Overbuilt almost overnight
Bravo! The letter on re-wilding and over-development of our beautiful state, so hit my heart. I moved to gorgeous Miami in 1965. Alas, I left its now concrete jungle and maddening traffic in 2006 for pleasant country roads with greenery, woods and farms in Leesburg, a town of approximately 20,000. What a delight, a slice of heaven.
In 2006, the retirement community nearby — The Villages — was pleasant as well. Today the massiveness of the Villages’ growth is a nightmare. Homes popping up like mushrooms; the homes are built almost overnight. Four-lane highways, hills flattened, farms with cows, horses and woods gone. Traffic galore. I totally agree that developers should re-forest areas of blight or be penalized for destroying nature. Thank you to the letter writer for his insight. “Stand for something or fall for anything.”
Eve Cordova, Leesburg
What happened to common sense?
The letter was right on. I came to Florida’s Gulf Coast in 1978 from New Orleans where offshore oil support businesses had started to blight (and have since destroyed) much of the coastal eco-systems by cutting short cut canals and dumping whenever they could get away with it. Florida developers will make fortunes packing in homes and wiping out remaining wetlands and open space — with local planning boards’ approval because they like increasing the tax rolls. The aquifer is already stressed, and the hurricane evacuation options limited to staying in storm’s way, or being locked in a highway turned into a parking lot. What happened to the funds designated for land acquisition? What happened to common sense? Planners continue to destroy a once-superb quality of life, and beautiful, natural wild areas.
Peggy Dickson, Bradenton
Not so fast on dissing Florida
The letter writer complained about the building boom in Florida and how it has changed for the worse since he arrived in 1998, and he is thinking of leaving what he called an apocalyptic hellscape. I bet the same letter was written 25 years ago, but we are all still here 25 years later. It appears the letter writer got his but does not want others to get theirs.
John Spengler, Spring Hill
Don’t, just because you can
I am writing in response to Rep. Ben Diamond’s excellent column. Like most Floridians, I believe that no matter where we’re from, what color we are, or how much money we make, we should get our fair share if we do our fair share. But Florida Republicans rigged the system, and their donors and big corporations can avoid paying their share. And they keep us from doing anything about it by using fear to divide our communities, that way we don’t notice them picking our pockets. Floridians deserve a level playing field: an economy with a living wage for every worker, a marketplace where small businesses and innovation can thrive and a state where everyone has a fair shot at the American Dream. Only by standing together can we make sure that everyone plays by the rules, which means the wealthy and well-connected pay their fair share in taxes, just like we do.
Mark Ferrulo, St. Petersburg
She stands for something
House GOP leader puts heat on Cheney | May 5
Kudos to Rep. Liz Cheney, one of few congressional Republicans who take their oath of office and moral responsibility seriously.
Emiliano Quindiagan, St. Petersburg
Division goes both ways
During this speech announcing another run for Florida governor, Charlie Crist said we need to stop the division and hate. It makes me laugh. What did the Democrats show in the things said and the way they acted toward U.S. Sen. Tim Scott when he gave the rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s address to Congress last week? What was said about him and to him was pure hate.
Bonny Salmeri, St. Petersburg
Thank you, Tampa Bay Times
Student data put off-limits | May 5
The decision by the Pasco County School Board to stop sharing student data with the Sheriff’s Office is a step in the right direction that will hopefully culminate with a change of leadership at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Chris Nocco’s lack of remorse is appalling. Instead of holding himself accountable for being the target of a federal investigation, he blamed the media for (allegedly) perpetuating misinformation. Nothing was done voluntarily as the sheriff claimed in his written statement. It was thanks to media, and in particular the Tampa Bay Times, that the egregious practice of targeting specific students as future criminals was exposed. And it was thanks to media and efforts by concerned citizens that the practice will now stop.
Lambros Papaeconomou, Tampa