CAPT. JOSH:

Thanks for your column in last week’s WaterLine! I share your skepticism and hope that the new governor will really “stick to his guns” and make some much needed changes in protecting our precious environment. I was sickened by the rout and political payoff appointments in the previous administration. Thank you and keep on keepin’ on!

— Bonnie Leroy

Capt. Josh:

I am more than happy to hear about the return of the gun columns. In the wake of the Parkland horror, it seemed a knee-jerk decision to drop them, so I dropped my subscription. Apparently common sense and a keen awareness of area demographics have prevailed and I have just “re”-subscribed. Balance is always good. Nice job.

— Ed Hanley

ED:

Jenny “The Gun Girl” Malone has already had a couple columns published, and Billy Carl’s revived column is on page 11. They’ll each be writing once a month, meaning there will be a firearms column every other week.

— Capt. Josh Olive, WaterLine Publisher

Capt. Josh:

Good column on scrub-jays, Josh. Our house in Gulf Cove is adjacent to a large area designated scrub-jay habitat. I, being a birder, can see these beautiful birds whenever we take a walk. But now, one by one, houses are being built on the lots here. I was amused awhile back when I read that the county was contemplating buying 1,600 acres of agriculture land with the intention to convert it to scrub land. As I wrote in Letters to the Editor, I pondered how many life times that would take. And then you would have to move the jays there and train them to stay there and like it. By that time, the land would be rezoned for condos. The developers would come in, bulldoze the scrub land level, haul in ag type soil and build ponds. Then the new residents could enjoy nature at its best — cormorants drying their wings on their docks and boats and making deposits. Problem solved.

— Neil Heisner

Capt. Josh:

I usually am pretty much in agreement with your WaterLine columns but have to take exception to your shark column in the Jan. 10 issue. Guess it was pretty much tongue in cheek, but I’m afraid it will encourage some people to jump in the water with sharks ... not a good idea.

— Capt. Al Petterson

CAPT. AL:

While I’d be pretty nervous to be in the water with a good-sized bull shark and not thrilled at the idea of sharing a flat with a big lemon shark, I’m not overly concerned about a hammerhead wanting a piece of me. The International Shark Attack File has zero recorded fatalities from hammerhead attacks. Think about that: The 15-foot fish that regularly patrol just off our swimming beaches in summer, hunting tarpon — fish that are about the size of a person — have no interest in chewing on bathers that are in relatively easy reach. Look up hammerhead photos and you’ll see that photographers often approach the animals very closely. Again, nobody gets eaten. Here, I’ll spell it out if it will make you feel better: Don’t get in the water with a shark — even a relatively safe hammerhead — unless you’ve already got a will completed and notified your next of kin. However, the same also holds true for driving on U.S. 41, an activity that is far more likely to lead to that will being read.

— Capt. Josh Olive, WaterLine Publisher

Letters are welcome on any outdoor-related subject, but we do have some rules. Please keep them to less than 250 words. Letters may be edited for length as well as grammar and spelling. We reserve the right to refuse any letter not signed with the writer’s full name. Slanderous or libelous material will not be published. The Letters to the Editor section is designed as a public forum for community discourse. The opinions and statements made in letters are solely those of the individual writers. WaterLine and Sun Coast Media Group take no responsibility for the content of these letters.

Letters are welcome on any outdoor-related subject, but we do have some rules. Please keep them to less than 250 words. Letters may be edited for length as well as grammar and spelling. We reserve the right to refuse any letter not signed with the writer’s full name. Slanderous or libelous material will not be published. The Letters to the Editor section is designed as a public forum for community discourse. The opinions and statements made in letters are solely those of the individual writers. WaterLine and Sun Coast Media Group take no responsibility for the content of these letters.

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