Letters to the Editor for Feb. 10, 2013


Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 12:29 a.m.

Reduce utility use

While fiscal discipline in government is always a value worth pursuing, fiscal conservatives should be supporting utility taxes over property taxes as a source of revenue. Utility use can be reduced, the same way highly taxed tea can be tossed off a boat. Reducing property taxes in the same fashion involves demolishing wings of buildings, etc.

If anything, fiscal conservatives should be asking the government to shift more of the tax burden away from property to utilities. That way people have the option to use less and pay less.

If Gainesville Regional Utilities consumers reduced their usage enough, the electricity generated from biomass could be fed into the larger grid and the proceeds used to reduce the local property tax burden. Instead of "Biomass no thanks" signs, we should be seeing signs that read, "Turn off the AC for lower property taxes."

Adam Garcia,

Gainesville

Out of his wheelhouse

After reading the list of candidates for the mayor of Gainesville, one individual in particular seemed to be lacking in any political background. Donald Shepherd, though courageous for taking on other candidates with a history of politics in Gainesville, doesn't seem to have the educational or public backing to lead our city.

If I am mistaken, this would be Donald's chance to prove me wrong. His heart is in the right place, his knowledge and leadership skills aren't. To put yourself up in front of a public forum without any stated platform other than being a resident of Lamplighter Mobile Home Park and a frequent attendee of commission meetings seems quite inadequate for the many issues facing our growing city.

Again, I give him credit for trying, but I think he should rethink his candidacy and withdraw before he must answer questions that are not in his wheelhouse.

Martin Werts,

Archer

Glen Springs left out

The city of Gainesville paid a consulting firm $100,000 to produce a glossy report on how its parks department could spend $55 million over the next 20 years. The highlight of the plan is a multi-million dollar performing arts center, like Tanglewood in Massachusetts or Wolf Trap in Virginia, which would make Gainesville "the cultural center of Florida."

Instead of imitating others (and ignoring for the moment the many cultural venues that already exist in Gainesville and nearby locales), the consultants might have focused on a cultural and educational asset unique to our city — namely, Glen Springs. With careful negotiating, Glen Springs could be incorporated into the city's park system at no cost.

Remarkably, the jewel that is Glen Springs is not even mentioned in the parks department's 470-page report. Maybe that's what happens when a consultant is hired to develop your vision.

Bob Palmer,

Gainesville

Deception common

The debate regarding doctors questioning patients about guns (Sun, Feb. 7) demonstrates the faulty logic and deception common in the National Rifle Association's arguments.

Sandra Froman said, "Probably more kids die in swimming pools than by guns in Florida." Yet the NRA has convinced federal legislators to prohibit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from collecting gun morbidity and mortality data, so we can't know.

She said that "people ought to have the right to say it's none of the doctor's business." Yet people can refuse to answer their doctor's questions. She says that gun ownership information on electronic health records constitute "a de facto gun registry," a laughable assertion.

Marion Hammer said, "Firearms are protected by the Constitution." They are not. The right to keep and bear arms is. The Second Amendment recognizes the connection of this right to a well-regulated militia. Regulation is an integral part of this right.

Jeff Shapiro,

Gainesville

Music changes

Please, can we finally put an end to the halftime entertainment portion of the Super Bowl? When did sports get married to music and the entertainment industry anyway? You want to entertain me, show me 15 minutes of the NFL's past years highlights. Now that's entertainment!

As far as the national anthem goes, I thought the song was better than people I have heard who have gone the traditional route and ended up butchering it. Who says the song has to stay the same for eternity?

By the way, the song was written so long ago, music just was not the same as it is today. It sounds like another argument we are currently having.

Steven Bonett,

Gainesville

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