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Editor's column tone could drive a wedge between neighbors

Editor: The Citrus Times (Courses Over Par in Water Use, Dec. 24) has performed a valuable service in reminding us of the amount of water that goes into maintaining golf courses. At a time when two years of unprecedented drought conditions place severe demands on Citrus County's freshwater reserves, we are all called upon to use water sparingly and equitably.

I am an avid golfer, but golf courses must do their part in conserving water. Cutting back on the practice of winter overseeding of fairways with annual grasses will help in the near term. On a longer term the answer lies in using reclaimed wastewater, which is otherwise evaporated back into the atmosphere with attendant pumping and spraying costs.

What was unnecessary and unfortunate was the tone of the accompanying editorial by Greg Hamilton. With barely controlled hostility, Hamilton seeks to promote the ill-will of homeowners toward anyone with a larger water ration.

Golf, along with agriculture, another water-intensive activity, is an important engine that helps drive Florida's diverse economy. Golf courses bring retirees and visitors to the area with money to spend in our local stores. Golf courses and retirement communities built around them also directly provide jobs for local residents and tax revenues for our schools and services.

A responsible editorial policy seeks ways of building community cooperation, not in setting neighbor against neighbor.

John Axe


When Citrus is a desert, who will come?

Editor: Today I read Greg Hamilton's editorial (Their grass is greener, ours just a sand trap, Dec. 24).

I am dismayed and concerned about the lack of regard some companies have for the water situation. To think both Citrus Hills and Black Diamond retain attorneys on a permanent basis to devise/scheme methods to elude the laws of compliance with the watering rules.

Green golf courses are among the biggest enticements that the above potentates use in attracting people to buy so they can make more money. When the fools purchase and build on or near the golf course, I wonder where those companies will be? When they are trying for a hole in one and there isn't any of that precious commodity of water to drink or make a cup of coffee, probably they will be long gone to a new adventure laughing their way to the bank.

Grass for homeowners is a luxury while green grass for a golf course is a necessity _ what kind of simpletons does (Al) Coogler (a member of the Southwest Florida Water Management District governing board) think we the public are? Take a look at where he lives (Black Diamond).

The public better wake up before all of this area is a desert.

Theresa Isabella


Wildlife service must protect manatees

Editor: There is so much harassment going on both in Crystal River and Homosassa waters _ the Endangered Species Act is being broken constantly.

I agree with the list of 84 sanctuaries supported by the Save the Manatee Club.

I also advocate more law enforcement. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not enforcing the law. Volunteers and observers see all kinds of illegalities. Why is the USF&W letting people get away with breaking the law?

There is hardly a manatee without a scar on its back. They have to endure huge wounds to their bodies. Imagine the pain you would endure if you had a wound a fraction of that size. USF&W should start doing the job that they were hired for and let's get some humanity here.

Gertrude Elsley

Beverly Hills