Letters about Governor DeSantis, Alachua County crime, development, etc.

Do better

As a Floridian, I am concerned about public health and access to health care, environmental protection, the right to vote, women’s right to choose, and quality education. Governor Ron DeSantis and Republicans refuse to accept Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act, costing the state $6.6 billion in federal funds and denying coverage to 1,378,000, while naming Joseph Ladapo as Surgeon General, which is well outside the mainstream of medical science.

DeSantis and his gang, instead of protecting our sources, facilitated the destruction of wetlands by utilities. Despite any evidence of significant voter fraud (Mark Meadows excluded), Republicans have established an election police force, which will likely be deployed to intimidate and delegitimize the opposition (i.e. Democrats).

Meanwhile, Republicans redrew the congressional map of Florida to deny African Americans their right to build more Republican districts. The legislature also passed a dangerous bill that bans abortion beyond 15 weeks and criminalizes doctors who provide such abortion care.

By interfering with college tenure, Republicans are ensuring that top academic talent will bypass Florida. To punish Disney for speaking out, Republicans revoked Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, which could cost Orange and Osceola counties about $1 billion in bond debt.

I think we can do better. You have to get rid of this stain in November.

Charles Levy, Gainesville

More letters:

Readers comment on UF coach’s firing, DeSantis’ use of the term ‘woke’ and more

wasted food

It’s time for the city to include food in its “zero waste” efforts. The most egregious food wasters are convenience stores. After a given period, all exposed food is discarded. I’m talking about pizza, wings, hot dogs, sausages, etc.

I asked a manager at one of these stores to bring the perfectly edible food “out of time” to a shelter, and she said it was against company policy. I guess some companies prefer to be safe and waste food for liability reasons instead of helping others.

I tell them a lot of people eat out of dumpsters every day, so why not skip a step and just give it to them? If the foods you sell are unsafe after their exposure period, you may not want to sell them.

Bruce Bowling, Gainesville

Crime is down

In the May 1 edition of the Sun’s letters to the editor, the union representative of the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) claimed that the crime statistics I had used were inaccurate.

According to the 2020 Florida Crime Annual Report, county and municipal data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, for the period January through December 2020, Alachua County’s crime rate decreased by 4.8% for the 2019-20 fiscal year, and the total crime index had decreased by 3.3% overall. These numbers are based on all Alachua County law enforcement agencies, not just the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

PBA President Jody Branaman wrote that crime increased by 7.6%; however, this is data compiled exclusively for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and, more importantly, the 7.6% increase is for the 2019-20 reporting period, which was before Sheriff Clovis Watson was elected. Jr.

Robert A. Rush, Gainesville

Stop development

Too much construction is going on – and most residents don’t want it. But are our elected officials listening? Of course not.

I live in Spring Hill and now have to wait for traffic to clear on County Line Road before I can turn. It wasn’t like that last year.

Our wildlife is suffering, coyotes are being pushed into our backyards, our water supply can’t handle this, etc. ! When will the madness stop?

I’ve been here for 21 years and now I’m thinking of leaving. Very sad.

Mary Wilowski, Gainesville

No significant change

I am always amused to see how tribal politics has completely infected the brains of this country.

Here in Alachua County, we have Democrats who reliably “vote blue” even though that party has produced next to nothing for the working class. They had supermajorities in 2009. But we got Romneycare rather than a real public option.

Did they codify Roe v. Wade? No. They control Congress now, but did we get a minimum wage increase? No. Why? Because they knew they would need these questions for future elections.

And here we are.

We won’t get any meaningful change in this country until we stop voting for both major parties, even for one cycle. Wake up.

Dan Richman, Gainesville

willful ignorance

We are currently living in a plague of willful ignorance. People too often opt for lies. There are dozens of questions in which we ignore the facts. Here are a few :

Firearms: The Second Amendment calls for a well-regulated militia, not assault weapons handed out free to individuals. Guns are made to kill and have no other purpose, but we claim they are necessary.

Media Literacy: We still lack the capability for intelligent control in the age of digital information. Only through regular and diligent reading of many different media can an individual gain a relatively factual understanding of reality. Few have the time or the patience for it.

Capitalism: It is abundantly clear that rampant capitalism is the root cause of dangerous inequalities. To claim that an unfettered market will bring peace and welfare is simply naïve. Unchecked capitalism is unchecked greed.

Death: Our willful ignorance of death – however inevitable – causes confusion and a world of suffering. If you truly recognize the fragility of your own existence, then bloodlust, partisanship, greed and hatred must dissolve. It is only important to cultivate love and compassion.

Here is a radical idea: how about engaging us all to become aware of our existence, our frailties and the universal threats that compromise all our lives?

Mary Ruth, Gainesville

take away freedoms

Freedom. This is what the governor of Florida and his administration are bragging about. However, if one skims through recent policies and laws, it becomes clear that this is not about freedom but rather a form of authoritarianism. Here are the examples.

What teachers can teach about black history is severely restricted. The excuse is that white children shouldn’t feel uncomfortable with the truth. There is no mention of how uncomfortable black children feel every day because of blatant racism, which has increased.

Restricting the vote and redesigning electoral districts will negatively affect black voters. Florida had no voting problems in the last election, but Republicans grew so unhappy with Democratic voters that they made laws to disenfranchise voters.

Then there is the issue of book bans. It’s so undemocratic that it’s almost unbelievable that any group would do this. This is what totalitarian regimes do. Mathematics textbooks are restricted due to some sort of mention of the so-called critical race theory.

Finally, it is a question of prohibiting any mention of transgender or sexual orientation in certain classrooms.

Each of these actions deprives us of our freedoms.

Joyce Dewsbury, Gainesville

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