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Refuses permission to‘ruin our lives’

We live in the peaceful quiet country. We have worked our whole lives to live in the country. We moved out of Sarasota to enjoy the country atmosphere. Late at night when the air is still you can look up at the night sky and see the stars. Off in the distance the sounds of a coyote, fox or an occasional hoot owl. Or if you are an early riser and enjoy the sounds of morning birds chirping and roosters crowing. These are the sounds that we invested our entire lives work to be near. To be close to nature.

Now if Mosaic gets their way, the only sounds that will be heard are the screeching and clanking sounds of machinery and draglines 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And the sky will be lit up as if it were daytime around the clock. Cancer causing chemicals will be sprayed from the air. Dust from concentrated radioactive materials will be blowing around in the once clean air. Our drinking wells will not be safe from exposure. If we get more heavy flooding, which all of us know is highly likely, there could be overflow into the Horse Creek, then the Peace River and eventually Charlotte Harbor.

For those of you that live in southwest and northwest Arcadia, please heed these warnings. Because life as you know it now will never be the same. The large truck traffic will explode also.

Just because Mosaic has put their name all over this county, it does not give them permission to poison us and ruin our lives.

Vicki Stiner

DeSoto County

Drinking the Mosaic Kool-Aid

In this age of “alternative facts,” it is no surprise that Heather Nedley, who is a well-paid PR missionary for Mosaic, would spin the realities of phosphate mining.

Mosaic lives or dies on the effectiveness of its propaganda and misinformation. Job creation? Nope. The crews are just moved from mine to mine. Making habitat for creatures large and small? There is not one peer-reviewed study pointing to reclamation as a success story. “We work to safeguard our water resources?” Mining is a catastrophe for our ground and surface water resources.

And the most hypocritical claim of all: [Rodeo—]“It’s Our Story Too.”When Mosaic will be burning and ripping up the very land that created that culture, leaving it for dead after planting some grass and a few shrubs in sand tailings.

Reclamation, which is required by law, not out of the goodness of Mosaic’s heart, requires the expenditure of $5,000 per acre. If you’ve ever put in a new septic system, or re-shelled a driveway, you know how far that much money will go. Even wetlands, which have to be “restored,” are only partially restored, and the jury is still out, after over 30 years, about whether “built” wetlands actually work.

Mosaic is here for profit, as much of it as they can strip out. They don’t care about you, your land, or your culture. There is no public benefit to phosphate strip-mining. They need well-intended people like Heather Nedley to make it seem otherwise.

Andy Mele

Suncoast Waterkeeper Bradenton Beach

DeSoto County must speak and be heard

This letter is in response to an editorial by Ms. Heather Nedley in last week’s (May 31) paper. Ms. Nedley paints a false picture of what the rezoning process is. She says it “signals the company’s intentions and allows the county’s land use plans to reflect what will eventually occur on this land.” Ms. Nedley, we already know your company’s intentions. Furthermore aren’t you getting a little ahead of things, implying what will eventually occur on this land? Without rezoning, no mining will ever occur on this land.

The people of the region and DeSoto County must speak and be heard. There are others, who like yourself , have grown up in the area and there are also those who have migrated to the area and have no less right to call it home. And of that group, there are those who see the devastation that your company has left behind in other counties, even with reclamation.

Off the top, 25 percent or more of the post-reclamation landscape is left in clay mounds, which were once repositories of waste clay, chemicals and fuel oil. Your company is still searching for uses of these areas. Although your wetlands reclamation has high standards to adhere to, they replace complex natural wet areas and uplands whose soils have been so drastically altered that they can never have the same function.

Upland reclamation is a joke, as the standard is only that 200 trees per acre survive after one year for forested land. The aggressive, choking weed known as cogon grass forms the understory of most of this. When you drive through or fly over Polk and northern Hardee counties, you see almost no agriculture on reclaimed lands. There must be a reason. In fact, the science of reclamation is in its infancy, as man only began destroying natural systems on a large scale in the past several decades or so. Did I mention gypsum stacks? I will run out of words on that.

