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THE SUN

OPINION

Mike Field, editor and CEO Mike & Maggie Field, publishers Island Sun Plaza, 9801 Gulf Drive P.O. Box 1189 Anna Maria, FL 34216-1189 Phone: (941) 778-3986 e-mail: [email protected] | [email protected] | [email protected]



JUNE 18, 2014

GUEST EDITORIAL Another view of the net ban

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or 17 years, commercial net fishermen have protested that the seine nets, as interpreted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), waste 98 percent of the resource under a constitutional amendment whose only purpose was to “prevent unnecessary killing, over fishing and waste.” FWC net tests conducted in 2005 verified the fishermen’s claims. Furthermore, the same set of tests proved that simply allowing an increase in the hole size of the seine nets would reduce the waste to only 2 percent. Contrary to what the FWC claimed in court, historical food fish seine nets were comprised of 95 percent large holes to allow juvenile fish to escape and have an opportunity to spawn. No fisherman would ever design a wasteful net like the FWC created and mandates to be used. That is why fishermen have been fighting this absurd rule since the implementation of the amendment.

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n the latest court case between the Wakulla Fishermen’s Association and the FWC, Circuit Court Judge Jackie Lee Fulford observed for herself the unnecessary killing and waste caused by the FWC-designed nets, then declared the FWC seine net rule “a legal absurdity.” Ninety-eight percent waste could never be justified as a rational result of any rule, yet the FWC has told fishermen that the reason they haven’t increased the hole size is due to organizations with deep pockets threatening to file lawsuits. In light of what fishermen feel are FWC “red herring” excuses, the first DCA has an opportunity to put an end to the 17 years of “absurdity” and at the same time protect the FWC from alleged lawsuits by using the severance clause located near the end of Article X, Section 16. If the First see EDITORIAL, page 7

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Get to know your neighbors As a four-year resident of Holmes Beach, I read with great interest the article in The Sun newspaper entitled: "Community Connections to have a Party." Here on 82nd Street we already have a little neighborhood, and I wanted to be sure that our Island resident friends knew about this event. When I mentioned it on my Facebook page, I found out that the venue at the Key Royale Club was already full. So, instead, I decided to have a similar meeting at our house, in the spirit of Community Connections, stressing that it was to strengthen our community and to bring neighbors together. Thirteen friends and neighbors came over, including Commissioner Marvin Grossman. We talked about our community, some of our challenges as residents, and ways to make it a better place for all. Here are some of the comments: Support our economy - shop local. Community happens when people meet outside and talk to each other. Let's help to save our Community The Anna Maria Island Sun is free. Six copies or more are 25 cents each. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.

Center - perhaps the next Community Connections meeting could be held there? Know your neighbors so you can help each other. Later in the evening, two neighbors who had been to the Key Royale Club party joined us and reported on the informative and positive meeting they had enjoyed. We all agreed that it is important that we know our neighbors, especially with the frequent changeover in our population. This connection, together with shared activities and social interaction, will help us strengthen our community. Our first step was this neighborhood meeting, and now we hope to become a part of Community Connections and join them in the future. Barbara Truemper-Green Holmes Beach

Not running I am writing in response to the many citizens and elected officials in the city who have been contacting me with requests that I run for the office of mayor of Holmes Beach. I am both

flattered by and appreciative of such a show of confidence and trust. During the 35 plus years that I have lived (and worked) in Holmes Beach I have volunteered to serve my community whenever possible, and will continue to do so. However, I believe that due to my tendency to "over-achieve" I would put my health in jeopardy by accepting such an important and responsible position in the event I were to be elected. I sincerely thank all of you for your offers of support, and ask that you understand my decision. Sue Normand Holmes Beach

Nonprofits were the winners Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and their recognition that Food and Wine on Pine is an event that benefits our Island community, in spite of the fact that we had to cancel the event we were still able to match our 2013 contributions to a number of Island charitable institutions. We will host the event again on

The Sun Staff Ricardo Fonseca, layout; Pat Copeland, Cindy Lane, Tom Vaught, reporters; Louise Bolger, columnist; Rusty Chinnis, Outdoors editor; Chantelle Lewin, advertising director; Chris Boniberger, advertising assistant; Bob Alexander, classified advertising; Elaine Stroili, Jocelyn V. Greene, Ricardo Fonseca, graphics; John Reitz, accounting; Bob Alexander, Keith Isner, Tony McNulty, distribution.

see LETTERS, page 7

Contributors Steve Borggren, Tom Breiter, Scott Dell, Troy Morgan, Joe Hendricks.