Support bag ban
I am in favor of the impending ban on the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam containers in Gainesville. With so much talk about "saving the Earth," I cheer the City Commission for having the courage to try to do something.
I am very dismayed that the Florida Retail Federation is threatening a lawsuit. They are willing to spend lots of money to try to bully the city into maintaining the status quo.
The mantra is that it will cost more money to adapt to usable bags and containers. I have been using cloth bags for over eight years and am willing to start using reusable containers for takeout or "doggie bags.”
The federation is maintaining that use should be voluntary, but our Earth needs more affirmative action. We will all remember our bags and containers if that is the new method of doing business. Let's support this change and help oppose the federation.
MaryLou Mansfield, Newberry
Road rage has always been, to me, totally unjustified. When I read, observe or hear about such an event, I wonder about the level of provocation and the related response.
A recent event that I personally witnessed at the junction of 16th Avenue and 43rd Street was a bit distressing, but resulted in only a few horn "toots" and possibly some strong verbiage by impacted drivers.
A traffic lane designated for a turn on a green arrow was completely blocked by one driver who stopped his/her vehicle to talk to a panhandler on a small "island" in the roadway. Some would say that this act was simply impolite, while others could have more aggressive thoughts.
As one panhandler has already been struck and killed at this location, it seems to me that panhandlers, for their own safety, should not be allowed at this, or any location, that impedes traffic.
George Smith, Gainesville
“Another gun massacre!” the headlines screamed. “Please don’t let it be my baby.”
“Opiod overdose takes another life!” — “Please, don’t let it be my loved one.”
“Another mass data breach!” — “Please don’t let it be my data.”
“Flood!” screamed a headline. “Fire!” screamed another. “Please don’t let it take my home.”
Over and over, headlines repeat tragedies, troubles and traumas, yet politicians refuse to heed the will of the people to address them. Instead, serving special interests who legally bribe them, politicians turn a blind eye to problems or, worse, enact legislation that exacerbates them. Even when majorities across the political spectrum demand action, politicians acquiesce to oft-hidden donors.
“We the People” must act to ensure our representative democracy represents us. Support cross-party national efforts (see AmericanPromise.net) to enact a constitutional amendment reversing the Supreme Court’s controversial and un-democratic Citizens United ruling. Legal bribery of politicians must end.
Sandy Clements, Gainesville
Don't make war
The president's conclusion that mental health is the problem with all the wanton mayhem we have experienced in the last few years isn't the full problem.
I recently heard an interview with two veterans suffering from PTSD — bad PTSD. They had experiences in Afghanistan that involved high-caliber weapons that have currently made their way to the streets of America.
Experience in war certainly affects mental health. Ergo, don't make war — on anybody, anyplace. If we have differences with other countries, in economic or philosophical (political) differences, we must all sit down and talk it out, no matter how long it takes, until the matters are resolved, so that we can all go home to our families. That is the mental health thing to do.
June Littler, Gainesville
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