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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Letters to the Editor

HomeLetters to the Editor

Growth in Ocala needs to have minimal impact on wildlife and trees

"We moved to Ocala in July 1977. There was no I-75, yet. Highway 200 was just a road and there was no Paddock Mall. Stop tearing down gigantic live oak trees and clear cutting the land. I’ve watched them push trees, shoving them into piles while squirrels, birds and wildlife run in circles trying to save themselves and their nests and babies! Build around our trees and you can still landscape beneath" - An Ocala resident shares her opinion.

Readers bemoan road conditions in Marion County

"With the population boom in our area the roads have become increasingly worse, causing traffic hazards. My sister recently hit one and actually blew out her tire, had the car towed and replaced her tire." - Readers share their opinions on travel in Marion County.

Some for, some against recreational marijuana in latest batch of letters

"I have smoked it since I was 18 years old never had an addiction to it. I'm 75 years old now and still use it. It is much better than alcohol, which I was addicted to for several years until I got an ulcer from it" - Multiple readers wrote in to share their opinions about legalizing marijuana throughout Florida.

Floridians weigh in on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use

"I would like to see all drugs legalized and sold in controlled shops. If someone wants to do drugs, they will. You can't save people from themselves. Just like alcoholics, the hard core users would eventually O.D." - Readers from all over the state reached out to Ocala-News.com to weigh in on whether or not Floridians should vote to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Costco still on the minds of Ocala shoppers

"I am a lifelong Costco member, and it is my preferred place to shop. I moved to Florida 2 years ago to Ocala. It is a rapidly growing city. I used to go to Costco in Washington 2 to 3 times a month, and sometimes more often than that. I really would appreciate something a little closer" - A retiree says long-distance trips to Costco are untenable and hopes to see one in the city.

FDOT’s done an excellent job with CR 484 improvements

"I just got back from vacation, picked up my grandchildren, and dreaded having to use the usual route via 484. To my surprise and peace of mind, both east and west bound lanes were redone by FDOT. They did an excellent job and now, I as well as all other commuters, can feel safe while driving at night through this route. You can now clearly see the lanes and without question as to who is swerving in and out of their lanes. Thank you FDOT for a job well done and for caring for our safety" -

Readers share thoughts on development in Ocala

"I've been living in Ocala for over 35 years and I've seen our beautiful horse farms disappear one by one. Does anyone see what's happening to our aquifer? Our roads are nothing but potholes, and the traffic on 200 alone is overbearing to say the least! Grandfather Oaks are are being bulldozed down" - In response to stories about new developments, multiple readers have written in to share their opinions.

Southwest Ocala is inundated with new construction

"The southwest corridor is getting inundated with new construction of mega apartment and mega house complexes. A lot of us left south Florida to get away from the population and crowded roads. We came to a quiet area full of horse and cattle farms only to see the farms cut up for housing" - A Dunnellon resident shares his opinion.

Vote ‘Yes’ on recreational marijuana to help those who served

"I am a disabled veteran and have had to retire early due to pain from injuries and depressive disorder. Marijuana has been the only thing other than addictive opioids that allows me to function at a nearly normal level" - A Williston man shares his opinion on legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Hiker says she regularly encounters litter on Ocala trail

"There are over 24 trash receptacles at Baseline Trailhead, yet some visitors will deliberately toss their trash into the woods or just leave it on the picnic tables or toss it on the parking spaces. If a person has the ability to carry a full water bottle into the trail, why is it that they do not have the ability to carry it out or take it to the nearest trash can?" - A hiker shares her thoughts on litter on the trails.

Who is repairing our roadways?

"Since last fall I've noticed an increasing amount of "potholes" in the pavement in the area. Who, if anybody, is making repairs to our roadways. I've yet to see any crews out there making repairs. The roadways around here are starting to look like Chicago's streets, and that's bad!" - An Ocala resident shares his thoughts.

Vote ‘No’ to recreational marijuana in Florida

"Did legalizing alcohol consumption result in Americans becoming better people and making our United States a better place to live? Will legalizing recreational marijuana result in Americans becoming better people and making our United States a better place to live?" - An Ocala resident shares his opinion.

