The Naples Daily News from Naples, Florida on August 30, 1991 · 3
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The Naples Daily News from Naples, Florida · 3

Naples, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, August 30, 1991
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hltlh i! LOCAL NEWS Algae overtake lakes as helpless city watches wArLci LiMIH' KiiWi By ERIC STMTS Staff Writer There’s something in the lake water behind Marie and Burton Walworth’s house “We used to have things grow in the lake but not this red Rooky stuff” says Marie Walworth who lives on a lake off Sixth Lane North in Naples “It’s really really awful” Lakefront residents in Naples have complained to city officials this summer about algae and other aquatic plants overtaking their lakes but the dty does not have the funds manpower or equipment to take care of the marine mess Naples’ parks superintendent says “It’s a growing problem and we’re really kind of helpless to do too much” said Terry Fedelem the city’s superintendent of parks and parkways The city staff has requested only $2790 in next year’s budget to pay for unplugging drains that let water flow into and out of the few lakes the city maintains with tax dollars The drains must stay open to accommodate stormwater drainage Part of the problem is figuring out who should pay for lake maintenance: the residents who live on them or all citizens who benefit from the lakes because they take water off their yards and streets More than SO lakes exist within the city limits Naples Natural Resources Director Jon Staiger says Of those about 25 are part of the city’s storm-water drainage system The city has public access to fewer than 10 of them In many cases residents own lots with boundaries that extend into the lake and meet in the middle The city considers itself to be the “owner by default" of others where ownership is not explicit Staiger said No matter who owns them the lakes’ age and shallowness a summer of heavy rain and a heat have caused them to explode with plant life “They are great nutrient broths ready to bloom when conditions are right” Staiger said Rain washes fertilizer off the increasing number of manicured lawns and into the lakes Years’ worth of silt has made the lakes shallow and easier to heat up aiding the growth of algae and other plants Without the right kind of plants and wildlife to provide a natural balance that would absorb the influx of nutrients unwanted growth occurs And this year there’s been plenty of that “It’s been a bumper crop for algae and weeds” said David Southall owner of Lake Science and Service Co There have also been plenty of residents complaining about the smell and the sight “It’s been more so than ever this year” Fedelem said “No doubt about that" He said his department probably gets a call every week from an upset resident The city has contracted with a private company to take care of problems on two lakes: The Sixth Lane lake and a lake west of Cambier Park between East Lake and West Lake drives Naples City Manager Richard Woodruff is trying to work out an agreement with Collier County to use the county’s canal-clearing equipment to eradicate water lettuce from a lake between 26th and 28th avenues north Earlier this summer a group of six Lake Park property owners spent four hours one weekend pulling water plants off the bottom of a lake west of Goodlette-Frank Road Some lakefront property owners have pooled their money and contracted with companies that will kill the water plants and algae on the lake for as little as $125 a month Those contracts do not include a program to establish a natural system that would keep algae and plant growth to a minimum A better solution to the problem would be to implement a lake-maintenance program like the one planned as part of the city’s stormwater utility Natural Resources Director Staiger said Fedelem estimates that it would cost from $5000 to $6000 a year to hire a company to establish such natural systems in a lake The Naples City Council is expected to resume discussion of a stormwater utility sometime after October it has been on hold during the recent turbulence at City Hall “We’re going to have to look closer at it” Fedelem said “We’re probably going to see more complaints I don’t see the number going down” TV viewer helps nab ex-resident of Naples It started with the $250000 he took from his grandmother in Naples It ended when a television ! viewer spotted his face on the small screen in Dallas Now John James Irwin is behind bars in Texas thanks to FBI 'agents — and a tip from an “Unsolved Mysteries” viewer Irwin was wanted by authorities for allegedly convincing banks around the country to give him long credit lines which he’d use to buy gold bullion then disappear Authorities also wanted to ques-ition him about the 1984 murder of his mother in Wyoming Ohio At the time of her death authorities wanted to question Irwin about his mother’s murder But 'while they were looking for him he disappeared from Naples ! where he nad been living allegedly taking the quarter-million dollars from his grandmother’s bank account with him ! He then started