Help get clean-water initiative on Florida ballot
The Right To Clean Water campaign was born out of frustration with our state’s lack of effective action to clean up the polluted waters of Florida.
Every year for the past four years, the Legislature has ignored the recommendations of the Blue Green Algae Task Force, a blue-ribbon body of scientists appointed by the governor to solve our water pollution problems. Each year, good environmental protection bills are introduced that get watered down or go nowhere.
Input from small environmental groups such as ours can’t compete with the paid lobbyists in Tallahassee that represent Big Ag and the developers.
It’s time for a new approach: an amendment to the state constitution giving citizens the right to clean water and giving standing for an individual or group to sue the executive branch of our state government and its agencies for actions or inactions that harm Florida’s waters.
This campaign has been endorsed by several local non-profits: Pelican Island Audubon Society, Friends of St. Sebastian River and the Democratic Women’s Club of Indian River County as well as ourselves, the Indian River Neighborhood Association.
In order to get this amendment on the 2024 ballot, 892,000 signed petitions must be submitted to the state by November. That’s a heavy lift and we need lots of help to reach that number. We are out gathering petitions on street corners and at local events. We ask that you become a supporter by signing a petition or volunteering to collect them at your workplace, neighborhood or club.
For more information please see www.FloridaRightToCleanWater.org. To join the local campaign, please contact the Indian River Neighborhood Association at 772-234-8718 or email email@example.com.
Jean Catchpole, Vero Beach, chairs the Water & Lagoon Committee of the Indian River Neighborhood Association.
Why not use cameras to catch red-light runners?
Being a seasonal resident here in Vero Beach, I contribute to motor vehicle traffic congestion local and out-of-state folks complain about. I also contribute to the income of local businesses and pay my share of taxes, so I do not feel too bad about causing some of that congestion.
I did read a recent article in your paper explaining how the vacant sheriff’s vehicles are parked to discourage speeders. I’ve learned to be cautious about the fast and weaving vehicles on U.S. 1 and Indian River Boulevard. It is dangerous to be cut off by one of those, then somewhat humorous to pull up next to them at the next red light and watch them roar off.
What I do not find humorous are the ones who speed and make left turns against red traffic lights. I believe there is a time delay for the next oncoming traffic green light that allows them to make that offense most times safe.
I have never seen an occupied sheriff’s vehicle staked out at an intersection to deter or stop those offenders. It is a danger for anyone caught in a crosswalk who did not make the crossing on time or the oncoming vehicle starting off who gets hit by one of these offenders.
I know the intersection cameras have been responsible for catching stolen vehicles and other offenders, but what about those who run red lights?
Be careful out there. A lot of us older folks are not as fast as you wannabe Mario Andretti race car drivers.
Dave Follett, Vero Beach
Brightline: Treasure Coast politicians lack common sense
I must ask local politicians: Why is TCPalm columnist Blake Fontenay’s following statement true?
“My point in bringing all this up isn’t to suggest Brightline should be prohibited from offering the service through the Treasure Coast communities. That battle has already been fought, and Brightline has won.”
Why are the profit objectives of a private company like Fortress Inc. (also known as Brightline) more important than the rights and safety of the thousands of people who reside in communities that abut the Florida East Coast Railway tracks?
This is not Henry Flagler’s pioneering railroad any more, and the year is not 1900, when broad concessions were needed to induce Flagler to “push a rail line” through the sparsely settled, swampy areas that eventually evolved into our densely settled east coast Florida communities.
To argue that the Flagler “right-of-way agreements” of 1900 guarantee successor companies a usage priority over the general public in perpetuity is ludicrous on its face. Yet that is the evident argument to justify 32 high-speed trains a day through our densely settled communities now, 120 years later!
Because a new private company called Fortress Inc. now owns these tracks, Fortress should not continue to be granted “Le droit du seigneur” in its rapacious usage of Florida east coast real estate for the specious reason it is establishing “passenger train” service. Given the abysmally low “ridership” of this train line, it would be more cost effective for communities to provide free Uber transportation to hypothetical “train passengers.”
Sadly, we see no evidence of political backbone and legal common sense when it has been needed
Paul Vallier, Stuart
Donor beware: Check out charities before giving to them
Witnessing a non-profit mismanage, misuse, and waste precious donated dollars is gut-wrenching.
Check your charity: Charities misusing funds deprive the needy and deprive other charities (that are spending wisely) of funds and grants.
Know before you give: Is your charity spending more on the staff (especially an executive director)? Is your charity spending donated funds on trips, cars, high-end real estate, expensive advertising?
Is it spending these precious dollars like kids in a candy store, completely mismanaging, helping far fewer than it could? Has it achieved the promised projects with the funds, or just a little example?
For your next donation, check that your organization files a 1099; check the salary of the executive director; check how it has spent funds; check with watchdog groups such as Charity Navigator or Charity Watch.
If you cannot find how it spends, choose another charity for the cause you are interested in.
Jeannie Sole, Sebastian
Stand your ground? What if this scenario happened to you?
This letter is in response to an article, “Does self-defense apply in Yarl shooting?”
Consider the following scenario:
You were being chased by an assailant who threatened you with a military-style tactical flashlight. You managed to yank the flashlight out of your assailant’s hand by the strap that dangled from it, causing a quarter-inch abrasion just below the knuckle on your left hand. Now the tables were turned.