Mosaic is asking once again for the

public to trust that they will not harm their lands and communities. This is the company who, along with our so called FDEP, waited for three weeks to tell the public that 215 million gallons of radioactive, contaminated wastewater had plunged into their precious aquifer. This will be an important meeting, people of DeSoto County. Commissioners will decide on this rezoning on July 24, 6:30 p.m.

Brooks Armstrong

Hardee County

Tired of careless drivers

It’s a crying shame that my grandkids have to be taken to Morgan Park to ride their bikes when we live in a residential area and the city police will not do their job and stop the speeders on Bridle Path. I just don’t get it. They cry broke but could make so much writing speeding tickets.

Debby Taylor


An apology is in order

I cannot believe that a grown man such as Luke Wilson could write such trash about a high school student (May 31/Grits & Pieces). David Hogg has endured pain he should never have been exposed to. He witnessed the death of his friends and for that alone he has the right to say anything he chooses to about the violent society we live in. He, his family and the other outspoken students have been verbally abused by many like yourself. Have you no shame, no conscience!

We bought property in Arcadia 40 years ago and moved here 20 years ago from Miami. My husband is a native Floridian and Navy veteran and I have been in Florida since I was 10. We have shopped at Publix since the ‘60s and object to their huge donation to Adam Putnam’s campaign. He is an outspoken NRA supporter and has most likely never had to worry about money in his entire life.

Luke Wilson should stick to Grits & Pieces, just like Publix should only concern themselves with their food. Publix did the right thing, how about you? An apology is in order.

As a customer of the Arcadian and Publix, we have the right to voice our opinion on this shameful article.

Hopefully, Arcadia schools never witness this tragedy, perhaps then Luke Wilson would feel differently about dropping trash on the protesting KIDS! There is all types of bullying.

Jane and Tom Pafford


Some things are not funny

I have read LukeWilson’s weekly articles since I have lived in Arcadia and enjoyed the whimsical anecdotes. I did not enjoy reading last week’s articles (Grits & Pieces/ The Great Publix Pandering). In my opinion, unless you have been shot at with intent to kill or have lost a child in a school shooting, you have not the capacity to understand how these students and parents feel. I do have a license to carry and I do carry. However, I believe you should restrict your columns to non-political items.

Algie Didlaukies


Irresponsible journalism

The tone and content of the article “The Great Publix pandering” ( Arcadian/ May 31) is beyond the scope of responsible journalism. If you want to call his dribbling of inferred hate and encouragement for others to do harm to others a reflection of the Suncoast Media Group, shame on you.

Obviously their was no oversight before the article was sent to the press. Encouraging abuse in any form is a reflection of deep-seated prejudice. The content that reflected this should be not be condoned, much less encouraged.

Clark Doane


Luke Wilson’s response to (May 31) Grits & Pieces column

To everyone who read my column last week on the Publix store protests, I want to say thank you to those who did not inundate our editor with phone calls, letters, and private emails to voice their disapproval.

To those of you who did, I certainly respect your right to your opinion and your ability to express it. Yes, my thoughts are a bit askew, which has been my trait since I started writing in 1982, and there’s no way anybody could’ve possibly pleased everyone over any 36-year period. In my roundabout way (up and down the aisles), I was basically suggesting that with better planning, this protest might’ve taken place outside with placards, not all over the floors, where shoppers could be tripped and severely injured, along with whoever they might’ve fallen on.

I didn’t specifically outline that, but had hopes that readers would pick up on this and begin to imagine the obvious dangers involved. Many of you did, I am sure.

Nobody I know of is minimalizing what happened during the Parkland school shooting, nor any of the others in the past, including me. I understand the shock, sadness, and outrage over such horrific incidents, and I understand how whatever I write on any subject can and will be used by anyone who wishes to react about it in whatever manner they choose.

And I can understand how people are affected by what they see, hear, and read, and how they react to it. May each of us always be able to voice our opinions with conviction, minus calamity.

Luke Wilson

DeSoto County

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