Letters to the Editor for March 27, 2013
Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11:15 p.m.
Recent high-profile DUI arrests have Gainesville talking. Much of the conversation has focused on how those with money and influence often escape the consequences of their irresponsible actions.
Rather than debating the justice of this fact, perhaps we should take a step back and examine why individuals with so much to lose routinely risk it all by succumbing to substance abuse. As a defense attorney, I've seen that addiction touches all strata of society equally.
We live in a culture where substance abuse has become epidemic. It is time to start asking why so many of us, even those who seem to have everything, need drugs or alcohol to make it through the week.
What drives us to numb ourselves? There is no easy answer but I think this is a better discourse than the current one.
A Florida legislative committee recently rejected the expansion of Medicaid to nearly 1 million of our uninsured residents, forfeiting billions of federal dollars that would have come into the state.
I am disgusted that Florida is considered a donor state. We have paid much more in federal taxes than we ever get back in federal grant money. Federal deductions are taken from every working Floridian's paycheck to pay for Medicaid and other programs. Why is the Legislature preventing our state from getting what we paid for?
Expanding Medicaid here could bring as much as $55 billion in federal funds over the first 10 years of the program implementation, while only costing Floridians about $3 billion in state dollars.
I stand with the League of Women Voters of Florida in strongly encouraging the Legislature to reconsider their rejection of the Medicaid expansion. It should accept these funds and end Florida's status as a donor state.
The writer who wrote the column about the biomass plant (Sun, March 23) paints a rosy picture.
She forgot to mention that trees will have to feed this thing. Or the fact that our utility bills will go up by at least another $10.56 per 1,000 kilowatt hours, and that's only an estimated amount.
It could be even more. We won't actually know until the plant comes online at the end of this year. Never mind the fact that Gainesville Regional Utilities' utility rates are already among the highest in the state.
That is another reason we are looking at getting out of Alachua County. It has the highest property taxes in the state, some of the highest utility rates in the state, some of the highest gas prices in this region and is anti-growth, anti-business and more. Good luck, Gainesville. You get what you deserve for being progressive/liberal.
I was appalled to read that a number of states have passed laws making it illegal for people to photograph conditions at factory farms. One can only conclude that their legislatures have sold out to agricultural interests with total indifference to the welfare of farm animals.
I am an omnivore and while I do not feel good about killing other creatures for my food, I feel strongly that animals eaten for food should be treated humanely, both during their lives and at their deaths.
As I age I have become increasingly aware that I too am a creature, an animal like those I eat. As I have a right to life, they too have a right to life as we share this small and fragile planet together.
Rather than people surreptitiously filming conditions on factory farms, have each state's agriculture department inspect farms to ensure that our fellow creatures are treated humanely.
Robert H. Hornberger,
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