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Protect Veterans Community Park

In reference to the proposed idea of putting any type of lodging, parking structure, or office building in Veteran's Park is, in short, horrible. I am sure there are plenty of reasons someone could toss out as to why this is a good idea but putting an additional tax burden on the residents (especially so soon after Irma) is really tough to imagine.  That said, sometimes, the financial aspect shouldn't be the only one considered. 

I am certain I am not alone when I say, many of us call Marco home (or at least part time home) for a reason. It is not built up like other areas in Southwest Florida, it still maintains that small town feeling, we can still find wide open spaces inland from the beach – and we like it this way. A large structure would greatly change the feel of the Island that is away from the hotel/condo zone.

Our family has been coming to Marco since the late 80s, we have witnessed so many changes and so much growth. Honestly, a lot of it breaks my heart. I know things can't stay the same and there are many reasons that some changes are a good thing (I was greatly in favor of a stop light at Collier and Bayside). But, this is one change that does not have to happen.

There are plenty of places to put government offices. Look at the empty store front space in Town Center – I would think a wonderful deal could be struck up to make that work if office space is what is needed. Another hotel simply is not needed, nor is a parking structure. They simply are not necessary for life in Marco Island to carry on.

But mostly, my reason for opposing any change is simple. On Veteran's Day 2017 I was at the ceremony in the park. It was the most special community event I have ever been to.  It made me proud to be an American.  It made me proud to call Marco Island home.  It would not have been the same if the view of the plane flying over to salute our Veterans was obstructed by a three-story parking garage, hotel, and/or government building.

Please think about what that means.  Veteran's Park.  It is not Marco Island City Council Park. Nor should it ever be.

Julie K. Ieronimo, Marco Island

Scott responsible for killing Lake O solution

Robert H. Buker Jr., the CEO of U.S. Sugar, wrote a guest column calling for solutions based on facts. He mentioned that the farming communities and businesses south of Lake Okeechobee pump back only one percent of the total inflow. That may be true, but he conveniently forgot the most important fact: The farming businesses south of the lake cut off the historic flow of the surplus water from the lake to the Everglades. This is the only reason for the devastating discharges to southern Florida's east and west coast.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist cut a deal with U.S. Sugar to buy all of its land — 152,000 acres to reconnect Lake O with the River of Grass. Unfortunately, Floridians elected a new governor, Rick Scott, in 2010 and he in his shortsighted ex-CEO thinking replaced the board of the water management agency with pro-farming people and all of a sudden the U.S. Sugar deal was no longer viable.

Fortunately, Florida's Senate pushed for a partial solution by using all the state-owned land south of the lake for a cleaning and storage area. But Crist's deal, nearly three times that size, would have been the solution.

Hopefully, Florida's voters will remember in November's U.S. Senate race the full responsibility of Scott for the mess on our beaches. At least the Republican primary voters gave Adam Putnam — the other pro-polluter — what he deserved.

Let's also hope that the incoming governor — Republican or Democrat — puts our health, environment and property values ahead of sugar profits.

Herbert Krutisch, Marco Island

Equally disperse low-income housing

I am having difficulty understanding the position of the Naples Daily News editorials of July 28, about defining “East Naples” and March 24, about Manatee Park.

To clarify, East/South Naples is comprised of Commission District 1 and parts of Districts 3 and 4. In my opinion, Radio Road, Davis Boulevard and Bayshore Drive fall within East/South Naples.

There is a report titled “Income Restricted Affordable Dwelling Units” which appears to be created by Collier County, documenting “approved” affordable housing by commission district. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development defines “approved” as units price-restricted for 15 years.

Using that report and moving 964 units from District 3 for approved housing along Davis Boulevard, adjusting District 4 by 636 for approved housing along Radio Road and Bayshore and adding those units to District 1, the total is 2,496 and excludes Victoria Falls and Whistlers Cove, which just termed out. District 2 has 766, District 3 and adjusted 1038 and District 4 an adjusted 564. This doesn’t count upcoming Habitat for Humanity villages in East/South Naples, 225 for Vincent Acres and 130 for Whitaker Road. Regal Acres, on U.S. 41 East, may expand by another 116.

I believe it is reasonable to say that East/ South Naples has not said no to “approved”affordable housing or housing that is affordable, as evidenced above.

I would like to remind the editorial board of the Daily News article of April 6, 2017, headlined “Naples council rejects affordable housing proposal.” As a part of unincorporated Collier County, we don’t get a vote on “approved” affordable housing. I and the residents of East/South Naples only ask that lowincome housing be equally dispersed throughout all districts.

Suzanne Orschell, Naples

 

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