Fish Farm idea bad; official statements ‘misleading’

To the Editor:

In “Fish Farm Proposed for Gulf of Mexico” (Jan. 4, 2020), I was disappointed to see misleading statements by both the company planning to run the industrial finfish farming operation and Florida officials.

One critically omitted fact is that the regulations relied on by agencies to permit this facility were voided by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in late 2018 (an appeals court recently heard arguments on the government’s challenge to that ruling).

As the law currently stands, the regulations cited in the article that “allow” permitting are currently invalid. Additionally, it’s disappointing to see the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission supporting this operation.

Despite the marine-related challenges in Florida of late — including devastating algae blooms, widespread coral die-off and declining water quality — the state should be focused on reducing pollution at its source rather than promoting potential pollution threats.

I fear that approving this project would likely pave the way for much larger, industrial-scale projects that will lead to significant pollution, fish escapes, and other disruptions to the local marine ecosystem. Other countries such as Denmark and Canada, where the problems caused by industrial finfish farming are well-documented, are now moving away from this method of production.

Given these realities, the agencies tasked with protecting our marine environment should take a step back from approving this project and reconsider finfish aquaculture off our fragile coast.

Justin Bloom

Sarasota

Osprey nesting sites saved at area plazas

To the Editor:

Thank you, Bre Mariner LLC, Scottsdale, Ariz., owner of the Winn-Dixie Shopping Plaza.

You’ve not only restored the original nesting site — that had to be removed when new LED lights were installed — but you have erected a second osprey-nesting platform. I’m sure the original osprey that has already resumed her nest on the platform would also share in accolades for your generosity.

Publix also deserves a big thank you. Their Lakeland corporate office responded to the Oct. 7, 2019 letter to the editor: “We’re unaware of subtle changes to environment” with a promise to ask the property manager of their Osprey store about the light figure configurations and installing an osprey-nesting platform. Currently, the Nokomis Publix parking lot has a nesting osprey atop their light fixtures.

West Coast Floridians are so fortunate to share their space with wildlife. Big business (Bri Mariner and Publix) evidently feel the same way. As we observe and share our cities with the osprey and other wild animals, our “wild” nature is satiated, took.

Jane Moskowitz Mack

Venice

Venezia Park should be left ‘relatively untouched for nature’

To the Editor:

Venezia Park — perhaps our last natural open space park on Venice Island — may soon be paved over and cluttered with man-made structures.

A shelter with paved parking has been proposed along with a paved multi-use trail, senior fitness stations, etc., plus there is the initial cost of $100,000 in design fees alone.

Do we really need another shelter while Maxine Barrett is a destination park with its own shelter on a beach nearby? Do we really need more fountains, statues, planters and/or a walking path that becomes a tripping hazard from rising tree roots and deterioration while well-maintained sidewalks already surround this park? Our other parks provide these amenities.

Venezia Park should be left relatively untouched for nature to best flourish and as a place for our eyes to rest from over-development elsewhere. What is needed is an undated natural playground for our kids and grandkids set within a newly designed pattern of moss-dripping trees of beauty.

Let’s keep most of our impact fees (assessed from developers) for maintaining what we already have.

If you want to be heard, please call Kathleen Weeden, city engineer, at kweeden@venicegov.com and attend the public impact meetings.

Kathleen Cook

Venice

‘Cosmic Convergence’ with Venice Symphony Orchestra

To the Editor:

If many people still think symphonic music is strictly for persons with intellectual or cultural pretensions, then they haven’t heard this season’s edition of the Venice Symphony Orchestra.

Music Director/Conductor Troy Quinn, in only his second season, is bringing a new look, sound, and feel to the Venice Symphony that is simply stunning.

Maestro Quinn’s latest orchestration “Cosmic Convergence” combines music from composers Richard Strauss, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, and Antonin Dvorak, among others, with film clips of our solar system from NASA and live camera closeups of the Venice Symphony orchestra and conductor playing music from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey, Goldsmith’s Star Trek, and Williams’ Star Wars.

If experiencing this superb audio/visual presentation didn’t thrill, excite, and decidedly make one proud to be an American citizen and resident of Venice then nothing much will.

Maestro Quinn and the so very talented ensemble of Venice Symphony musicians play music that excites and appeals to all ages and backgrounds. Bravo!

I can hardly wait to see what the Venice Symphony will do next month with performances of the music from James Bond movies and Romeo & Juliet!

Bryant McNiece

Venice

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