Flooding issue is still being ignored
In the summer of 2010, I submitted a complaint to the Division of Water regarding potential flooding of our property due to non-permitted culvert placement and fill initiated by a neighbor. The department found our neighbor non-compliant. However, no follow up for remediation was conducted.
In the summer of 2014, our home was destroyed by floodwater that could not escape from the culvert and 9-foot fill. Five feet of water stood in our yard like a lake.
Our neighbor has ignored each and every request by the department to reconstruct or remove the illegal construction.
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Many calls and emails to the department remain unanswered. This tragedy could have, and should have, been prevented. The case has now been forwarded to the Department of Environmental Protection, Enforcement Division.
Although we were invited to call and email regarding the case, none have been returned. I feel once again ignored.
Rep. Hubert Collins told us we had suffered some bad luck. Sen. Brandon Smith told us it was unfortunate but let the state do its job. The attorney general's office said to keep calling the Department of Environmental Protection.
Meanwhile, the forecast calls for heavy rain with flooding likely.
Freedom is not free
Since the release of the movie American Sniper, I have read some letters in which the writers seemed to have forgotten the cost of freedom and freedom of speech.
When our country established the right to freedom of speech it was secured by our leadership and the men and women in uniform.
I have firsthand knowledge of countries that do not have such freedoms. If you were to express some of the things I have read in the past few months, you would be arrested and possibly put to death — painfully and publicly. Your family would also be persecuted, tortured and maybe even put to death.
We all have the freedom to have opinions. We have the freedom to express them without fear of retaliation. This is because some of us stepped up to insure this freedom without concern for personal well-being or safety.
We will continue to provide your right to free speech, no matter the cost.
Retired U.S. Army Infantry
Court shouldn't legislate
The Supreme Court's second shot at the Affordable Care Act shows again the harm done our politics by the court's usurpation of legislative powers.
Millions of American wait on the pleasure of nine unelected judges to find out if they can have health-care coverage. This is a political, not a legal, matter. Only the court's assertion that it has the power to review the work of Congress allows it to overturn laws passed by representatives duly elected by the people.
If the court insists on a role in the legislative process, it should be a matter of constitutional amendment. The present method is arbitrarily hazardous and politically destructive.
To correct other weakness in the court, the amendment should also state that congressional legislation can be overturned only by a 6 to 3 vote or greater and that justices will serve a term of 12 years rather than lifetime, with the three most senior judges replaced every four years.
As a rule only possible congressional violations of the Bill of Rights should be subject to court overturn. All other issues of congressional legislation will be left to the voters to decide.
Willis J. Sutter
Fox News' faux reality
Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly has now been established beyond any reasonable doubt to have lied in describing his involvement in several news stories.
He describes himself as being places that he wasn't, seeing things that he didn't see and performing heroic deeds that exist only in his own imagination.
The so-called news channel Fox News, however, is standing foursquare behind its man. Move on folks, nothing to see here, it's just your "fair and balanced" news outlet under attack by the liberal media.
Well, here's the deal: Facts mean nothing to Fox News.
In fact, predictably, O'Reilly's ratings have gone up since his prevarication came to light.
The people who habitually watch that news really don't care about factual information. Rather. they watch what I call the Republican propaganda channel to have their view of reality and prejudices confirmed.
That O'Reilly issued a threat to a New York Times reporter doesn't matter because the typical viewer hates the Times.
This whole sorry episode proves that Fox News no longer has a shred of credibility.