Letters to the editor for Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Editorial cartoon

Alternative lock solution

I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the notice of intent to remove the Chiquita Lock in Cape Coral, Florida. While I understand that the proponents of this decision have cited manatee deaths as the primary reason for removal, I believe that there are significant aspects of this situation that warrant further consideration.

While the preservation of manatees is undoubtedly a crucial objective, the proposed removal of the Chiquita Lock appears to be disingenuous in addressing this concern. The removal of the lock will lead to significant water quality degradation, which in turn will have devastating consequences for the manatee population. The destruction of manatee feeding grass beds due to degraded water quality will result in even more manatee deaths, directly contradicting the stated purpose of the removal. Degraded water quality also fuels algae blooms which have had shockingly harmful effects on the manatee population.  In addition, boat strikes, which are the number one cause of manatee deaths, will be now more prevalent due to increased boat speeds and traffic.

Moreover, it has been suggested that the real motivation behind the proponents’ desire to remove the lock is not solely rooted in manatee protection. Rather, there seems to be a hidden agenda to eliminate the inconvenience associated with passing through the lock. While I acknowledge the importance of improving transportation efficiency, it is imperative that any such improvements do not come at the cost of compromising the environment and the well-being of the species that inhabit it.

I urge you to consider alternative solutions that would address both the concerns about manatee deaths and the inconvenience of using the lock. It has come to my attention that Cape Coral has the necessary funds to construct a two-way lock equipped with adequate manatee protection measures. This approach would potentially allow for smoother travel while safeguarding the well-being of the manatees and their ecosystem.

In conclusion, I implore the Department of Environmental Protection to reconsider its permitting to remove the Chiquita Lock and to explore alternative solutions that strike a balance between transportation efficiency and environmental conservation. The preservation of the delicate ecosystem and the protection of its inhabitants should remain at the forefront of any decision-making process.                                                                      

Robert Brooks, Sanibel

How will sanctuary work?

On January 10, 1861, Florida became the third state to secede from the Union. Florida was unwilling to change the plantation system from one of free slave labor, to one where farmers pay their workers, and allow African Americans the same status as all U.S. citizens. So, Florida seceded.

On August 22, 2023, Collier County commissioners have done it again, by passing an ordinance that reads as follows:“Collier County has the right to be free from the commanding hand of the federal government and has the right to refuse to cooperate with federal government officials in response to unconstitutional federal government measures and to proclaim a ‘Bill of Rights’ sanctuary.”

I put in a call to the Union Army to let them know about this, and am waiting for a call back, thinking maybe they will want to invade again. Do they still teach the Civil War story in Florida public schools?

Apparently, the intention of the ordinance is that the Collier County sheriff will be handling it, although I am not sure exactly how. I figure he has to disagree with a federal program, a court decision, or a federal law that protects somebody’s rights, declare the thing unconstitutional, then start arresting people who are carrying out this unconstitutional act.

Remember when Eisenhower sent in federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, so that African American students could attend an all-white school? That was in response to Arkansas Governor Faubus sending in the national guard to keep Black kids out. Do they still teach that story in Florida public schools?

Southerners have held a grudge against the feds ever since they were forced to free the slaves, hence the refusal to extend federal resources to the descendants of slaves, even if it means denying those same resources to white low- and moderate-income workers.

Florida’s refusal to expand Medicaid to all low- and moderate-income workers is a perfect example. It is a federal program that supplements health care costs, privately delivered, thereby ensuring that everyone has access to affordable health care.

What happens if, in 2024, Democrats win majorities in the House and Senate, keep the presidency, then pass legislation directing all states to expand Medicaid so that all working-class Americans have access to affordable health care?

Or maybe the U.S. Supreme Court under the First and Fourteenth Amendments orders Florida to restore teaching the Civil War and civil rights history in public schools that includes the point of view of descendants of slaves. Or it orders the restoration of books in school libraries that are written by descendants of slaves. How will this sanctuary county thing work?

I guess our sheriff better figure it out. He will have to arrest health care workers, teachers and librarians. That’s a lot of people.

Judy Freiberg, Naples

What about state overreach?

Perhaps you need to be a lawyer to better appreciate the nuances of Collier County’s new ordinance declaring itself as a “Bill of Rights Sanctuary” which is intended to protect residents from federal government impingement on constitutional rights. The ordinance defines “any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation, which violates or unreasonably restricts, impedes, or impinges upon” a person’s constitutional rights as unlawful, making any such act “null, void and of no effect in Collier County.” If this is such a good idea, why wouldn’t you also want the same overreach protections from state government?

