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To protect our waters, oppose fertilizer bills

Fight pollution, fertilizer bills

Local governments could be blocked from regulating local fertilizer usage. We ask senators and representatives to vote "no" on Senate Bill 606 and House Bill 457, called the fertilizer bills.

Current law requires the adoption of the state model fertilizer ordinance in areas where the water is impaired. Current law also allows local governments to adopt more stringent standards if specified criteria are met.

SB 606 and HB 457 would repeal existing laws that counties and cities have adopted to protect their waters against nutrients from fertilizers getting into our waterways and causing further pollution. Furthermore, the bills eliminate the authority of local governments to adopt more stringent standards than the model ordinance in areas where water is impaired.

The 2011 Legislature would have a "one size fits all" fertilizer ordinance, which would not meet the needs of the many varied ecosystems of Florida. Forty-seven local governments have written ordinances that are more stringent than the state model, including Pinellas County and all 24 municipalities.

Opponents of SB 606 and HB 457 believe that they override home rule and that local governments have a better grasp of what is necessary to protect the bays, rivers and lakes in their communities. The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs Inc. has made a commitment supporting clean water in Florida, and believes that these more stringent ordinances, written by local governments, are needed to keep the pollution from getting worse.

With fewer nutrients in the water, it will help to prevent algae from growing. This will protect our wildlife, as well as the citizens of the state. Clean waters will help our tourism, fishing and agriculture industries.

We need to claim our power as citizens and speak up. Our voices are our very best tools. The senators on the Senate Community Affairs Committee are Sens. Mike Bennett, chairman, Jim Norman, vice chairman, Paula Dockery, Tony Hill, Garrett Richter, Jeremy Ring, Ronda Storms, John Thrasher and Stephen Wise. Please call or e-mail them and ask them to say "no" to SB 606 and HB 457. Tell them that you are committed to clean water for Florida, and you don't want to see the local, more stringent, fertilizer ordinances repealed, nor do you want to see our local governments denied the right to adopt more stringent fertilizer ordinances.

Pat Carver, Dade City, Florida Federation of Garden Clubs

Re: Too old for prom

Prom rule taken to silly extreme

I've known Chris Kluender and his dad for three years while my son and Chris have played baseball at Wiregrass Ranch High School.

He has shown himself to be an outstanding student and teammate. Miss (Tiffany) Gall comes to all of the games and graduated just two years ago. All they want to do is go to a dance.

Hey, Ray Bonti, lighten up.

John Whiddon, Land O' Lakes

Date is same age as some seniors

I find it really interesting that the principal of the school who won't let that girl attend the prom is quoted as saying that it's "not a dance for 20- or 21-year-olds." The girl is 19.

Ernest Lane, Trinity

Re: Rambo fights to save home

Disabled veteran should keep home

I have known Dean Grubb for over 25 years. He is neither a beach bum or a squatter. Rather, he is a U.S. Navy veteran who is totally disabled and subsists on disability checks.

A nasty divorce seven years ago left Dean virtually homeless. Dean didn't make a sign and seek a street corner. Instead, he located a piece of land that could be bought for taxes owed and bid upon it. I remember well his anxiety waiting to see if his bid won. It did and he took possession. All of which was legal, honest and above board.

Most of us would not care to live as Dean does. He shares his area with God's creatures — raccoons, otters, snakes, lizards, birds, mosquitoes and the like. Battery and propane appliances abound. Air mattresses and a sleeping bag provide nighttime comfort. The house is made of canvas, nylon and plastic. To Dean it is home, sweet home. It is familiar, comfortable and his.

The parcel contains many acres and a long stretch of virgin Gulf Coast shoreline. Most of it is marsh and under water at high tide. Dean has owned this piece for about three years and only wants to upgrade his home and be left alone.

I'm pessimistic. It would be nice if a law firm would take up Dean's cause. Pro bono surely fits this case. However, I believe that money will win; it always does.

Steve Shiner, Hudson

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To protect our waters, oppose fertilizer bills 04/05/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 5:03pm]
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