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Opinion
Palm Coast Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 7 years ago

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 10.6.2011

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+ City of Palm Coast caused great harm to Bulldog businesses
Dear Editor:
Your recent article concerning the Bulldog drive fiasco is another example of local government overreach and the law of unintended consequences. The article didn’t mention that the City Council’s efforts to “improve” Bulldog Drive resulted in severe economic damage to several business owners who were forced out of their places of business, and to the owner of a building who was forced to remove rent-paying businesses.

The owners of Doyle Automotive, a long-time Palm Coast business, had to go through the hardship and expense of finding another place for business and relocating all of its repair equipment. The owners of Auto Craft Collision Center were forced from their building on Bulldog and have not relocated or opened again.

I used the services of these fine businesses many times in the past. The owners were reliable, hard-working folks who provided valuable services to local automobile owners.

They didn’t deserve the treatment they received form our city government.

Now we find out that the City Council “has changed its mind” and will not proceed with its grandiose plans for Bulldog Drive. How do you think that recent decision sits with the owners of Doyle’s and Auto Craft? Are there any plans to compensate these owners for their financial losses? I doubt it.

John Hildebrandt
Palm Coast

+ Undercurrent stabilizers work
Dear Editor:
Mr. Salisbury, noting he is a geologist, asked if those advocating undercurrent stabilizers had reviewed O. Pilkey’s books. I own and have read nearly every book by Pilkey.

Has Mr. Salisbuy read “Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can’t Predict the Future”? This book is also very critical of the mathematics used by engineers as a basis for decision-making.

Although Pilkey and the Corps regularly accuse undercurrent stabilizers of causing downdrift problems, the evidence is quite the reverse.

Holmberg’s work, in both public and private installations, spans more than 30 years. All have been successful at restoring the beach, and not one has harmed adjacent shorelines. All Holmberg installations after 1970 required permitting, so the Corps must have known where the installations were located.

We also know the Corps had the most sophisticated satellite imaging before Google Earth, and therefore must know the criticisms of undercurrent stabilizers are untrue, and that in fact they have positive effects on adjacent beaches.

You’ll find documented evidence on YouTube (search “Holmberg – A Story of 2 Installations”). I have also talked personally with the Allegan County Road Department, which installed a stabilizer 23 years ago and has never had to add sand. This is opposed to the regular three- to five-year sand-dredging schedule that will be recommended by the $3.5 million (and climbing) feasibility study when it is completed (started in 2004, it might possibly be complete in 2014-2015).

I recommend you see “The Big Uneasy,” a ocumentary film about what really caused the New Orleans disaster after Katrina. And I also invite you to explore our website, www.SaveFlaglers Beach.com, which will help you see some of the “web which has been woven” to keep a potentially permanent solution to our dune and beach problems from being tried.

We will have a booth 6-9 p.m. Oct. 7, at First Friday, at Veterans Park, in Flagler Beach. Please drop by to talk.

Patty Brown
Flagler Beach

+ Stabilizers help adjacent beaches
Dear Editor:
Regarding the beach-sand debate letter Sept. 29: If those in charge of saving our beach were to install groins along Flagler’s shoreline, Mr. Salisbury would be right: The beaches downdrift of the groin field would suffer more and faster erosion.

But undercurrent stabilizers are not groins. They are unique low-profile structures installed under the current.

Here’s what David L. Schultz, a professional engineer who has studied them for years, has written:

“For 15 years, I have regularly observed dozens of undercurrent stabilizer installations.

“At every site I have studied, a successful shore protection function is evident.

“Undercurrent stabilizers do not affect the environment in the same manner as traditional shore protection measures (walls, revetments, groins, etc.).

“Undercurrent stabilizer systems more closely mimic the shape of the natural beach platform, making them very permeable to the littoral current (emphasis added).

“Undercurrent stabilizer systems perform so well that beach growth occurs at locations that are damage zones for other shore-protection structures, and where the ‘old school’ asserts the greatest negative impacts will be found. (They) have actually shown benefits to adjacent downdrift beaches.”

As to Mr. Salisbury’s assertion that everyone should read Pilkey’s “The Corps and the Shore,” we fully agree.

It is a well-documented and illustrated case against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ policy of dredge-and-fill.

However, Pilkey’s belief that we should deal with shoreline erosion by moving away is neither practical nor necessary — especially not when undercurrent stabilizers can mitigate the damage done by dredging and shore structures.

Coralee Leon
Flagler Beach
Leon and Brown are members of
SaveFlaglersBeach.com.

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