In Irma’s aftermath

Share your views in the aftermath of Irma’s unprecedented wrath. What went right? What should have been better? Send your comments (under 250 words) to letters@news-jrnl.com; please include your full name, address and a phone number where you can be reached (See our letters guide on this page for more information). Some letters may be shared with The News-Journal’s newsroom.

 

Historic tree should be preserved

 

 

Regarding the Sept. 5 story, “New Smyrna Beach residents oppose removal of historic oak,” it is with a heavy heart that I am addressing this subject, because our little town, New Smyrna Beach, has been known for its colloquial charm. Cutting down century-old trees is not progress — it is willful destruction! Perhaps many of the would-be “builders” are too young to know the famous poem by Joyce Kilmer, later set to music, titled “Trees.”

It ends a lovely set of thoughts thusly: “Only God can make a tree!” But many men can tear them down, never to be seen again for another century. Shame on those concrete- and steel-addicted people. Planting little trees is not the answer! Would they slay their grandparents for the sake of building on their homestead?

Trees are our friends, and the older they are, the better. They provide shade, put oxygen in our polluted air, provide a sense of comfort and continuity to life. Think of all the hurricanes and other disasters these venerable stanchions of Mother Nature have undergone over the decades, and still remain strong and beautiful today. Go to Darien, Georgia and see how they have built many of their roads around large old trees, so lovely and reverently taking care of one of God’s miracles. Please save our trees!

Because only God can make a tree — and only fools cut them down.

Suzy Barber

New Smyrna Beach

      Undercutting justice   I am a Volusia County resident and a constituent of Rep. Ron DeSantis. It has been widely reported that DeSantis is currently pushing an amendment in Congress to severely curtail special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. DeSantis has put forward a provision in the government spending package the House is expected to consider when it returns that would halt funding for Mueller’s probe six months after the amendment’s passage. It also would prohibit Mueller from investigating matters that occurred before Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign.   The central purpose of the Independent Counsel Act of 1978 has been to remove the conflict of interest inherent in any effort by the executive branch to investigate its own top officials. The law applies primarily to about 50 high-level executive branch officials, including the president. Given the possible reach of the Russian probe, this amendment would undermine the future protection of our democracy against foreign influence and allow the infusion of dark money into our election process. A pattern of collusion and obstruction that spans decades is relevant, no matter who it ultimately involves.   Rep. DeSantis was elected to represent the people of his district, and his amendment would undercut the investigation of a possible incursion into our very way of life, the underlying principles under which he is supposed to help govern, and his duty to uphold the laws of our country for the people he represents.   Karla Johnson   DeLand