Letters to the Editor for March 21, 2013
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 10:49 p.m.
Smoke and mirrors
We have been hearing a good deal about the improvements to the Gainesville Regional Airport. In recent weeks, I have had experiences that make it seem like smoke and mirrors.
The new airline, Silver/United, is the most unprofessionally run airline that I have ever flown. From a basement gate in Tampa, people without uniforms, sometimes rude, were talking loudly on walkie talkies about which plane should fly where and when. It was a three-hour delay full of madness and mayhem.
Another inconvenience is the length of time it takes for checked bags to be on the belt for pick up. This takes much more time than a tiny airport should need to unload luggage.
We have had costly “improvements” and the service has not improved. It might be better to improve the service before spending our money on nice sidewalks and fancy lighting.
Anna Calluori Holcombe,
It has recently become obvious that modern societies have contributed to the global warming period we are now experiencing. Because there are more people on the planet, we individually, and collectively, contribute to the problem.
If you look at the big picture, and include the past 15,000 years, it should not be unexpected that, within the next 100 years, many coastal areas will be underwater. Can we stop the seas from rising? Probably not. However we can change the way we live to reduce our input to global warming and slow its effects.
But the weather and climate will still change, and civilizations will have to adjust, or perish. Modern civilizations can learn from the early cultures that occupied the lands that are now under water, and move to the higher ground. Or, they can learn to live like the people of Venice, Italy, and tolerate the flooding.
Not so protected
I recently returned from the largest “protected” forest left in Florida, the Ocala National Forest. I have to say that I disagree with the protected part.
Near our camp, we stumbled onto 100 acres of clear-cut forest. There were official signs that attempted to explain this absolute madness. These signs claimed that clear cutting is the new norm, instead of controlled burns. The lumber can be sold and it somehow is better for the habitat than the burns.
How is it that preserving nature means tampering with it, whether by fire, plow or chainsaw? It is undeniable that the creature comforts of our society are very convenient, but where do we draw the line? It is justifiable to clear cut 100 acres for toilet paper and 2x4s and other things we don't actually need to survive, even if it means destroying what other animals do need to survive?
The First District Court of Appeal has bowed to intense pressure and reversed itself on a public records case from me. The opinion admits to being contrary to decisions outside Florida. However, the decision now is controlling in Florida and will be quoted in lawsuits.
The court decided that an email about my teaching methodology at Santa Fe College was directly related to me and an unnamed supposed student in my class. I was given the redacted email, but to properly defend myself, I requested the name of the student, whom I suspected attended less than one class. She was critical when I took a moment to say that I deeply respected each student who was using the course as a stepping stone to becoming a lawyer, doctor or whatever.
She said that she was taking this course to learn math, not hear war stories. I am glad that I didn't apologize.