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GPICA discusses bylaws, water conditions

July 11, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Greater Pine Island Civic Association held its second off-season meeting last Tuesday night. About 25 people attended.

"There are fewer people here, first, because it's summer, and second, the weather isn't cooperating," Board member Roger Wood said.

The GPICA Board of Directors announced the newly revised bylaws are available for examination on the home page of the website.

"Next month we're going to vote on the changes that we've made to the bylaws," president Claudia Bringe said. "They are posted on the home page of our website so please take a look at them and be prepared to make recommendations online or at next month's meeting."

The August meeting of the GPICA is Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Elks Club.

Ndakhte Ndiaye planned to present an update on the status of the Woodstock Airport lawsuit but was unavailable. Ndiaya, and Ila Valcarcel (owner of the airport property) will make short update presentations at the GPICA August meeting. The GPICA board also invited the Lee County Mosquito District to attend the August meeting.

GPICA sent a letter to the LCMCD and the Lee County Commissioners opposing the purchase of Woodstock Airport by Mosquito Control.

Wood recently returned from sailing in the Bahamas and commented on the water conditions being reported in the news.

"When we were in the Bahamas, the waters were crystal clear," Wood said. "You could see the bottom in 15 feet of water. Coming home we could immediately see the problem in the Atlantic Ocean as we approached Stuart, Florida."

Excess Lake Okeechobee water has been discharged into the St. Lucie River since June 1 at a rate of approximately 1.2 billion gallons per day as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and dam west of Stuart, Florida.

"The first signs was the seaweed and the dirty brown color of the water," Wood said. "Then when we got to Lake Okeechobee it was one big cesspool. I guess we were one of the first to see this blue-green pea soup that we're all seeing on television now.

"If you've seen John Cassani on the news, this algae is toxic and can cause liver damage and maybe even neurological damage," he added. "This is disaster of biblical proportions and a terrible situation for fish and manatees."

Wood mentioned the age and condition of the dykes during a possible direct hit of a hurricane.

"Those dikes are old and if it took a direct hit, we're talking tens of thousands of deaths."

Wood submitted a letter to the editor of The Eagle entitled "Green River."

"We have primary elections coming up in August and we (GPICA) can't speak for one candidate over another but I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and educate yourselves about these candidates."

Lee County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass and his opponent Bill Taylor have been invited to the October meeting. Watch the Eagle for updates.

The purpose of the GPICA shall be civic in nature, so as to unite, in common cause, the residents and organizations of Greater Pine Island in a continuing effort to preserve and maintain a desirable livable community.

GPICA meets the first Tuesday of the month at the Elks Club, 5630 Pine Island Road, Bokeelia.



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