Letters Feb. 14: Water Crisis

Posted in: United States Water News, Water Contamination, Water Crisis
Tags: , , ,

(Photo Credit: Doug MacGregor)

Article courtesy of news-press.com | Feb 13, 2016 | news-press.com | Shared as educational material

We can thank Governor Rick Scott for not doing anything about the beautiful brown water flowing throughout our Southwest Florida waterways.

He is happily spending the money elsewhere that 75 percent of Floridians voted to make a constitutional amendment to help clean up the pollution from the sugar industry that now flows directly into the Caloosahatchee River. I think our climate-change-denying governor doesn’t seem to care for two reasons:

The sugar industry, which will soon “self monitor” its own pollution, helped elect him and his mansion on the beach in Naples is far enough south where the nice brown stuff is out of sight. Maybe some dead fish will float down there. Remember the water when you get your high property tax bill as Rick doles out your tax dollars as incentives to businesses and other corporate welfare recipients who will most likely help him run for Senator. Incentives and corporate handouts that have not proven to produce any jobs here! What we need is another “Cornhole Rally for Tax Cuts,” promoting the myth that lowering taxes will magically create employment in Florida.

– Brad Turek, Cape Coral

Many thanks for your coverage of this major beach-pollution problem in Southwest Florida. They certainly describe the pollution problem, however no local or federal officials have given a credible solution.

Most of their ideas involve using federal funds to build “temporary parking places” for this polluted water, after it starts its journey to us, following release from “Lake O.” But none of those deals with the original source of that pollution.

It is clear that this pollution is the nitrogen and phosphorus-laden water, which is “back-pumped” into Lake O by the sugar cane gGrowers. Therefore, what doesn’t the Corps of Engineers simply prohibit that from being done? It will then become the responsibility of the “polluters” to correct it.

Trying to “paper-over” the real cause is a true waste of time, and billions of our dollars.

– Dick Hasselman, Sanibel

Polluted water fix: Instead of protecting privately owned US Sugar, use eminent domain and spend the $1.5 billion from the federal government and some state BP money to buy the land south of the lake. This is what we voted for in Amendment One, twice, to divert the flow of Okeechobee, not building a higher dike.

From senators Garrett Richter to Marco Rubio, we must demand they stop representing the minority interests of privately held US Sugar who corrupts politicians. It should be illegal to accept “gifts” from special interests. For politicians to represent the constituents who elected them they must fight for the rights of people to have clean water.

The Legislature continues an assault on clean water, from toxic Okeechobee sludge releases to denying local home rule the power to ban fracking. The politicians we elected also protect the big oil’s secret cocktail of chemicals being injected in our aquifers, too. We will soon have waters that are a dead zone, our sea life extinct and more lost limbs from the bacteria in these toxic coastal waters. Who do we hold accountable when the water is so polluted that our state has transformed from a pristine tourist destination to a toxic wasteland? Vote!

– Peter Crumpacker, Fort Myers Beach

The solution to preventing polluted lake water discharge into the Caloosahatchee river, is to build a filtration plant at the discharge location sized to operate year round, with continuous cleaned water delivered to the river.

Recovered fertilizers and contaminants would be returned to the original source and local water users would pay fees to cover the plant operations.

Concerned Florida visitor.

– J. T. Nelson, Cape Coral

As a long-time boater who has crossed Lake “O” several times and have studied the navigational chart of the lake, I observe that in the southeast quadrant of the lake there are four canals shown heading southeast. They are the W. Palm Beach Canal, theHillsboro Canal, the North New River Canal and the Miami Canal.

I then went to Bing maps to verify the existence of these canals, and I what found on Bing was that only one on the navigational chart appears to be viable, the Miami Canal.

The point of all this is that if these canals are still operational, why are they not being used to assist in the lowering of Lake “O”? Does it not make sense that if they do empty somewhere on the east coast, should they not be used?

They may not be navigable, but if they can carry a substantial amount of water, why are they not mentioned as additional release venues?

On Bing maps, the Miami Canal appears to pass through a section of the Everglades, so why not use it to divert water out of the Lake not only into/through the Miami area but into the Everglades and then south. Is that not the goal, to replenish the Everglades and let it filter the water prior to natural release in Florida Bay?

