Letters to the editor
Highlands TodaySwamp Hammock
Published: August 22, 2012
Published: August 22, 2012
As a neighbor of the proposed Swamp Hammock mud bog, I appreciated last week's invitation to the open house, which was organized to showcase the plans of the developers.
The property is beautiful; it is truly Florida land that is unique and is in danger of vanishing. I understand that the developers are hoping to come to an understanding with the existing neighbors; however, the open house did not present a true picture of what to expect. There weren't thousands of vehicles on the road or trying to enter the property. There weren't hundreds of ATVs and/or monster trucks traveling through the area. There weren't hundreds or thousands of people carrying alcohol on the property. The alcohol vendors weren't set up on the property selling alcohol. There wasn't a sniper weapon range operating. There also wasn't an explanation of how the developers planned to justify the dangerous combination of the above and a narrow two-lane country road with its 90 degree turns and many curves.
Our neighborhood is very unique. There are times when the air is still enough that with a gentle breeze in the right direction, I can hear the chain rattle on my front gate a quarter of a mile away. Other times, the night sounds of frogs and cicadas are deafening. At times there are hundreds of sand hill cranes nesting in the surrounding wetlands. I seriously question how this noisy environment will impact the home and other wildlife in the area.
Advocates of the impending "recreational" area say, "Good location, there's nothing out there." The "nothing" would be destroyed. A place for families and local organizations to pack up their potato salad and baked beans and whatever beverage they enjoy to have good, clean fun together is a wonderful idea, but the present plan for Swamp Hammock is out of control.
I have strong ties and a great love for our community. I taught school here for 30 years before retiring. My husband Steve Skipper taught agriculture at SHS. I can't possibly repay this community for the support it has given my family over years, especially when Steve had a lung transplant. I don't want to offend anyone, but my back is up against the wall. I can't watch a part of Florida and the rural ranching lifestyle that settled Highlands County be threatened without speaking out.
Supervisor of Elections
I wish to express my sincere thanks to the voters of Highlands County for their support of my campaign in the primary election. It is humbling to receive your votes and be able to run to the Nov. 6 general election as the Republican Candidate for Supervisor of Elections.
May God bless America and may He bless Highlands County.