Solar industry puts liens on homes; don’t drown high school swimmers – TCPalm

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Realtor: Stop predatory practices of home solar industry

I am writing to shed light on an issue that has come to my attention, particularly regarding the predatory practices surrounding solar panel lease contracts.

I was asked to be the listing agent for a charming two-bedroom, two-bathroom pool home. The current owner inherited this property from his 85-year-old mother, who unfortunately passed away. What should be a straightforward sale has been marred by an unexpected obstacle: solar panels.

The deceased owner, while in very poor health, entered into a 25-year lease agreement for solar panels, resulting in a staggering $53,000 lien on the property. She was approaching 85 when she signed this solar lease.

From a personal standpoint, I am not a fan of solar panels as they encumber homeowners with liens on their homes. I prefer investing in features like impact windows, which provide tangible benefits like safety and add value to homes.

The most troubling part of this situation is how such a long-term commitment was sold to an 85-year-old woman in very poor health. It raises ethical questions about the tactics employed by the salesperson and solar company involved.

Upon investigation, I discovered that the solar company responsible for this lease agreement has received an F rating from the Better Business Bureau. I actually located the information of this company on a Facebook complaint page about solar panel companies. I also learned that the salesperson does not work for this solar panel company anymore. I called him.

I am truly angry and concerned about the vulnerability of elderly individuals who are being exploited. It is imperative that we address these predatory practices and ensure that vulnerable members of our community are protected from such exploitation.

Mary Lou Ciambriello is a Realtor in Indian River County.

Martin County School District must make pool long-term asset

The Martin County School District has been trying to close the Martin County High School pool again.

At a recent school board meeting, parents and swimmers expressed their opposition and pleaded to keep the pool open. Then the school district billed the Tiger Sharks swim team a monthly fee increase of 487%, from around $1,500 a month to roughly $7,600.

It is blatantly apparent that the district is trying to force the Martin County Tiger Sharks swim team to stop being able to utilize the pool at MCHS by an outrageous monthly price increase. By making the pool unaffordable for working families, the pool will then be “underutilized” and will give the district its needed excuse to close down the pool.

This tactic is shameful, disrespectful to students and working families, and not what community members should expect from our public servants.

At the recent school board meeting, it was emphasized that more students are wanted to attend our schools. Closing down “fun resources” does not boost morale for students or entice enrollment.

The district claims there isn’t money in the budget for the pool. Tearing the pool down to build something else is going to cost money, too. Where will that money come from?

I am hopeful that the school district can brainstorm ways to keep swimming at the pool at MCHS a tradition for years to come.

Alana Beesley, Palm City

Lincoln Park Academy senior Demetri Demet performs a dive in 2013 during a competition against Martin County High School at the Martin County High School pool in Stuart.

Having celebrated Easter, use Christian teachings to guide election decisions

The celebration of Easter dates back to the 2nd Century. However, celebrating the risen savior Jesus Christ dates back much earlier. Although many religions in the United States may not see Jesus Christ as the risen savior, I recognize your right to celebrate this day according to your customs and practices.

As a follower of Jesus Christ who recognized his birth and resurrection, I remember this day as a significant historical date. I hope many Americans had a most joyous Resurrection Sunday as I celebrated our redeemer’s restoration of a new birth for us.

As a believer following Christ Jesus’ teaching, I hope many of you will take up the social justice mandate in Matthew 25: 35-46: “For I hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in, Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”

I hope that in the 2024 elections, you will choose candidates who believe in these principles.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has vowed not to allow Haitians into the state of Florida. He has signed law House Bill1365, banning the homeless from setting up camps and sleeping in parks, on sidewalks and other public spaces. HB-1365 violates the teaching of Jesus Christ. It also violates any moral principles any religious body advocates in its creed.

As a social justice advocate, I will try to make Florida and this nation a perfect union by living up to the pledge of allegiance to the U.S. flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag … one nation under God … with liberty and justice for all.”

Valerie Brant-Wilson, Vero Beach

I don’t have problem; Tesla Full Self-Driving works great

Regarding “I tried Tesla’s full self-driving mode. It nearly crashed my car” by Adam L. Neal:

How long has Adam owned a Tesla? How far has he driven it using Full Self-Driving? How does the new FSD compare to the older version? Did he read the directions that came with it?

I’ve owned a Tesla since fall of 2023. The first few months I owned it I used the prior version of FSD, which reminded me of riding a wild horse. The new version of FSD is so much better, and I’ve driven it 250+ miles so far, with no major problems. It’s absolutely amazing and miraculous, especially if you follow the directions, which instruct you never to let go of the steering wheel and remain alert.

My experience using the new FSD in many situations ranging from gridlocked construction zones to heavy rain on the freeway has been stunningly safe and successful. Based on that, I suspect that the “near crash” in Adam’s video probably wouldn’t have been a crash even if he hadn’t intervened, because the car would have stopped just before colliding with the other car. I suggest that he try FSD again. Also read the directions, and adjust his settings including following distance and collision avoidance.

The biggest danger with FSD is operator error.

John Sawoski, Los Angeles

Republicans aligned with Bush, Trump destroy democracy

Donald Trump has exposed the hypocrisy of Republicans and their superficial conservative values.

We’ve endlessly heard some Republicans’ sanctimonious pontifications of their Christian, law-and-order, flag-waving values only to see it’s all a farce. Republicans repeatedly discarded these values whenever it suited them politically.

The worst has been how Trump and Republicans have made a mockery of our once-respected Supreme Court. It’s now a political arm of the Republican Party.

When Republican-appointed justices decreed that corporations were individuals and gave the presidency to George W. Bush, that was the beginning of the end of government by the people.

Now Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices have imposed their political and religious beliefs on all Americans. It was God who gave us free choice, not politicians with their intolerant religious beliefs.

Republicans have sided with Trump, who is not guided by the rule of law, common humanity or restrained by any ethical or moral principles. He exists solely for enriching himself and gratifying his needs, and nothing or no one else matters. Least of all democracy.

Anthony Frigo, Jensen Beach

Workers trust Trump, who puts Americans first

Remember the train wreck at East Palestine? It took Donald Trump two days to visit the site and offer support. It took a year for Joe Biden to make room in his busy schedule for a visit. 

Biden met with UAW leaders to get their endorsement. Then he pushed electric vehicles, which will mainly be built abroad or by non-union workers. Trump met with the union’s members (to great applause) and promised to keep more reliable internal combustion vehicles on the road.

EVs are good for short runs, but they are a problem in cold weather and on long trips.

Since Biden screwed up the southwest border, at least 8 million illegal aliens have entered our country. One was arrested in Boston and released, then moved to Atlanta, where he was charged with murdering 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley. Trump called her family with his condolences the next day. Biden put her name in his State of the Union Address, but called her by the wrong name. The next day he publicly apologized to the accused killer for calling him an “illegal immigrant.” 

Then, Biden hobnobbed with Bill Clinton and Barack Obama at a big-buck fundraiser at Radio City. The same day, Trump attended a wake in Queens for police officer Jonathan Diller. who was murdered by a man with 21 arrests who should have been in jail. There were no presidential visits or phone calls.

Yes. Trump can be a pain, but he is a leader and makes commonsense decisions based on what he thinks is right — not whether he might ruffle some feathers. He has a rapport with working Americans because they trust him. And he puts Americans first.

Tom Miller, Vero Beach

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