Letters to the Editor - Oct. 1, 2009

Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 4:49 p.m.

A simple question: Is plant needed?

In his Saturday Speaking Out, former mayor Tom Bussing brought up some interesting questions about the new power plant approved last year by the City Commission.

There are many points to be argued as to the wisdom of bringing in the Nagadoches company to run this biomass fueled power plant, but my question is simple: Do we need it?

At the time the commissioners

were discussing options for future power needs, GRU stated that if Gainesville residents followed GRU energy conservation guidelines,

our current plant would provide sufficient power for something like 12 years, as I remember. Now, GRU tells us that residents have surpassed those conservation expectations

and at this level of consumption the need for increased power could be pushed back farther. And that because of our conserving, the utility rates will have to be increased.

I would expect that utility users will find more ways to conserve if their rates increase.

Interestingly, I haven’t yet noticed much of a change in wasteful usage of energy. It’s still freezing in the post office, store employees still wear sweaters in the summer, lighting is still overused.

I haven’t seen a large amount of solar panels or reflective roofing being installed yet, which will come as costs go down with higher demand.

Could more focused conservation

along with more widely used alternative energy sources push an increased energy demand back another 10 years? Why should Nagadoches

come set up shop? How much will this cost us and is there a need? Seems like a needless waste of energy.

Monica Cooper,


Peace through war

Cliff Stearns (Speaking out 9/27) goes Orwellian to suggest that “America will win the peace” by increasing the war.

The American people have good reasons to believe a continued build-up in Afghanistan

is no longer worth it. Billions in treasure required to reform Afghanistan could be helping Americans win their fragile economic recovery.

Stearns is apparently willing to take the risk that massive borrowing for Afghanistan could threaten job recovery here at home.

The pretext for waging war is under increasing scrutiny. The White House blocked an investigation of 9/11 in 2002, even as Congress was fully under way. Later, the 9/11 commission admitted they were “set up to fail.” Now, even the FBI says they have no evidence to indict bin Laden for 9/11.

Today we still have no valid investigation of the attacks and no person or agency has been held accountable for the massive failures that allowed the attacks to succeed. The recent arrests of home-grown terrorists demonstrates failure to investigate the 9/11 attacks has left America vulnerable to further catastrophe.

John Farmer, former senior counsel to the 9/11 commission,

released his new book: “The Ground Truth: The Story Behind America’s Defense on 9/11” Farmer makes a stunning

comment: “...at some level of the government, at some point in time ... there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened.”

Stearns would be more fiscally conservative to advocate for a new investigation

into the events of 9/11; the seminal event that continues to serve as the non-investigated,

shadowy pretext to justify the escalation of questionable wars that have already outlasted our total time in World War II.

Harold Saive,


Worth paying for

I was one of those present during U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns’ town hall meeting in Gainesville on Saturday. Stearns stands firmly opposed

to health care reform and worries about Medicare’s future on the principle that this country shouldn’t spend money it doesn’t have, a principle that Stearns insists has guided his decisions throughout his long career.

Just 18 hours later, with the delivery of the morning paper, that guiding principle went pretty dim.

In Sunday’s Speaking Out column, Stearns advocates enormous spending to escalate the war in Afghanistan.

He reasons that by doing so, we may eradicate terrorism

and stabilize Pakistan. Of course, one could also argue that we may find instead, like the Russians, the British, and Alexander the Great before them, that the costliness of this exercise is matched only by its futility.

Either way, it’s clear that Stearns does believe that there are some things worth going into debt for.

Anne D’Amico,


Counting the days

President Barack Obama loves the international stage and they love him. Again before an international audience he apologizes for the failings of the U.S.

He has dreams of dismantling

our nuclear arsenal with the idea all will follow his lead. Common sense dictates that peace lies in each country’s strengths.

He alienates Poland, which has been our ally in Iraq and Afghanistan, by scraping a defense missile program leaving Europe vulnerable and emboldening Iran.

He has surrounded himself with a shadow cabinet consisting of 32 czars.

I’m counting the days until 2010 elections.

Eileen. Maren,


Real Gators wear helmets on scooters

Nearly two years ago, my friend and classmate beat the odds.

While driving her scooter in front of UF’s Levin College of Law she was hit by a vehicle. Her body bounced off the SUV and landed on the road. A coma, memories lost, a semester of classes deleted, and permanent arm and leg scars remain.

She wasn’t wearing a helmet.

The University of Florida has experienced many scooter accidents both on and off campus, many resulting in serious or fatal injuries due to not wearing a helmet. This issue personally touched Eta Sigma Gamma (ESG: National

Health Education Honorary)

when one of our students, Ashley Groves, was involved in a serious accident near the law school in November 2007. We believe her personal testimony, and the important message of wearing a helmet when riding and driving a scooter must reach the UF student body.

As president along with the members of ESG, we are putting action behind our concern. The campus-wide scooter-helmet awareness initiative, “Gators Do It With Helmets On,” will begin at UF today. This Scooter-Helmet Awareness campaign — which is a multi-agency effort — will encourage students to take responsibility for their health and safety by wearing a helmet when riding and/or driving a scooter.

The Oct. 1 kickoff event will include a free Chris McCarty concert, 6 p.m. at the UF’s Reitz Student Union Amphitheater.

Mrs. Chris Machen and UF Student Body President

Jordan Johnson will host the program that includes New Scooters 4 Less drawings

for free helmets, UF Dazzlers modeling the latest helmet trends, and pictures with Alberta. For the week of events, visit: http://hhp.ufl.edu/heb.php.

We hope this education will serve as a catalyst for a change in behavior.

Wendy Alderman

Eta Sigma Gamma

Health Education

Honorary President

University of Florida

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