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Letters to the Editors

Officials wrong to limit access to Anclote sandbar


© St. Petersburg Times
published February 17, 2002

Editor: Like many people, I was shocked to learn that management at Anclote Key State Park had taken over the sandbar to its north, declaring it a bird sanctuary and restricting public access. For a number of years, this sandbar has been enjoyed by many local boaters. It was a wonderful place for families to take the grandchildren and even the dog for socializing, picnicking, or roasting marshmallows over an evening campfire.

It is unclear why this sandbar should be under the jurisdiction of Anclote Park. It is separated by a deep natural channel, and has never been a physical part of that island. Unlike the other park entities, this sandbar is submerged at maximum high tide, and is not even identified as land on governmental navigation charts.

It is inaccurate to imply that we invaded upon the birds' territory. If anything, it is the opposite, with people congregating on the sandbar ever since it first appeared. Certainly, we should have concern for the welfare of birds, but there needs to be some moderation as we co-exist together. The obvious fact that birds gather on the sandbar indicates that they are adapting well. There are countless other areas along our coast that are suitable for birds, but not for people. This sandbar was one of the very few places that we could freely use.

Park management has a duty to protect wildlife but has an equal obligation to consider the rights and freedoms of people. These recent actions were seemingly based solely on advice of its staff, while ignoring a duty to hear from affected citizens.

I am contacting our state legislators and encourage other voters to do the same.
-- Robert Collins, Port Richey

With Pasco roads in poor shape, where do drivers dare speed?

Editor: I am wondering what neighborhoods in Pasco County have streets that are in good enough condition where motorists could possibly speed?

We live in a nice neighborhood, Westport, but the road conditions are horrible. Westport Drive has holes that would ruin a front end alignment when going a minimum of 5 mph. Try to drive onto Westport from Scenic Drive and you'll see what it's like. The whole drive is in very poor condition, as are the roads along Seabreeze Drive.

We live on San Sebastian and it is a mess. Where do the tax dollars go? Certainly not for road maintenance, at least not in our neighborhood.

We have only lived in Pasco County for a year and a half and have noticed that the road conditions are low on the totem pole of priorities for the county. I feel sorry for all the folks on Westport Drive who are trying to sell their houses with the roads and sidewalks the way they are. Who would want to buy a house when the main road in the development is such a mess?

Who is responsible for the conditions of the roads?
-- Jill E. Kearns, Port Richey

Regardless of how we got here, we are all native Americans now

Editor: I share the view that the term "African-American" is offensive.

How many generations must one's family live in America before they drop the hyphen? I doubt that very few people are any more African-American than I am English-American. For that matter, neither is Omali Yeshitela. Or Colin Powell (whose ancestors came from Jamaica, anyway).

Look, after a certain time, you have to leave the old country, whether your forebears came over on the Mayflower or in the hold of a slave ship.

Do what I do: Whenever a form asks for my ethnic background, depending on context, I mark "native American." That's what I am, now.
-- Ernest Lane, New Port Richey

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Send your letter to Pasco Times, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668.

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