Just some thoughts and questions that perhaps The News-Press might be interested in looking into as an additional solution to our severe water quality concerns.

– R. Bruce Longman, Cape Coral

Re: Feb. 7, op-ed by Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, “Heavy rains force need for more storage” and cartoon by Doug MacGregor.

Clearly, Mayor Ruane makes a great statement about the need for more water storage, and Doug MacGregor underlines the frustration of the folks of Southwest Florida with the Lake “O” releases.

Until the EAA Reservoir is built and functioning, we will have times when uncontrolled flow from the Hoover Dike will be mandatory for public safety. Now is the time to get a contract for the purchase of the 26,600 sugar acres urgently needed for the long planned Deep Water South EAA Reservoir! Once established, it will hold enough water to allow proper treatment prior to release to the Everglades and Florida Bay — which desperately needs it.

It seems that there is bipartisan support in Congress for action. Curt Clawson has been reported to have said “While we have seen recent, positive actions on the building of the C-43 Reservoir and related projects, the long-term solution for Southwest Florida is getting the water to flow south from Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades, after natural filtration.” In addition, Sen. Bill Nelson has announced that he’s helping lead a bipartisan group urging immediate authorization of any Everglades restoration project ready to begin in the next five years. Clearly now is the time to work with the Federal folks.

However, I have just received a copy of the January 2016 Army Corps “South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (SFER) Program Overview.” But guess what? I cannot find the EAA Reservoir. It would appear the next to last item (No. 14) is the “Central Everglades Planning Project,” which would “Convey 200,000 acre-feet of water south from Lake Okeechobee” with a to date apparent federal investment of some $9.8 million. The construction date projected is “TBD,” so this is not in the next five-year plan as of now. Is this the EAA Reservoir?

This Army Corps reports this need to be in the “Planning Study” category. What do we need to do to move it into a today action category? We need this EAA Reservoir to be in the now and about to be constructed classification! Whom has the will to make that happen?

– David A. Urich, Life Member of Responsible Growth Management Coalition, Inc.

Base choices on fact, not fiction

Gene Lopez’ recent critique (Feb. 9, Entertainment and real life) of Andy Coy’s “review” of the film “13 Hours” and its potential impact on Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency was right on the money.

I would only add that the investigative reporter on whose work the film was based was interviewed on NPR a few days prior to Mr. Coy’s letter. In that interview, he said the film deviated enough from the facts that he deemed it “mostly untrue,” citing as an example scenes such as the CIA station chief ordering the private contractors to stand down when they wanted to help defend our embassy (that never happened). That’s important because the film is promoted as being “based on a true story.”

It is clear that, as in the case of the Planned Parenthood video, the film makers had an agenda that wasn’t supported by the facts so they ignored or otherwise suppressed them.

In fairness to Mr. Coy, he may not have been aware of that interview, but judging from his previous letters, it is easy to see why he embraced the film as an indictment ofHillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.

It is important, as this contentious election period progresses, that voters have an opportunity to base their choices on facts, not fiction.

– Wilburn P. Reed, Fort Myers

After reading the letter by Gene Lopez (Feb. 9, Entertainment and real life), I have to ask: Were you in Benghazi at the time of the attack?

You seem quite positive that the Movie “13 Hours” is not factually correct. This would directly contradict the military personnel (who were actually there) who say it is factually correct.

Liberals are desperate to sweep under the carpet the lack of response by President Obama and Hillary Clinton, the subsequent lies to the families and the country, and the attempted cover-up of the attack in Benghazi.

Four fellow Americans were brutally murdered. We should all be determined to find the truth of what happened.

The idea that this is all a Republican hatchet job on the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton is wishful thinking at its best.

– Susan J. Venecek, Punta Gorda

Flint water crisis

A remarkably uninformed writer (Alex Cerino, Keep uninformed comments to self) in the mailbag on Feb. 10 makes an astonishing claim that the Flint Michigan water poisoning is somehow attributed to Democrats in that city.

He is one of those confident people who writes about things he knows little about.

The Flint crisis was a direct result of the Republican governor of Michigan usurping the power of the Democratic mayor of Flint and appointing a crony to manage Flint’s affairs.

