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Save the Lee Civic Center, save rural Lee

By Staff | Mar 17, 2021

To the editor:

I have sent the following letter to the members of the Lee County Board of County Commissioners:

Dear Commissioners, please consider not destroying the Lee Civic Center. It is the heart and soul of rural Lee County. By destroying it you will be ripping the word rural out of our great county. Rural and agriculture will parish. We need rural in Lee County for the 4-H, FAA, fruits and vegetables grown here as well as all kinds of farm animals from chickens and rabbits to great steers and even bulls. Is Syd Kitson going to build another new civic center? I don’t think so.

Another compelling reason is the Lee county Fair. Which will be gone thanks to Kitson. There really isn’t anywhere to put it up in that area in among the farms and ranches that show their produce and farm animals there. Need a hundred acres for our fair. No place to put it. I love the fairs of this nature attending them since kindergarten. They are a way of life for me at 82 years young . This fair will be a first for me in that I have not attended but gone to most of them for the last 41 years in our county. Going all those years they had a fair. What the County should do is to build a world class theater with enough room for fair displays on the floor.We need a 12,000 seat state of the art auditorium so entertainers like Streisand, Diamond, and Strait will come to Lee County. They don’t come now for Barbara B. Mann is too small for the fees they ask. Do something for Lee County. Keep the fair right where it is now. Build a theater. Our economy is booming as we speak. Don’t tell me you do not have the money.

Speaking of the fair, I bet that many farm kids met at the fair. Fell in love and got married all because of the fair. The culture of your decision is right there.

As for Kitson, his town is a huge joke to me. He calls it green, I call that all wrong. A golf course is not green. Four hundred and thirty acres of solar panels is not green. Only solar energy produced to run the town half the day is not doing one thing for this so called environmental town? Not green. Can you have chickens in your backyard? Not in Kitson’s town. Put his hotel in his town. Not Bayshore,

Don’t take out that corner of rural Bayshore where once I saw a bobcat right near the civic center. Leave the wild areas alone. Do not four lane those roads for that breeds urban sprawl. Kills more wild animals. Keep our royal flavor of Bayshore, an environmental heaven.

Something about me. I was instrumental in collecting 16,000+ signatures to save ALL of the Babcock Ranch and presented them to Gov. Bush. I collected thousands of dollars of the $253,000 we collected to save the ranch. Bob Janes and I made a formidable pair.Well we got 76,000 acres but we can’t use those acres. Those acres, every single acre needs to be open to everyone. They belong to the people. What a farce! Work with the state to get all of the ranch open to everyone. No private hunting leases.

Secondly, I collected 4,300 signatures to get Amendment 1 on the ballot. Received 6 awards for this. From Audubon of Fl, the FL Wildlife Federation and the people running the campaign. I got two awards for $250 for my local Audubon Club. Ha, another farce. Read on. The person who wrote the Amendment simply did not say that the maximum amount of the Dock Stamp Tax legislated by the Amendment needs to be used EACH YEAR for environmental spending for land, springs and green projects, not for environmental workers salaries. I talked to the professor from Stetson who wrote the Amendment and he curses himself almost daily. The legislature says what amount we will get each year and some years we get NOTHING or it is used for something else.

Reason I didn’t collect more. All signers had to be a registered voter in FL.

Lastly, I helped collect over 10,300 signatures to save the old golf course in Cape Coral. We won that one but, again, what the old town manager did was nothing to save it. So the price goes up and up with this housing boom in the Cape. There is a national government program to clean up the arsenic. I have told many of the council people about it, many times, but nothing happens. Call Ralph Brookes, he can tell you about it for he used it in the Dunbar cleanup. That is for my commissioner.

I have virtually worked on every environmental issue to come before you but not so many lately because of Covid. Main emphasis: stricter fertilizer laws, no fracking, toilet inspections , no potty water wells to clean up the Big O, join the Paris Global Warming Accords. NO building in the DRGR. Stop destroying wetlands and uplands by builders. Stop 4 laneing rural roads. Put in under passes in panther habitat like Alico and Corkscrew Roads. Preserve rural Lee County!

Received an award by DEP, SW for environmental stewardship.

Carl Veaux,

I speak for all the wild animals.

Cape Coral