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Opinion
Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Jul. 26, 2021 3 months ago

2 letters: Reader states city has failed in preserving our history

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Also: one reader writes that we need change to improve our water quality.
by: Guest Writer

We need change to improve water quality

Dear Editor:

Recent news of record manatee deaths is heartbreaking. Seagrasses are not just vital for manatees, they provide food and shelter to hundreds of ocean creatures, as well as stabilize the sea floor. Restoring seagrass is something the state of Florida as well as numerous other state and local agencies and municipalities have been working on for decades, and yet it is not enough. We all need to do more. In your recent article “How to Pay for Water Quality,” there was a quote about “Keeping it the way it is…”

We can’t keep it the way it is. We are all guilty of contributing to the demise of our water quality, and we all need to take a deep breath and realize that we all will have to make conscious adjustments to our lifestyle starting immediately. There is no silver bullet, it took decades and a thousand small cuts to get to where we are. We know what we need from our government leaders: no more septic tanks, convert existing septic tanks to sewer, maintain and if needed upgrade wastewater treatment plants, limit the use of fertilizers, limit clear-cutting which results in sediment runoff from construction projects, install water quality treatment systems for stormwater, and educate the public about the causes of water quality degradation and things we all can do to prevent further degradation.  Our quality of life (and economy) will suffer in so many ways if we don’t stop polluting our water, and there are a myriad of little things we can each do: use less water, limit fertilizer, look for alternatives to pesticides, grow native plants, recycle, don’t litter, use less plastic. Let’s all start today.

Pat Gertenbach

Ormond Beach

Ormond Beach Union Church: What’s next?

Dear Editor: 

The fate of the Ormond Beach Union Church (est. 1883) has been sealed. No matter how hard "we the people" tried to save it, the bulldozers are at the ready and soon will train their weaponry on this historic building, thus reducing it to rubble. Oh, why not! After all, the restaurants on Granada Boulevard are desperately in need of another 24 or so parking spaces for their customers! How can we possibly refuse their plaintive cries?

Perhaps the three commissioners who sounded the death knell for the Union Church would be interested in looking at others to condemn. Why stop with just one church, especially one with historical value? How about sending a couple of “experts” to other cherished places and have them dig up some convincing-sounding excuses for demolition? Besides, history no longer matters in Ormond Beach. It’s irrelevant. It’s not important anymore. Just ask City Hall — but don’t expect an answer. Common sense, innovation and creative thinking is a thing of the past.

It is now clear that when it comes to preserving our city’s heritage, the current City Commission, as a whole, has failed to live up to their sworn duties as representatives of the people who elected them. The only thing that seems to matter is who has the biggest bucks to do the most ruin to what was once a beautiful paradisiacal city near the sea. Now, taking out ancient trees and running rough-shod over precious wetlands is the new reality. Tearing down whatever lies in the path of overzealous developers is the new norm.

Oh, did I mention the bulldozing of Julian’s restaurant? Another iconic building of similar architectural style and vintage (1960’s) as the Union Church — demolished. Why? So as to build another “trinket, T-shirt, gotta-have-it, cheap stuff” gift shop that nobody needs or wants. (The still-vacant lot is a glaring reminder of greed and stupidity.)

But that’s okay: Just keep revving up those bulldozers. A lot of people are revved up, too. "We the people” take our history seriously, to which I might add, next year is an election year.

Cathy Wharton

Ormond Beach

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