Airport is great for city, region

To the editor:

Built during World War II, the airport was given to the city of Venice at war’s end with the stipulation that if not used as an airport, it reverts back to the government.

Rated one of America’s most beautiful general aviation airports, thousands of people utilize this airport annually.

The airport could become a significant cash cow for the city. Currently, a two-year waiting list exists to rent a pricey small-aircraft T-hangar. Available government grants could build twice the number of T-hangars on existing airport property. The increased rent, plus resultant increased fuel-purchase revenue would be a huge revenue generator. A large, currently under-utilized hangar could also be better utilized for a high-tech flying school and/or large aircraft hangar.

The on-site Suncoast Café, already world-renown, draws pilots/non-pilots alike in daily to sample its exquisite cuisine. More activity will result in increased city revenue from this valued property.

As for planes falling from the skies claimed by a previous writer, decades of statistics don’t support that claim. General aviation is possibly the most-regulated industry in America. Students through senior pilots must undergo periodic medical, knowledge, and practical evaluations. Aircraft have pre/post flight and FAA mandated periodic inspections.

The rare accident’s national coverage falsely portrays aviation accidents as more frequent.

Rather than fight City Hall to close the airport, this individual should utilize Venice’s sizzling real estate market, sell his current home, and buy a home without overflights. He might also consider purchasing meteorite, space junk and “sky is falling” insurance.

Randy Wedin

Venice

Time to fund Florida Forever

To the editor:

With Florida’s population increasing rapidly, the need for land and water is also increasing dramatically, which affects Florida’s native species. Approximately 800 people are moving into Florida daily, and the development of land is on the rise. With this kind of development occurring, critical habitats are lost, and pollution is increased.

As a hunter and conservationist, I understand the importance of natural land for our wildlife and am acutely aware of the negative effects that occur because of an increase in development. More human activity causes stressors on the animals, disrupting their natural behavioral rhythms, impacting reproduction and survivorship. Moreover, new roads fragment existing natural lands.

The Florida Forever program provides land conservation that Florida and Floridians need to protect natural habitats, our water and our quality of life. Land protection is the cheapest way to continue to have water recharge into our aquifers for our use and to buffer rivers and lakes from pollution. Moreover, 75% of voters supported full funding for this program when they voted on Amendment 1 in 2014. Without land protection now, not only will our wildlife and fish resources suffer, but so will our water supply.

It is time for the Legislature to fully fund Florida Forever.

Kimberly Rogers

Tallahassee

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