Letters to the Editor for Dec. 2, 2012
Published: Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 11:38 p.m.
Letter had it wrong
George Braun's letter of Nov. 28 incorrectly stated that Commissioner Hawkins failed to include the fuel adjustment or customer charge in the GRU rate of $107.78 for 870 kWh. In fact, the $107.78 does include both.
And while it's true that as a community-owned utility GRU does not pay property tax, it does pay “in lieu of taxes” to its owner, the city of Gainesville, from the $107.78. Last year GRU transferred over $36 million, an amount similar to what an investor-owned utility would pay in taxes and franchise fees.
Braun is correct when he states that Alachua County's Utility Tax, the City of Gainesville's Utility Tax or Surcharge, and the State of Florida's Gross Receipts Tax are not included in the amount that Commissioner Hawkins discussed. Because these charges vary by governmental jurisdiction, they are not included in state-wide utility rate comparisons.
Managing Utility Analyst
Gainesville Regional Utilities
Take Collier's offer
It's unbelievable that there are folks opposing Nathan Collier's offer to pay over 10 times the value for a small piece of city property.
A $925,000 voluntary wealth tax for the benefit of other taxpayers. This is exactly the type of wealth redistribution that is en vogue in Alachua County, right? Or is it only “evening the playing field” when you can take a man's money against his will through glib overtures of democracy?
Thank you for the offer Mr. Collier. I know you have worked hard for your money and have taken significant risks. I hope the people of Gainesville appreciate your generosity and the windfall is welcomed.
Michael D. Sechrest,
Lease it to him
Couldn't the Gainesville City Commission achieve a win-win situation in the matter of Nathan Collier's offer to purchase 5.7 acres of Loblolly Woods Nature Park (11/28) by negotiating a 99-year lease with Collier with the stipulation that no structure that could be described as a residence, garage, barn or storage shed be constructed on the property?
That way, Collier could built the fence of his heart's desire, make a generous contribution to Gainesville conservation lands, and eventually return 5.7 acres of presently little-used conservation lands to the public.
Wrong about Israel
Elizabeth Stuhlberg (Voice, Nov. 29) is grievously wrong when she states that the Gaza border was “quiet for a long time until an Israeli incursion in Gaza on Nov. 8, in which a 12-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by Israeli soldiers.”
In 2011, Hamas and its allies fired 680 rockets and mortar shells from Gaza into Israel. In 2012, prior to Nov. 8, Hamas and its allies fired 797 rockets and mortar shells into what has been part of the sovereign territory of Israel since the conclusion of the Israeli-Arab war of 1948.
The daughter of a former student of mine is a psychologist in Sderot, the closest city to the Gaza border. She has described the psychological damage to the children, especially, of this constant threat of death from those rockets. No country in the world with the power to do so would not react to this form of terror.
A plan for Israel's end as a state
In response to Elizabeth Stuhlberg's Nov. 29 letter proposing that Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders: That is a plan to end the state of Israel.
This plan involves removing the West Bank from Israeli control which would reduce the distance from Arab-controlled land to the Mediterranean Sea to only a thin six mile wide strip. An enemy army could easily cut that strip in half forcing Israel to have two separate armies in order to defend both the north and the south.
Israel was a hair breath away from a war in Gaza which could easily have resulted in missiles being sent from Lebanon in the north, resulting in a full scale war with the Hezbollah being resupplied by Iran.
Egypt may also have decided to come into the battle feeling this was a good opportunity to destroy Israel, something they have attempted and failed at five times before.
The warming scam
After a perfunctory glance at the headlines and editorials, it is clear that climate change is now the diversion of choice of the left-wing media.
On the local level, if Gainesville is proactive, I would love to see those concerns directed to real issues like traffic and crime. Who needs a biomass plant when so much methane gas is floating around?
Climate change is a myth, like the energy crisis of the '70s or the Y2K at the dawn of the new millennia. Why sacrifice our sovereignty and economy for theoretical “crises” when other industrial powers have no intention of heeding to the foolishness we seem bound to foster?
How convenient that while the national debt surpasses $16 trillion, the Arab Spring spirals to radical control of once stable allies, the economy in shambles, and dysfunctional government at all levels, we can now worry about the weather.
Ron annoys me
Are there people that just annoy you and can do no right? Then, there are those that can do no wrong. Well, that is how Ron comes across when he writes about the GOP vs. Dems.
Let's take Ron's recent comment about U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's response to the silly question about the age of the Earth.
First, I would have thought Ron would have been more ruthless regarding the question and the time the media has spent on all of this when there are more pressing questions such as, why hasn't the Senate passed a budget in 3½ years, unemployment ...
But Ron hammers Rubio's answer when just four years ago on the campaign trail President Obama had a similar answer when asked the same question.
It is this type of reporting that divides and distracts. Thank goodness Chris Curry is doing a decent job reporting!
In response to the Nov. 25 Speaking Out by UF physicians Christopher Cogle and Nancy Hardt (“Florida health care exchanges needed”):
Medicaid funding should be realigned so the monstrous damage it's done to state budgets and the middle class over the last 45 years can be repaired.
Insurance exchanges are a smokescreen to make patients feel myopically “empowered” about one thing, while their livelihood is sinking in general, also due to Medicaid and health finance (public and private) middle-class damage.
Health care finance is already subsidized to a level that's tripled in size as a portion of the GDP, and baby boomers haven't retired yet.
Instead of tweaking the insurance model we should replace the model with a post-care billing and payments system and sliding scales based on extended family poverty/wealth level. Family networks would make a better connection between personal health habits and medical expenses.
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