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Today's Letters: Confusion fuels mooring field fears

Published May 2, 2007


Gulfport should not pursue mooring field April 29, letter

The writer stated that the mooring field would be full of unattended boats that would pollute with sewage, diesel and other contaminants - plus lead to littering the beaches with boats after a hurricane.

I believe the writer is confusing an established mooring field where solid moorings are drilled into the bottom - and boaters pay a substantial fee to use it - with an unregulated anchorage where boats use any anchor they want and moor for free.

The latter has sometimes led to some derelict boats that often end up on shore in a storm and/or pollute the bay.

If Gulfport officials do the field correctly, they will completely eliminate derelict boats, not promote them. The letter writer was confused.

As the editor of the South's only sailing magazine, I can attest to the fact that anyone who knows anything about mooring fields - and who has researched the truth about them - will find that none of the writer's fears are based on fact. Mooring fields are proven to be the best place for a boat to be during a hurricane, the worst place being a marina. Boats destroy marinas in a storm.

If one studies other mooring fields, it turns out that mainly cruising sailboats - and some power cruisers - occupy them.

Cruisers are one of the most dedicated group of water environmentalists around and are more concerned than most about making sure that fuel and sewage don't pollute the bay. If the writer is concerned about sewage, perhaps they don't know that 99 percent of the raw sewage that gets dumped in our waters comes from sewage plants and cruise ships - originating from those who live on land.

Gulfport has planned a mooring field that would be mainly populated by seasonal and short-term cruisers, a friendly and sincere group of people who care more about these waters they cruise than most who just look at them.

They will visit the town and support local businesses. The letter writer ought to go out and meet some of them.

Steve Morrell, Southwinds Magazine, Bradenton

Few bad apples can ruin it

Seasonal campgrounds, like mooring fields, attract a portion of our population who, for whatever reasons, embrace the seminomadic lifestyle.

Called full-timers, most do it with emphasis on style. Million-dollar yachts and motorhomes that bring fortunes in tourist dollars to communities having the foresight to provide campgrounds and mooring fields.

But it takes only a few bad apples to spoil the whole bunch. Derelicts who bring derelict vessels, then abandon them with no thought to the impact on the environment or water safety.

Travelers who pack themselves and their families into ancient, raggedy, discarded buses and set up housekeeping in city or county parks, or even church parking lots as a base for their questionable activities.

They contribute nothing to the local economy, and when they depart, local taxpayers are left with the bills for cleaning up their garbage and hauling away their debris.

These alone, for many, are reasons enough to dismantle mooring fields or close parks and campgrounds.

And they are good reasons for those who are already overburdened with excessive taxes and rising costs of living over which they have no control.

Everett Melnick, St. Petersburg

Hefty price may sink port plan April 27, story

Where's waterfront plan?

I was glad to read that the pie-in-the-sky dream of St. Petersburg's mayor is going to be shelved. It is funny when the plan's demise is announced, the mayor's name was not mentioned once, but months ago he was the lead voice behind this stupid plan for the port.

Wake up, city government. Where is a 20- year plan for the whole waterfront?

What is needed is to build a circular plan of moving people from the Pier (which needs to be remodeled) to the port (a fish market would be perfect).

In between there could be stops at BayWalk, the Museum of Fine Arts, Al Lang Field (whatever it becomes), the Dali museum on the waterfront and the USF campus.

This would be such a boon for our tourism. When will our city leaders wake up and start to plan for the future here?

Scott Hoffman, St. Petersburg

CFCs are no longer used

In the April 22 article, For Earth's Sake: "Green" Terminology, the St. Petersburg Times defines CFCs as "used in refrigerants, cleaners and aerosols and in the making of plastic foams."

This statement is based on outdated information. Consumer aerosol products in the United States have not contained CFCs since the 1970s, and on behalf of the Consumer Aerosol Products Council (CAPCO), I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the issue.

In the 1970s U.S. producers of aerosol products and packaging voluntarily phased out CFCs as the propellant in consumer aerosol products. It became official with government regulations in the late 1970s, and the rest of the world followed with the Montreal Protocol, signed in 1987.

Christine Goss, CAPCO, Alexandria, Va.

Homeless stance so sad

Much has been said about the homeless situation in the area. I find it both interesting and sad where people stand on this issue. I come into contact with many people who say that homeless people don't want to help themselves and who ask where their families are in such times of need.

While I don't doubt that some can do more to help their own cause, the vast majority of them are dealing with severe mental illness and substance abuse issues. As we supposedly live in a compassionate society, it deeply saddens me to see the less fortunate treated as though they are worthless.

Anthony Margiotta, Seminole

Share your views

We invite readers to write to us. Letters for publication should be addressed to Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. They can be sent by fax to (727) 893-8675 or through our Web site at: They should be brief and must include the writer's name, address and phone number. Please include a handwritten signature when possible. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length. We regret that not all letters can be published.

[Last modified May 1, 2007, 20:36:56]

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