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Incinerator data ‘generalized and vague’

Dear Editor:

I attended the April 3 county commission meeting regarding the proposed bio-hazard treatment plant and I’m concerned about this health risk coming to our hometown.

I find it very troubling that the information presented from the Integrated Waste Management Systems representatives at the meeting was very generalized and extremely vague at best. No specific information was delivered to the concerned citizens or county commissioners, which left me with grave concerns considering specific information was requested of them.

Yet, specific information was presented to the immediate property owners surrounding the planned construction site on March 29. This leads one to believe the citizens of Baker County are intentionally not being provided relevant information regarding the significant health concerns surrounding this project.

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Neighbors irked by Walmart DC, Who knew?

Whether a medical waste incinerator is located east of Macclenny or not will turn on many variables that are yet to be sorted out.

Maybe it’s safe; maybe it’s not. With all the regulatory agencies that have to pass muster on projects like these, and the fact that environmental regulation is the “new religion” of the 21st Century, it’s feasible the project would pose little threat to the surroundings if approved.

The parade of public hearings attached to a project like this is there for a reason. The public needs to be heard, as do the people who want to locate it here with the promise of “clean” industry and much-needed jobs.

What puzzled yours truly in the discussion so far was that people who live around Enterprise East at Trailridge are upset at the nearby Walmart Distribution Center.

Who knew?

Walmart DC has been here a decade, and unless yours truly is misinformed, it has been a resounding asset to Baker County. The jobs pay well, the operation is pollution-free, it’s been a boon to our tax base and from day one the management over there has been the most community conscious of any organization, private or public, in the county. Ever.

What am I missing here?

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Public cut out of Taber ”compromise’

More on the continuing saga of “Stop Sign Alley,” otherwise known as George Taber Blvd. in Glen St. Mary.

The newspaper is picking up more complaints from motorists who feel, as does yours truly, that the county’s effort to appease the First Baptist Church of Glen, which initially wanted to close Taber, amounts to silly overkill.

In what the county now calls a “compromise,” four stop signs were erected at Taber’s intersection with two east-west streets — Andrews and South Boulevard — ostensibly to slow traffic north and south past church buildings on both sides of the road.

In addition, the county installed a raised pedestrian crossing over Taber between the main church buildings and others to the west, plus a parking area.

County Manager C.J. Thompson said the plan was worked out between the county and church officials after the county commission balked at the church’s bid to close the road.

Hence, the “compromise.”

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Prohibit curbside soliciting

Sandwhich board sign soliciting donations at US 90 and 5th Street last week.Driving around the Macclenny area late last week, you’d likely come across people soliciting cash for an organization billing itself as the Disabled Veterans Foundation.

Clad in camouflage fatigues and handing out miniature American flags, motorists got the impression they were veterans helping other vets with “food, clothing, housing and work.” That’s what it said on those sandwich signs posted at collection points.

The newspaper (and city hall) fielded numerous telephone inquiries as to just who these people were. Are they legit, callers wanted to know.

We posted on the newspaper’s Facebook page an article indicating the Plantation-based non-profit organization may not be what it’s cracked up to be. The gist: it’s unclear how much of what it collects actually ends up in the pockets of down-and-out veterans.

Yours truly spoke with one of the collectors (a nice gentleman), who made the startling revelation that until recently he had been homeless. He was part of the Disabled Veterans Foundation team moving from city to city collecting money.

He was being paid, and the non-profit was footing travel expenses for the group. He seemed truly grateful for the opportunity.

According to a Miami television station, this and other similar organizations that tug at the heart strings of Americans concerned about the fate of our veterans are out there collecting money. They are not affiliated with government agencies like the Veterans Administration, and many of them are, well, a bit on the shady side.

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