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Beacon Woods needs to back off lawn rules during drought

Want pretty lawn? Let's wait for rain

The March edition of "The Woodsman," Beacon Woods' monthly newsletter, just hit the lawns on Feb. 27 and an article on the front page shows how little the green-grass zealots of this community understand the drought we are in.

They remind, "owners with lawn violations have been notified that they have until March 15 to resod their lawns." Do they not understand that were are in a very serious drought situation and that the months of March, April and May are historically the driest months of the year in Florida? We do not get the spring rains that are typical in the north. Our rains don't begin until mid-June.

Waiting until then to resod makes more sense than what the Beacon Woods Civic Association is demanding. New sod requires a lot of water to get established and waiting until June would be more advantageous to its well-being and less dependent on the sprinkler systems to deliver the water it needs, especially when we are in the drought.

I hope someone from either Pasco County or the Southwest Florida Water Management District reads this and contacts the people on the Beacon Woods board and demand that they back off their demands for all of our benefit.

We don't need to be wasting water. Isn't that what the water experts are all trying to tell us? Or don't you get it?

Bill Thompson, Bayonet Point

Let ferrets back in the airplanes

I read with interest regarding the New Port Richey lady who was unable to fly to Massachusetts with her pet guinea pig. I am a member-at-large for the American Ferret Association, an organization which holds ferret shows all over the country for domestic ferrets.

Ferrets require the same inoculations as dogs and cats, rabies and distemper, and we must show proof of same in order to gain entry to our shows. Ferrets were allowed for years to be flown in-cabin until last year when Delta (the only carrier to allow them in-cabin) and Northwest Airlines merged.

Currently, Delta only allows, per their Web site, dogs, cats and household birds in cabin at $150 one-way. However, for $275 one-way, they will allow "cats, dogs, household birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, and marmots are accepted as checked baggage." So, in fact, they do allow guinea pigs if you wish to pay the fee.

Most certainly, Delta does not appear to know what the current wording for its own Web site: A marmot is a wild animal, another word for a ground hog, not a companion animal. Ferrets are sold all over the country in pet shops, the same as other companion animals, and by reputable breeders for those who wish to show their animals.

I have previously traveled from Tampa to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, carrying two ferrets in a small carrier that fit under the seat in front of me. The maximum a tiny carrier would weigh would be 5 pounds. Presently, not only our judges but many of our regular exhibitors from all parts of the country are now unable to travel to our shows.

Delta has now exclusively banned reputable breeders who wish to travel to other parts of the country to breed their animals. To my knowledge, no marmots are ever sold in pet stores, nor do they have a national organization in which they are shown. I don't know about guinea pigs as such.

The American Ferret Association is aggressively letting Delta Airlines know these facts and trying to get them to rescind the current order not allowing them to fly at all. Even at the ridiculous price of $275 one-way, exhibitors would at least have the right to fly with their ferrets in checked baggage, But even that is not allowed.

The ban on all small animals has particularly hurt many senior citizens as well, who perhaps cannot afford a dog or a cat and want a small companion animal.

Gail Suzanne Burlaka, Bayonet Point

Beacon Woods needs to back off lawn rules during drought 03/02/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 2, 2009 8:34pm]
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