Letters on the Lee property, privateness rights, scholar loans, extra

Protect water resources 

Robert Knight got it right in his column about proposed development of the Lee property on Parker Road. Our local springs are polluted and depleted. These are symptoms of much broader problems in Florida. Among them are inadequate treatment of wastewater and excessive pumping from the Floridan Aquifer. 

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

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

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

Jim Gross, executive director, Florida Defenders of the Environment 

More letters:

Readers comment on the Texas school shooting, immigrant health care and more

Readers comment on Corrine Brown’s name on RTS headquarters and more

Readers comment on state indoctrination in schools, a School Board race and more

Party of law and order? 

My heart is breaking from the weight of yet another 21 American innocents falling in bloodied masses as they went about their daily lives. Another 21 victims of elected Republican officials too weak to act against the proliferation of guns in America.  

How ironic that as 19 children were being gunned down in Texas, a Sun letter writer (May 24) defended the GOP as “the party of law and order.” My dear fellow American, the GOP ceded that claim when they stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 and when they plotted and schemed to overturn an election all states had certified as just and true.  

The GOP is no longer a party of “law and order” but rather, a party of chaos and sanctioned murder. The GOP has made this choice. Their right to any and all weapons apparently trumps my right to life and liberty, my right to grocery shop without fear of being shot dead in the produce aisle. Their right to weapons trumps the pursuit of happiness for yet another 19 school children.  

And please don’t spout your constitutional right to bear arms! Did our founders envision large-capacity automatic weapons? Ask your elected representatives where they stand on these issues and then vote your choice. 

Gladys Brami, Gainesville

Use precise language 

In the “Sound Off” section, someone recently said the following, “We need term limits for each elected public official.” Huh? We already have “term” limits; two, four or six years in most instances. What this person seems to be advocating is “service” limits — a limit on serving in a particular public office. 

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

Another example is “canceling” student debt. Poof, it disappears, right? Wrong. Perhaps we should say “taxpayer-provided” student loan forgiveness.  

Canceling federal student loans will cost the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars — and it’s the general public that will eventually end up footing the bill. “Canceling” up to $10,000 in federal student loans per borrower would cost the federal government (i.e., tax payers) roughly $245 billion, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “Canceled” federal student loans would be immediately added to the federal debt.

A request to all potential writers: Let’s please commit to using precise language in order to better inform Sun readers. 

Brian Ray, Gainesville

Right of privacy 

Sitting here on a Sunday morning with my morning cup of coffee and reading the article, “If Roe falls, Florida could be seen as ‘haven state’ for abortions,” I am trying 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 picture this. Growing up in North Central Florida in a conservative and restrictive religious organization, abortion was out of the question to even mention. As a result of this environment, some ended up opting for some of the most horrific and dangerous home abortions.

Because of my experience I have come to believe a women’s right to privacy, including abortion, is a must. My fear is due to the extreme nature of today’s political climate, the 1980 amendment enshrining the right of privacy in the state constitution (which includes abortions) could be put to the test 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 that states,  “Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life”?

Goshen Holmes. Gainesville

Same issues 

One recent letter writer wrote “Why do we vote for them?” and listed only Republicans. Now fair is fair and my list only has Democrats that match the same issues:

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

2. Going to the southern border: Rep. Javier Martinez and Vice President Kamala Harris have used the border as a photo op. Not as many Democrats have gone during this administration as they did the last administration for photo ops, but let’s give kudos to President Joe Biden, who hasn’t gone to the border for anything! 

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

F.Y.I., the 11-point proposal by our Republican senator has falsely accused him of wanting to “phase out Medicare and Social Security” and to “raise taxes.” That is untrue and this plan has not been nor will it be accepted by the GOP. 

Cathy Anderson, Williston      

Pause to remember  

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

We pause to remember those we have lost, along with expressing gratitude for the sacrifices. Please pause Monday at 3 p.m. to remember all of them. 

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

Judi Boyer Bouchard, Newberry 

Join the conversation

Send a letter to the editor (up to 200 words) to [email protected]. Letters must include the writer’s full name and city of residence. Additional guidelines for submitting letters and longer guest columns can be found at bit.ly/sunopinionguidelines.

Journalism matters. Your support matters.

Get a digital subscription to the Gainesville Sun. Includes must-see content on Gainesville.com and Gatorsports.com, breaking news and updates on all your devices, and access to the eEdition. Visit www.gainesville.com/subscribenow to sign up.