Beyond local authority


Alachua County politicians are again overstepping their authority by issuing an order requiring the use of face masks in public places.


This order is a violation of Florida Statute 876.12, which states: "Wearing mask, hood, or other device on public way — No person or persons over 16 years of age shall, while wearing any mask, hood, or device whereby any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter upon, or be or appear upon any lane, walk, alley, street, road, highway, or other public way in this state."


County politicians don't get to make up their own rules in opposition to the state’s laws. Instead, treat citizens as rational individuals who will make good choices. If someone has a depressed immune system or is at risk due to other factors, they should stay home.


Everyone should be smart about the risk, respect others' space and be safe. Let's get this economy moving again.


Ted Belser, Micanopy


Unsung heroes


Every day we recognize heroes providing essential services from doctors and nurses to military personnel and grocery store clerks. And rightfully so. However, not once have I heard the praise of our postal workers who are the backbone of American business.


They stand all day behind counters or run two to three routes a day to make up for the lack of hiring and funding by our government. Not only is the Post Office technically insolvent, no real relief is in sight as the Postal Service suffers at the hands of COVID-19 and indifferent politicians.


The next time you have to wait in a line that stretches out the door or your mail is a little late, don’t blame the postal person, thank your congressman.


Larry Roberts, Gainesville


Reasons for reopening


Some protesters want the economy opened. Others urge their governors not to go too quickly about it. Most of us understand the possible dire consequences of going out. We worry not only about our health but the health of others.


Donald Trump is all for reopening the economy. The reasons are clear. His one truthful claim of success is that the economy was booming. True, the upturn started in 2009 and continued unabated until the virus hit, but he could brag about it. Unemployment was down even though wages lagged. Profits were soaring — true, mostly to the coffers of the rich, but they were soaring.


He wants that back. He does not care if people die. He can spin that to his base like he is spinning the “success” of only 60,000-plus people dying. But he must have the robust economy to win reelection. That is why he wants the economy reopened!


Thomas R. Weller, High Springs


Orchestrated entrapment


Recently revealed efforts by the FBI to entrap Gen. Michael Flynn should be for every American an alarming and chilling episode.


Contemporaneous hand-written notes by former FBI head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap of a meeting between Flynn and FBI officials demonstrate how easy it is for law enforcement to do the work of a police state. These notes detail the FBI's goal to "get him (Flynn) to lie so we (the FBI) can prosecute him or get him fired."


This orchestrated entrapment has cost Flynn $6 million as well as two years of being enmeshed in a legal system whose purpose was not justice, rather to destroy him.


All charges against Flynn should be immediately dropped and he should be reimbursed every cent of what this has cost him. Where is the media's outrage? If this stands, no one is immune from persecution and our legal system is completely politicized.


Thomas Lane, Gainesville


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