Just cuz he deserves it: Thank you for Wyatt Olson's effort and research in reporting the Bush brothers' greening of Jeb for his reelection ("Big Cypress Buyout," September 12). It is more than commendable that Olson spotted and had the guts to report about the monumental overcharging of the public. Again, we have to go to New Times and other publications to get the real story. Someone has to shine the light on these underhanded deals. An informed electorate is a pillar of a vibrant democracy. I acknowledge your courage and effort. Keep it going. We desperately need the Truth.
Our reptilian governor: Finally! A reporter with the balls to tell the truth about Big Cypress National Preserve. The Colliers have bluffed about this issue many times, all the officials know it, and yet, once again, the Bush administration has asked the residents of Florida to bend over and look the other way. The article made me so angry, I could read only two paragraphs at a time before I had to put it down and walk away.
Mineral rights are a joke, and the administration in Florida knows it. All the government had to do was impose already-standing stipulations concerning drilling and exploration on government-owned reserves and this whole issue would be null. What a sneaky way for Jeb and George to ensure that the Everglades restoration project becomes so expensive and troublesome that the state cans it.
Environmentalists should have seen this coming and stood up to it. A true environmentalist would have looked at the future, not just the bottom line. It is truly infuriating to have that snake Jeb Bush as governor. I will vote for Mickey Mouse before I take part in putting that man back in office. As long as the public thinks Jeb is green, he's really golden. I hope enough voters read your article to see what he's really doing and what the Bush family is about. I wonder what private interests the Bushes have put together with the Colliers. Jeb really makes being a Floridian an embarrassment.
Some things just aren't funny: Obviously, you have no clue what the people of New York have been feeling for the last year and what they are still feeling today. Had you been present when the Twin Towers were viciously attacked, maybe you wouldn't be running a full-page document that questions whether we have heard enough about 9/11. ("The Terrorists' Real Plan," September 12).
Let me take this a step further.... Did you lose a family member or friend on that tragic day? No, I'm sure you didn't. Had you, you would not state, "By now, you have had enough September 11-inspired drivel. There have been too many tributes, too much memoriam, and far too little news." The memorial services and tributes should continue forever. It will be through these memorials that the entire world will recognize that the United States will forever remember all of the innocent people who lost their lives to a very sick and demented group of people.
I am disgusted by the entire page 9 layout, as I'm sure are many of your readers. This cruel and insensitive display turned me off to your paper, but obviously you don't care if you lose a reader, because I will never again think to pick up a New Times.
via the Internet
Replumbing the Glades for bird feed: This is in response to Mike Clary's article "For the Birds" (July 18). We commend New Times for in-depth coverage of this issue.
The Cape Sable seaside sparrow is a classic "indicator species" for the health of the overall Everglades system. In 1989, Congress recognized flaws in the current water-management system in South Florida and authorized an expansion of Everglades National Park to include the northeast Shark River Slough. This was not done just for the sparrow but rather to correct past mistakes in failing to protect this critical area, an area vital to restoring the biological abundance and diversity for which the park was established and for which it is internationally renowned.
We are nearing completion of the acquisition of lands authorized by Congress to be protected as part of the park. More than 50 years of the current water-management system have artificially driven water to the west, through a set of four large gates. This has dramatically changed water levels in the far-western Shark Slough and, in the process, done harm to the sparrow population living there. In addition, by keeping the eastern area dry, suitable habitat for the sparrow, as well as wood storks, snail kites, and various wading birds, has also been compromised. The 1989 act recognizes that mistake and provides a remedy.
Some see this issue as a sacrifice of other interests to an "uncharismatic species." In truth, fixing the mistakes of an ill-conceived and outdated water-management system can allow people to live in balance with a restored Everglades, which would surely be poorer if we lost the Cape Sable seaside sparrow. A number of ongoing restoration projects, including the massive $7.8 billion comprehensive restoration plan, are attempting to reach this goal. Actions taken to protect the sparrow are not in any way impeding these goals. In fact, what's good for the sparrow is good for Everglades restoration. I believe that our fates are tied together.
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Everglades National Park