I have a comment in regards to your story, "There Goes That Theory Down the Toilet" (Lucy Chabot, June 4). I'm not much of a scientist, but everything I know about biology tells me that reducing the amount of bacteria put into a certain medium does not decrease the population if there is a food source and the other requirements for life and reproduction are present. These bacteria have been in the water for years, allowed to build up over time, their population increasing year after year. The amount of organic matter to eat, warm water and sunlight are direct contributors to their growth.
I'm sure there are broken sewers and hookups from homes not on the water that lead to the city system. Be real, this is Florida. Do you think it was developed to code with the proper inspections? But reducing bacteria is like dieting -- years of buildup don't go away overnight. Many steps must be taken to reduce this pollution. There's nothing wrong with doing the obvious first (which is to stop the dumping of human waste), but continuing the search for, and ending, sewage leaks seems pretty obvious too.
Poop and Politics -- They're Both Hard to Get Rid Of
Many thanks to New Times for the Lucy Chabot article on the Las Olas Isles water pollution controversy. It appears that the Broward County Department of Natural Resource Protection (DNRP) as well as Fort Lauderdale's Department of Public Services no longer have any credibility regarding this problem. Because officials and activists have maintained all along (without evidence) that the boats were the cause of the Isles pollution, they have unnecessarily prolonged this problem and the associated potential health risks, to say nothing of [the city's] soiled reputation as a tourist haven.
Mayor Naugle, Cal Landau, and many others have for years warned that hooking boats to a compromised sewer system would not be a panacea for water pollution. Reports and photographs presented by Isles residents of raw sewage gushing out of this sewer system into the canals have been met with deaf ears and have been ignored by the authorities who claim to want to protect our environment. It's time for county and city officials to be accountable and do the right thing by conducting a new independent scientific study of where the true sources of pollution are stemming from. Put the finger-pointing and politics aside, we want safe, clean water -- bottom line.
Gambling on a Responsive Attorney General
I read Michael Freedman's article, "Cruisin' For a Bruisin'" (April 30), and found it most enjoyable. I couldn't help but note that many of the problems my community is experiencing with casino boats are occurring in other communities as well.
I was rather surprised with the statement by Assistant Attorney General Kent Perez that "there's just no regulation" where these casino boats are concerned, and that the attorney general's office would welcome a request from a local government to pursue the slot machine issue. The mayor of the Town of Ponce Inlet (near Daytona Beach) sent just such a request to Mr. Perez on January 14, 1998.
In less than a year, this and other gambling ventures have destroyed the quality of life of our citizens. They have forced us to live with a vice repeatedly rejected by the voters of Florida and to bear the costs of the problems it created, and have involved the town in needless litigation. The Town of Ponce Inlet welcomes all legitimate businesses and vocations. Nevertheless, what we are dealing with here is a business that argues that it can skirt the law (enacted in 1937) due to a loophole. When taken together with the repeated rejection of gambling by the voters of the state of Florida and the specific rejection of this type of enterprise by the voters of the Town of Ponce Inlet, it is clear that action must be taken to carry out the will of the people.
Robert J. Riggio, Town Attorney
Town of Ponce Inlet