Letters about Lee property, privacy rights, student loans, etc.

Protect water resources

Robert Knight is right in his column about the proposed development of the Lee property on Parker Road. Our local sources are polluted and depleted. These are symptoms of much larger problems in Florida. Among them are inadequate sewage treatment and over-pumping of the Florida Aquifer.

While Gainesville Regional Utilities has always demonstrated forward thinking in much of its capital planning, there is more that can be done and done to protect our water resources. The creation of a new wetland and wellfield for groundwater recharge on the Lee property would be an excellent opportunity to provide such protection.

And as Dr. Knight noted, there could also be excellent recreational opportunities available to the general public in a well-designed urban park, including hiking, wildlife viewing and photography.

Let’s do it right and protect our water resources for generations to come.

Jim Gross, Executive Director, Florida Defenders of the Environment

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Party of law and order?

My heart breaks under the weight of 21 other innocent Americans falling in bloody masses as they go about their daily business. 21 more victims of elected Republicans too weak to act against the proliferation of arms in America.

How ironic that 19 children were shot in Texas, one author of the Sun’s letter (May 24) defended the GOP as “the party of law and order.” My dear fellow American, the GOP backed down on that claim when it stormed the Capitol on January 6 and plotted and conspired to nullify an election that every state had certified as fair and true.

The GOP is no longer a party of “law and order,” but rather a party of chaos and sanctioned murder. The GOP made that choice. Their right to all arms apparently outweighs my right to life and liberty, my right to groceries without fear of being shot in the produce aisle. Their right to arms trumps the pursuit of happiness for another 19 schoolchildren.

And please don’t talk about your constitutional right to bear arms! Did our founders imagine high-capacity automatic weapons? Ask your elected officials what their position is on these issues and then vote your choice.

Gladys Brami, Gainesville

Use specific language

In the “Sound Off” section, someone recently said the following: “We need term limits for every elected official.” We already have “mandate” limits; two, four or six years in most cases. What this person seems to be advocating are “service” limits – a limit on service in a particular public office.

We must be specific in our public discourse. Other examples include “free” community colleges. Nothing is free. Perhaps the phrase “taxpayer provided” community college could be used by politicians and the media.

Another example is the “cancellation” of student debt. Poof, it disappears, right? Bad. Perhaps we should call it “taxpayer provided” student loan forgiveness.

Canceling federal student loans will cost the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars – and the general public will end up footing the bill. “Cancelling” up to $10,000 in federal student loans per borrower would cost the federal government (that is, taxpayers) about $245 billion, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The “cancelled” federal student loans would be immediately added to the federal debt.

A request to all potential writers: Let’s commit to using accurate language to better inform Sun readers.

Brian Ray, Gainesville

Right to privacy

Sitting here on a Sunday morning with my morning cup of coffee and reading the article “If Roe Falls, Florida Could Be Considered a ‘Heaven State’ for Abortions”, I try to imagine a nation where the majority of States have made abortion illegal.

Well, the truth is, it’s easier for me than most to imagine that. Growing up in North Central Florida in a conservative, restrictive religious organization, mentioning abortion was out of the question. Because of this environment, some have ended up opting for some of the most horrific and dangerous home abortions.

Because of my experience, I have come to believe that women’s right to privacy, including abortion, is indispensable. My fear is that due to the extreme nature of the current political climate, the 1980 amendment enshrining the right to privacy in the state constitution (which includes abortions) could be tested again.

For conservative evangelicals who believe abortion is wrong, would you rather rely on forgiveness or would you rather give up your state constitutional right which states, “Every natural person has the right to be left alone and ‘sheltered from government intrusion into a person’s private life’?

Gochen Holmes. Gainesville

Same problems

A recent letter writer wrote “Why do we vote for them? and only lists Republicans. Now, fair is fair, and my list only contains Democrats who match the same issues:

1. Renaming a post office: Representatives Jared Huffman and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez both want to change the name of a post office in their district. Is it a problem?

2. Go to the southern border: Rep. Javier Martinez and Vice President Kamala Harris used the border as a photo op. There haven’t been as many Democrats in this administration as they were in the last administration for photo ops, but kudos to President Joe Biden, who hasn’t been to the border since anything!

3. Percentage of Missed Votes: The information about our Republican senator mentioned was very wrong. It missed 5% in the 116th Congress and is currently at 4.7% in the 117th. Bernie Sanders has missed 57.3% in the 116th Congress and 10.1% so far in the 117th. So who has the worst missed vote record now?

For your information, our Republican senator’s 11-point proposal falsely accused him of wanting to “phase out Medicare and Social Security” and “raise taxes.” This is false and this plan has not been and will not be accepted by the GOP.

Cathy AndersonWilliston

Pause to remember

Memorial Day is about remembering and honoring every man and woman in the military who died for our freedom – men and women who were mothers, fathers, spouses, siblings, sons and incredibly wonderful daughters, friends and patriots.

We pause to remember those we have lost, while expressing our gratitude for the sacrifices. Please take a break Monday at 3 p.m. to remember all.

Pause, reflect, honor and remember those we lost and the lives they lived. We are the land of the free, because of the brave.

Judi Boyer Bouchard, Newberry

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