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Builder: 1; Burrowing Owl: 0

When a two-ounce feathered friend goes against a four-ton grader, the winner is fairly clear.

The odds makers weren’t disappointed at 1068 Cottonwood Drive as the lot was perfectly

leveled and concrete pilings drilled into the ground. What became of the owl or owls is unknown, but what is quite clear is that the owl burrow was illegally destroyed as no Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) permit was issued as required by law.

Nancy Richie, FWC agent, had begun working with the owner for an FWC permit in mid-January and was available to remove the owls 24 hours prior to construction, but she was never notified.

The illegal destruction of owl burrows is a far too common on Marco Island as builders have little to fear from either the city or FWC. Earlier this year our city passed an ordinance that provided additional monetary penalties for violations of this type. One has to wonder if the new fine schedule is stiff enough.

Brad Cornell of the Audubon of the Western Everglades stated “penalties should not be the cost of doing business or considered an incidental expense in getting the job done.” Earlier this year the City Council of Cape Coral unanimously voted to protect their burrowing owls with a “fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceed 60 days or both.” It’s time for Marco Island to consider similar language in our ordinance for repeat offenders.    

Charles Lamb, Marco Island

Daylight saving time

I have read Florida lawmakers, including Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott and Rep. Vern Buchanan, have introduced the Sunshine Protection Act in Congress. This act proposes year-round daylight-saving time for Florida. In your article, it was mentioned that a Florida bill has been stalled and cannot go into effect unless the federal law is changed as well.

Think outside Florida for a moment or so, perhaps the Northeast. Should that proposal take place, schoolchildren would board buses for much of the school year in darkness. This could prove to be a very dangerous situation.

To combat this, school departments may adjust school starting times. This would mean buses would be picking up the children an hour later in the day, just in time to be part of the daily rush hour traffic.

Children would get home much later than usual, disrupting evening meal times in many homes. This then would result in less study time for the children. They do need their sleep, you know. Less study time would result is less education, which would create a generation of semi-literates. These semi-literates would become our leaders of industry, politicians, etc. Where would this lead us to as a country?

I am reminded of an old Tennessee Ernie Ford statement: “Daylight saving time is like cutting a foot off the end of a blanket and sewing it to the other end in an attempt to make it longer.”

Or maybe we could just leave things alone.

Charlie McGonagle, Marco Island

Walls? Are we crazy?

Germany and Denmark corporations are over here in the United States investing $2.5 billion in building underground tunnels to transport available 'renewable energy ' for the Midwest to include Chicago Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc. This first project could be operational by 2024.

Russia and Germany are building an undersea project that started in 2005 at a beginning cost then of $7 billion to bring natural gas underneath the Baltic Sea to sell to Germany.

The United States is building walls.

President Trump was given $1.35 billion currently from Congress. He is declaring a national emergency and if the Republican-led Senate does not override his veto, he plans to take somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 billion primarily from the defense budget. I understand his new federal budget for the coming year will also include somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 billion for building walls that 'Mexico was going to pay for.'

Something is wrong with our priorities of spending taxpayers' dollars, especially since, as projected, we will add $1 trillion to our $21 trillion national debt this year, supposedly with a great and effective economy.

What do you think? What do you want your senators to do?

Bob Klatt, Marco Island

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