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Palm Coast Thursday, Apr. 26, 2018 6 months ago

What happened to the plan for safer bus stops in Palm Coast?

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Here's what your neighbors are talking about.

Dear Editor:

Whatever happened to the plan to provide safe, lighted and well-marked areas for school bus pick-up points?

It has been sometime since this issue was discussed, and, to date, nothing has been done. Children are still walking to school bus stops in the dark, wearing dark clothes and standing in unlighted areas. 

Along with the lighting and marking of school bus stops, shelters from the elements should be added. 

If, as a community, we are truly concerned about school children and their safety, then put city efforts and funding available to make this happen. If we can spend enormous sums to beautify our city, let us first take care of our children.  

I am disappointed that the City Council, city staff, schools and parents have not been more vocal. Platitudes need to be turned into real action. Our children’s well being and safety should be a No. 1 funding priority.

O.W. "Buck" Troesch

Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: According to city spokeswoman Cindi Lane, the pilot study was not used. She wrote, "The school district moves school bus stops each year (or more often) depending on where the student population is. ... The school district is relying more on proactive education to help students say safe. As far as street lights go, to the best of our knowledge all bus stops currently have a streetlight. If any are needed, we can add one at that spot. We intend to have a streetlight at all school bus stops." Streetlights can also be requested at areas that aren't bus stops. Visit https://bit.ly/2vZ3yMd.

Improve Old Kings Road, then worry about Florida Park

Dear Editor:

It has been proposed that the city spend $42,000 on a study for stop signs on Florida Park Drive. I can give you advice for $10,000. 

The purpose of proposed stop signs is to discourage traffic shortcuts and force cars to use an alternate route. So what do you think the next convenient route is? Old Kings Road. Great. A road that should have been widened 15 years ago. It becomes only one lane each way north of the bowling alley, and cars back up unmercifully trying to make left turns into the business centers there. 

So you really need to make Old Kings at least three lanes (a center turn lane) in that area, and, of course, if at all possible, four lanes, as a first step. Once completed, then you can worry about Florida Park Drive. 

A check or money order for the $10,000 will be fine; then you can use the other $32,000 to help the homeless or improve the drainage. 

James Durso

Palm Coast

Do we really need libraries?

Dear Editor:

Libraries have played an important role in this country, helping generations of immigrants, young people, job seekers and readers to learn, stay connected and get ahead in life. Offering access to free books, newspapers and, later, computers, they opened up a world of knowledge and ideas for millions of people. But now, with information literally at our fingertips on smartphones and tablets, are libraries still important?

Yes, they are. Every time I go to our local library, it is bustling. I can only assume the question is asked is because of modern day internet access in most households gives people access to information the way the library used to?  But, I don’t think the World Wide Web is the same kind of resource. The library has people — real, live educated people — who can walk you through finding a resource on just about anything. Librarians are cool like that.

Plus, they offer so many community outreach programs for children, young adults and adults, and it’s all free. You can borrow a book, a movie, and video game, and plop the kids down for story time all in one visit. It’s like the last thing in the world that is free (unless you want to get technical and say it comes out of your taxes).

Lets look at taxes and the economics of libraries.

For Flagler County’s fiscal year 2017-2018, the county budgeted $1,225,498 in local taxes for library services, or less than 1% of the total countywide budget of $177,549,906. This represents an annual cost of $32 for each of the county’s 38,150 households. In return, in the prior fiscal year, the library circulated 411,604 items, saving residents more than $6.1 million if they were to purchase items themselves. And that's not counting all the story hours for children, public access computer usage, public programs, assistance in locating information on health, financial and e-government information, interlibrary loans and many other valuable educational services provided to the community.

This year, the library implemented a new software application that allows each patron to determine their own savings by using the library. When one checks out items at the customer service desk, one now receives a check out receipt. In a recent visit to the library by me, I got a receipt with the following information:

"You just saved $26.99 by checking out these items out at your library! In the past year you have saved $541.69."

Despite our high tech world, public libraries are arguably more important today than ever before. Their mission is still the same: to provide free access to information to all people. The way people access information has changed, but they still need the information to succeed, and libraries are providing that.

Or as Andrew Carnegie said many years ago: "A library outranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert."

Ronald E. Pokigo

Assistant Treasurer, Friends of the Library of Flagler County

Why no commercial development near Epic Theaters?

Dear Editor:

Kudos to Epic Theatres for contributing to the leisure/social lifestyle of Flagler County several years ago by taking a risk in building a theater in Palm Coast, particularly on such an isolated parcel of land.  

I’m guessing when that decision was made, it was partially based on restaurants and shops filling in some of the remaining undeveloped locations — as previously planned.

To date, multiple eating establishments, shops/stores and gas stations have been built along the State Road 100 corridor, with additional establishments on the way. I also applaud that.  

It’s obviously a moot point to ask why, post recession, none of the aforementioned establishments were built around/near the theater — but I just have to say it!

Can anyone provide a sound explanation as to why this land is not being developed, particularly with the commercial growth nearby?

Lola Staubs 

Palm Coast 

Second Amendment protects citizens from their own government

Dear Editor:

Anyone who thinks the Second Amendment is “outdated” obviously does not know history or the reasons that the Second Amendment was included in the Constitution in the first place. The Second Amendment is no more “outdated” than the moral code set forth in the Bible. The purpose of the Second Amendment is not solely for protection from criminals, but from one’s own government. 

The British tried to disarm the colonists at Lexington. The German people were legally disarmed and unable to defend themselves against the Nazi regime. Anyone who thinks that our government is and always will be benevolent is very naïve. 

It is impossible to remove every single object that can be used as a weapon and prevent every single tragedy from happening. Even if we ban nails, screws, household cleaners and any item that could be used to make a bomb and all vehicles which could be used to make a car bomb, etc., evil and mentally ill people will still find a way to carry out evil deeds. Criminals and deranged people do not respect "gun free zones" or gun laws. The only thing you are accomplishing is make everyone defenseless.

Let's focus on what will help to reduce tragedies, like better security in schools, preventing bullying, teaching our children respect for others and compassion, help for the mentally ill, and follow up on information about threats made about mass shootings (the last school shooter was known to the FBI). Have you listened to the side effects for antidepressant drugs?  They include suicidal and homicidal thoughts.  

Benjamin Franklin once said: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Let’s not forget history and never think it can’t happen here.

Alice Losasso

Palm Coast

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