Readers comment on Corrine Brown's name on RTS headquarters, the formula shortage, more

·4 min read

Higher standards needed

Mayor Lauren Poe has noted the danger of enshrining the names of the living in places of honor traditionally reserved for those who have passed and leave behind a complete life story, which is self-evident in the matter of Corrine Brown’s name being placed outside the Regional Transit System headquarters.

Poe’s wisdom, however, fell on deaf ears of other Gainesville City Commission members who, according to a recent Sun story, "stated they have no objections to honoring Brown.”

The city of Gainesville Regional Transit System's main headquarters is know as the Corrine Brown Transit Facility.
The city of Gainesville Regional Transit System's main headquarters is know as the Corrine Brown Transit Facility.

The people of Florida’s U.S. House 10th and 12th districts don’t have any buildings named in honor of the late Congressman J. Herbert Burke (who represented those districts from 1967 to 1979), not because he was a Republican or a white male, but because in 1978 he was arrested, charged and plead guilty for public intoxication, resisting arrest and witness tampering. Burke was a World War II hero with Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals.

The standards of conduct for public servants are rightly higher than those being served. Brown’s criminal actions have afforded an opportunity to embrace the commonly accepted concept of honor, or erode it to a meaningless rationalization for violating the public trust and remaining honorable. That is a disservice to the community in need of more honorable leadership and less political narrative.

Max Skeans, Hawthorne 

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Cheap political ploy

I’m over 70 years of age. I have seen things change. As a measure, in my youth, a politician caught lying, committing a crime or hypocrisy would resign to salvage for themselves and their party some sort of moral baseline. Ah, the good old days.

Today these practices have contaminated the political profession so thoroughly that we accept them as common practice and rarely bat an eye as they fly by us. Yet statements and actions by my U.S. representative, Kat Cammack, referencing the baby formula shortage have awakened my ire.

Her condemnation of the Biden administration, for following the law and feeding babies in its custody, is a cheap political ploy. Her vote against a bill that would help alleviate that shortage fits clearly into the label of hypocrisy.

Her resignation would restore some prestige. Acknowledging some shame and embarrassment would help. But as voters, it’s up to us to decide if we want political performance or a functioning government.

Tom Tisdale, Gainesville

Monkeypox concerns

It is difficult not to fear the new monkeypox cases in Florida. With President Joe Biden expressing concern and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigating new cases, I can’t help but have déjà vu. It is easy to fall into panic, but let’s go over the facts about monkeypox.

It is not a new disease. There is a vaccine for it that can be used after exposure. The smallpox vaccine also provides some protection. We are not as vulnerable to it as we were to COVID-19. But, if monkeypox came to Gainesville, it will not be difficult to predict who will suffer the most.

In the Alachua County Community Survey, 78% of respondents ranked access to health care as the most important factor in community health. Cost was ranked as the main barrier. The median Black household income in Alachua is $24,000 less than the median white household income.

If monkeypox appeared in Gainesville, it is no secret that those with lower incomes will experience the worst outcome. Free community clinics should have protocols in place to help people navigate exposures to monkeypox, so if monkeypox makes its way to Gainesville, the most vulnerable in our community have somewhere to go.

Mehrsa Razavi, MD candidate, University of Florida College of Medicine

Legalized grift

It seems as if our government has been taken over the Mafia. Not the Mafia one would associate with the movie “The Godfather,” which was wildly popular in the 1970s. In that film, the Corleone family had a few judges and various police on their payroll that did their bidding.

Now, however, the grift has been codified and legalized by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that donor money is a form of free speech, guaranteed by the First Amendment of our U.S. Constitution. This action could have been mitigated somewhat if we knew who was putting it up, but another GOP backed rule disallows the disclosure of the source.

Clayton Smith, Gainesville

Biggest con

The food and fuel industries report record profits while charging us extremely high prices. These are the results of my Republican Party's biggest con, that "businesses can regulate themselves."

Bruce Humbert, Gainesville 

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This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: Letters on Corrine Brown, RTS, book banning, abortion, Supreme Court