Goodbye to plastics

Our fling with single-use plastics is over. As with many long-term affairs, we find it easier to keep with what we are used to rather than give it up. Even as problems arise, we tend to ignore warning signs. Finally, we have to admit it is over. Thus goes our affair with single-use plastics.

We were seduced by the siren of throw-away grocery bags and take-out food containers. So easy! But we can no longer ignore the plastic trash along the roadsides, rivers, beaches and so forth. The monetary cost of cleanup of these areas and the cost of the stoppages daily when the sorting machinery is clogged we can no longer ignore, along with the health concerns.

I commend the Gainesville City Commission for unanimously passing the first reading of an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags and expanded polystyrene foam food containers.

Bruce A. Blackwell, Gainesville

 

The interstate's purpose

The Sun’s Jan. 6 headline read “I-75 safety: What can be done? I think the answer is to let the “interstate” be just that, interstate. People jump on the interstate that are not going interstate — they are going inter-town.

The problem is when people get on the interstate to go one or two exits to save a little time. They cause big problems for drivers driving speeds from 70-90. Of course going from city to city within the state, such as from Gainesville to Miami, is a valid use of the interstate.

The first thing the state should do is have a law that if you are only going exit to exit, not state to state, you are only permitted to use the far right lane. When driving from town to town if a driver is caught using one of the other two lanes, a steep fine would be given.

I think eventually we need to just use the interstate to travel from state to state. I think this will alleviate a lot of accidents and save lives.

Angela M. Sprague, Gainesville

 

Unfounded fear

I had a front row seat for the Half-Cent for Schools initiative. For nearly a year, I chaired the School Planning Advisory Committee, a group of volunteers who reviewed thousands of potential sites for a badly needed elementary school in the works for four years. As chair, I made regular presentations during public School Board meetings about our progress.

As a member of the Alachua County Council of PTAs, I also raised awareness about the need for the Half-Cent. We made it clear that while the vast majority of funding would be spent on revitalizing existing schools, some would also be used to create much-needed space for current and future students. It was in the ballot language, the comprehensive project list and campaign materials.

No one should fear that the bulk of half-cent revenues is going to a new school. It is simply unfounded. Project planning is already happening at existing schools, and thanks to Alachua County voters, all schools will be better places in which to learn.

Rik McNeill, SPAC chair, PTA, Citizens for Strong Schools member

 

Next GNV4ALL meeting

Gainesville For All will be first holding its first general meeting of the year on Tuesday beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Eastside Community Center, 2841 E. University Ave. The Sun-sponsored initiative is aimed at developing solutions to address Gainesville’s persistent racial and socioeconomic disparities. Its teams are focused on the issues of family support, criminal justice, education, housing and transportation.

 

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