Beaches: How to waste $20 million


Editor: County Commissioners recently voted to approve the creation of two Municipal Service Taxing Units to fund the local share for dune and berm replacement in South Ponte Vedra, North Beach and Vilano. The state has $10 million dollars in matching funds if St. Johns County can come up with $10 million. Commissioners plan to raise the money by taxing people who live on either side of A1A north of the Vilano Bridge. The plan is, to truck in 500,000 cubic yards of sand and dump it along beaches eroded by Matthew, Irma and every Nor’easter that’s ever hit Northeast Florida.

This is a $20 million dollar project to dump sand on the beach. Some of us who live in the proposed Municipal Service Taxing Units think it would be just as effective to line the beach with $20 million dollar bills. At least that way, when it’s washed out to sea, swimmers, surfers, boaters and fishermen would reap some of the benefit. Nobody benefits from dumping more sand in the ocean.

Breakwaters (made with rocks or concrete) might be helpful in stemming erosion, but the state apparently doesn’t have funding for breakwaters. We think dumping sand on a beach and hoping it sticks is stupid, even for a government entity.

Charlie Seraphin

St. Augustine

Trump: We’re on our way to greatness

Editor: Now that President Trump has been in office nearly a year, it is time to review his administration’s accomplishments and thank him for his untiring leadership in achieving these campaign promises and goals in spite of all the resistance in Congress and merciless bashing by the media. Thanks goes to President Trump for the following accomplishments:

— The tax code has been revised resulting in reduced taxes for individuals, small businesses and corporations, which will make America competitive again.

— Illegal immigration has been reduced by up to 70 percent, even without the wall. Building the wall is a priority and has already begun.

— Arresting over 3,300 MS13 vicious gang members on felony charges and actually deporting over 300 of them.

— Our military has been fully funded and supported by sensible rules of engagement.

— Saying what we mean and meaning what we say. No apologies for America.

— Putting America first in all areas.

— Travel bans from unfriendly countries have been put forward and upheld by the courts.

— Extreme vetting will be employed to determine whether those entering our country may be a danger to our cities and families.

— Standing up for our flag and National Anthem.

— Millions of new jobs have been created due to a new wave of optimism in the U.S.

— The stock market has hit over 85 new highs and the economy has grown well over 3 percent in recent quarters, compared to the previous periods of stagnation before 2017.

Draining the swamp , however has only begun. Thanks for doing the difficult which took some time. Hopefully doing the impossible will take you just a little longer. We are well on the road to making America great again.

Bill Hofmann

St. Augustine

Church doors are open on chilly nights

Editor: In response to Mary Lawrence’s “Where are cold weather protocols?”

You were right, there were no churches open on the night of Jan. 2. But, for the next three nights, churches housed 109 guests in downtown St. Augustine.

My mission has been to get churches to open their doors on cold nights. In three years I have managed to get only two churches willing to participate.

The good news is that I have been able to change the protocol for opening from an overnight low of 32 degrees to one of 40 degrees. I use as my standard the forecast overnight low (by 7 a.m.) of 40 degrees as predicted by the Weather Channel for the 32084 Zip code.

The night of Jan. 2 was, indeed, a nasty night, with very low wind chills. No doubt someone should have opened their doors that night. I hope, as the self-appointed point man for this mission, to do a better job factoring in wind chill temperatures. Part of my challenge is finding enough churches and volunteers so I don’t wear out my welcome when we have a prolonged cold spell as we are experiencing now.

Harry Ruhsam

St. Augustine

Ruhsam is Coordinator for Cold Night Shelter at Grace United Methodist Church

Memorials are all about loved ones lost

Editor: I was surprised to read that the Rev. Ron Rawls plans another demonstration about the Confederate memorial in the Plaza de la Constitucion and the William Wing Loring monument west of Government House. The decision has been made that the structures will not be removed and it is a waste of time of our government employees and commissioners to pursue it. If Rawls wants to fight the Civil War again I suggest he do it in classrooms and churches.

The Confederate statue is a memorial to the dead. The article The Record ran twice (due to a production error) was clear about the woman who wished to honor her Pacetti relative. That is the point of the memorial. The woman who was hurt by a racial slur has every right to be upset by bigotry, but that memorial does not represent the opinions of people today.

My heritage is half German and half what I call “southern.” My father’s southern family probably did own slaves and I can’t go back and change that. My mother’s family supported everyone in Germany that feared and hated Hitler. With that in mind I support every Holocaust Museum and every history course taught about World War II.

If someone cursed me for being a German, I would simply understand the stupidity and walk away. If anyone wanted to put up a statue to Hitler I would be the first to object. The Holocaust museums remembering the dead are important to the people whose family members died. Our memorials are exactly that, remembering loved ones.

Perhaps, Rev. Rawls has contributed much to the community, but it is time to stop the negative demonstrations and give the memorials in our plazas the respect they deserve.

Karen Harvey

St. Augustine

Harvey is an author of books about St. Augustine history and a historic interpreter including black history.