Holly Hill shorted by library's 'return'
I was surprised and shocked when I heard that “Holly Hill was going to get a library.”
Surprised that county officials were saying they were going to return the library that they took from our taxpayers eight years ago, without reducing the taxes they pay.
Shocked when I found out that anyone in county administration would consider a library located west of Derbyshire Avenue to be an adequate replacement.
(READ: Hope Place library to serve Holly Hill, homeless)
It certainly won’t serve the children of Holly Hill, since anyone going there walking or on their bicycles will have to cross 50 mph traffic on a six-lane highway with horrible traffic to get there. As a child and adult, I often rode my bicycle to the Holly Hill Library, located in a safe area. This new library, located at a complex that will attract homeless people, certainly doesn’t seem to be a safe place for children.
The article says that it will be done using a federal grant, not local dollars. That may be fine for the startup, but the library will need to be staffed and operated year after year, which may come from the local tax dollars.
Yet my request for a crossing guard for the children of the Derbyshire area who cross that killer highway every day for school was denied.
The real Holly Hill Library was closed, saying it was a cost-saving measure, and now they are adding those costs back into future budgets.
The Legary family has been doing a great job providing a mini-library in the center of the city in the YMCA next to the Boys and Girls Club. The books are accessible to children and adults in a safe area, at no cost to the readers, the city or the county. I bet that Jim Legary and his family would be glad to teach some folks how to provide the same service to the homeless families and their neighbors at a cost much less than $1.08 million.
Had county officials truly wanted to return the library they yanked from the citizens of Holly Hill, this commissioner and many other citizens would have been glad to work with them, to determine a safe accessible location within the city limits.
Arthur J. Byrnes
Byrnes represents District 1 on the Holly Hill City Commission.
Don’t block the beach in the Shores
For once I have to agree with Volusia County officials who plan to build a beachfront parking lot in Daytona Beach Shores (“Beach access is prime directive,” March 12). Lately it has become more difficult to drive and park at the beach because of unusually high tides. Also, driving and parking is limited when high tides occur during the middle of the day. Parking spaces are at a premium, especially on weekends and holidays.
It would be wonderful to have dedicated beachfront parking as an alternative, with bathrooms and attractive landscaping, without having to cross a busy street loaded down with beach paraphernalia while trying to keep kids safe from speeding cars and trucks.
As it is now, driving down State Road A1A in Daytona Beach Shores is like driving through a tunnel. The road is lined with looming high rises with only occasional glimpses of the ocean. The only public access to the beach with parking is at Frank Rendon Park, Van Avenue with its few spaces, and a couple of spaces adjacent to the drive-on areas. Not much choice for the people of Volusia County, who pay taxes to maintain the beach, when they want to have a place nearby to relax and enjoy themselves.
It seems that the Shores City Council is attempting to privatize the ocean by denying access to a beach that rightfully belongs to all of the people. They want more high-rises that would effectively block the public from getting onto the beach, while lining their pockets with more tax dollars. The town annexed from Daytona Beach to improve its image. Now it looks like they want to only allow their residents to enjoy the beach.
Breakers, bikers, birds
Spring breakers, the bikers and snowbirds. Where else can people from such diverse backgrounds come together and have fun in the sun? What a unique and wonderful place we live in. Wide Open Daytona!
Bikes here first
I read the March 11 letter, “Ride quiet, please,” complaining about motorcycle noise along State Road A1A as the writer looks from her window with her pooch. I have a question: Has she lived in her apartment for 77 years? I ask because that’s how long motorcycles have been riding on A1A. I’m going to take a wild guess and say the answer is “No.”
Perhaps Bike Week is not to the writer’s enjoyment, but it is to many others (no, I don’t ride a bike), and it was here before most of those objecting. She sounds like the folks who buy a house near an airport, then complain about the noise. I do feel sorry for her crying dog — the poor thing didn’t have a say in the decision.
Alan Jay Parks
Question vote meaning
While reading the March 11 paper, I read with interest the Florida Tally on page A10, telling us how our members of Congress voted this week.
I noticed that U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis voted yes on two bills concerning the environment.
He voted yes to pass HR 1917, which blocked an existing rule that limited emissions by manufacturers of bricks and clay products. If it passes, it could allow industry to pump into our air 375 tons of toxic discharges per year.
He also voted yes on HB 1119, which would allow higher levels of toxic emissions by power plants fueled by coal refuse, which emits more pollutants than does normal coal.
Meanwhile, both of our Democratic representatives voted no on both bills.
Ironically, on the next page (A11) there is an article about how one of China’s biggest cities has imposed curbs on traffic and factories due to air pollution and urged the elderly and children to stay home. Half of the cars will be barred from the road every day based on whether your tag numbers are odd or even.
What will our beautiful state become if DeSantis becomes governor? As a voter with no party affiliation, I urge all voters to look closely at candidates’ vote on issues of importance, and vote not just party lines.
I believe that a vote for DeSantis will become a vote to foul our air, dirty our waters and spoil our beautiful coastline.
