Hurricane Irma brought with her a great sense of anxiety and also responsibility to our region. While providing much needed refuge to evacuees from the south, we still had to provide for ourselves and our neighbors.
I am extremely impressed with how Alachua County and especially the city of Gainesville have handled this disruptive event. And not surprisingly, we came together as a community and individually to assist our citizens in need. Thank you to those who continue to serve as the cleanup and rebuilding has only just begun.
Kelly Thompson, Gainesville
Could have been worse
Irma was a vicious, unwelcome visitor but despite all the downed trees and power outages, and the cable news images of wind-battered reporters, Gainesville experienced at best a very minimal tropical storm.
The Sun reported that the maximum wind gust at the airport was 57 mph — just 57 mph! That suggests the highest sustained winds may well have been under the 49 mph cutoff to qualify as a tropical storm. I would bet that most people think we went through a Category 1, 2 or 3 storm. It wasn’t even close.
Folks need to understand that reality so they realize it will be far worse here if/when we are hit by real Category 1 or higher storms.
Geoff Pietsch, Gainesville
Bad time for game
Let's think for a minute: lines for gas, if you can find it; people without power; Interstate 75 southbound a parking lot. So, let's bring 50,000 or so more people to the area for a football game. Sounds like a good idea to me!
Greg Charleston, Gainesville
Mayor Lauren Poe and Gainesville Regional Utilities General Manager Ed Bielarski celebrated their finalizing of the $750 million purchase of the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center biomass plant while there was flooding in the Duck Pond neighborhood along Sweetwater Branch and along Northwest 34th Street and the Hogtown Creek basin. The Gainesville Shopping Center parking lot and Northwest 10th Avenue have also been under water. Where are their priorities?
They should have stopped the madness, returned to arbitration with GREC from a position of strength, and then focused on the pressing drainage needs of the neighborhoods, citizens and small businesses of the city of Gainesville. Trust me, there will be another storm like Irma to hit Gainesville with more or equal devastation.
Aaron Green, former Gainesville city commissioner
As the dust settles with Hurricane Irma, I wanted to say "thank you" to all of our elected officials for all you have done and will continue to do for all of us. As I watched the local public channel 12 and watched all they have and will be doing, it's amazing!
Also, a heartfelt "thank you" to the School Board for allowing pet-friendly shelters that I know were very important to those families too. I know if I have to go to a shelter I would not go if I could not bring my furry family. Again, thanks and God's blessings to your families too.
Darlene Pifalo, Gainesville
I am absolutely shocked by the talk of war with North Korea that is coming out of the Washington. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis mentions a "massive military response, both effective and overwhelming,” while our ambassador to the United Nations states that "North Korea is begging for war.”
It seems logical that North Korea might be persuaded to abandon its missile and nuclear programs if it feel perfectly secure in its borders. The U.S. goes in exactly the opposite direction.
Ernst Kallenbach, Gainesville
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