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Letter to the Editor

Lakewood Ranch resident says: 'They paved our paradise'

Another Lakewood Ranch resident is not happy with Manatee County's split with the American Library Association.

  • By
  • | 5:00 a.m. February 1, 2024
  • East County
  • Opinion
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They paved our paradise

Thank you for writing about Manatee County’s conservation decisions.

I have been watching our fauna disappear day by day and the speed in which it is disappearing is alarming.

I moved into Lakewood Ranch Country Club in 2008 from Lido Key. I am a animal lover, I moved here so I could be closer to (Jim Strickland's) ranch. See, I am a friend who used to drive from Lido to Rutland Ranch every day to exercise polo ponies around the orange grove next to his ranch.

In those days, we had tomato, pepper and sod farms on S.R. 64. At the corner of Lorraine and S.R. 70 we had cracker cattle. Lorraine only went as far as the Polo Club. You had to have a key to open the gate, a key that the Stricklands’ had.

Sarasota Polo Club and SMR would have the SMR Cup and the cowboys and the polo players would share sports — shooting, fishing, polo, cattle roping, etc. All were done right behind the polo club.

When I moved into Lakewood Ranch in 2008, living behind my house and around the Country Club, we had the following animals: deer, eagles, kites, Martin kingfishers, roseate spoonbills, wild pigs, river otters, bobcats, mergansers ducks, pileated woodpeckers, fox squirrels, gopher tortoise, Sandhill cranes, wood storks, snakes, and many species of turtles.

Today they are all gone. I have a natural preserve behind my house. I saw a deer a month a go, I haven’t seen an eagle in a year. Last week I saw a single spoonbill. The Sandhills have been run over, and so have the turtles.

Replacing them is a zillion homes, I have not seen any of the new developments leave natural buffers for animals to live.

They have paved our paradise. The people moving here don’t care about our state and shame on our commissioners who have sold us out to tax revenue.

I miss all the animals because they made my life better. Can’t say much for all the "me-too" homes. And really, do we need a Publix on every corner

–Sylvia McNichol, Lakewood Ranch

Dumping American Library Association the wrong move

How dismaying that Manatee County has withdrawn from the American Library Association.

The opportunity for librarians to associate with professionals from all over the country, to obtain discounted training, and to access professional publications is priceless.

The reason for this misguided and obdurate decision is apparently that a library commissioner, James Satcher, believes the ALA is pushing a “woke agenda” because its president proudly called herself a “Marxist lesbian” nearly two years ago in a since-deleted Tweet.

Satcher justified his short-sighted opinion with allegations that the ALA president’s statement does not align with Manatee County taxpayers or the library board. But he fails to cite a single instance of the ALA acting contrary to taxpayer interests in Manatee County.

I am not sure what a “woke agenda” is. Satcher’s peeves and prejudices, however, do nothing but harm the professional library staff and the people who use the Manatee County library system.

–Hollis Raphael Weisman, Lakewood Ranch

Slow down, please

Since you solicited wish list items from your readers, I’d like to add at least one of mine which might hit home since it’s White Eagle related.

Lakewood Ranch Prep school pickup time requires adherence to posted school zone speeds. This is on Crosswind and Rangeland, in addition to, White Eagle.

LWR Prep parents are big violators of the school zone, particularly after they have picked up their children. Shocking!

So my wish is for the parents or their designees to adhere to the school zone speed limits. We will all be safer.

–Dennis Mcsherry, Lakewood Ranch

Generosity abounds in Lakewood Ranch

Generosity throughout Lakewood Ranch contributed to a successful shoebox gift collection season at drop-off locations for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child. Across the U.S., the project collected 10 million shoebox gifts in 2023. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2023, the ministry is now sending over 11.3 million shoebox gifts to children worldwide, including many who are suffering from war, poverty, disease and disaster.


–Dolores Brown, Samaritan's Purse


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