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Opinion
Sarasota Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 5 years ago

Letters to the Editor

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+ Benderson Park got a sweetheart deal
Dear Editor:
I commend you on a fine editorial “At the expense of others”; well written and long overdue. I enjoyed the reference to Frederic Bastiat, and I agree with everything stated in this piece.

I do, however, wonder how you neglected to mention the Nate Benderson Rowing Park, as well as the sweetheart deal given to them for the property at Beneva and Fruitville roads. By your criteria, so eloquently explained in the editorial, how can you not include reference to this pork barrel government funding? Furthermore, I would like to point out some relevant facts about the history of the land that is now the park.

Originally, it was typical pristine pine flatwoods and mined for its valuable bank run shell (hard fill) that is the base of every roadway. Millions of dollars were made on that quarry, back in the ’70s, and ’80s. But, of course, that huge tract of land was basically worthless after the barrow pit was empty. What’s a developer to do? Reinvent it as a rowing venue, start a “nonprofit foundation” to generate government funding and continue to make millions on said property forever!

Other than considering the purchase of a kayak, I personally care nothing about rowing, but my tax dollars are being used to subsidize a millionaire, and his interests there. It is my understanding that, at the time, a better deal was offered for the property at Beneva and Fruitville roads. But alas, Big Government prevails, at the taxpayers’ expense.

You state that, “There are few opportunities in a commission’s life when it can actually do something that establishes a legacy for a community.” This is apparent, and questionable relationships between Benderson and both commissions (city and county) have been raised, but seemingly fall on deaf ears.

And those relationships span many decades, and commissioners. So at this point, I would respectfully request you address these concerns here, for myself, and your readers. I thank you for your consideration.

George Boyd
Sarasota

+ Don’t forget prostate cancer awareness
Dear Editor:
Very nice full section on breast cancer in the Sept. 25th paper. Also nice that it is in the paper during September, which happens to be prostate cancer awareness month. I hope that we can all be a little more aware of the importance of prostate cancer awareness as well as breast cancer and other cancers.
David Capterton
Osprey

+ North Trail vision should be embraced
Dear Editor:
Jay Patel, the owner of the Regency Inn on Sarasota’s North Tamiami Trail, has a splendid vision. The North Trail with some imagination could become a South Beach-like destination.

Miami upgraded a host of somewhat rundown Art Deco hotels into showpieces. Proof: the birth of South Beach.

The motels on our North Trail likely date from the ’50s. Eisenhower launched the interstate highway system. People traveled more by auto. The Sarasota motel lineup began.

Let’s look at the future. In the next five or so years, the North Trail will see a series of roundabouts — and in each one a world-class sculpture.

These will make Sarasota’s North Trail an art destination. Upgraded and design relevant motels will contribute to the attraction.

Now’s the time for our motel owners and managers to think of the future. Why not join with Jay Patel and manage that future?
Jeffrey Weisman
Siesta Key

+ School district is on the right track
Dear Editor:
How encouraging to see the Sarasota County school system embracing Meatless Mondays and providing vegetarian lunch options the rest of the week! The district’s food and nutrition manager got it right: Scaling back on meat will help improve students’ health and the health of the planet.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that vegetarians and vegans enjoy lower rates of heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cancer as well as lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and lower body mass indexes. Scientists have also found that vegetarians have stronger immune systems than their meat-eating friends, meaning that Sarasota schools could see an increase in attendance.

And because of animal agriculture’s devastating impact on the Earth, the United Nations concluded that raising animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” The Sarasota County School District is helping to keep Florida beautiful.

The schools are also saving the lives of countless animals every year. I hope that every other Florida school follows Sarasota’s lead.
Michelle Kretzer
Dunedin

Send us your letters
To send in your Letters to the Editor, email them to Deputy Executive Editor Jessica Luck at [email protected]. Letters pertaining to local issues receive priority. Letters may be edited for grammar and space.

 

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