The state of Lakeland’s roads at Sun ‘n Fun time

It is inspiring that Polk County and the City of Lakeland have managed to showcase their road construction prowess for three years to the thousands of Sun ‘n Fun visitors.

The ability to turn a 15-minute journey into a 35-minute exposition of construction equipment has never before been demonstrated in the Western world. What is even more impressive is the fact that the road work is so seamless you can’t even tell what has been improved. Even the traffic light sequencing at West Pipkin and South Florida travelling east is an astounding feat of mathematics, with precisely five cars allowed per green light sequence.

My thanks to the project managers who have managed this engineering marvel.

David Griffiths, Lakeland

Voice of the people (March 31, 2024): A church’s political machine in Lake Wales

Pastor packing city boards with church members

Thanks to Gary White for his well-researched and revealing article, “Lake Wales Mayor Jack Hilligoss, a pastor, turns his church into a political force” in the March 22 issue of The Ledger.

It is not surprising that High Point Church suddenly has so many members in positions of responsibility in the Lake Wales city government, since Pastor Hilligoss makes his appointments based solely on church membership, rather than on qualifications for office.

I have learned from those who have visited his church that he urges his parishioners to vote for certain candidates who are church members, just as Mr. White says in his article.  Someone should investigate to determine whether his church can still qualify for tax-exempt status as a 501(C)(3) organization.

Carol Gillespie, Lake Wales

Voice of the people (March 24, 2024): The traffic nightmare in northwest Winter Haven

Medical costs are unconscionable

On Feb. 13, I fell to the ground, injuring my right shoulder. I went to the emergency room of the Brandon Regional Hospital located on South Florida Avenue in Lakeland. The personnel there X-rayed my shoulder and did a CT Scan. My Medicare carrier has been billed $22,934.95 for this service. I paid at the time of service a $135 deductible.

The size of this bill is staggering and shocks the conscience. What do people who are uninsured do? I read a couple of years ago that medical expenses are the principal cause for personal bankruptcies.  There simply must be a way in which to bring these charges down.

Richard Sutherland, Lakeland

Voice of the People (March 17, 2024): Don’t take from church to make Galloway Road safer

Jan. 6 report: Nothing to see here

The January 6 Committee’s final report is available online, but it is very lengthy and, in my opinion, not worth your time.

There are three stated purposes of the committee, as outlined in the House-passed resolution that formed the committee, and 11 committee recommendations in the final report. The following is my summary of the stated purposes and recommendations.

The purposes of the committee were: to investigate and report on the attack upon the United States Capitol; evaluate evidence developed by federal, state and local governmental agencies; and build upon the investigation of other agencies.

Recommendations of the committee: Presidential Election Reform Act; criminal referrals to the Department of Justice; government agencies should gather and share information on violent extremism; investigate whether the 14th Amendment can be used to bar individuals  from holding office; make the Congressional counting of electoral votes a national special security event; increase the criminal penalties for Jan. 6 rioters; investigate increasing the subpoena power of House committees; enhance penalties for threats made to election workers; Congress should continue Capital Police oversight; investigate the role of tech media; investigate the possible use of the Insurrection Act by President Trump.

That’s it. There is nothing more.

Edward McDonald, Auburndale

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This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Voice of the people (April 7, 2024): Lakeland roads at Sun ‘n Fun time

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