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Say ‘no’ to cell phone tower

LTE2012The City Commissioners of High Springs will be considering placing a cell tower on top of the water tower which is a high density area. While there are volumes and volumes of research stating the hazard of the cell towers, money (sadly) seems to be the overriding issue.

According to countless medical organization research groups and environmentalists, the hazards can be deadly or at least seriously affects our quality of life. Simply “google” Cell Tower Dangers. Some of the dangers are genetic damage, reproductive defects, cancer, neurological degeneration and nervous system dysfunction, immune system dysfunctions, cognitive effects, protein and peptide damage, kidney damage, and developmental effects. It is believed that it may, in some cases, take years of constant exposure for the damages to surface. The most vulnerable are pregnant women, the elderly, children and small pets. There is so much I could mention here but it would take a considerable amount of space to list it all.

The United State has done the least amount of research. In England an apartment house with a tower on the roof was having an unusual amount of cancer incidents among the residents. It was determined to be the tower. I know there will be those who say that is a lot of “bunk.” While the cell phone companies have a great deal invested in keeping this knowledge out of the hands of the citizens, the research organizations have no financial gain from their research results. To the cell phone companies it is the dollar, to the research groups it is the health and wellbeing of the citizens.

I sincerely hope that the erection of a cell tower will not be approved. We should learn from history. How many times have we heard that something is safe only to find out later that it is indeed extremely harmful? Well we have sufficient evidence now and the choice is clear. Dollars against the health and wellbeing of the citizens of this community and most specifically those in close proximity to the water tower.

While choosing to erect the tower offers great long-term risks of illness and even painful death, the decision to not approve the tower is only a loss of that revenue. Is the money worth the risk? In time if we find out that indeed all the current research is true it will be too late for all those who have suffered.

That will be the legacy of this commission. Please don’t let money be the overriding factor in making this decision.

Leda Carrero

High Springs, Fla.

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Other city road better alternative

lte2012 160 80

Ms. Carrero’s letter to the editor published in the Jan. 3, 2013 edition entitled “Keep road open for safety” is a persuasive argument for reopening the road between the High Springs Police Department and City Hall. I think we can all agree that there should be unhindered access throughout the city for our EMT’s, Police and Fire departments.

Ms. Carrero’s letter was so forceful that I had to investigate the situation myself. While in town this afternoon, I checked out the area and made the following observations. While crediting her with her points of concern, I would like to respectfully make an alternative suggestion.

The general populace may not be aware, nor does Ms. Carrero’s letter point out, that there is a second road that runs from the police department around the other circumference of the park that also has its end point at the City Hall parking lot, which I will refer to as the “un-blocked” road.

If the park were seen from above, it might look like a circle. The road which is Ms Carrero’s subject would run from the eleven o’clock position to the seven, whereas the “un-blocked” road runs from the one o’clock position to the five. Both end at the parking lot of City Hall; and, conversely, both end up at the road fronting the Police Department.

The “un-blockaded” road has much to recommend it. First, it has a wider right-of-way. Ms. Carrero’s nominated road is a shorter route, but has the negative of being a narrower right-of-way, placing it closer to trees and the sinkhole. While paved, it has more of the appearance of a paved path for walking. The road I propose, while not paved, offers more clearance from the sinkhole and trees.

My feeling is that in the event of an emergency, a wider piece of equipment could negotiate it in a safer manner without fear of leaving the right-of-way than that the other road. Secondly, the road I propose seems to be able to hold heavier vehicles. There is a dumpster off the right-of-way, which indicates that a waste truck equal to the weight and size of a fire truck can successfully negotiate the road. Third, due to the angle of approach off the Police frontage road and into the City parking lot, the road I propose should allow an emergency vehicle to travel that segment at a higher rate of speed.

Finally, since the road Ms. Carrero mentions does have benches around it, has been landscaped as a park, and is known to be a pedestrian right-of-way, a driver in haste may have to exercise more care to avoid hitting a possible pedestrian. On the other hand, the road I nominate is not seen as a pedestrian right-of-way and there shouldn’t be the same level of expectation of a pedestrian being on it as the other road.

