Letters to the Editor for June 13, 2014


Published: Friday, June 13, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 2:43 p.m.

Living treasures

I have grave concerns regarding the "improvements" to Southeast Fourth Street between Williston Road and Depot Avenue.

Why do we need a bike lane that is different from sidewalks? Why can't we have a multi-use lane for bikes and pedestrians? Does it have to be on both sides of the road? Why not just one side?

Why can't we work around the heritage oaks? If a land owner wanted to take down these trees there would be fines and all sorts of restrictions. Please live by the values we all share. Just because it is a city project does not mean it should bypass all the rules for tree protection.

Send the engineers back to the drawing board and come up with a plan to save the heritage oaks. You cannot plant trees that size in our lifetime.

We need the shade. Let's not disrespect our living treasures.

Joni Ellis,

Gainesville

Fly the flag

At this time in modern history there are those who would dishonor our nation's flag by proclaiming some sort of dissimilarity between the symbol and its significance.

This slander of America's banner being only a rectangular piece of cloth with some red, white and blue paint on it does not equate with history or reality. People embracing this mentality cast our nation's most visible emblem into a sea of disgrace that insults America and the veterans who fought for our freedom.

It will be through the sacrifices of the men and women in our armed forces that liberation from fear and terrorism will eventually occur. Home-front support is critical to aid our troops.

As we observe Flag Day tomorrow, let us all embrace our nation's heritage and fly Old Glory — for your freedom to do so was paid for by our veterans, many who are no longer with us to see their flag still proudly flying.

Bob Gasche,

Gainesville

Disingenuous claim

Why must Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi be so disingenuous? In her June 9 column, she claims that Florida voters have the right to define marriage as between one man and one woman, and that the case challenging such determination "is about whether states can make their own determinations."

Where did she obtain her law degree? Has she never studied the fate of state laws that were in conflict with the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights? If Florida voters were to pass laws that discriminate against black people, laws that introduce torture, apartheid, Jim Crow laws, anti-miscegenation laws and so on, would she really be adamant to defend those laws because "states can make their own determinations?"

The gay marriage case is not "about whether states can make their own determinations," but about whether states can make determinations that fly in the face of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights.

Jean Derouge,

Gainesville

Let the people decide

Many states that have put the gay marriage issue on the ballot and the public votes for a ban, have then had a judge or governor overrule that decision. Then the press publishes that so many states have lifted the ban. I thought we have a democracy in this country, where the people decide these issues.

Like capital punishment, if people want the laws changed, put it on a ballot and let the cards fall where they may. No judge or governor should make a change without a public vote.

In many states like California, Michigan, Wisconsin and other states that have had it on the ballot, a ban was passed but the will of the people was overturned.

In California, after the voters shot down gay marriage, an openly gay judge overturned the will of the people. He should have recused himself because of his personal interest.

Ken Krug,

Hawthorne

Endangered planet

With all due respect, I must take issue with Keith Shapiro's June 6 letter. Shapiro's views typify those of the right, who seem all but impervious to fact. Shapiro accuses President Obama of being on a quest to "dismantle America's modern industrial society" by taking steps "to regulate fossil fuel use out of existence."

Shapiro avers that limiting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will make the U.S. a weaker nation and put at risk the lives of our posterity.

Does he deny or is he oblivious to the fact that 97 percent of the world's climate scientists have concluded that the diametric opposite is the case?

The letter writer advocates an unfettered, full-speed-ahead for our "great engine of modern industrial wealth" — the very entity that has, through its carbon-based growth, put our earth on the endangered planet list.

Arnie Harris,

Lawtey

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