Letters to the Editor for Feb. 5, 2014
Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:23 p.m.
Another money pit
I was rather amused by The Sun’s Jan. 29 article about the concept that our local governance has come up with: installing rails for streetcars. This fits right in with narrowing the roads to calm traffic.
They need to make sure that the streetcars are environmentally friendly and carbon neutral. They need to use horses to draw them.
I sometimes wonder what they are smoking. Just think of the road rage that the streetcars would cause, and how many businesses along the routes would be affected by the fewer numbers of people on the road.
There were good reasons that streetcars went away 100 years ago: They were not cost effective and interfered with motor vehicles. It’s another Mom’s Kitchen-style money pit in the making.
Regarding the water supply plan, it has been observed that with the growing population, water resources are beginning to run dry and our options to solve the problem are limited.
The Floridan Aquifer will likely tap out by the year 2035, so it is our job to preserve the water we have left for the needs of future generations.
Yet, regardless of our efforts on the local level, our waterways here in Florida and across the country are still at risk of pollution from developers and large agricultural interests.
Supreme Court cases brought on by big polluters have left the Clean Water Act with dangerous loopholes, allowing unchecked pollution to continue in our waterways.
I urge Florida’s elected officials to support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in closing loopholes in the Clean Water Act so we can protect our waterways like the Santa Fe River, here in Alachua County.
About a day after I heard the news about the death of Pete Seeger, I started reading “The Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger” by Alec Wilkinson. This book and a Jan. 29 article in The Sun recount Pete Seeger being called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).
Suddenly I thought about the huge intake of metadata now being collected by the National Security Agency. Email and phone messages around the world are being sucked up by what I visualize as some sort of cosmic vacuum cleaner. No one is immune.
The National Security Agency is really like a huge, bloated modern-day HUAC. This unconstitutional activity is allowed to continue and even President Obama has not called a halt to the massive collection of data.
We Americans and people in every country are having our rights violated daily.
Ann McFeatters’ Jan. 25 column on income inequality caught my eye. All corporations are chartered by individual states and therefore follow those laws. The solution to this dilemma is therefore a very simple one, but would be fought by the corporations; those are the entities that really own the wealth of this great land.
Ben and Jerry’s ice cream initially had a company policy that the highest paid would only earn 7 times more that the lowest paid. Implementing this would be a form of “socialized capitalism,” where all employees would be rewarded for their efficiency and productivity.
The average Walmart worker earns less than $10 per hour, when their CEOs and members of the Walton Family earn in one hour what the average worker earns in a year.
Norman L. Biegner,
More of the same
Last week, we saw U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm threaten to throw a reporter off a balcony. Grimm has not been charged with a crime and appears to be getting off with an apology. How nice. According to the District of Columbia’s official code, Grimm’s conduct is a crime and deserves a fine and up to six months in jail.
Grimm is proud of the fact he is a Marine and ex-FBI agent. You would think with that background he would know how to control his emotions and mouth. Then again, the New Yorker reported that in 1999, he allegedly threatened the ex-husband of his date in a nightclub. Grimm denies the allegation.
He’d probably deny this one but the camera does not lie. Between Grimm and Florida’s cocaine-using freshman congressman, there is not much hope the newest crop of the powerful in Washington is any better than the old.