene income.

If we are heading toward government run, socialist health care system, then perhaps it is time for our doctor comrades to accept more affordable civil servant salaries.

Bruce Welt,


Yes, we can fight for WUFT

In response to Jeannine Brady's eloquent letter (July 30th) regarding the importance of preserving the current programming on Classic 89 (WUFT-FM): We do have "an opportunity for community recourse," to quote her letter.

There is an online petition currently in place to provide a voice to everyone who wishes to continue the broadcasting of Classic 89 as it currently exists on analog radio.

This petition is available through a community-created Web site dedicated to the preservation of Classic 89. The address for the site is: http://www.classicgvl.org/

For those who wish to sign the petition, please follow all directions carefully, as there is more than one step required in order to ensure security and validity of each entry.

Thank you to all those in the community who have demonstrated interest in and support of Classic 89!

Sue Yelton,


Democracy in reverse is insane

The metamorphosis of the Democratic nebula to that of the Republicans' forming state House District 22 impresses me as a cancerous growth rather than a representation of the political aspirations of the residents of the counties that make up the district. Why is such an insane demographic patchwork acceptable to otherwise sane people?

It seems that in American democracy the fourth echelon politicians are allowed to select their own constituents; that is democracy in reverse at the grassroots. It defies the "proposition that all men are created equal," when constituents are preselected for a preference rather than they doing the selecting because of their preferences.

Would it be possible to propose an amendment to the Florida Constitution to restrict a district to either the borders of one county or those of a few adjacent counties?

Nader G. Vakili,

Lake City

Clean energy now

How can we not want clean energy? Renewable energy such as solar and wind work efficiently for us without destructive and long-lasting side effects.

It's time to do the right thing and help the economy recover as well. Even folks in oil-rich countries are going green. I hope our legislators will pass clean energy legislation now.

Alice Gridley,


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