Letters to the Editor for May 9, 2013


Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 2:34 p.m.

Dumb decision

I've lived in Gainesville for 45 years and have seen the City Commission do a lot of dumb things, but narrowing busy Northwest Eighth Avenue has to be the dumbest.

Did any of those six who voted in favor spend a day along that stretch observing the various traffic patterns? If they had, they would have noted that at least seven times daily a school bus has to turn left from Northwest 31st Drive onto Eighth.

They are empty in the mornings but full of kids each afternoon. That's 35 times per week a loaded school bus has to turn left in front of now even more crowded traffic.

Let's see how long it takes to reverse this decision after a vehicle and school bus collide.

Jon Roosenraad,

Gainesville

No real protections

The Keystone XL Pipeline should be stopped. It poses an appalling risk to our people. The 22-foot gash in ExxonMobil's Pegasus tar sands pipeline in Arkansas shows why.

Tar sands crude contains aromatic hydrocarbons that enter cells, causing respiratory and reproductive problems, depress immune system function and disrupt DNA coding. The tar sands bitumen contains two times more heavy metal than conventional oil. If released during pipeline transit, it sinks instead of rising to the top of the water.

Michael Blume, Sierra Club president, notes we have no proven protocol for cleaning up spills. Why would we want this pipeline to cross our country when we have no real protections against spills and no reliable way of cleaning up after spills? The pipeline will carry oil from the mining operations in Canada, to refineries in Texas, then sold by TransCanada overseas with no visible benefit for the U.S.

Sally Dickinson,

Gainesville

Liberal piling on

The Sun's May 1 editorial struck me as a bit of liberal piling on to all the brouhaha surrounding the coming-out of Jason Collins. Most of us have associated with gays in one way or another and have respected their privacy or openness with a live-and-let-live or Golden Rule attitude. This is as it should be, and your point of not tolerating the intolerant is, of course, correct.

Yet, seeing Collins as courageous is perplexing in many ways. Are gays who choose to keep their sexuality to themselves cowards? With our country being in such dire circumstances, don't we have more important things to focus on?

I suspect Jason Collins just wants to be treated like anyone else and regrets the attention he is getting as well as being used for political purposes by President Obama. A better sports story would be the raw deal Tim Tebow got from the NFL.

Harold B. Wilber,

Lake City

One of safest drugs

The morning-after pill needs to be on store shelves where it is accessible to all women and men, without an ID requirement. I am the mother of a teenage girl, and I can tell you that I want her to have full and unrestricted access to all forms of birth control.

My daughter can go into a pharmacy and buy Tylenol or cold medicine, both of which can be extremely dangerous if taken in excessive doses, but she cannot buy Plan B without proving her age to the cashier. What kind of crazy is that?

Plan B is safer than aspirin; it is one of the safest drugs ever to go before the FDA panel. Her age does not change the way the drugs works.

As an activist and as a mother, I will continue to work for the full accessibility of the morning-after pill to all women and men, regardless of age.

Lisa Labbe,

Gainesville

Spiking the numbers

I am a state prisoner housed at a state correctional facility. Recently the U.S. Census Bureau selected our institution to collect residential statistical information. Other than questions concerning demographics, we were asked whether we had a private health care insurance policy.

Apparently the Census Bureau is attempting to spike the numbers of uninsured citizens. Prisoners are wards of the state and provided taxpayer-funded health care services. Further, we are exempt from the individual mandate under Obamacare, and the answer collected on this was "no."

Jimmie Lee Tennant,

Lake City

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