Man-made flood warning
I pray Congress will immediately address the No. 1 threat to my retirement and that of hundreds of thousands of others: the Biggert-Waters flood insurance law that Congress ignored before adjourning for the holidays.
I live in a modest 1970s home that’s never flooded and that’s near but not in view of the Gulf. I pay about $1,500 a year in flood insurance, which I’ve never realized was “subsidized.” I still have a mortgage, which leaves me “under water” with or without a flood, the result of market declines.
Because of BW-12, I recently learned that the flood insurance on my 1,900-square-foot home will be increased to $9,009 per year. If I remain in the house, the increase will be “phased in” at 20 percent per year. Five years from now I would be paying more monthly for flood insurance than for protection and indemnity insurance, if I could afford both — which I cannot.
So, I give up my retirement home and move? No chance. Despite location, nobody will pay what I owe for the house because the law also says that upon sale, the full rates apply immediately.
Our usually popular neighborhood already has “for sale” signs that have stood for months. Not to mention, family homes purchased on the cheap by cash buyers who forgo flood insurance and rent them, reducing home values and the stability of our middle-class neighborhood.
Leaving me, perhaps ... homeless? Foreclosed because I can’t make the crazy-high payments and without credit as a result?
Biggert-Waters is terrible law, written as if it were intended to displace those of us who thought our homes were our estates and wise investments: lower-value homes in high-quality neighborhoods.
Please join me in demanding that Congress address this issue immediately and thoughtfully before this man-made flood drowns thousands of us.
The real Crist
Regarding “Crist defends party switch in new memoir” (Metro, Jan. 9):
Since Charlie Crist’s book came out, people need to know the real Crist. Marco Rubio’s book “An American Son” details his run for the U.S. Senate. Florida does not need a negative politician in office and one who changes positions on a normal basis
Learn from cave deaths
I recently read that Chester Spivey Jr. wants the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to close the Eagle Nest in Hernando County because his son and grandson, who despite the warnings and who lacked the proper diving education, died while exploring this cave system. Although I understand that Mr. Spivey is upset, closing Eagle Nest to cave diving will not bring his son and grandson back. Nor will it prevent future deaths. Such deaths can only be prevented by divers heeding the warnings and taking the time to properly educate themselves before embarking on such dives.
Cave diving is dangerous only when one lacks the proper education, equipment and skills — much in the same way operating a motor vehicle is dangerous when one lacks the proper education, equipment and skills. It’s sad that the father and son failed in this regard. Hopefully, others will learn from their mistakes and think twice before diving such remarkable sites without the proper education, equipment and skills.
Salt Lake City
Missed the target
Regarding “If Dems want guns off the street, they should take them off table” (Other Views, Jan. 9): Alan Gottlieb misses his target as he vigorously promotes the gun rights issue. In fact, he declares it is unjustified to be concerned about firearms “in the hands of an increasing number of law-abiding citizens” as though this is the issue. But that’s not the issue, and Gottlieb likely knows that.
The concern for a growing number of citizens is firearms in the hands of those who are legally prohibited from owning them. It’s not the law-abiding gun owner but the criminal element in possession of a gun that is causing horrendous problems for the rest of us. Whether it’s road rage, armed robbery, assault or homicide with a firearm, the violence issue seems endless. Yet Gottlieb refers to gun owners as being “ penalized “ as though they are the true victims. Thinking people know that the real victims are the ones who end up taking a bullet in any act of gun violence.
‘For the potheads’
Regarding “Stop blowing smoke” (Your Views, Jan. 4): It is common knowledge that marijuana is a “gateway drug” that can lead to the more potent drug use of cocaine and heroin. I agree with the suggestion that John Morgan, who is leading the charge to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, move to Colorado where marijuana is legal for medical and recreational uses. He should put out a new shingle stating “Morgan and Morgan, for the potheads.”
Morgan must be seeing multiple dollar signs in his future if this proposed amendment is put on the ballot and passes. Can you imagine the lawsuits that will be generated by people driving under the influence and causing accidents or death? If workers can use marijuana on the job, workplace accidents will be rampant. Do you want to smell the stinking, repulsive weed while you are in public?
Florida voters, please do not let “money bags” Morgan change our laws here in Florida.