Therefore, from a safety and efficiency standpoint, my recommendation is to build up the road on the far side of the park as a better emergency and general vehicle access route.

I hope that Ms. Carrero, once taking my points into consideration after her observation of the location, would rally 100 percent behind my alternative suggestion.

John P. Manley, III

High Springs, Fla.

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Milk is unhealthy

lte2012 160 80   A frequent bugaboo of the "fiscal cliff" debacle was the "milk cliff" - the threat of milk price doubling, if Congress failed to extend dairy subsidies.

Parents were forgoing other necessities, because their children "had to have milk."

Most industries would gladly give up their tax loopholes for that kind of product loyalty. But this one is totally undeserved.

Consumption of dairy products, laden with saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs elevates the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. This is particularly critical during childhood years, when dietary flaws become lifelong addictions.

A study of 12,829 children by Harvard Medical School found that drinking cow's milk leads to weight gain.

Several proteins in cow's milk can thicken mucus secretions leading to respiratory problems in children.

Most African-Americans and Asian-Americans suffer from cramping and diarrhea because they lack the enzyme to digest lactose in cow's milk.

The good news is that green leafy vegetables and legumes supply all the calcium and proteins touted in cow's milk, without the excess calories and other yucky factors noted. Every supermarket offers a huge line of dairy-free milks, cheeses, and ice creams made from healthy nuts and grains.

This is why USDA's current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, shunt dairy (and meat) off the recommended plate of vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Cow's milk is produced for bovine - not human babies. Let's give our kids a healthy start.

Doug Osborne

Gainesville, Fla.

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Keep road open for safety

lte2012 160 80  During a recent commission meeting the decision was made to once again close the road behind City Hall. Prior to the meeting I had sent a letter to each commissioner stating reasons why it should not be closed.

The following reasons are some of the reasons I stated. My foremost reason is safety. Everyone knows that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The Police Department is directly across from City Hall and that is the road they closed. My concerns were clearly stated in the letter.

None of us know when an extremely dangerous incident will occur. I wrote this letter before the Newtown slaughter of 26 beautiful people. If something happens at City Hall the fastest access the police have is closed. I suppose they could run across the street, but that does not afford them any protection. Sadly and horrifically they could be picked off one by one. The probability of something like that happening here is about the same as Newtown. There is no way to determine when or where.

I personally would feel much safer if they had ready access to City Hall or any other area that could be easily accessed using that road. Keeping the road closed could be disastrous and are any of us willing to take that chance? I believe it to be a foolish, careless, reckless and an irresponsible thing to do. Do we first have to have a terrible incident before we say the road should not have been closed? I hope not, I pray not.

Yes, the park is used during events but I have yet to see anyone sitting at the benches when there is no event and I am in town very often. As in the past, the road can be closed for events.

A handful of citizens have stated that the road is unsafe while at the same time comments have been made about children playing in the sink hole. Once again I have never seen this. I will say, however, that if this is a fact then that is a greater hazard then the road. That is the city run off and that could be contaminated and extremely hazardous to play around. The only way we would know if the road is hazardous or dangerous to drive on is to have a professional (not citizens without the necessary expertise who are just stating their opinion and personal preference) determine that.

There was also the comment that someone might roll off the road. Has this ever happened in all the years the road has been used, I doubt it. These citizens also expressed concerns that cars on the road are dangerous for pedestrians. What pedestrians? In an effort to support their position they are making some farfetched claims based on personal desires and not on sound facts.

At one point I had agreed that if the park was abuzz with people then the road should be closed. However, that is not the case, and now since the shooting in Newtown I am totally against the road being closed. Where do we place our priorities? Is it more important to have a park that is very rarely used or is it the safety of our community and our police officers? It doesn’t make sense to close any road leading from the Police Station and limiting their access.

Am I exaggerating – perhaps. I would like to believe it could never happen here, but who knows. The citizens of Newtown stated that they never expected anything like that to happen there. I hope with all my heart that nothing ever happens but who knows…who knows. We must be prepared for such an incident so as not to live with regret later.

Leda Carrero

High Springs, Fla.

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‘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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