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  1. Opinion

Restore Florida Forever funding as voters demanded

Here’s what readers had to say in Monday’s letters to the editor.
Adams Ranch, a candidate for protection in 2015 within the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area.
Adams Ranch, a candidate for protection in 2015 within the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area.
Published Dec. 1

It’s time to fund Florida Forever

Restore the funding to the state’s conservation effort | Column, Nov. 9

With Florida’s population increasing rapidly, the need for land and water is also increasing dramatically, which affects Florida’s native species. Approximately 800 people are moving into Florida daily, and the development of land is on the rise. With this kind of development occurring, critical habitats are lost, and pollution is increased.

As a hunter and conservationist, I understand the importance of natural land for our wildlife and am acutely aware of the negative effects that occur because of an increase in development. More human activity causes stressors on the animals, disrupting their natural behavioral rhythms, impacting reproduction and survivorship. Moreover, new roads fragment existing natural lands.

The Florida Forever program provides land conservation to protect natural habitats, our water and our quality of life. Land protection is the cheapest way to continue to have water recharge into our aquifers for our use and to buffer rivers and lakes from pollution. Moreover, 75 percent of voters supported full funding for this program when they voted on Amendment 1 in 2014. Without land protection now, our wildlife and fish resources will suffer, and so will our water supply. The Legislature should fully fund Florida Forever.

Kimberly Rogers, Tallahassee

Whatever insurance works

Florida is big on Obamacare | Nov. 23

Maria Jimenez, 55, center, a certified martketplace navigator helps re-enroll Zuhail Bajanchi, 40, right, and Nelly Picon, 61, left, into their health benefits in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

Like many, I am a worker whose health-care premiums and deductibles increase nearly every year. I’m not hoping for free care, just a better deal. I don’t care if I pay it as a tax or a premium — what is the better deal and value? There are advantages to Medicare-for-all if done fairly. Portability is one. A basic plan allowing private insurers the supplemental market seems doable.

Look honestly at what other nations have done and compare. People may like their health insurance, but those on Medicare love it. Also, if we do not want the rich running everything, do not expect them to pay everything. Sure, they can pay more, but we all need to pay some.

Daniel Colucci, Wesley Chapel

Each vote should count same

The Electoral College

A map of the 2016 election by Congressional district. [Wikimedia Commons]

The Electoral College may prevent one state from having too much power, but it also negates the will of the people. We have seen in too many elections that the majority of American citizens, that is, the popular vote, have their votes discounted simply because of where they happen to live. This is not democratic and does not give the winner a mandate if it goes against most Americans’ wishes.

Anita Jimenez, Tampa

A foster system at deep risk

Foster kids at risk as caseloads increase | Nov. 25

The difficulties that Department of Children and Families caseworkers experience include the trauma they encounter each day, their low pay and overwhelming caseloads. The trauma comes with the job, but low salaries and overwhelming caseloads are the direct result of the state Legislature’s longstanding failure to provide adequate funding. Those conditions result in crippling levels of turnover. The time for our legislators to raise the priority of funding child protection services is long overdue.

Rick Warrener, Odessa

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