1. Archive

Arguments against wildlife office miss point


I attended the "Open House" meeting at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Administrative Office on Kings Bay Drive. Later I read the accounts of the reporters that were there and also watched the Bay News 9 TV reporters coverage. And I understand that now an editorial has been written by one of the newspapers against it.

It is totally amazing to me that they all missed the biggest point, that the hotly contested "expansion" is going to be a small building between the current Fish and Wildlife office and the huge Port Paradise complex. This will further buffer the neighborhood on the other side of the administration office from the Port Paradise commercial enterprise including a rather large bar.

The only additional paving USFWS plans to do is to pave a handicapped parking space adjacent to its current building, and if you have a loved one in a wheelchair, you know how important that is.

Had USFWS not purchased that property, it could have been developed into 20 (or more) housing units.

With an average of eight trips a day per housing unit for the folks living in the house, the repair man, the garbage man, the delivery man and on and on, that would be an average of 160 trips a day for just 20 units. More than a drop in the traffic bucket. These people (USFWS) are protecting an economic resource (the West Indian Manatee,) trying to keep it from becoming extinct with the accompanying loss of revenue that would bring to this area. They have been a buffering law enforcement presence in the neighborhood.

They are required by law to educate people about the manatee, its plight and the plan to recover it so that it can, hopefully, be removed from the endangered species list someday.

To my way of thinking that is a goal we can all, including the city of Crystal River, strive to accomplish. It can't be done in a vacuum.

Let's help.

Helen L. Spivey, Crystal River

We embarrass founders with low voter turnout


It never ceases to amaze me how many people complain about their elected officials, yet so few of them take the time to vote.

In this last primary only 27.68 percent of the registered voters here in Citrus County voted. Who would be on our School Board was decided in that primary, and it was decided by a minority of the people here in Citrus County. How sad it is when so many are content with allowing a few decide who would be in control of the board that dictates policy to the schools all our children attend.

We talk about our rights, and how important it is to defend them from encroachment, or limitation, yet many of us seem all to willing to voluntarily, by lack of participation, give up our most important right. Our right to vote.

Don't say, "It doesn't make a difference," because the only time it doesn't make a difference is when a majority of us chooses not to vote.

Don't say, "It won't make a difference because all politicians are crooked." Politicians are no more or less crooked than the people they represent, if all were presented with the same opportunity and afforded the right to be that way by a lack of participation by a majority of the electorate. In other words, our apathy toward politicians and the system in general results in our choice not to vote in large numbers, which in turn only serves to strengthen and preserve in office that which has made us apathetic.

We would not need term limits if we, the majority of the people, acted like responsible citizens and voted in all the elections. Our founding fathers would have laughed at the theory of term limits because our democracy was founded on the principle of self-government.

In other words they believed in the wisdom of the people to elect, re-elect, or unelect anyone they saw fit. They also firmly believed in our willingness to do so when presented with the opportunity.

The founding fathers would have been ashamed at both our willingness to allow it to be easily limited, and our lack of willingness to exercise it. The right that gave birth to all our freedoms, the cornerstone of democracy itself, the right of the people to vote.

Voting isn't only a choice, voting isn't only a right many take for granted, voting is a responsibility shared by all the citizens of our great country. We have no right to expect our government or our leaders to do their jobs if we the people fail to do our jobs as citizens.

The only way our leaders will work for we the people is if they are accountable to the majority of us. Politicians are only as crooked as we allow them to be, and complaining about them doesn't fix the problem.

When a carpenter picks a bent nail out of his bag, he has two choices: One, he can straighten it with a hammer, and use it or, two, he can throw it out and reach for another, but just sitting there complaining about the nail won't get the job done, that's for certain. So quit complaining about the nail and go vote because it can't hear you, and the rest of us are tired of doing all the work.

Kim Morrison, Homosassa