Thursday, June 3, 2010
Letters to the Editor

City nudity ordinance

is discriminatory

The city of Key West is rewriting our nudity ordinance. It needs to either repeal the ordinance and defer to our state's nudity ordinance, 800.03, or remove the discriminatory language toward women from the current city ordinance 42-9.

Women have equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

Florida Constitution Article 1, Section 2, Basic rights -- All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights. Key West Nudity Ordinance 42-9 ... or the exposure of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple.

There are two separate laws, one for men and one for women. It is discriminatory toward women and therefore unconstitutional. Example: It's hot out, my husband removes his shirt and I do the same. We are approached by a police officer, I go to jail. My husband walks away without his shirt on. How is this equal and just before the law?

Women have been fighting for almost a century for equal rights. Florida is one of the 35 states that have adopted the Equal Rights Amendment. We as women after 87 years still are not seen as equal due in part to the language in ordinances such as 42-9.

If this ordinance as written passes, the city will be doing the women of Key West and our female visitors a great injustice, remanding women to the status of a second-class citizen. We will not be seen as equal in the eyes of our great city, leaving us without the freedom to enjoy the same rights as men have. We all have the inalienable right to be equal before the law. Our city commissioners have a great opportunity to make right an injustice, prevent possible discrimination lawsuits and announce to everyone that women will not be discriminated against in Key West any longer.

Tracy Leigh, NOW

Key West

Oil has polluted

our lives as well

The people misused a precious natural resource, namely, gold.

When Moses came down from the mountain and saw the people with the calf, he was displeased. Did you know that he then ground the gold into a powder, mixed it in water and forced the people to drink it? (Exodus 32) You wanted gold? You got it. I hope you choke on it!

Oil is a precious resource that we have misused:

1) We have covered over another precious resource, namely soil, with concrete and asphalt for highways and parking lots. This could have been used for feeding the world.

2) We have moved into a perpetual war mode. We couldn't have done it without oil. Modern war uses enormous quantities of oil.

3) We have dispersed much of our population over wide areas around our cities. Suburbanites have to burn oil to get to work, school, shopping, anything. This has been done in order to avoid living with minority populations, which are in the cities, and also to prevent our taxes from going for services to them, especially their schools.

All of these are ways in which we have deliberately used oil to contaminate our way of life. It has happened because of choices we have made, and oil has facilitated it all.

I suspect the deity is displeased.

So quite against our will, we are being forced to drink the oil. It is not pleasant.

To begin with, we have lost our democracy. A democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people. But our legislators no longer care what we want or think. They respond, rather, to oil companies, which pay for the TV ads that get them re-elected.

Also, the air we breath is foul from exhaust fumes. Oil refineries and runoff from highways pollute our rivers and streams. And, at the present moment, our coasts, beaches, fisheries and oceans are being destroyed by a pernicious oil spill, which we can do nothing to stop!

We wanted the oil. We got it! And now it's being rammed down our throats.

The Rev. Bud Klippen

Big Pine Key

Money for bike lane

had better uses

The exact amount of money (and time) that it will actually take for the state to finish the bike path that is supposed to extend from Key Largo to Key West is anyone's guess.

What I don't understand is we have part of this state-funded disaster that starts in Key West to Key Haven, then stops. It starts again in Big Coppitt, then stops again prior to Shark Key, and so on up the keys. I use this path every time I ride in and out of Key West on my bike. It is far safer than U.S. 1 and a lot cleaner.

What I don't get is a lot of people wanted this, but very few of us actually use it. I see more iguanas using it on Stock Island than the bicyclist who would rather ride out into the lane of traffic.

I do understand that sometimes you have to ride at the far side of the road because there is no bike lane, but that doesn't mean you ride in the lane of traffic that is going 55 to 60 or more mph and almost cause an accident. That's stupid and dangerous for all on the road; you're going to get killed and/or cause an accident.

Why don't the sheriff's deputies ticket these riders, especially when there is a bike lane available? Many of these riders need to look at the traffic laws prior to riding in traffic -- 2 feet from the edge of the right shoulder of the road -- not in the lane of oncoming traffic from behind you.

It's just a shame that the state wasted all that money on something that few use, but law enforcement hasn't had a pay raise in three to four years? I'll still be riding on U.S. 1, but out of the traffic way. Any judge will tell you "there is no excuse for not knowing the law."

Go to Florida Bicycle Association on the web and look it up.

Margaret Kelley

Rockland Key