The Support the Study PAC is circulating a plea for donations to cover $ 750,000.00, for what is essentially only half the local responsibility of the three million dollar cost of the channel dredging study. The state, apparently, will come up with the other $ 750,000.00. As to be expected, there are statements in their glossy brochure that are quite misleading if not untrue. I prefer to call a spade a spade, so henceforth I am going to refer to this PAC as the Support the Dredging or STD.
The STD proponents of dredging are tenaciously hanging onto the word “study” to lull the citizens of Key West into believing that a yes vote is a rational thing to do. No it isn’t, far from it. In the STD fund drive cover letter they list all the economic benefits of the cruise industry and imply that a no vote will cause the existing cruise traffic we already endure to vanish over night along with those monies they generate. Not gonna happen. A good portion of these existing ships that are a thousand feet long and can carry 5000 passenger and crew are not that old and will continue to cast their shadows on Key West docks for years to come.
The use of fear is a tried and true tactic used throughout history to manipulate people. The picture painted by the STD of taxes going through the roof and tumbleweeds rolling down a deserted Duval Street is pure fear mongering at its finest.
There is talk about our local taxes going to pay for a portion of the dredging if the “study” is conducted. The percentages and ratios vary, depending on who you talk to, but lest we forget the thirty five million is ALL tax dollars; local, state and federal money is what will be used to dredge the channel for an industry that pays virtually no taxes and a few choice private enterprises that profit from said public money, yours and mine.
To paraphrase a much used slogan touted by private business, “I guess they think they built that.”
That was a letter I sent to the Key West Citizen on August twenty third after reading letters in the Citizen from HTA and Bar Pilots and even a coal and coke broker from Palm Beach, all pro-dredging.
So, like a good citizen exercising his first amendment rights I responded with the above letter.
Many days went by and we were treated to irrelevant, nothing to do with Key West, columns filling up the op-ed page. Then they printed letters on anything, but the most glaring topic; to dredge or not to dredge the harbor, to allow even bigger cruise ships to dock here.
I and others that have a differing opinion than Dr. Lockwood and Ed Swift have been ignored. Then I am told the Citizen is no longer printing letters on this topic. Really?! The excuse is “not enough space”?! What kind of local paper says that? This is a travesty and the Citizen should prepare to lose readers/subscribers over this, much like many people dropped the Citizen when the publishers in NC made it endorse Mitt Romney. Goodbye Citizen, hello Blue! I am officially an ex-subscriber to the Key West (North Carolina) Citizen!
Vote NO to dredging on October first.
Alex Symington, Key West