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The Everglades deserve more funding

Here’s what readers have to say in Monday’s letters to the editor.
A clearing late-day storm adds drama in the sky over a sawgrass prairie in Everglades National Park in Florida. [ROBERT F. BUKATY  |  AP]
A clearing late-day storm adds drama in the sky over a sawgrass prairie in Everglades National Park in Florida. [ROBERT F. BUKATY | AP]
Published Jan. 5
Updated Jan. 5

It’s one step up, two steps back

Everglades funding

As a Florida native, I was excited to hear that the federal government will be allocating $200 million for Everglades restoration funding and what that means for our South Florida waterways. However, I am also reminded of the many large steps back on clean water we took last year.

From the devastating rollback of the Clean Water Rule, which will put at risk the drinking water of over 1.8 million Floridians, to rollbacks of our rules around dangerous coal ash pits, it is clear that in the Environmental Protection Agency we don’t have a friend for clean water but a friend to corporate polluters.

Florida is in so many ways defined by our waterways. Our beaches, our springs, and of course the Everglades, are in large part why so many people visit our amazing state each year. While I am thankful that the federal government is fully funding our Everglades restoration program, I would urge our lawmakers in Congress to stand up against these rollbacks that put our health and our waterways at risk.

Samantha Murray, Safety Harbor

Who will really benefit?

Toll roads

Michele Arceneaux, former president of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, speaks during a press conference against three proposed toll roads in the Florida Capitol in Dec. 2019. [LAWRENCE MOWER | Lawrence Mower]

I’ve been following the proposal to extend the toll road system fairly closely. I’ve also been following how the panther population has been a regular victim of vehicle collisions and loss of habitat. With the proposed construction of the toll road extensions, loss of habitat and increased panther death due to vehicle collisions is a given. I have seen little written about these proposed toll roads that indicates a positive impact to the public, aside from the periodic use as evacuation routes.

Unfortunately, those that are in the path of a storm often wait until the last minute to evacuate, even with weather forecasting technology that has increasingly been more and more accurate. I don’t believe that you can fix poor judgment with more roads. As with most things, it may be prudent to look at the who and why. It generally leads to who has the most to gain. Construction companies? Land developers? Who else? It certainly isn’t the panther or other wildlife.

David Beck, Spring Hill

Other factors are the keys

Retirement age

I have read many articles on the subject of the right age for retirement but I have never seen one that hits the nail on the head. Age is not the issue. Retirement should be based on the type of work or job that you do. If you work in an office with A/C and a pen and paper is the heavy lifting that you do, 70 or 75 might be fine. But if you work in construction or are a roofer or a police officer, 60 or 65 might be too old. Age is not the issue, health, job function and ability are the most important considerations. Just as it is with running for president.

Gerald A. Cerveny, Tampa

Violence is not the answer

Agree to disagree

As an atheist, the hate attacks on any group are not now, nor have they ever been, acceptable. While I oppose the intrusion of religious views into our government, this does not mean I hate anyone whose view is different from mine. We all want what is best for our family, our friends, and our neighbors. We all want a safe place to live, safe food to eat, and safe water to drink. It is up to us to reach out to each other, to stand up for what is just and to oppose the violence that has been so prevalent in our history and in our current society. We must learn to disagree with each other without resorting to violence.

Judy Adkins, Tampa

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