Letters to the Editor for July 3, 2013

Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 1, 2013 at 10:30 p.m.

Demoralized faculty

University of Florida President Bernie Machen denies the facts, but what's happening is clear. The administration proliferates (up 57 percent in the past five years) and earns fat salaries, while the permanent faculty in all but a few favored departments is being cut, disrespected, underpaid and overworked.

Student-teacher ratios are misrepresented by using more exploited adjunct teachers who get no benefits and no union representation and are paid miserably. The ratios look low, but it's thoroughly hypocritical because adjuncts don't do all the actual work involved in teaching (committee work, supervising student projects, etc.).

No university climbs into the top 10 with a demoralized faculty. The millions that Machen plans to invest in the pursuit of top 10 status won't go very far if much of it is spent on bidding wars for a handful of big academic names. It could go a long way toward giving the permanent faculty reasonable raises and restoring their numbers where they are critically overstretched.

Caron Cadle,


Irrational need

I was curious about Nathan Collier's plea for privacy and his willingness to spend $1 million to get this privacy, so a friend and I went to investigate. When you drive down his street there is a six-foot wood fence with three large gates that take up about half of the small street.

Where his property ends begins the woods and a small dirt foot trail. We took the trail all the way to the boardwalk and could see no evidence of Collier's property, not a glimpse of a fence or a house. If someone is peering into his very large complex, they must be doing it from the sidewalk on Eighth Avenue.

People of Gainesville: Do not let Collier's irrational need for privacy take away a beautiful piece of land right in the center of town. He needs to move out of town where he can buy hundreds of acres instead of trying to buy land being conserved for all the people of Gainesville.

Nancy Walton Kay,


Wasted time

Why is so much time being spent on who was on top during the fight between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin? That is totally irrelevant.

If Zimmerman had heeded the 911 operator and not gotten out of his car and accosted Martin, there would have been no fight. And Martin would be alive. And Zimmerman would not be on trial. But Zimmerman did get out of his car and accost Martin.

How does anyone question Zimmerman's guilt? The irony is that if Martin had been armed, he would have been legally justified to stand his ground and shoot the man who threatened him.

Geoff Pietsch,


Worth considering

“Conservatives make the argument for a carbon tax” is an excellent article recently written by Bob Inglis of the Energy and Enterprise Program at George Mason University.

It starts by saying, “If conservatives don't begin to engage on the important issue of climate change, we'll cede the debate. The result will be a larger, more intrusive government that hurts business and job creation.”

Conservatives across the country, including economists Arthur Laffer (a member of President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory board) and Gregory Mankiw (economic adviser to President George W. Bush), as well as George Shultz (secretary of state under President Reagan), are endorsing a carbon tax for just this reason.

Carbon tax legislation — particularly when all the proceeds are divided among all American households — is worthy of consideration by Rep. Ted Yoho as well.

Abhaya Thiele,


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