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Opinion
Siesta Key Thursday, Jul. 14, 2011 4 years ago

Letters to the Editor

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by: Observer Staff

+ State would get great return from rowing center funding

Dear Editor:

I am writing about something that has me quite distressed. Gov. Rick Scott is pulling the promised $5 million from the Nathan Benderson Park rowing facility, in Sarasota. He complains about money, but he has a potential $1 billion a year income for the State of Florida that he is willing to throw away.

There is no Olympic-size rowing facility in the U.S. and only nine in the world. This Sarasota rowing facility would draw Olympic hopefuls from around North America who would be eating in Florida, sleeping in Florida, spending money in Florida and providing jobs in Florida. Yet, he wants to take that all away.

In an article published by the Herald-Tribune on April 24, writer Kevin McQuaid stated, “The last time Nathan Benderson Park hosted the Florida Scholastic Rowing Championship, in April 2009, the closest Publix sold out of bread. The Super Target store, adjacent to the 600-acre park and 1.12-mile rowing course, was stripped of its supply of lawn chairs, blankets, beach umbrellas and coolers. Hotels within a five-mile radius sold out. Restaurants were jammed. In all, the roughly 15,000 athletes, relatives and spectators who descended on Sarasota County to view the park’s debut regatta sank an estimated $1.76 million into the local economy.”

Imagine the money it takes to lodge, feed and transport various college and Olympic teams to and from this site, passing throughout Florida, spending money on the way. I can!

Maybe Nathan Benderson should run for governor. At least he knows a winner when he sees one.

Ann D. Smith
Sarasota

+ Jellyfish aren’t the problem here

Dear Editor:

I received an email yesterday from my representative, Vern Buchanan, warning me about the jellyfish lurking in the waters this weekend. While I am supposed to find this helpful, I find it comical and, above all, saddening. Comical, because Vern is warning me about the dangerous jellyfish? They are the least of my concerns in this equation.

This is saddening, because Vern is not focusing on the bigger issue here and that is that the acidification of our oceans due to CO2 emissions is causing a proliferation of jellyfish. The jellyfish aren’t the danger here; once again it is us. Below is my response to Rep. Buchanan:

Dear Rep. Buchanan, thanks for the email about the jellyfish. But, seriously, what is most alarming about the barrage of jellyfish is the fact that the world’s oceans are becoming more acidic due to the burning of fossil fuels and Co2 greenhouse gas emissions. In this ever increasing acidified environment, most marine life will die while the jellyfish who appear to be immune to this will thrive.

So, as my representative in Congress, I urge you to focus on the real public safety issue here and do all you can to pass meaningful legislation to cut CO2 emissions now by incentivizing green renewable energy and technologies, such as wind and solar, and ending subsidies to the coal, oil and nuclear industries.

Lynn Nilssen
Sarasota

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