Kudos for columnist’s creative suggestions to ease housing crisis
God bless Blake Fontenay for his Oct. 24 column in which he advocates for some ways to ease the housing crisis for workers on the Treasure Coast.
He suggests that one way would be to freeze taxes for property owners willing to keep their monthly rental rates at or below 30% of the median income for the county. Fontenay also suggests that guest houses or apartments could be allowed on the same property as already-built homes and suggests zoning to allow living above businesses.
Finally, he suggests allowing tiny homes in certain areas. These could be built on county-owned land and with some development fees waived for projects meeting affordable housing goals.
Many of us on the Treasure Coast are Christians and ure says God loves the poor and those in need. Fontenay’s creative suggestions would help workers live here on the Treasure Coast.
That would include Martin County, where I live. Let your county commissioners know you support these approaches to our housing crisis!
Pets are more than just a piece of property
I have owned pets most of my life. I don’t consider them to be my children, but I do love them dearly. As noted in the Blspanke Fontenspany column published Oct. 14, for a pet to die because the vet was under the influence is tragic. For a judge to consider a pet just a piece of property is beyond my understanding.
Asking Gov. DeSantis to make Brightline safety a priority
Now that Brightline is testing trains at 110 mph along the coast, we should remember – according to Allispannce for Sspanfe Trspanins — there are no train systems in the country going over 79 mph crossing streets at grade with unfenced open tracks.
We also have been made aware:
• Two formal studies said speed trains should be west of our towns along Interstate 95 or the Turnpike.
• The corporation claimed they’d go from Miami to the Orlando Airport in three hours — in order to do so they have to go 110 mph and can’t stop.
• In 2014, a federal engineer said, “trespassing is epidemic on the Florida East Coast route.”
• In 2018, the taxpayer-funded study recommended pedestrian bridges and fencing along the second phase open tracks and Vehicle Detection Systems (VDS) at every crossing.
• The study said the Florida Department of Transportation has never regulated trains going over 79 mph.
• There have been 62 deaths on the tracks in just over three years of operating at 79 mph
Years ago, it was suggested either the curved tracks or multiple crossings would mean slower, less dangerous trains. But that’s not the case now. They state they’re testing 110 mph because they plan to go 110 mph — period.
The Alliance for Safe Trains is seeking signatures on a petition asking the governor to make Brightline safety a priority for his Department of Transportation. It requests three things:
1) FDOT have outside experts conduct studies of the dangers and hazards on the route including sharing the tracks with volatile freight, the location of the nuclear power plant and dense population zones along the route.
2) Form a task force of local representatives to improve community communications with the corporation and FDOT.
3) Delay going over 79 mph until it can be assured it’s safe.
You can visit FLSspanfeTrspanins.com to sign the petition.
Politicians need to act to stop school shootings
Another month, another school shooting. The politicians say these shooters need to be identified and given mental health care before the event. How is that working for you folks who make the laws? It certainly not working for the victims or their families.
Debate audience needed to be more ‘civil’
I felt disappointed and embarrassed for the city of Fort Pierce, by the actions of some members of the audience during the gubernatorial debate held at the Sunrise Theater. Their constant interruptions only served to limit the time of the candidates.
It was reported that the debate was not open to the public. Then how did they get in?
For civilization to survive, we must remain “civil.” My sixth- and seventh-grade students would have behaved better.
Indian River land acquisition ballot initiative
Voters of Indian River County will be asked on Nov. 8 to approve a land buying bond amendment. Please vote to approve.
By doing so, you will allow the County to assess up to 0.19 mills for up to 20 years to sell $50 million in bonds. This money will go toward purchasing environmentally sensitive lands and their maintenance.
As the population of this county increases and development takes the place of agriculture, it is imperative to purchase lands to provide wildlife corridors, natural stormwater areas, protect the Indian River Lagoon and St. Sebastian River, and create green spaces in our communities.
Given the recent increases in the real estate market, some may argue now is not the time to purchase land for conservation. To compensate, this bond amendment allows for purchases over a 20-year period, providing flexibility to act when opportunities arise.
Playing the land conservation game is a long one. Decisions we make today will impact future generations.
