Letters to the Editor for March 24, 2013
Published: Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 11:18 p.m.
It is unfortunate that Mayor Craig Lowe was arrested for DUI. I guess he is human like the rest of us and like Ed Braddy, who had a similar charge while he was a Gainesville city commissioner.
Alcohol has destroyed millions of lives due to its highly addictive quality. Family members, friends, society and the individual all end up losing because of its misuse.
It seems that a DUI is practically a rite of passage in our society. The pressure to drink is extremely high, and it seems practically un-American not to drink.
Millions have had too much to drink at one time or another. The hope is that we don't get behind the wheel or do something else that puts us and others in harm's way.
Before we judge Lowe or Braddy too harshly, it is wise to remember that it could be one of us who had too much to drink.
What bothers me about Mayor Craig Lowe's arrest is not the DUI itself or by witness testimony that he was trying to start the vehicle in what I would guess would be an attempt to leave the scene. What bothers me is the preferential treatment of the court to release him before his first appearance before a judge.
Alachua County has one of the strictest administrative orders in handling DUIs in Florida. It states, "Unless detained at the Alachua County Department of the Jail on a warrant or capias with preset bond or recognizance release conditions, a person shall be held and brought before the presiding judge at the next first appearance hearing when" accused of driving under the influence.
Most people would be forced to not only endure the humiliation of the arrest, but could be forced to exceed 30 hours in custody. To say Lowe wasn't given special treatment is just wrong.
Sean R. Thomas,
The Iraq war added $2 trillion in debt and will continue to cost billions in aid to surviving veterans and the families of the 4,500 U.S. service members killed. Based on faulty, cherry-picked intelligence and failing to leave the Iraqis a functioning state free of horrendous violence, it was certainly one of our worst blunders.
It pales in comparison to LBJ and Robert McNamara inventing a lie about three small gunboats attacking a U.S. destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin.
About 58,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam along with more than 2 million Vietnamese. The financial cost of the war and the benefits for more than 500,000 wounded and the families of those lost will continue long into the future.
The history of wars is sadly discouraging. Remember the 1960s folk song lyrics: "Gone to graveyards, everyone. Oh, when will they ever learn?"
To live on the edge of the city of Gainesville and think you are better off not being a citizen of it defies all logic.
On March 20, Ron Starling advised his neighbors to vote against the annexation of the neighborhood west of Northwest 43rd Street into the city.
If they take his advice, it will be the last choice they have on a city issue that concerns them. These folks often complain mightily about city issues and leaders but turn down the opportunity to actually participate in the political and decision-making process.
If voters choose to take Starling's advice, they are choosing to limit their political power to whining on the editorial page.
But they must stay away from City Hall, because they will not have a voice there. They will be choosing to literally disenfranchise themselves.
The common-sense choice is to become a citizen of the city you live and work in.