Today's letters: Readers comment on turnpike extension, Olympic skaters and Florida

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Dunnellon supports ‘no build’

I want to acknowledge the swift action by the Dunnellon City Council, under the strong leadership of Mayor Bill White, to develop a resolution advocating for the “no build” option for the Florida Department of Transportation Northern Turnpike Extension Project proposed to run through or near the city of Dunnellon. This resolution was forwarded to Marion County commissioners last month who, after hearing compelling public opinion against the project, rejected the use of stronger language of opposition in their letter to the FDOT.

The impact that a massive construction corridor would have through the recharge zone of Florida’s most pristine spring, Rainbow River, would undoubtedly be devastating. White has committed to remaining vigilant as the project phases unfold. However, this is a decision much bigger than our small city. Learn more about the project at floridasturnpike.com and make your voice heard to Marion County Commissioners Craig Curry, Michelle Stone and Jeff Gold.

Let’s stand together against this unnecessary, environmentally harmful and expensive project.

Juliane Mendonca, Dunnellon

Acknowledging another skater

First and foremost, such wonderful articles were written about Brittany Bowe, Erin Jackson and Joey Mantia. They are absolutely awesome! I love them dearly. They have skated with my daughter, Paige Schwartzburg, since they inlined together here in Ocala.

My daughter has been skating and training with them so many years now out in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the long track national team. She, too, went to the Olympic trials in Milwaukee. She skated wonderfully, but unfortunately didn’t qualify.

My thing is that even though she didn’t qualify, it would have been so nice for you all to just acknowledge her. I mean, she, too, is from Ocala and has skated at such a high level just like the others, but, like I said, didn’t qualify.

But I, along with my family and friends, are so super proud of her and we love her so very much. What an honor all these years to be on the USA long track national team and a World Cup team member as well. Best of luck to her teammates — Brittany, Joey and Erin. We love them so very much! Go USA!

Tracy Alderson, Ocala

Not the freest state

When our governor says we are "the freest state in the union," I wonder what he means.

The Florida death rate is more than 2,900 deaths per million residents. This rate is not only above the U.S. death rate; Canada, for example, has a little more than 800 deaths per million. You don't have to be a math major to know this is 3.5 times less than our state.

Australia, Cuba, Japan, Taiwan, etc., also are many times lower than Florida. If you feel safe in Marion County, think again. Our county death rate is almost twice that of the state of Florida.

No need to be vaccinated or wear a mask. So, I guess we have more freedom to die.

If you want to learn about the lynching of blacks in the history of Florida, our governor will not allow history teachers to mention this in their class; even in college. What about the massacre of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921? It never happened, according to our governor. It’s OK to mention Pearl Harbor, but not the bombing of Hiroshima. I guess we have more freedom to be ignorant of our past.

If your daughter is raped and our governor has his way, she may have to go to another state for an abortion. So much for the "freest state of the union."

Julio Travieso, Ocala

This article originally appeared on Ocala Star-Banner: Jan. 15 letters: Readers comment on turnpike extension and more

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