Last updateTue, 24 Nov 2015 12am


‘Choices’ funding misspent

lte2012 160 80 Regarding the FluMist program extension. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.   When Cynthia "Choices" Chestnut pushed through this Spring initiative for her employer Shands, my understanding is the taxes were going toward insurance for the working poor not all school children.

Now the unspent millions sucked from the economy sitting idle for years need to be spent before anyone finds out the latest Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) ponzi scheme.

My take away is this program was never needed by virtue of poor enrollment and now the BOCC is using the money other than what the voters voted on. Nothing but another shell game by our BOCC.

Tim Marden

Newberry, Fla.

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High Springs needs to protect its natural resources

lte2012 160 80I was at a commission meeting in High Springs when a presentation was made on the State’s Septic Tank Evaluation Plan. The facts were given and the commission voted to support opting out of the evaluation. I find this disturbing. I was quite involved in city planning of the system, and to the best of my memory, the core issue was lessening the introduction of nitrates into the aquifer. Anybody can understand the importance of this issue.

The biggest issue in any municipality that uses septic tanks is the state of the septic tank itself. Older tanks are of block construction. Newer tanks are cast concrete, no seams. My tank, which is an older one, collapsed because over time the mortar quit holding the blocks together. There are some tanks that are built and no mortar is used.  The results of no mortar or cracking mortar is leakage, hence the need for inspections.

I'm 59 years old and remember what it was like before we understood our impact on our natural resources. We used to change the oil in our lawnmowers and even our cars and just let it run into the ground. The justification was that's where it came from. An even more ridiculous stand is “That's the way we've always done it.” My ignorance and the ignorance of my elders have to stop.

After the presentation a couple old timers got up and made their case to vote the evaluations down. I got up to give my views, got a little impassioned and was told I was out of line and asked to be seated. One of the members gave his views on septic tanks. This is the sum total of his comment: They either work or they don't.

The younger generation has a response to that. They will look at the person giving this opinion with surprise on their face and say, “Really?” This, of course, aggravates the old timer and the young miscreant is told to sit down and shut up.

The City of High Springs voted to install a septic system to lessen the introduction of nitrates into the aquifer. The City Commission of High Springs voted to not pass the evaluation plan. Really? I really like that last word “really.” It's a lot easier to say than “You can't possibly be that stupid.”

Shame on the shortsighted people in the 18 counties that voted down the Septic Tank Evaluation Plan. This kind of thinking is going to kill the natural resources we "claim" to love.

Tim Linkous

High Springs, Fla

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Support for Byran Williams

LTE2012I acknowledge that the political process is often difficult, sometimes ugly, but it is a process with more upside than down.  However, in the small town of High Springs, the process has taken advantage of off year elections and the results are turning catastrophic for the residents, business owners and visitors to our city.

In less than two years, two city managers and two city attorneys have been removed or resigned from office.  The director of public works, city engineer, fire chief and interim police chief has each resigned. The last public works employee with a license to operate a sewer plant resigned.  The city planner position was unfunded, resulting in the layoff of a city planner.  In short, our City has been raped of intellectual capital because these individuals were not willing to perform their duties in an unethical or illegal manner, being dictated by commissioners or to be treated poorly.  As a voter, if this seems okay and you are comfortable with the behavior of Bob Barnas, please support the candidate for City Commissioner he is supporting:  Mr. Pat Rush.

The City of High Springs has big issues to address and a great deal of business to get done.  A vote for Mr. Byran Williams is in the long-term best interest of the city.  It is time to end the workshops where nothing happens.  It is time to trust in expertise and experience our city employees make available – and that citizens are paying for.  It is time to bring experience and balance back to the commission chambers in High Springs and only Byran Williams is likely to accomplish this.

Most of us don’t have the time to, daily, watch over our elected officials.  Locally, is where we can make the biggest difference, especially in a small town like High Springs.  Nobody’s opinion, yours, or mine really matters; what counts, are the results of the Commission’s service.  We need to stop the micromanagement, think long term and move forward.  Byran Williams is how we start to move this direction again.

Ross Ambrose

High Springs, Fla.

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Why skip the turkey

lte2012 160 80With his recent re-election, President Obama has won the power to pardon more turkeys on Thanksgiving. But so does every one of us, by choosing a nonviolent Thanksgiving observance that gives thanks for our good fortune, health, and happiness with a life-affirming, cruelty-free feast of vegetables, fruits, and grains.

And here are more terrific reasons:

        You will stay alert through the entire football game.

        You are what you eat. Who wants to be a “butterball”?

        Your vegetarian kid won’t have to boycott the family dinner.

        You won’t have to call Poultry Hotline to keep your family alive.

        Fruits and vegetables don’t have to carry government warning labels.

        You won’t sweat the environment and food resources devastation guilt trip.

        You won’t spend a sleepless night wondering how the turkey lived and died.

        Your body will welcome a holiday from saturated fat, cholesterol, and hormones.

Our own dinner this Thanksgiving will feature a “Tofurky,” lentil roast, mashed potatoes, corn stuffing, stuffed squash, candied yams, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. An internet search on “vegetarian Thanksgiving” got us more recipes and other useful information than we could possibly use.

Doug Osborne

Gainesville, Fla.

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Why the only right choice is Byran Williams

LTE2012I am sick and tired of the Gang of Three and Pat Rush pointing fingers at the past commissioners and Byran Williams for their supposed irresponsibility in purchasing the Pigg House.  Their choice at the time was a good one.  The house was appraised at way above what it was purchased for.  If the housing market hadn't tumbled,they would have been touted as heroes.  How many of you out there purchased property during the rise and now are sitting with it at half its value?

The same is true of the sewer.  At the time the sewer was a good choice and absolutely necessary for the growth of the city.  Had the upward economy continued, more homes would have been added and everything would have been great.  Now, Pat Rush wants to stop the work in midstream, which will cause the failure of the current system, the state will step in, take it over, and dramatically raise our monthly payments in order to pay back what it cost them to rescue us.

For those of you who didn't see the debate between Byran and Pat, I urge you to watch it (Alachua Today has posted an entire video of the debate).  It was obvious that all Pat could do was look back and blame others.  Byran, on the other hand, wants to look to the future and do all he can to get High Springs back on its feet.  Byran is extremely enthusiastic and full of ideas and by the overwhelming applause he continually received he clearly won the debate.

Now, people of High Springs, you have two choices:  Elect Pat Rush and get more of what we have now - a continuation of the "Puppet Gang of Three" with non commissioners  pulling their strings; or elect Byran Williams and have a chance at High Springs being able to pull itself out of the disastrous financial mess Pat Rush's cronies have gotten us into.

Byran Williams will give us back our reputation as a good friendly city, not the laughing stock of the state as we are now.  Elect Byran Williams so he can help make our city the winner it deserves to be.

Arlene Dorin

Gainesville, Fla.

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