Once you had control of the flashlight, you smacked your assailant across his nose. The bezel teeth on the head of the flashlight left a little pool of blood on the bridge. You pummeled your assailant with the weapon, causing blunt force injuries to his scalp that bled profusely. Your assailant then pulled out a gun and shot you through the heart.
After he killed you, he told the police he got on your back and moved your arms apart because when you were repeatedly hitting him in the face and head, he thought you had something in your hands. The blunt force injuries to your assailant’s head obviously did not come from the sidewalk. Crime scene photos painted a very different picture than the story told by your assailant.
You stood your ground and ended up dead, and your assailant got away with murder because of a botched prosecution. According to expert witness testimony at your murder trial, no touch or blood DNA was found on the tactical flashlight. It’s really hard to get rid of DNA.
Isn’t a conspiracy to spoliate evidence a crime? Who were the conspirators? We may never know.
Cecile Scofield, Palm City
What’s up with delays to see a doc when something’s amiss?
I don’t know what’s wrong with the medical profession on the Treasure Coast.
Primary care doctors don’t seem to do much when a patient comes in for a visit. They send you to a specialist if you have a problem. Aren’t they interested in the whole person?
It’s very hard to get an appointment when you have a problem. Many times it takes a few weeks to see a doctor, and that’s when you’re sick.
What’s the advantage of a well visit? I want to see a doctor when I’m not feeling well. Even when you have a CT scan or an MRI, it may take weeks for the doctor to see you and explain the results of the test.
Is this what medicine’s coming to?
Rita Wolper, Stuart
Be careful who you vote for: Look at Ron DeSantis
Please people, do not vote according to political ties. Look carefully at the person you choose; that person could very well be the next leader of our country.
Ron DeSantis is proving to be a petulant child who seeks revenge on those who oppose him. He is instilling his personal values on our entire state. Is that what we want for our country?
Lowering legal abortion to 15 weeks, then quietly changing that to 6 weeks without publicly announcing his intent.
Ousting the board of our one well-known liberal honors college to make it over in his image and appointing his handpicked conservative board.
Personally backing an Indian River County School Board candidate who mirrors his values and trying to remove those who do not.
The constant battle with Disney just because they opposed his “Don’t Say Gay” bill has become childish. He replaces the board of a well-run entity with handpicked people who do not have Disney experience to run the area, including Disney’s Florida theme parks. Now he threatens toll roads, building a prison next to the theme park, possibly building another theme park to compete and having the state take over the safety inspections of Disney rides.
If DeSantis can do this to a company as large as Disney, what’s to keep him from restricting your business? Or possibly deciding on changes to your health care, just as he changed access to health care for women? Possibly, elderly or incapacitated people will be next on his agenda.
Betty Sammartino, Vero Beach
Here’s why DeSantis’ efforts vs. ‘radical lefties’ important
Some Democrats complain about the perverted Republican interest in our culture wars. They want us to lay off their plans to dramatically change our perceptions of personal identity, race and gender that have been given by God or nature.
Yet when Democrat activists push sexual identity, racial equity in society or “inclusion lectures” in schools, there’s a problem. Negative examples are everywhere.
If the pilot of your airplane failed her flight school final, should she be flying if there aren’t enough Sikh airwomen represented? Do we decide on post-secondary schools by the number of transvestite professors?
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ war with Disney upsets “progressives.” He sees corporations signing on to political agendas outside their purview. Why should Coke take a position to discover drag queens in the fifth grade? TV networks are apologizing for politically incorrect movies in their libraries. Fortune 500 corporations push wacky liberalism to satisfy radical demands by groups such as Equality Florida, whose purpose seems to be dissolving American family structure.
You can say “gay” outside the elementary school, but there’s absolutely no need to make homosexuality part of a classroom lesson.
Radical lefties are fighting against the governor’s new laws in colleges now as professors refuse to take part in surveys asking about academic freedom. As DeSantis is finding how many dollars are wasted creating majors like “Queer Theory,” “Radical Feminism,” or “Critical Ethnic Studies,” the battle is joined.
“Dad, I got a B.A. in presenting drag shows.” Many fights seem silly, but we have to take them seriously. Equality Florida warriors have just issued a travel warning for the state of Florida, advising of the dangers of “laws hostile to the LGBTQ community, fomenting racial prejudice … and banning books.”
Stay home, watch some old Disney movies and leave our kids alone.
Norman Grant, Vero Beach
Prepare to un-elect legislators who vote against Floridians
We will not forget the Florida Republicans who are rubber-stamping Gov. Ron DeSantis’ policies during the current session. I predict they will not get re-elected.
All these bills to reduce our freedoms, whether banning subjects that universities and public schools teach or taking away money from our public schools, or banning books because a few people don’t like them, or taking away a woman’s right to make health decisions and many more issues.
These politicians seem to care more about pleasing the lobbyists from insurance companies and developers, etc. They are making these lobbyists very happy, but not their constituents.
We can be better represented and we will be.
Beverly Anderson, Stuart
When will Florida GOP find backbone, stop DeSantis?
When will the Florida Legislature find the backbone to terminate the endless and destructive war by Gov. Ron DeSantis against Disney?
Disney is an economic engine of our state. The company is beloved worldwide. DeSantis has shown himself to be a thin-skinned, vindictive bully and despot.
He does not deserve to be the GOP candidate for president. He does not even deserve to be governor of Florida.
Frances Gallogly, Fort Pierce