1. Archive

County should protect preserve

Re: County proposal to create ball fields on 25 acres of Brooker Creek Preserve land.

I am writing this out of concern for the Brooker Creek Preserve.

Preserve: to keep safe from danger; to protect. Preservation: the act of securing or preserving. As far as I know, the definitions have not changed.

The Brooker Creek Preserve was painstakingly set aside by previous county commissioners, possibly because they could foresee how densely populated this area would become and how the wildlife would be run over in the process.

I have had the privilege of walking the nature trails and of riding on horseback through the preserve. I have observed bobcats, wild turkey, deer, coyote, armadillo, rabbits, raccoons, fox squirrels, owls, hawks and bald eagles during migration.

Much of the wildlife I have listed can be seen in the early morning on the 25 acres now described by the county as not being environmentally sensitive. Yes, this area is planted pine _ much of it 15 years old or older _ but it has become home for the wildlife. They don't discriminate between whether it was naturally grown or planted. Other areas of the preserve are also planted pine. Does this mean it is going to be open season on the preserve for construction projects?

Newspaper articles stated there are more than 2,000 children using the existing East Lake Youth Sports Complex. The sports complex accommodates cheerleading, soccer, baseball and football. Much of the time the complex is not in use. Here it is summer time, the kids are out of school, and I see little or no activity at the complex. Also, this facility is not used on Sundays.

Other alternatives need to be observed. Right beside the sports complex is grown-over county utilities property. To the east of that is the Eldridge utilities plat that the county is leasing and negotiating to purchase. Frontage to that property is cleared pastureland that would be perfect for the expansion of the sports complex. Why not use public school grounds for summer recreational activities? Also, there is the pastureland that the Pinellas County school system purchased on the corner of East Lake and Keystone roads.

Any destruction of the preserve could upset the natural balance of the preserve. Once we take it away, it is gone forever. The animals cannot move out. There is nowhere for them to go.

If the preserve is destroyed, how will our children learn about wildlife and the importance of taking care of it? In a book or video? Right now they can see the real thing in Brooker Creek Preserve.

Ask yourself, how far do my kids have to travel to see a ball field, and how far do they have to travel to see wildlife thriving in a preserve that we have set aside for them? For the good of our wildlife and our children, a preserve should remain just that.

Crystal Sanborn, Tarpon Springs

Campaign against noise is waste of time

Re: County tries to put a lid on noise, story, July 22.

I am a 21-year-old student at the University of South Florida, and I must say that the article on noise disappointed me greatly.

There is no need to waste more taxpayer money on meetings about noise in Pinellas. I agree there is a place and time for everything, and parties blaring at 3 a.m. are unacceptable. I have lived in Clearwater for 15 years, and there is one trend that has continued to grow: There is nothing for the young crowd to do in this area. Every time something is too loud, we need to have a discussion about it. Did all the elderly citizens in this area forget what it was like to be young?

Let's not forget the decibel meters that will be needed to enforce the rules, if passed. When you figure in the decibel readers, cost of learning to use them and manpower needed, I am sure we're looking at some ridiculous monetary amount.

I got the feeling from the article that the people who are complaining are of an older generation. So I am to assume that they have perfect hearing. Then why, when I am cut off on U.S. 19 and I am blaring my horn 3 feet from death, do they never seem to hear me?

I have an idea. Instead of wasting thousands of dollars on this ridiculous noise police idea, why don't we take that money and put it toward scholarship funds for our youth in high school? Also, you can all invest in $1 earplugs at your local pharmacy just in case us young folk are trying to relieve a little stress by having our music loud.

Don't get me wrong; I have grandparents, and I love them; and I know one day I'll be elderly, too. But we have to be realistic. Let our children have some fun. Instead of devoting time to catching noise violators, how about we catch drug dealers, parole violators and so on?

James Zervios, Clearwater

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