In reference to the April 25 Sun article: Some question whether it would be beneficial for the Archer Braid Trail to run to Archer. There are many events where bikers ride to Archer and back to Gainesville.
Archer is a very busy road and the bike lane is very narrow. We ride recumbent trikes and there are sections where our trikes will not fit, so we are riding a foot on the highway.
It would be much safer with the Archer Braid Trail. We could ride our trikes to the farmers market and eat at some of the fine restaurants at Haile Plantation.
We are very excited and can't wait for the Archer Braid Trail to Archer because we would conserve gas. Cyclists who now must head back to Gainesville on Archer Road would have a safe bike trail.
Jerry Smith, Ann Benton, Archer
By Anthony Clark
The Calusa Animal Inn received word Friday that it can stay open while the Alachua County Attorney's Office looks into whether the 35-year-old kennel conforms to zoning restrictions in a residential area.
The Alachua County code enforcement board initially gave the kennel on Millhopper Road until Friday to appeal, shut down or apply for a special exception permit. Earlier this month, however, the board decided to remove business owner Russell Milner from the code case and delayed the deadline for 180 days.
The kennel had been open for a decade when Milner and his late wife, Louise, bought it in 1987. Milner, who is 92, sold it to Linda and Peter Bensen in 2007.
Sometime after that, Ralph Bratton, who has lived next door since 2002, started complaining about barking dogs. That brought the business to the attention of county code enforcement after flying under the radar for more than 20 years as a noncomforming use in a residential neighborhood, based on the county's land-use map.
In April 2010, code enforcement gave the Bensens 18 months to apply for a special exception or shut down. Linda Bensen said that rather than deal with the stress while in treatment for cancer, they decided to close the kennel. Milner bought back the business to keep it open while the Bensens kept the property.
The 18 months expired in November 2011, and the case came before the code board in January. The board gave the kennel 60 days to comply or face $100 a day in fines. The board also added Milner to the complaint during the meeting.
After Milner's attorney complained, he was dropped from the complaint on April 5.
Linda Bensen could not be reached for comment Friday. She had encouraged Milner to apply for a special exception at a cost of $4,000, saying the land is worth less without a business on it.
Milner said he did not want to apply because he'd still have the problem of the neighbor complaining about noise. He also said business wasn't good enough to fight it.
In the meantime, he said he'd stay open.
"I'm just sort of waiting until Oct. 2 to see what happens in the meantime," he said.
I see that the citizens of Alachua County are going to be asked to approve a three-quarter of a penny sales tax for a period of 15 years this fall.
I would like for the county and the city of Gainesville to give us the total amount of money they have received from all sources during the past 10 years that was originally designated for roads.
Then I would like to see what percent of this amount was actually used to build, repair and repave roads. Then I would like to see what other projects were funded from the original source and what percentage of the original amount these pet projects consumed.
I might support the sales tax if we could be assured that all the money would go toward building, repairing, paving and repaving roads. I will not if any of the money is going to go toward anything else.W.C. Willis, Gainesville
To all of the CHOICES objectors:
Two years ago my daughter, who had not been to a physican for several years due to financial constraints, enrolled in CHOICES. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and subsequently underwent surgery, with all traces of the cancer removed.
A small co-pay covered her meds, needed corrective glasses, dentures and the diagnostic tests leading to her surgery. Unfortunately, she lost her job and is no longer able to get coverage under CHOICES.
Had it not been for CHOICES her cancer may have spread and she may be facing a bleak future today.
Those who continue to express negative opinions about CHOICES aren't fully aware of the positive benefits received. Perhaps, if there were positive feedback such as this, there would be no objections to continuing this program.
Thank you for the health care CHOICES made possible for my daughter.
Nelda Bibb, Gainesville
With respect to Alachua County's proposed Archer Braid Trail, Haile Plantation Resident Bill Bradley (Voice, April 27) believes "it is entirely wrong for all county residents to be made to pay for my (his) enjoyment."
This is a very strange statement. One is left to conclude that Bradley rejects the fundamental social compact of modern human society. If true, perhaps he might soon relocate to a deserted island whereby he may enjoy a more simplified accounting of costs and benefits.
I am not a Haile resident but visit periodically. As a bicycle commuter I am guaranteed to visit Haile businesses more frequently upon completion of the Archer Braid Trail.
I suspect if Bradley was more candid, he'd admit to periodically leaving Haile Plantation and using other county amenities himself.Rob Robins, Gainesville
I'd like to thank County Commissioner Winston Bradley for suggesting that Haile Plantation residents be allowed to vote on the proposed Archer Braid trail.
You would have thought that Commissioner Mike Byerly would have suggested something similar, however, he seems to be quite busy “correcting” all the supposed misinformation about the trail. Byerly even responded to an email I sent to the commissioners and he provided some very interesting information.
Byerly made quite clear that Haile Plantation residents will incur no increased HOA fees for either the development or continuing maintenance of the trail.
That means all Alachua County residents will foot the bill for Byerly's pet project.
I am opposed to the trail for a number of reasons, however, since I live in Haile Plantation, I would probably enjoy using it trail. I also believe it is entirely wrong for all county residents to be made to pay for my enjoyment.
Bill Bradley, Gainesville
It's sexual assault awareness month a memo some say Governor Rick Scott didn't get when he vetoed one and half million dollars in funding for rape crisis centers. GTN's George Solis reports on the reasoning behind the veto and what crisis cents plan to do now.
to view this sotry.
With a major backlog of road construction projects to consider, Alachua County Commissioners move forward on one pressing need. They voted 3 to 2 voted to approve a new design for one of the busiest intersections in North Central Florida. It's the corner of Southwest 20th Avenue and 61st street in Southwest Gainesville.
County officials say the intersection design involved widening out so there's a right turn lane and two left turn lanes. Residents say the changes need to be made before anything tragic happens.
"Sooner or Later God forbid a tragedy is going to occur," Marcel Mason, Linton Oaks resident said.
Marcel Mason has lived in the Linton Oaks neighborhood for three years and has seen many accidents happen. He just saw one on Monday.
"When the one car did out, an accident occurred right before the bridge," Mason said.
He hopes the county will do something to prevent more accidents from happening.
"They need some stop signs or turnabouts or something, because its a dangerous intersection," Mason said.
"All in favor of the motion please say aye, those who oppose, motion carries 3-2 with Delaney and Byerly in dissent," Paula Delaney, County Commissioner said.
Commissioners met with staff to figure out ways to make the project safer for everyone. Residents were concerned the broader project, to connect SW 8th Avenue to 61st Street could become a high speed corridor.
"In the future we're going to have a problem there, I do want 8th Avenue to be open, I do agree with Mike Byerly on still wanting it to be a residential area, but speed bumps is what going to help this area," one resident told the commission.
But some commissioners felt if this project goes through, other problems need to be addressed.
"You're going to alleviate the tower road then, so then tower road becomes a bigger priority as it always should be," Susan Baird, County Commissioner said.
This intersection, however, will be first.
"Its a very dangerous intersection, and you have children catching school buses here every morning," Mason said.
County leaders are still in talks about the Southwest 8th Avenue Connector but they're trying to purchase the land for the project.
to view this story.