Letters to the Editor for April 14, 2014

Published: Monday, April 14, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 10:02 p.m.

Underfunded resources

Cindy Swirko's April 7 article on the county's grant aimed at getting more people into mental health treatment programs instead of jail shows the glass is half full. Gainesville has effective yet underfunded resources.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Gainesville is sponsoring a community read of Pete Earley's book “Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness.” Book discussions are scheduled through April 21 and the public is invited to participate. For the schedule, visit namigainesville.org.

Earley is the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for Gainesville Opportunity Center, one of our community's valuable yet underfunded resources.

The empty half of the glass reminds us of what still needs to be done. This is a glass from which we all drink, whether or not we have ourselves have a mental illness, and it is a glass which we can all help fill, even if all we can add is a small drop.

Joan Stevens,

NAMI Gainesville board member

Love for cyclists

Top ten reasons to love a bicycling commuter:

10. Humor: laugh as we ride in inclement weather wearing funny clothes.

9. Less congestion: one fewer car on the road.

8. Tidy: keep streets clean by picking things up in our tires.

7. Air quality: we don't pollute the air with exhaust.

6. Living filters: we suck up all the pollen and dust so you don't have to.

5. Road longevity: bike lanes extend the life of roads.

4. Good deal: we pay taxes to fix roads, but don't cause potholes.

3. Convenience: we don't steal your parking spaces and aren't texting when the light turns green.

2. Good economics: we leave more oil for automobiles.

And the number one reason to love a bicycle commuter is: we cut down on health care costs by being healthy (unless you hit us) and offer our sexy bodies for your viewing pleasure.

Howard and Lisa Jelks

and Peter and Laura NeSmith,


Sharing noise

Gainesville is such a sharing community. Recently, a motorcycle pulled up next to me with the radio blasting away. Soon after that, while stopped at a traffic light, a driver in the car in the next lane also shared her music with me.

I guess that the multiple full-page ads in The Sun describing the advances in hearing aids are at least partially the result of multiple exposures to the free “entertainment” constantly being shared in the Gainesville community. Drivers may not care that such volume of noise, over time, may lead you to “enjoy” the benefit of the latest technological advances in hearing aids, but I certainly do.

If you want to enjoy your music and you want it loud, please keep your windows rolled up and don't share it with me. Please realize that not every other motorist, or pedestrian, enjoys sound at the volume that you do.

George Smith,


Magical works

If you are not familiar with Actors' Warehouse on North Main Street, this excellent theater has been producing some magical works.

The current play, “Night Mother,” directed by Steven Butler, is a powerful drama that features two of the most talented actresses in this area. I highly recommend theatergoers not to miss this performance.

Jennie Stringfellow,


Ridiculously late

I have been trying to take a Regional Transit System bus to my work at University of Florida instead of having another car clogging the road. I have been using it for four years now. It has been relatively reliable and easy to use with the TransLoc app.

However, since the timetable switched to every 27 minutes (from every 35 minutes) there have been numerous issues with buses running ridiculously late at times.

A recent night was the worst example. I checked my app to take the 6:31 p.m. bus back from Shands. The bus was moving down Center Drive and I figured I would have a five minute wait at most.

Around 6:40 p.m. my friend and I looked and the bus had disappeared from the tracking. There was now one bus on the whole route and we waited 40 minutes to be picked up.

Jane Houston,


Not equivalent terms

Valli Van Meter (letter, April 7) complains about the use of the word “bound” in the Book Marks review of a book in which a child, Tessee, is described as “wheelchair-bound.” She quotes a style guide that prefers the term “wheelchair user.”

The style guide quote glows with the thought that the wheelchair provides freedom and mobility. It gives no allowance for the fact that “wheelchair-bound” and “wheelchair user” are not equivalent terms. “Wheelchair user” suggests the user's mobility. Many users, who are handicapped but somewhat able to stand and walk, do expand their lives by adding a wheelchair.

“Wheelchair-bound” specifically describes a person confined to a wheelchair — not tied or chained, as Van Meter suggests, but not free to move around without the chair. I'm sure Tessee and anyone else who is wheelchair-bound would be delighted to be only a “wheelchair user.”

Joan Carter,


Student request

Hello, my name is Sammy. I am a fifth-grader at Napa Valley Language Academy in Napa, Calif. I am writing to you because my class is preparing for state reports. I have chosen your magnificent state, Florida. I would really like it if you pasted my letter in your newspaper, so I can get the help I need for my report.

What I need from your readers are pamphlets, postcards, souvenirs or anything else that would be useful. I will be writing about your state's agriculture, history, event and state parks. Thank you for your support.


Napa Valley Language Academy

C/O Mrs. Brown

2700 Kilburn Ave.

Napa, CA 9455

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