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Opinion
Palm Coast Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 2 months ago

Duplexes are bringing Palm Coast down, says one letter writer

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Also in letters: illegal fireworks, roundabouts, Bings Landing
by: Guest Writer

Put a moratorium on duplexes in Palm Coast

Dear Editor:

Something should be done in this city with duplexes being built all over the place. It’s a shame there can’t be a moratorium on building them.

Duplexes, obviously, are always rentals, and they usually are always trashed. Everywhere you turn nowadays a whole row of them are being built in every section of Palm Coast. The sad part is when they are being built around nice respectable private homes. This is also probably part of the reason why people don’t want low-income housing. These duplexes are getting a good rent, and they are trashed. I can only imagine low-income housing.

Something really needs to be done to do away with duplexes. Also when you put these duplexes where these nice homes are, their property value goes down. I truly hope something is done soon about this problem.

Pat Stasio

Palm Coast

 

Free Clinic is independent of Health Department

Dear Editor:

Flagler County is fortunate to have many health care professionals and organizations who provide an exemplary level of medical service to our community. As the executive director of the Flagler County Free Clinic, I am concerned that the recent article of Jan. 3, 2019, “Flagler DOH’s Steven Bickel helps grow HIV clinic,” seemed to conflate the Flagler County Free Clinic and the Flagler County Health Department.

The Flagler County Free Clinic is a nonprofit organization established in February 2005. The clinic cares for the medically uninsured, low-income members of our community. This care is provided at no charge to any patient who qualifies for service through the free clinic. This very important work is sustained by the efforts of 100 volunteers, 30 of those volunteers’ medical providers, and five paid staff members.

The free clinic is sustained through private sector donations and grants. The Flagler County Free Clinic is not associated with the Flagler County Health Department; however, the Florida State Health Department does provide sovereign immunity to licensed health care providers who volunteer at any free clinic in the state.

The Hepatitis C program mentioned in article was created by the Flagler County Free Clinic. The Flagler County Free Clinic provided all necessary diagnostic tests, which includes labs and imaging valued at over $3,000 per patient. These tests were provided due to the support that Adventist Hospital (formerly Florida Hospital Flagler) has provided to the Free Clinic for many years. The clinic’s Hepatitis C program is ongoing.

I am happy that after Dr. Bickel resigned from his volunteer work at the Free Clinic, early in 2018, he continued to care for seriously ill individuals through his work at the Flagler County Health Department. But it is important to recognize that the Flagler County Free Clinic is the only medical safety net for the uninsured in Flagler County and the only free medical clinic in Flagler County. The Flagler County Free Clinic is sustained by the good work of many of our community’s healthcare professionals.

Terri Belletto

Executive Director

Flagler County Free Clinic

 

Illegal fireworks make bad neighbors

Dear Editor:

For years (and maybe forever) the Sheriff’s Office has been totally ineffective in curbing illegal fireworks in Palm Coast. With no arrests, no citations written and not even the confiscation of any illegal fireworks, maybe it’s time to give up on law enforcement and address the root of the problem: bad neighbors.

At 2 a.m. on New Year’s, the barrage of fireworks explosions persisted in our neighborhood. We have unfortunately come to expect to be held captive to a sleepless night while some thoughtless neighbors carried out their rather perverse ritual of exploding their (louder is better) illegal fireworks. These neighbors know they are breaking the law and in fact have often planned far in advance to do so. They know that they will be annoying and will keep a lot of their neighbors awake. They know that some neighbors may be military veterans suffering from PTSD. They know they will be frightening wildlife and neighborhood pets and will be posing a fire danger to their community. But they carry on anyway with this premeditated lack of empathy and blatant disregard for the law.

They are imposing their unwanted self-absorbed illegal and grossly noisy celebration on others.

It’s time for these people to be better. Stop being an annoyance and a danger and begin to be good neighbors and law-abiding citizens. Simple consideration and respect makes for a better community.

Bob Gordon

Palm Coast

 

Collision of visions for Bings Landing

Dear Editor:

If you have been wondering why every week folks are protesting and carrying signs, writing letters to the editor, hiring attorneys, having meetings and raising money, it is really quite simple. There is a collision of visions for the Bings Landing park.

The vision has been in place for quite some time as indicated by the grants received and Environmentally Sensitive taxes used to procure and develop the park. In Flagler County we have a beautiful intracoastal park that most of us thought met the vision of an extraordinary park. It has play areas, shady sitting areas, picnic tables, gazebos for private parties/gatherings, natural areas with trails, boat launch, an archaeological site, places to fish, sit in the sun or in the shade under centuries-old oaks and palm trees. We even have a small restaurant that blended with the park where we could to enjoy the views and grab a bite to eat.

The proper way to set about making changes to any valuable county asset would be for the county to hold workshops and get input on the vision for the asset and any implementation of changes needed to achieve that vision. This should have happened before the first vote of the county commissioners to proceed with dramatic changes to the park. No documentation was provided of problems with the restaurant building, no cost estimates for repair, no creative thinking seemed to have been done on how to repair or replace the structure of the same size and same place. Suddenly and unfortunately a new vision was created.

Prior to this very latest and enormous change in vision, the vision has been changing incrementally: the vision of the restaurant dominating the park!

Both the county and the restaurant have lost credibility and good will of the taxpayers, residents and visitors. Let’s get this fixed and move on to other important county issues.

Ann Butler

Palm Coast

 

Roundabouts will make trucks slow down unnecessarily

Dear Editor:

I assume the planned roundabouts on U.S. 1 are a “done deal.”

Never saw commentary regarding the effect of roundabouts on commerce.

Effectively every vehicle transiting U.S.1, 24 hours a day, every day, will be required to slow to 30 mph at each roundabout, then reaccelerate.

The crossing roads have only sporadic activity — more so at particular times of the day but are otherwise inactive.

This means for example, say at 3 a.m. a commercial driver will be required to slow and navigate the roundabout for a cross road that has seen no activity for hours.

Sounds to me somewhat like a tail-wagging-the-dog situation.

“Smart” traffic signals at these intersections detecting the presence of a crossing vehicle can stop the main road as required. Rush hours can work a timed schedule.

Joseph Rizza

Palm Coast

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