Our Palm Coast legislators, Rep. Paul Renner and Sen. Travis Hutson, didn’t support banning AR-15s for two years, banning large-capacity magazines (used for automatic weapons) or a ban on sales to buyers under age 21. Renner had previously co-sponsored two dangerous gun bills, one allowing open carry on college campuses and one authorizing open carry of firearms in public. After the Parkland massacre, Renner also voted “No” to debate automatic weapons — despite students and teachers just murdered by a deranged gunman and other Parkland students standing in the gallery. What a travesty!
Apparently, what they do support — as does President Trump — is arming 20 percent of teachers with guns. This is right up the NRA’s alley. Instead of addressing the real problem, they go straight to a “solution” that will fill gun companies’ coffers. Let’s look at the numbers.
Florida has approximately 3.5 million teachers. If 20 percent are designated to carry guns, 700,000 more guns could come onto our streets and in our schools. This is exactly what the gun lobby wants: higher profits.
Mr. Renner and Mr. Hutson are proud loyalists to the NRA and have been rewarded with “A” and “A-plus” ratings from their benefactor. Meanwhile, where is the empathy, concern and humanity for our communities? It appears obvious that Mr. Renner and Mr. Hutson are far more concerned for the deep pockets of the NRA than for the people of Palm Coast.
Thus, are we as a community ready to rate them for their performance? If so, we have the right to vote. Make it count this November!
A longer version of this letter appeared in The News-Tribune.
I am disappointed in the recent votes by Florida’s senators, Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, in favor of fewer banking regulations after the 2008 crisis. Particularly Sen. Nelson: Just because the GOP is the toddler with a flamethrower does not give the Democrats a blind pass. I urge him to reverse his position.
Every single vote is being watched by us independents. I would address Senator Rubio, but I’m not rich enough to buy into his agenda. Banks crashed our economy in 2008 due to lack of regulation, greed always runs wild.
Don’t be foolish and bring about another disaster. The country is watching you guys like a hawk!
Listen to voters
In a March 8 article on the gun bill, State Rep. Tom Leek stated that he was angered by the mean-spirited emails from those people wanting a ban on assault-style weapons. I am sorry he chose to become angry that there are so many of us who want and hope for a ban on AR-15s and have had the temerity to not only complain about his lack of support, but also sense a lack of interest and urgency to actually do something about it.
Arming teachers is not doing something about the problem of gun violence. It only creates more violence, not less. Raising the age to buy a gun from 18 years to 21 years is not solving the gun violence problem. Encouraging people to “stand your ground” is a signal that anger can be solved with guns. Allowing people to parade around with concealed guns creates an atmosphere of fear and threats to those around them.
AR-15s are not hunting rifles, they are for killing people and children as at Parkland, Sandy Hook, the theater in Aurora, Colorado, or in war zones. Instead of being afraid of the NRA and mad at us, I would suggest Rep. Leek should be more sympathetic to the families whose children have been slaughtered or injured by an assault weapon, and to the teachers being killed or injured while trying to save their students from an assault weapon. Assault weapons have no place in our society.
Protection is key
It doesn’t really matter if there are more armed police or armed teachers in schools, the critical issue is that there be an increase in the number of armed adults inside schools to protect students from active shooters. Unfortunately, the primary reasons for this have not been given much, if any, press coverage.
First, there must be trained people inside the school to relay accurate information about the situation to the police. Too often, valuable time is lost because well-intentioned but untrained individuals provide conflicting reports of the situation. Police response time to the campus can almost never be immediate, and this “fog of war” problem can slow response even further.
The second reason is that once someone begins shooting, the only viable way to prevent further casualties is for an armed person on scene to get “inside the shooter’s loop.” This means that a responder on scene must immediately launch a counterattack to disrupt the shooter’s plan for killing as many people as possible. I’m a former federal law enforcement official, former federal mental health professional and former professor who conducted research on cognition. I’ve provided and participated in active shooter training, and there are plenty of examples from real-life incidents to indicate that it works in America as well as it works in Israel.
Many people have expressed fears about having armed adults guarding our children, but this is an issue that must be focused on proven techniques for protecting children, not on hypothetical and often subjective concerns of well-intentioned individuals.
Martin D. Topper
Having lived almost 83 years and grown up in Miami Beach during World War II, I have lived through more than enough threats to life and security than most: from blackouts against German U-boats landing rafts on our Florida shores, to the Cold War threats, to the Cuban Missile Crisis where my children hid under their desks to avoid atomic threats from Fidel Castro, impending attacks from terrorists, and now, mass shootings. I feel qualified to voice a few sane thoughts in the midst of the current madness of everyone blaming the “other guy.”
When there is a cry to ban assault weapons, why does the “right” always blame the “left” for an attack on our Second Amendment rights? My dad was an ex-FBI agent. We never even knew what his politics were, and we also never knew as kids where the two legal guns that resided with us in our home were kept — just that they were there, and that was OK and that we were safe. These were handguns meant to defend our family if need be.
Thus, it seems to me that the first question to a potential purchaser of an assault-style weapon meant for the military or law enforcement should be: What are you planning to use this weapon for?
It sure might save a lot of deer and rabbits — and maybe teens and concert-goers, too.