AVON PARK HEARINGS - Mitch Perry

03/03/05

Tonight in Avon Park in Polk County, the 3rd and final Public Hearing on plans for new bombing at the Avon Park Air Force Range will take place, at the Avon Park Community Center.

After the Pentagon halted Navy Operations at Vieques in Puerto Rico in 2002, Pentagon officials said that military use at Avon Park could increase.

The Navy’s departure from Vieques was a huge win for most of the Puerto Rican people, who had protested the site for decades, claiming it created environmental contamination, creating health problems and hurting other business interests.

Now some Polk and Highlands County residents fear the same thing.

There are 6 alternatives being discussed at the Public hearings with respects to where the bombs would drop, how much land would be cleared for roads, and how much additional land would be made Off Limits to public recreational activities ranging from hunting to wildlife observation…..The 7th alternative involves NO additional bombing.

Marian Ryan is with the Florida Sierra Club. She attended Tuesday night’s meeting in Frostproof, and told WMNF’s Rob Lorei this afternoon that the Club would prefer no bombing at the Park, but if it must happen, they’re hoping it will be in a limited part of the Range (roll tape#1 o.q.� you were closer�)

That’s Marian Ryan from the Sierra Club, discussing the Navy’s public hearings on increasing bombing exercises at Avon Park….That hearing tonight takes place at 7PM, at the Avon Park Community Center.

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