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To fertilize or not to fertilize

As a Marco resident and having a considerable lawn to maintain, I’ve often wondered about the best time to fertilize my turf.

After attending a Board of County Commissioners’ workshop on a “countrywide fertilizer ordinance,” I was a little surprised that there were experts proposing that it’s best to fertilize during the rainy season as well as experts advocating the opposite – a rainy season ban.

Here’s their rationale for fertilizing during the rainy season. Fertilizing during rainy season provides important growth nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium compounds) and along with the increased temperatures and sunshine, the root system expands, becomes thicker and will therefore filter and absorb much of the environmental bad actors; like nitrogen and phosphorous and potassium that are found in fertilizer. At first blush fertilizing sounds good, but is it?

Other experts think not. Here’s why. Fertilizing during the rainy season risks fertilizer being flooded into our canals, bays and rivers during heavy rains. The chemicals in fertilizer pollute our waterways. In essence the fertilizer advocates want us to add fertilizer to our turf; so, its root system can better remove these same chemicals. If your priority is healthy waterways, this makes no sense.

Adding fertilizer makes our turf look dark green and promotes fast growth. I find it interesting that the people advocating for increased use of fertilizer are also advocates associated with the green industry having connections to lawn maintenance services, turf grass farming and fertilizer industries.  

For me, protecting Marco’s waterways trumps dark green fast growing lawns. Let’s consider a year-round ban on fertilizing our lawns.

Charles Lamb, Marco Island

Stand by Iran's Azerbaijani Turkic minority

On Jan. 15, 2019 Abbas Lisani, an Azerbaijani activist in Iran, was arrested in Tabriz yet again. An outspoken critic of Iran's oppressive policies against its ethnic Azerbaijani/Turkic minority, Lisani has had a long record of unjustified imprisoning for demanding basic cultural and political rights for Iran's Azerbaijani community, yet his case remains largely overlooked by the international media and Western governments. 

Lisani is being kept behind bars with no access to a public attorney or to members of his family. His rights are being conspicuously violated. According to some reports, Lisani has started a hunger strike and his health may soon deteriorate. 

The United States should stand by Iran's Azerbaijani Turkic minority and express its indignation about intolerance prevalent in Iran vis-a-vis its ethnic minority groups.

Sumer Aygen, Marco Island

Safer streets

A big thank you to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Collier County traffic operations and landscaping departments for their prompt responses to our concerns about the dangerous intersection at Barefoot Williams and Price Street in East Naples regarding speeding drivers and poor visibility at the intersection.

A stationary speed measuring device was installed, traffic control increased and landscaping at the corner with Price Street was cut back considerably for a much better view onto Barefoot Williams. All this was accomplished within a couple of weeks.

Andra Rogat, Naples

Alternatives

There has been much discussion, and now legislation, regarding “alternative science,” views that differ from the traditional scientific views of evolution and climate change, usually religious based. Strangely, I never hear anyone demanding alternative options to the science of medicine. If we are to give credibility to those who want to require the teaching of other alternatives, then we must do so with medicine.

For equality of science to exist, all health books should teach the “Immaculate Conception” way of becoming pregnant, the value of leeches as a cure, and the dangers of toilet seats as a way of catching sexually transmitted diseases. Beyond the classroom, NCH should be required to provide admitting and treatment privileges to Christian Scientists, herbalists, Seminole medicine men, and wiccans. Fair is fair. All patients should be able to access alternative treatments to those recommended by their “scientifically” trained doctors.

Religious alternatives also must be available. In every school there should be a plaque reading “In God, Thor, Jehovah, Siva, Vishnu, Allah, Elohim, etc. We Trust.”

Theron Trimble, Naples

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