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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Letters to the Editor GLADATORS AND LIONS

GLADATORS AND LIONS

Congratulations to the people on the old Town Council and the new ones who supported correcting the traffic pattern on Lake Park Blvd.  What a positive difference in flow and drivers attitudes.  We’re well ahead of good news versus last year.
The new Council projects a renewed sense of possibility for a town/island that was becoming submerged in bad news.  Both towns had public construction issues be it parks or lift stations; one had a police leader who put his people in an awkward position by being very “close” to a subordinate.
That followed a not-so-long-ago pistol discharge in an office.  Police risk their lives for us and should not be put in any other light but bright and positive. We also had 637,000 gallons of sewage spilled in October 2010 followed by, less than a year later, 72,000 more.  Happy lake and basin boating should not be fouled by disgusting water.
Add the 11/11 local announcement of contaminant Trihalomethanes in drinking water to the Obama EPA administration proposed elimination of funding for testing water quality at the nations beaches and we have a bottled water or beer surge.
Rest assured that all these issues have been, we trust, resolved, except the EPA part, and we sleep much better in 2012. We have a Council that won’t stand for so many errors.  It’s one where values and intelligence trump mediocre decisions by establishing an “I care” atmosphere geared toward an efficient meritocracy. 
A better workplace fosters a better workforce and that makes visitors happier, makes the community healthier and generally makes the island experience better.  They, hopefully, will remember their election pledges.
There are a few things to work on: beach renourishment plans, budget issues, new attorney expenses, and making sure amusements are safe and their employees have high standards of behavior.  The pier project is an on-going issue as are property taxes.
 Zoning for business diversity rather than egregious duplications of same type stores seems to be handled better elsewhere than here.  How many beach stores, to give one example, do we need when there is only one full service ladies store and no men’s store or partial men’s store? 
There are other issues like police protection and health protections from our pets.
Active duty USA police deaths were up 23% in 2011 due to ambush or sudden attacks. Intermittent and too short patrols at the boardwalk are concerning some of the merchants there.  It seems that two youth groups are getting much too close for the comfort of some.
We’d hope patrols would prevent any harm to life and limb.  Two thirds of the police deaths nationwide were slain even though they had on body armor.  We trust our police departments are preparing for trouble before it gets out of hand.
Pet-pooper-scooper health issues may sound funny and be brushed off as “natural/good fertilizer” actions but neither is true. 
Forty percent of Americans do not clean up after their pets. Hookworm, coli form bacteria, water pollution around the lake, on the beach and on the trafficked grass can be deadly.  Look up toxocara and you’ll see they don’t like to stay in the human body as a result of stepping in pet poop but exit the body by orifices not genetically designed to be use as a door.  The solution, enforce the use of pooper-scooper bags even if fines are necessary.  When even a small dog emits 183 pounds of waste per year and one single gram of it may contain 23 million fecal coli form bacteria, the dangers may wake some people up.
Protect kids on the beach.  Please try.
Speaking of trying, instead of raising taxes on people who cannot afford it due to the economy, lack of investment income interest rates, loss of property equity or health problems, look at new sources of income.  We have a great boardwalk, unlike the one that had 21 bars when I came here almost 20 years ago.  Some of the best food and fun can be had there, especially for young kids. The amusement business (Expo in Orlando, the IAAPA Show 11/13-16/2012) has been an asset to the boardwalk but does the town get a just share of any taxable income? 
Either the seasonal renters or the property owners who rent them the land are a potential source of income to defray residential tax increases.  The town supplies extra (quantative) trash pickup, extra water service, maybe extra electric (generators?) services, facility/Operations repairs, police and fire ready-to-act service even if it’s for parking issues.
None of us do everything correctly but we need not give up trying.  The “Gladiator”
Town Council can calm, beat, or tame the “Lions” we have to deal with on the island.
Once, a local boy named Jordan used to play basketball.  He missed 9,000 shots, lost 300 games, missed 26 game-winning shots, and can’t find the answers, so far, toward building a winning team he now owns.  But this famous world-class leader doesn’t give up trying.  We can’t either. 
Joe Coen,
Carolina Beach business owner, Kure Beach resident.