General aviation a promising area for growth
Recent press has unfortunately missed that general aviation is a lifesaving resource. For example, within days of Hurricane Ian making landfall, Operation Airdrop, a volunteer organization of pilots, was there to transport donated supplies to those most affected. The group airlifted supplies on the scale of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
In the early months of the pandemic, when some of the most basic necessities were hard to come by, volunteer pilots helped to move personal protection equipment, ventilators, and other critical medical supplies where it was needed in short notice.
For businesses, these aircraft are critical to ensuring the transport of goods and personnel, food production, tourism, and many other aspects of our economy.
Here in Martin County at Witham Field, we are a financially self-sustaining general aviation airport, with an economic impact of $700 million. Four hundred planes are based at Witham and aviation businesses such as Daher, Boeing, and Dassault have operations here.
General aviation in Florida supports a payroll annually of over $5.4 billion and about $18.4 billion of the state’s economy. Yet, note that according to a 2022 Boeing study, over the next 20 years the North American aviation industry will require 128,000 new pilots and 134,000 new technicians. Therefore, flight training programs need our support, such as at the Treasure Coast Flight School right here at Witham Field.
General aviation is making great strides in emerging technologies such as advanced air mobility, and investments in sustainable fuel and technologies.
With these promising areas for growth, support at the federal level for airport funding, workforce development, and sustainable fuel tax credits, are important. Let’s work together to ensure that this industry reaches its full potential.
It’s important to know your candidate
With a very important election coming up in November, it is so important to know the candidate. Does that candidate apply common sense when making decisions and prioritize safety of Americans as well as preserving our freedoms and rights?
Vote for the candidate who prioritize legal immigration over illegal immigration. That is only common sense.
Vote for the person who believes your health care decisions should be between you and your doctor and not from some politician in Washington, D.C.
Make sure that people who say follow the science actually do the science.
Vote for the candidate who believes a colorblind society is better than one that that makes race the most important aspect in every decision. One who agrees with Martin Luther King that people should be judged by content of character and not skin color. One who believes laws and justice should be applied equally.
In terms of education, doesn’t it make sense to elect candidates who focus on the children’s education and not indoctrination of the students with some extreme principles? Best to vote for the candidates who support parental rights, school choice, academic excellence and not CRT or sexually explicit pornographic books in public school libraries Don’t vote for someone who puts the teacher unions ahead of the students.
Americans deserve to feel safe. Vote for the candidates who puts victims’ welfare over that of criminals. Defunding police and no bail aren’t common sense and has led to increasing crime in too many of our cities.
Common sense tells us to support law enforcement. With the false statements that police are racist and are unfairly targeting people of color, people aren’t respecting the police as they once did and some feel they are justified in physically attacking police.
Elections have consequences. Make sure to vote for those who love America.
Despite difficulties, country moving forward
President Joe Biden is doing a great job moving this country forward under circumstances that would level another leader.
He’s faced the worst pandemic in a 100 years with a population that actively campaigned against preventative measures, a predecessor undermining everything he does and questions the legitimacy of the election, and the first war seen in Europe since World War II with the aggressor a country that actively interfered in our elections and promotes disinformation.
In less than two years legislation was passed to help our veterans that have chronic conditions due to burn pits. Our children and their children will benefit from legislation to repair and modernize our roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, broadband, and drinking water among many other items.
Biden has passed legislation to negotiate Medicare drug prices and cap insulin prices with not one Republican vote. In fact, Sen. Marco Rubio is introducing legislation to repeal this provision despite paying high drug prices.
Legislation was passed to make memory chips in the United States instead of Asia. Our country invented computer chips and now makes less than 12% of them. This was a large factor in supply problems during the pandemic. Several companies have announced investments of over $200 billion to make chips and associated goods in our country due to the legislation. This is important not only for consumer goods but military security.
What about inflation? Inflation is happening all over the world and we are not the worst by a large margin. Republicans haven’t offered solutions, only criticism. In fact, legislation that sought to correct the problem did not have even one Republican vote.
And don’t forget it was former President Donald Trump who appointed Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve chair and it was Powell, by his own admission, who raised rates too late. The new Nobel recipient in economics, Ben Bernanke, concurred.