a pattern of fraudulent deals around the country hitting Baltimore Charleston SC ana Jacksonville Irwin was profiled on an “Unsolved Mysteries” segment that first aired Jan 30 The show is seen locally on WBBH-TV Channel 20 at 8 pm Wednesdays But its July 3 rerun caught the eye of a viewer who called the FBI office in East Dallas FBI agents set up surveillance in a room at an East Dallas motel where they found Irwin He was arrested Wednesday night Bird’s-eye view Chad Hunter peers through a hole in the wall Wednesday at Lake Park Elementary School to get a closer look at his classmates on the other side School doesn’t start until Tuesday but Hunter was at Lake Park for the Parents as Teachers after-school program Hispanic affairs board members resign By JENNIFER LENHART Staff Writer Two members of the newly formed Hispanic Affairs Advisory Board resigned Thursday in response to allegations that they violated the Florida Sunshine Law Board members Frank Beltran and Jaime Gutierrez were accused of talking about board business in a hallway at the Collier County Government Center Victor Valdes who led the drive to create the board demanded their resignations after hearing from the man who made the accusations Board members Nelson Munoz and Tony Perez-Benitoa also stood accused of Sunshine Law violations but refused to resign said Perez-Benitoa an attorney He denied the allegations saying he could not recall what was discussed in the conversation that took place after the board’s Aug 14 organizational meeting The accusations came from Manuel Rodriguez Jr a former Collier County employee who claimed to have overheard members discussing the manner in which he lost his job Rodriguez claims that the county fired him for discriminatory reasons said Assistant County Attorney Ramiro Manalich who serves as staff liaison to the board Valdes asked to speak about Rodriguez’s allegations at the outset of the meeting Normally new business is the last item on the agenda but the nine-member board agreed to hear Valdes because he said his comments were urgent and could alter the board’s composition After Beltran and Guiterrez resigned Manalich and County Attorney Ken Cuyler agreed to adjourn the meeting early and bring the dispute to the Collier County Commission on Sept 10 There was also discussion Thursday regarding board member Bernardo Garcia's involvement but he was not directly implicated Manalich said The commission will decide whether to accept the resignations “All of this will be brought before the commissioners (Sept 10)” Manalich said Commissioners will not hear the item at the Sept 3 meeting because Burt Saunders who was instrumental in creating the board will be out of town Manalich said The commission is expected to discuss whether the advisory board should deal with individual cases such as Rodriguez’s or restrict itself to matters of general interest The Hispanic board had an “intense discussion” about the kinds of issues it should handle at the Aug 14 meeting Manalich said Rodriguez appeared at that meeting but the hoard agreed to postpone his case until it defined its role Manalich said Wafer: Drinking water used to irrigate Bonita medians A Lee Utilities Department employee hooks a hose to a water hydrant in front of the Bonita fire department Wednesday Continued from 1A i The Springs Environmental plant processes sewage from the Bonita Bay development Hie Bo-Ini ta Springs Water System plans to take over the plant as part of a central sewer system for Bonita Springs Merriam said the water man-jagement district approved of the jidea of using treated wastewater (or watering medians Merriam local head of the water management district disputed -the county’s contention that the treated effluent wasn’t of high enough quality for the newly plan-' ted oak trees in the median Jack Klipfel landscape supervisor for the parks division had said the re- claimed water could have too high a saline content for the delicate trees “Re-use is fine” Merriam said “I’m trying to keep this a very positive thing The county talks about re-use They have ordi- nances encouraging re-use” The county is within the restrictions of its own daytime watering ban because the ban exempts new plantings Adding plants to the median has been an ongoing project Merriam said he did not know the county was using drinking water for irrigation and had assumed they were using treated effluent He said DER standards for treated effluent are so high the water is fine for irrigating any plants newly transplanted or not County officials said that eventually reclaimed water will be used exclusively “Our plan probably by February is to use nothing but reclaimed water” said John Yarbrough of the county parks department “We’re working with Bonita Bay on an agreement to purchase some of theirs” Dennis Gilkey Vice President of Planning and Development for Bonita Bay said he first heard from county parks employees Wednesday “We haven’t really responded to them yet" Gilkey said “We don’t have a way to fill a truck with reclaimed water but we will tell them well donate what they need from a non-potable source” Yarbrough said the closest