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Vote for candidates that will make change not just talk about it

August 10, 2016
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

To the editor:

I have lived in SWFL for around 15 years. Before that I vacationed and visited family here for the previous 30 years. I remember seeing sparkling blue green waters off beaches of sparkling shell. Different colors bouncing off the water and wet shells that inspired many a poet and song writer. Watching sunsets on the beaches as dolphin, manatee and schools of tarpon rolled by the shore was enchanting. Sharing this with people became my livelihood and these animals my friends and benefactors. Millions of people would come to experience this unique ecosystem. Then came the hurricanes, and after them BP scared everyone away, then the crash and no one could afford to vacation here. All this time the population here continued. The infrastructure was neglected and laws were passed that allowed more pollution. Three years ago at the last great flooding from Lake O I warned that our ecosystem could not take another hit like that. Today we are experiencing a much worst hit then, then and I fear a way of life for many SW Floridians is lost.

I watched four different stories today about the SWFL Lake O releases. The state health department says that it is harmful to the environment but not humans. That "no toxins were detected" but they do not define what toxins they are looking for other than related to the blue green algae.

If you watch the Fox 4 article "Kids in Crisis" you will see many experts claim that SWFL children are getting cancer at an alarming rate. Indeed many believe it has to do with toxins released into and from Lake O.

What has become clear is the State Health Department is only checking for specific toxins in the brown water related to blue green algae and not the ones that could be causing a cancer epidemic. Benzene comes to mind.

Lake O releases are continuing and experts on Sanibel now are warning of a total collapse of the Estero Bay, Pine Island Sound, and Charlotte Harbor ecosystems.

There seems to be an increased number of people getting the "flesh eating bacteria" in the brown water release areas and some people say they caught it on Fort Myers Beach.

People want the water dumped south and filtered into areas that need the water. But the federal government (Congress and Speaker of the House Ryan) decided to go on summer vacation without addressing it.

It seems like so many of our leaders are so wrapped up in elections that they are ignoring Americans in this unnatural disaster. It is time to send a message. Ultimately it is not money that wins elections but votes. Now more than ever it is so important to vote for candidates that will make change not just talk about it.

Call, write, text, email, twitter, or contact your representatives and tell them your voting for the candidate that will clean up this mess not talk about it.

For the stories mentioned you can get the links here

John Paeno

Bonita Springs



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