Sunday, June 24, 2007

Letter To The Editor by Diane MacLachlan

News Press June 24,2007

Recently I went to Google Earth to see the aerial view of Cape Coral and was shocked to see the actual density of our community. The land formerly known as The Golf Course stood out in sharp contrast as one of the few open areas anywhere south of Pine Island Road. The controversy over this land seems to hinge on the reality gap between the owner's ambitious avarice and the value of this open area to the whole community.

In designing any ideal community, a given percentage of land is set aside for green space based on population. Our town has grown so fast that we have not been able to continue to accommodate this facet of community living and it is driving our residents OUT of Cape Coral to find respite and recreation. If this space is not preserved for either a golf course or a public park, we will, in essence, be pushing our residents out to spend their recreational dollars on amenities in other communities.

With an eye toward the future and the migratory tsunami that will flood Florida in the years to come as Baby Boomers move south, do we really want to define Cape Coral only as a place to own real estate or as a place to really LIVE?1?

Diane MacLachlan

Letter To The Editor by Helen Dorothy

News Press June 24, 2007


Cape Coral City Council has the opportunity of a lifetime………to capture the market on GOLF! It has the opportunity to purchase the Executive Golf Course for $3 million. It has the opportunity to purchase the Golf Club for $13.8 millions (the appraised value for a golf course.)

Why are they looking at the short term and not at the long term of what Cape Coral will become, long after they are gone from the City Council? It’s a mystery why they do not see the value in buying the established golf courses and promoting them for future generations…………

Perhaps the City Council has developed a short range view of their role in city government. Where is the long range picture?

When Cape Coral has 450,000 citizens within the city limits, where will the future city council look for green spaces and areas for recreation? Will they then look to neighborhoods to demolish so that they can increase the green spaces within the city?

Why try to retrofit the city, ten or twenty or thirty years from now, when they have the opportunity right now, today, to purchase and resurrect the golfing community here in Cape Coral. The city seems to be doing a fine job with Coral Oaks so they know how.

The Northerners have long known that getting and sustaining the golfing community meant that they had to start with young people…. So they promoted golfing for youngsters by offering cut rates to school-age children. The children, ages 8 or 9 on up into high school, were given cheap rates for golf but were not able to book or reserve their tee times. In other words, they had to take the golf course when adults, who were paying full price, were not using the course.

Often times, these were late afternoon or perhaps not the best weather times of the day. But the children didn’t mind. They enjoyed the opportunity to play. Sometime they even got the opportunity to earn a few dollars by caddying for adult golfers. If they did well, they caddied often, if they didn’t do so well, no one hired them.

This program, of developing the game of golf in young people was created through the Park System. Cape Coral has a Park System. Right now the Park System seems to be busy plotting how they can remake the Yacht Club. What is wrong with what we have? As far as the boat ramp now cutting off the new area of the park that has been added through the purchase of several homes, where was the planning when the decision was made to buy the houses?

Did we say, let’s buy the houses and knock them down and then decide what we can do with the land? How many millions of our tax dollars were spent on that? Was there any plan in mind as to how the new pieces of property can be used within the existing park?

What about making a kiddy park for the toddler’s? Or how about a teenagers pavilion where they can meet, drink sodas, dance to the juke box like I did when I was a teen.

We have no history except for the little pink buildings that now house the Cape Coral Historical Museum. Why can’t we save the pieces of history we have, the Golf Club and the Yacht Club, so that generations from now, our children and grandchildren will have a sense of how the city of Cape Coral came to be.

It is unbelievable that the city of Cape Coral with 160,000 citizens, today, cannot support a handful of golf courses. The city has the opportunity to step up and do something that will have a lasting effect to create and develop a wholesome, outdoor sport, to create wide expansive green spaces within the city limits which will benefit all the citizens of the city.

They have the opportunity, through the Park System, to offer reduced rate golf for youngsters, lessons, and classes to help the young people learn about the game of golf.

What about it City Council members? Are you more interested in going with the flow or are you willing to project and promote a VISION for the future of the city you represent? If you fail to act, will our only recourse be that drive over the bridge into Fort Myers to play a round of golf?

For the record, I do not play golf, I only talk about playing golf, some day I may take it up, but I definitely support it for those who do and for the future generation of golfers. Helen Dorothy