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Sarasota Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009 8 years ago

Letters to the Editor


+ Light electric railroad is Sarasota’s answer

Dear Editor:
Your front-page article last week about the Tampa streetcar is interesting.

Maybe the “powers that be” should look at the idea to run a busline down the old CSX rail lines connecting Sarsota to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport and colleges and downtown Sarasota. Maybe add downtown Bradenton and get the funding from Manatee and Sarasota counties, the city of Bradenton, the city of Sarasota and the state.

It would be called a light electric railroad.

Phoenix, Tempe, Ariz., and Scottsdale, Ariz., just completed a similiar light electric railroad and connected the Phoenix airport to it.

Portland, Ore., has been operating a light electric railroad for the past two years. It connects the universities, museums, shopping areas and living areas of the city and the Portland airport.

Maybe, if all of the local governments seriously examined a light electric railroad running down the middle of Tamiami Trail or the old CSX rail lines, they could see all of the benefits for local residents and businesses. Tourism would increase, and money spent in the two cities would increase.

The light electric railroad is the answer.

Mark Ellentuck

+ Offshore drilling: Not in my backyard

Dear Editor:
This is in response to your recent page 6 editorial, “An Oil Man’s Perspective on Offshore Drilling”:

You stated the Sarasota Herald-Tribune failed to publish a certain letter. The Herald-Tribune is not alone in failing to publish certain letters. The Sarasota Observer failed to publish my letter as well.

It appears the editor is so afraid of losing advertising revenue by submitting my letter. It is aimed at neither a Republican nor Democrat, but rather more toward an environmentalist point of view.

But my letter is based on facts. Now, after I submit this letter to you, let me see what type of editor you truly are. And let me see if you are more concerned with siding with the majority of your readers, who are Republican, or are more interested in getting the facts out there to the public.

The ball is in your court, and let’s see what your decision will be.

First, oil is not found by one taking a shot at a rabbit, missing and shooting a hole in the earth until oil comes gushing up, as Jed Clampett did when he struck oil on “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

Second, I would like to point out one of the most important issues regarding oil drilling off our shores and one the oil companies would prefer everyone not be aware of: They attempt to locate oil through seismic testing. This is done with an array of 15 to 45 air guns that send explosive shock waves every 10 to 25 seconds into the seabed that then echo back through the water.

The sound is loud enough to disrupt and injure sea dwellers and possibly lead to the deaths of fish and marine mammals, such as dolphins, whales and manatees.

According to Dr. Chris Clarke, director of the Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell University, “Seismic testing is the modern form of exploratory dynamite. Air guns represent the most severe acoustic insult to the marine environment, just short of naval warfare.”

The high pressure can also harm the fishing industry. The deafening noise can cause some fishes’ bladders to explode. In some places where seismic testing has been performed, the disturbances have resulted in commercial fish catches declining by as much as 50%.

If we allow seismic testing to happen off our coast, the next dolphins you will see won’t be the ones you find at the north Venice jetties. Rather, you will find them washed up on Nokomis Beach, dead from being disoriented and losing their way or from having their eardrums crushed by the sonic blasts of seismic testing.

So, before the Hummer driver slaps on the next “Drill, Baby, Drill!” bumper sticker, would we rather keep our shores and our ocean life sustaining, or are we merely going to rape our ocean floors for a few drops of oil for a short-term fix?

Daniel M. Zumbro

+ Rubio the dictator

Dear Editor:
Revisionism with Republicans happens even faster than with Democrats. For instance, you wrote not a word about Marco Rubio’s actions when he was speaker of the House in 2008 regarding immigration-control bills.

The plan to keep the Gringos from getting immigration-control bills passed was memorialized in the April 17, 2008, Miami Herald. In addition, I am sending you a copy of actions by legislators to kill a bill to remove Miami from being a sanctuary city.

I was there and witnessed Rubio’s dictatorial attitude regarding attempts to end the illegal-alien crisis. He employed his legislative allies to make sure the bills never got out of committee.

The result: Today we have 984,000 unemployed and 1 million illegal aliens, and Floridians are saddled with the $4 billion in costs to educate, medicate and incarcerate them.

Perhaps an insert of this might give your readers a better idea of who the man is and what he stands for.

I am not a supporter of Charlie Crist, either.

George Fuller


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