Human rights ordinance

 

compassion wins


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I want to say thank you to the City Council and the mayor for passing the HRO. It’s about time that Jacksonville showed itself to be a city of morality and progress by not allowing hate and discrimination to continue.

To those who oppose it, shame on you! How can you support hate? Before you answer with some sort of religious balderdash, remember that we all learned in Sunday School some form of “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I suspect all religions teach something similar. Religion is a choice we make. Being LGBT is not.

I often wonder what would happen if, instead of wasting our time on hating one another over how we’re born, or over things that don’t affect us personally, we channeled that energy into helping each other, regardless of any identifiers.

What would happen if instead of spending money fighting equality for all, we spent that money on feeding the homeless? Or on improving our schools? I guess I’m naive in thinking that we’re meant to get along and help each other in the world. I just know I’d rather live a life of compassion instead of hate.

Korey Watkins, Jacksonville

EL FARO

THANKS FOR PROBE

Thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard for conducting six weeks of public fact finding investigative hearings into the El Faro disaster.

Also thanks to Times-Union reporter Sebastian Kitchen for excellent reporting on each of those 30 days of public hearings.

I was having dinner at the Sand Dollar Restaurant along the St. Johns River the night the El Faro departed on its last trip and had a brief, but distant, connection with the 33-person crew as the El Faro ship sailed out the St. Johns River for the last time.

I followed all the Times-Union El Faro articles and counted an outrageous number (48) of quality defects that contributed to the El Faro disaster.

As a business quality system leader, I found that the simultaneous occurrence of multiple defects often can cause disasters.

Hence, a quality system and quality culture focused on elimination of all defects was required to prevent disasters.

The testimony of the Tote Marine leadership tried to make the case in defending each defect that each defect by itself was not necessarily sufficient to cause the disaster.

It is apparent that Tote Marine leadership does not understand the need for a quality system and quality culture that is focused on eliminating all defects in order to prevent disasters.

I am optimistic that the Coast Guard Investigation Team has developed an understanding that it was the simultaneous occurrence of multiple defects that caused the El Faro disaster, and their recommendations will address the lack of a marine shipping quality system and quality culture.

Phil Scanlan, Amelia Island

DISTRACTED DRIVING

AFFECTING PREMIUMS

Thank you for the recent editorial on distracted driving. There is little question that there has been an explosion of distracted driving in Florida. If folks have recently received an auto insurance premium notice, their rates will most likely have spiked, and I’m betting the dramatic increase in distracted driving crashes might be the reason.

My wife and I are both in our late 70s and our driving miles are way down from what they were 15 years ago. Recently, I received semi-annual auto insurance premium notices for both of our vehicles.

The premiums have gone up at about $100 for each vehicle, which translates into $400 per year.

We will now be paying over $2,000 per year for auto insurance coverage.

I might add that in the past six months we have located from the Mandarin area to Nocatee. I can assure you that the traffic volume is considerably less in Nocatee than it was traveling San Jose Boulevard on a regular basis.

Clearly, I can only point to one reason for this development, the increase in crashes statewide.

I’ll point out another result of distracted driving. I’m betting that most folks have been in a left turn lane with a left turn signal, and that when the green arrow lights up, nothing moves! More often than not, I would guess it is a texting driver who is the culprit.

Might this not be a contributor to road rage?

Florida’s lawmakers need to wake up and take this problem seriously!

J. W. Wilkens, Ponte Vedra

Illegal aliens

Fake news reported

I was stunned that the Times-Union reprinted the Associated Press fake news story on using the National Guard to round-up illegal aliens and deport them.

It was a lower level staff memo, along with dozens of other “what ifs” after a request for any ideas on how to handle our immigration mess and was never seriously considered as the story attests!

During the Cold War when I worked at Strategic Air Command, we had extreme contingency plans to use small nukes as a warning to the Soviet Bloc not to escalate its increased sabre rattling or regional kinetic action.

Does that justify a label of a warmonger or war criminal? They were called war plans and there were hundreds, maybe thousands.

The National Guard story has been debunked numerous times in the last week by honest news sources.

Why keep printing this junk?

Michael H. Clarke, Jacksonville