Ocala is a vibrant, active city that is thriving and full of life

"Communities are not static. They either grow, or they die. There is no in-between. There are countless communities across our country where the downtown is a row of crumbling empty buildings where once there were storefronts, banks and restaurants" - An Ocala resident who previously lived in a small town in decline shares her thoughts on growth.

Ocala’s horse farms are being swallowed up by concrete

"It seems little thought was given to the infrastructure issues, crowded roads, uncontrolled speeders. Our medical crews, fire departments, and all those who work hard to keep us safe everyday are understaffed. This no longer is the town I was thrilled to be a part of. On Top of the World is no longer the beautiful, amazing place we want to retire in" - A retiree shares her opinion about life in Ocala.

Vote ‘YES’ to recreational marijuana in Florida

"Why does the FDA allow nicotine/alcohol consumption when they are known poisons, yet deny use of a non-poisonous, all-natural, God-given plant that is legally allowed as a medical treatment for so many conditions? Are all the medical marijuana patients in Florida robbing banks, killing their grammas, jumping off tall buildings, etc. like the old "Devil's weed" movies depicted?" - An Ocala resident shares her opinions on the medical benefits of marijuana.

Native Ocalan bemoans progress as unappealing to seniors

"I've watched the growth here over the years and it sickens me. I've lived in big cities and came back here because I got tired of the chaos. Now it's here. If someone offered me $150,000 for my property, I'd relocate as fast as the money hit my bank account. It's progress I know, but this kind of progress does not appeal to me" - A man born in Ocala in 1959 shares his opinion. Share your opinions in a comment or a letter to the editor.

Florida’s aquifers are drying up from overdevelopment

"All the development keeps rainwater from seeping back into the ground naturally. All the roof lines, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, and roads block the water from seeping back into the ground and back into the aquifers. The aquifers can't be abused forever" - A Marion County resident shares her opinion about the impact of development on Florida's aquifers.

More people means more accidents, more traffic, and more subdivisions

"I have noticed more car accidents as we get more people here in Marion County. I've lived here in Marion County since September of 2015. Since then, the traffic to me has doubled. Many times I've been behind a slow poke doing 40-45 in a 55 limit. Sometimes, there's one in each lane too. Then you got the crazy ones zipping in and out as they appear to be doing 60-70 in the 55 limit" - An Ocala resident shares his thoughts.

Elderly couple says downsizing into rental in Ocala has ‘been a challenge’

"When we made the decision to downsize we both had already seen our 90th birthdays. I didn’t want to own another house. So renting one was the answer. Moving this late in life has truly been a challenge" - A couple in their 90s shares their experience downsizing from a large home to a rental in Ocala.

Native Ocalan says city was great ‘before all these people moved here’

"Think about us natives and those who have lived here for decades. We hate all of this growth. We didn't ask for this. We were happy before all these people moved here" - A Native Ocalan says the city is becoming more like Orlando, Tampa, and St. Petersburg.

Pay attention to Ocala and Marion County government if you want to be heard

"To all the letter writers complaining about traffic, infrastructure, and development: You may feel better after submitting your thoughts, but it's unlikely your complaint will be read by anyone who actually votes on a development agreement" - An Ocklawaha resident says those who want to share their thoughts should do so at city and county meetings.

Please, develop Ocala more

"Ocala needs more shopping and restaurants on the southwest side, and apartments. We, the regular Floridians, don't have the kind of money that these people have coming from New York and California" - An Ocala resident says the city needs more development, especially in its southwest corridor.

Lifelong Ocala resident thinks homes replacing farms aren’t worth $300,000+

"People from Florida can hardly live here because of the rapid growth, the constant increase in population, and the tearing down of beautiful farms and land for car washes and homes that are not really worth 300+ thousand dollars. To be able to afford to live here I would have to make 20+ an hour. And an employer is hardly ever going to pay that" - A 37-year Ocala resident shares her thoughts on the affordability of living in Ocala.

Ocala is not the ‘Horse Capital of the World’

"Time to start removing those "Horse Capital of the World" signs in Ocala. Thanks to our illustrious county officials and commissioners, we can consider renaming Ocala: 'The Gas Station, Car Wash, Storage Facility, Traffic, & Ugly Apartment Building Capital of the world.'" - An Ocala resident shares her opinions on development.