For all those years under Democratic rule, Flint had received its water from the Detroit River that flowed from Lake Huron.

The governor’s czar for Flint changed that to save money, drawing water from the Flint River, the very same Flint River water that GM refused to use in its plant because it fouled the plant machinery. That is where and when the poisoning of Flint began.

As for making conservatives look bad, no need. Cerino does that all by himself.

– Steve Banko, North Fort Myers

Alex Cerino’s Feb. 10 letter, “Keep uninformed comments to self,” criticized an earlier letter from Ron Smiley that blamed the Flint water crises on Republicans.

According to Cerino, the predominately democratic Flint City Council was to blame.

It’s Alex Cerino who is uninformed.

All decisions concerning Flint’s switch to river water and during the subsequent water crisis were made at the state level by the governor-appointed emergency manager.

City officials had no say whatsoever.

Full responsibility for creating the water crises in the first place and then delaying actions needed to protect the citizens of Flint rests squarely at the feet of Michigan’sRepublican Governor, Rick Snyder.

– Russell Moody, Cape Coral

Restrict Sanibel traffic

Kudos, and my thanks, to Wendy Taibbi for her recent letter (Jan. 31, Traffic on Sanibel) pinpointing the real cause of Sanibel’s horrendous traffic problem.

Sanibel’s business community accounts for less than 10 percent of the city’s tax revenues, and yet the Chamber of Commerce’s relentless promotion of tourism drives an ever increasing tsunami of non-resident traffic onto our island.

As a long-time year-round resident, I have always maintained that Sanibel is a residential community and not an amusement park.

The solution to Sanibel’s worsening traffic congestion is simply to restrict the flow of “daytrippers” onto our island.

– Stan Kane, Sanibel

Unreliable polls

The results of the 2014 election didn’t come close to matching the 2014 pre-election political polls. Now the same thing has happened for the Iowa Caucuses.

So why are we paying any attention to polls that are incorrect and misleading?

The news organizations should save money and stop paying for unreliable polls (and then maybe The News-Press wouldn’t feel the need to raise the price of the daily paper by 50 percent).

– Stephen Mirro, Cape Coral

Too many fees

We all talk about it, but can we do something about it?

The “it” I refer to is Comcast.

We are left with little, if no, choice as to internet and TV providers so we sign up with this company and commit to a contract for a time period such as 24 months. We are bound by this agreement or it will charge us heavy fees to leave.

Yet, month after month, they add charges that show up after the package price fee — equipment fees, broadcast fee, sports fee, HD fee, etc. The company is not bound to its agreement, but we are.

Why is it that Comcast can just add fees when it feels hungry for money?

Why isn’t this industry regulated to prevent such fraud?

– Maggie Culleton, Cape Coral

Stop monkey facility

Recently, I spoke before the Hendry County Commission about continuation and expansion of horrible monkey facilities.

Many other good faith citizens protested, booed, chanted and spoke in opposition.

People for the Ethical Treatment For Animals (PETA) reported:

Three facilities are operating there and a fourth is being built — all allowing up to 14,000 imprisoned monkeys for laboratories experiments, all which are subject to abuse by injected diseases.

The commission’s chairman outrageously, improperly refused a citizen’s right to continue speaking within allotted time because she was speaking negatively of commissioners.

Another agitated commissioner ranted that speakers expressed “ignorant” remarks, and he disregarded Florida’s Sunshine Law, suggesting the commission explore ways to inhibit such public dissent.

Now I’m appealing to the public:

Please join the opposition! Do it for yourself, the environment, the reputation of our communities, culture, for humane reasons, the dignity of Florida. And let’s do it for the poor, abused monkeys.

Experiments on monkeys are reprehensible, uncivilized, and such is a dying industry. The National Academy of Sciences says animal tests don’t reliably predict effects in humans. A former FDA commissioner says 92%-96% of drugs that pass animal tests fail and potentially cause harm in human trials.

Fellow citizens, we are better than this. Please get involved. Let’s stop the monkey facilities in Southwest Florida.

– Lex Hood, Fort Myers

Want to Donate?
Please contact us for gifts in kind - Mail your check to: P.O. Box 545934, Surfside, Fl 33154