Letters to the Editor for Jan. 5, 2012

Published: Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 4:44 p.m.

I'm embarrassed at Gainesville's actions

As a former mayor and commissioner, I am distressed and embarrassed for our town by the improper use of force to silence the concerns of peaceful local ratepayers.

On several recent occasions GPD has been used by city officials to intimidate and threaten ratepayers with arrest. The only "crime" committed was voicing concern over our city's utility rates and actions in a public place.

Gainesville hardly needs police protection from citizens who protest utility rate increases at the public utility administration building.

Sadly it appears that our police are now being used to protect public officials from disclosure of inept, costly and indefensible actions.

If we fail to speak out and stand up, we will have voluntarily given up the most important freedom that many of us fought to secure.

Mark Kane Goldstein,


City, GRU is killing the golden goose

The citizens of Gainesville own their own generator. GRU is the city's most valuable asset. The biomass plant represents a marked departure from that. It's a tremendous wealth transfer to an out-of-state company, at the expense of ratepayers.

Traditionally revenue from GRU is transferred to the city, which funds the parks, public safety and all the things important to city residents.

But with the biomass contract, the City Commission effectively killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

The city has a history of getting out of bad contracts. We must do this again or we will be faced with substantial rate impacts.

Debbie Martinez,


Biomass is a common sense solution

I was present when the energy alternatives were given to the City Commission prior to the biomass decision. GRU said we will need another plant within the next 5 to 10 years, since Gainesville is already purchasing electricity from Progress Energy to help subsidize its power needs.

GRU predicts that the price of Progress Energy's electricity will go up. They say that the biomass plant will stabilize our energy costs in a demanding coal and natural gas market.

It's common sense to begin using renewable resources. When fossil fuels begin to run out costs will go up.

No one said that biomass was the wrong option when we do decide to expand GRU's energy capabilities.

When you take away all the variables in this situation you are left with clean energy and an increase for jobs in Alachua County. The future will tell if this saves us money or not.

John David Feldman,


Nuclear is not the energy solution

Biomass cheerleaders do their readers a disservice by using climatologist James Hansen to promote the GREC incinerator. Hansen supports nuclear power which also contributes to global warming.

While nuclear reactors release few greenhouse gases, the nuclear fuel cycle is a significant contributor. In 2001, 93 percent of the nation's reported emissions of CFC-114, a potent greenhouse gas, were released from the U.S. Enrichment Corporation, where uranium is enriched to make nuclear reactor fuel.

These facilities are so energy intensive that some of the nation's dirty, old coal plants exist just to power the nuclear fuel facilities.

At the Civic Media Center on Monday at 7 p.m., Mary Olson of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (www.nirs.org) will give a presentation on the politics, economics and environmental impact of the nuclear industry in Florida. For further information on nuclear power, see http://www.energyjustice.net/nuclear

Karen Orr,

Energy Justice

Network, Chairwoman


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