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Curbing growth is necessary to deal with our water crisis

Harsh water rules averted | Feb. 25, story

Curbing growth necessary to deal with water problem

This article describes in great detail the dire freshwater situation in the Tampa Bay area. It also talks about the actions taken by the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the actions requested by Tampa Bay Water. Noticeably absent from the article is any mention of controlling growth as a means of reducing the demands on our freshwater supply.

How can anyone in our local governments pretend to be seriously concerned about water usage when they continue to issue building permits to any developer who wants to build a subdivision with 3,000 or 4,000 new homes? All we hear from our elected officials are threats of stricter water use limitations, increased enforcement of existing limitations, and more severe penalties for people who violate them. No mention of reducing demand by cutting back on growth. I guess the developers have such a stranglehold on all our legislative bodies that this idea is unthinkable to them.

We even have state legislators who want to eliminate impact fees and make other changes to the permitting process in order to make it even easier for builders to build more new homes. Where do they think the water is going to come from for the people who move into those new homes?

A.T. Barnard, Beverly Hills

Save water, add credibility | Feb. 19, editorial

Build to conserve

I was happy to read your editorial. Your points are good, especially when you implore Tampa Bay Water to "do a better job with the tools it has been given." But that is only part of the answer to our grave water problem. You never mention the importance of water efficiency measures in buildings.

We have an incredible opportunity to save substantial amounts of water in both construction of new buildings and retrofitting of existing buildings. We need to encourage the use of water-efficient fixtures in buildings as well as in landscaping. Dual flush toilets (half flush for liquid waste, full flush for solid waste) are a great solution. Other solutions include water efficient faucets and showers, re-use of rainwater or graywater (treated water from sinks/showers) for toilets and irrigation, and Florida-friendly landscaping.

I encourage you to learn more about water efficiency in buildings via the U.S. Green Building Council at; the local chapter is at

Joshua Bomstein, president, U.S. Green Building Council, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, Tampa

Florida, now and again — Our kids | Feb. 22

Stop neglecting children

God bless you, David Lawrence Jr. Our neglect of our children is a sad reflection on the adults who occupy this state. To date there have been very few higher political figures who have had the best interests of Florida's future adults and leaders at heart. This state has always lagged behind other states of its size and affluence, even though we know what is needed to make things better.

The lottery was pushed as the answer to improving our schools. When we begin to depend on that type of program, it very often falls through. Ours has fallen through due to the fact that while the lottery is putting money in the front, the state has seen fit to pull money out the back for other programs.

There are many ways to fix what is happening to our underpaid teachers, underachieving schools and lack of health care for our children. As for educating our 4-year-olds, what we need more than teaching them their ABC's and 123's is to teach our children how to learn, how to study, why they will need this information and how to use the information they are being taught. I truly hope this article will open some eyes and ears and penetrate some of the overabundant skulls of our leaders.

June Williams Britner Salvato, Largo

Put commuter rail on the right track Feb. 22, editorial

A new deal is needed

This proposal is one sweet deal, for CSX. It's not so good for taxpayers. First, the upfront payment to them is overly generous when CSX is risking nothing. They get renewed current rail lines, new freight lines, new rail yards and other facilities for free. Next, why would any firm or government accept another's liability for the other firm's actions when it does not have control over the other firm? That, from a risk management perspective, is a bad deal.

Last year, the Senate killed this deal, and rightfully so. The difference this year is the removal of the attorney fee cap on claims. That makes this proposal even worse from the taxpayer view. The editorial is correct: This proposal should be renegotiated with all parties having an eye on limiting liability and costs overall.

John McCoy, Largo

Put commuter rail on the right track Feb. 22, editorial

Look to monorails

It is amazing that Florida legislators are still wasting their time talking about buying out CSX right-of-ways for an obsolete form of transportation: trains on rails. In the land of the Disney monorail, Florida politicians are looking at 19th century technology. America invented the maglev technology, which other nations have put into practice.

Why not build a monorail maglev system and make the entire thing a tourist destination. The system could circle the state with a cut across central Florida connecting to the theme parks with terminals at beaches on the west and east coasts.

Disney already possesses the know-how to run a monorail and a train repair terminal. Why not utilized their experience and knowledge?

Gregory Donoghue, Bradenton

Curbing growth is necessary to deal with our water crisis 02/28/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 28, 2009 3:30am]
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