Letters to the Editor
Readers write about flood protection, online decency, and shortening workweeks to save energy.
Homes in flood zones should rely only on private insurance
Regarding Steffen Schmidt's July 9 Opinion piece, "Better buffer than levees": Buyouts are not the answer. The issues are systemic, caused primarily by the poor planning and misguided goals of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The NFIP was designed to reduce the cost of natural flood disasters and promote mitigation efforts in flood-prone areas. The NFIP is not accomplishing its intended mitigation goals and is instead encouraging new construction in flood-prone areas, where the number of homes has soared over the last 10 years and flood damage costs have increased by almost $3.4 billion.
Subsidizing the construction of new homes in flood-prone areas is both irresponsible and unfair to homeowners who build in safer areas.
Buying out homes in high-risk flood plains and on the coasts is a waste of taxpayer dollars and a violation of the homeowners' property rights. If people choose to live in these areas, they should be allowed to do so at their own risk, with private flood insurance being their main recourse in the event of a disaster.
The results would be fewer homes built in flood-prone areas and a stronger private flood insurance market, providing improved flood protection products for all consumers.
Legislative specialist for The Heartland Institute
In response to the recent Opinion piece on flooding: Good points. We should include permeable surfaces for roads, parking lots, and sidewalks to reduce runoff and keep rainfall "local."
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Online compassion outweighs malice
Regarding Courtney E. Martin's July 10 Opinion piece, "Counter cyberbullies with compassion": Most good things don't make headlines, because they aren't "news." News readers may sometimes get the impression that the world in general, or the Internet in particular, are dangerous, bad, places – especially for kids. Ms. Martin highlights the other compassionate and beneficial side of the story usually overlooked by the media for lack of "interest."