place the county could load the watering truck with reclaimed water u the county’s sewage treatment plant on Pine Ridge Road near Fort Myers Beach Officials offer some school-bus travel tips u ' By TANI HURLEY Staff Writer While Collier County school-bus drivers this I week are getting ready to drive the first miles of what will amount to a 2W million-mile trek during the school year school officials are asking parents to get their children ready for the ride On Tuesday about 10000 students are expected to board the bus for the first day erf school and parents can do a lot to make the trip less confusing said Art Dobberstein di- recto of transportation for the school system ' “First thing we ask parents is to review the routes in the newspaper ad and find the one Closest to home” Dobberstein said “Make sure the students know the bus numbs: and the stop by name and by sight” School-bus schedules were printed in Thursday’s editions of the Naples Daily News I and will run again in Sunday's paper Dobberstein said it is helpful if parents First thing we ask parents is to review the routes in the newspaper ad and find the one closest to home” — Art Dobberstein Transportation director drive by the stop with small children to make sure they recognize it from the car Drivers will not be familiar with the children so it is important for the children to know the bus numbers Dobberstein said Bus numbers appear on the front and back bumpers of the bus and are stamped by the door “The problem is when (children) get out of school the first day” he said In the excitement and confusion of talking with their friends they may miss their bus Then too children may not have the same driver in the afternoon who they had in the morning Parents may choose a different stop for their children in the afternoon or in the high schools varying dismissal times may change a student’s bus route “We also ask the general driving public to be especially careful around the buses" Dobberstein said Drivers should be alert for the caution lights and stop signs on the buses and remember that they may not pass a bus that is taking on or discharging passengers Even with the best of planning the buses are likely to run slow the first few days Dobberstein said In sane cases young children take longer to board the first few days of school and with late registrations routes may be revised slightly Dobberstein suggests that parents wait with their children for at least 10 minutes after the published time then call the transportation department at 597-9088 if there appears to be a problem “In the afternoon the buses tend to run slow after the elementary run because we take time to work with the kids before leaving the loading area” he said Merriam also disputed that He said Florida CSties Utility representatives had met with him oily this week looking to customers to their treated effluent Florida Cities has 25 million gallons per day of reclaimed water available at their plant on College Parkway in Fort Myers Yarbrough said there was probably no one who actually authorized the use of drinking water to irrigation “It was probably my staffs decision on their own” he said “This may be a point where I listened too much to my staff and was not enough personally involved” Although the water system has been billing the county to the water two members of the system’s Board of Directors said they were not aware the county had become a customer Bob McGrath ami Hank Hostettler both said they assumed the watering was being date with treated effluent “I was told that was what they were going to do when they originally came to us” Hostettler said “It never came before the board for approval” “I never dreamed they were using drinking water” McGrath said “They said they were using treated effluent” Water system General Manager Fred Partin said he was contacted by the county only recently aboit acquiring reclaimed water for irrigation He said the matter was never taken to the Board of Directors because the county was billed like any other customer They pay the bulk rate of $350 per thousand gallons Water board members Ben Nelson Jr and Paul Pass said they knew the county was using their water but assumed they were looking to sources erf treated effluent “It was supposed to be a stopgap measure” Nelson said “But it just went on forever” Lee officer dies after accidental shooting A Lee County sheriffs corrections officer who accidentally shot himself at his Punta Gorda home Monday night died Thursday Michael Super 39 died at Medical Center Hospital in Punta Gorda the Lee County Sheriffs Office said Super joined the Sheriffs Office in October 1989 and worked in the Lee County Jail Super had also been a paramedic in New York (Sty and was a volunteer firefighter Susan Super The Sheriffs Office has set up a trust fund to the children Donations may be made to the National Bank of Lee County 1530 Heitman St Fort Myers 33901 Funeral services will be held Monday at Kay’s Ponger Funeral Home 635 E Marion St Punta Gorda Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 pm the funeral service at 7 pm

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