Friday, February 17, 2012
Letters to the editor

Reckless cyclists put themselves at risk

Since transferring down here a year and a half ago, I realized that Key West has a more laid-back lifestyle than I was used to. I respect that, and have come to enjoy it. I've learned to adjust my schedule so that my time management is better, and I don't need to rush everywhere.

That being said, I'm still rather perturbed at the multitude of Conchs who insist upon yelling at me that I need to slow down when I'm doing the speed limit. First of all, none of them are cops. Second, the speed limit is the speed limit, and therefore the law of the land. They may be of the opinion that I'm going too fast, but that's all it is; an opinion. If they think motor vehicles should go slower in that particular area, then they need to petition the city to lower the speed limit in whatever area I happen to be traveling. Third, I think they may be yelling at me to slow down because of the multitude of bicyclists and pedestrians that have jumped out in front of me (that I've almost hit) after they blew a stop sign on a busy street.

... Now, I do understand that in certain cases, bicycles have the right of way ..., and as I am also a bicyclist, I respect and obey those rights of way whether I'm on my bike or driving.

However, in cases where you, on a bicycle, decide to ignore a stop sign and barrel out onto a busy street, you show a complete lack respect for the law, a complete lack of respect and consideration for other people, and worst of all, a complete lack of consideration for your own personal safety.

I hope each and every person reading this will take a moment to consider what would occur if they barreled out in front of my 2,300-pound Jeep and I was unable to stop in time. Which do you think would receive the most physical damage? ...

And you tell me to slow down? Take your own advice.

Brian Wise

Key West

Mutated mosquitoes threaten public health

I cannot believe what I found out today. During a discussion about the column Jody Smith Williams wrote in Solares Hill about fooling Mother Nature, my neighbor, who works at a shop downtown, informed me that a customer told her she was here doing a "field test" for our mosquito abatement program. She represented a company from Great Britain. They are here already. ...

The Florida Department of Health has posted on its website the statistics for dengue fever in Monroe County. Here are the numbers: 22 people in July 2009 tested positive for dengue; 55 people in 2010 tested positive. No reported cases since November 2010.

Excuse me, am I hearing that we are jeopardizing the health of 25,000 residents of Key West -- plus all of the visiting tourists -- because 77 people tested positive two years ago? We're going to release thousands of mosquitoes in hopes of diminishing the mosquito population that carries dengue fever? Are we crazy? Who are these people from England? Is anyone out there paying attention to the potential health risks? How many times has science interfered with nature and nature wins?

This is just unbelievable to me. I am getting certified to be a corporate wellness coach. That's almost a joke now. How are people going to be well when they are getting bit by genetically modified mosquitoes? I will be advising them not to eat any food that is suspected of being genetically mutated.

That's kind of easy. Eat organic as much as possible. They are really the only producers that are not allowed to use genetically mutated feed or products in their food. Some companies will proudly display "non-GMO."

Most European countries have banned GMOs. What does that tell you? Why is this company that is selling us this mosquito abatement program not selling to anyone in its own country? Maybe we need to get a petition together to stop the Mosquito Control Board from taking our lives in their hands. Is anyone with me?

Heidi R. Golightly

Key West

Officer and EMTs were caring and professional

Just a shout out to Officer Leipold and the EMTs who responded to my daughter's recent bike crash at White and Petronia streets. Caring, compassionate, professional -- the superlatives could go on and on.

And by the way, she's fine and, it seems, the wiser.

Art Kara

Key West