donnellyby John Donnelly…….

The tree planting project along US 1 in Key Largo is absolutely magnificent. Strategically placed in an especially creative and effective manner, these beautiful natural barriers have significantly decreased the nighttime headlight glare, which has blinded many drivers traversing this stretch of highway.

In addition, these native plantings providing shade and a resting place for many of our migratory bird populations, while dramatically reducing the traffic noise penetrating into our neighborhoods.

A steady stream of traffic is congesting our roadways, while adding a bevy of demands and stressors upon our residents and ‘government services’ personnel. The environment has been scarred and battered as well, by these ever expanding, chronic and permanent intrusions.

Pollution , resultant from toxic and copious amounts of trash strewn along the road and in our neighborhoods, as well as discarded in our waters, has reached epidemic proportions.

Under the extraordinary leadership of Sheriff Rick Ramsay and Captain Don Fanellie; our Monroe County deputies have performed brilliantly and courageously.

For the most part we’ve been spared injury from local crime waves, as well as the ill effects from criminal threats stemming from Miami. Combating unlawful conduct arising from Miami’s over-development and urban sprawl, the Sheriff’s Department has formidably addressed the increasing number of threats and assaults attempted upon our persons and property.

We cannot continue to build on our chain of small islands (a fragile aquatic ecosystem), to the point where we are suffocating on our own filth, debris and poisonous vehicle emissions.

Over-development, litter run amok, lighted cigarette butts tossed from vehicles and fecal droppings from our pets, are ‘man made phenomena’.

These behaviors can be monitored and adjusted, with punitive consequences applied, if necessary. We must begin to firmly get a handle on ‘species-destructive conduct’.

Science, analytical reasoning and common sense must take hold of our decision-making process as we proceed forward.

Citizens and government cooperatively responding to and working with one another, at solving the problems of our day, is an actuality that can be realized with proper leadership, dedicated service and the commitment to seek credible and authentic answers.

It isn’t a ‘quality of life’ issue anymore; it’s a matter of survival.

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