Tony Penge, North Fort Myers

Miss the arcade

Since the arcades were forced to close, there have been many letters saying how much seniors who are lonely miss their days out to meet people. I am a 93-year-old who is in senior living where I am never lonely because there are another 170 people here where we have many daily activities and good meals with friends, but I miss the arcade because I like to gamble, but I am frugal. The penny machines at Immokalee are actually 30 cents a hit because you have to play 30 lines.  The arcades have expensive machines but also 8, 9, 10 cent machines.  Our bus takes residents to Immokalee once a year but I don’t go there.  I wish someone would tell us why the owners of arcades are not allowed to get licenses.   

Ellen McNally, Fort Myers 

Climate change alarmists

A couple of weeks ago an article appeared with the heading “Climate denier.”  I am not sure what a climate denier is, after all Earth does have many different climates. The article was filled with thoughts about apocalyptic forest fires, a warming ocean, rising temperatures, biblical floods and on and on. This is what climate change alarmists do without ever providing data to make a causal connection. 

In America and Canada, a recent Lancet study found that 20,000 people die each year from heat but 170,000 die from the cold.  The study also says that temperatures rising 0.5 degrees Celsius in the first two decades of this century caused an additional 116,000 deaths annually but warmer temperatures avoid 283,000 cold deaths per year.  Warmer weather fewer deaths.

Again, from the Lancet study, last year fire burned 2.2% of the worlds land area, a new record low.  Floods are regularly attributed to climate change, however the UN’s climate panel says floods won’t be statistically detectable by the end of the century.

We were told climate change would produce more hurricanes, yet satellite data shows that the number of hurricanes globally since 1980 has trended slightly downward. 

Governments all over the world have blindly committed to net zero carbon emissions at a cost of $5.6 trillion. Climate change alarmists probably think this is a good investment. Too many politicians, with a helping hand from the media eager to sell bad news have assumed the answers and ignored the truth.  So have citizens of this country.

Nick Blauwiekel, Naples

Lower flag for Jacksonville

To the governor, state legislators, commissioners in each of Florida’s 67 counties, school district boards of education, hospitals, churches  — in other words — leaders of all our public institutions,

Another tragedy — again in Jacksonville — and, maybe next in a community near you.  We must demand that all of our elected officials and leaders of public institutions speak out against white supremacy, against racism, against hate, fear, and violence.  Show you understand what has just happened.  Lower the FLAG.

Don’t send in more police, send in more teachers who will educate our youth about true history and the real meaning of our Constitution and our democracy.  We want freedom for all people in our state and our country.

Those that don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. 

Those that prevent history being taught fully intend to repeat it.

And,  so it goes, history — the myth of the lost cause — repeats itself on the anniversary of Dr. King’s speech that filled us with hope.  

Be a patriotic American, stand up for what this country was founded to become.  Lower your flag and speak truth to power wherever you can.

Madelon V. Stewart, Fort Myers

DeSantis protecting our rights

Your recent letters to the editor are 90% negative on our wonderful governor, and as far as I can see, the editorial cartoons are ALL disgustingly negative on him.  Why?  Mr. DeSantis has delivered on all that he promised during his last campaign. And he won the primary debate last week, (even the liberal Washington Post declared him the winner) displaying what he would do should he win the Republican primary — namely, defend the border with force stronger than what’s coming over, rebuild the wall, stop the flow of fentanyl which is killing our young and homeless. (Over 3,000 per day are illegally entering). When he spoke, he made no attacks on his Republican rivals, stuck to the questions at hand, and said he would fire the top people in the Dept. of Justice, lower taxes and inflation, continue his protection of children from critical race theory, protect women’s sports from male transgenders, and not allow them in women’s locker rooms or bathrooms. And I liked the fact that he fired two of Florida’s DA.’s after they chose to ignore the law.  He is protecting our rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. 

Mary DePrisco, Naples

About the Bidens

The letter from the poor woman in Naples deserves a reply. She cannot understand why the House GOP doesn’t do something about the Bidens. I guess it hasn’t occurred to her that nothing is being done because no evidence of a crime has been found. What she calls evidence is merely allegations, accusations, breathless headlines and wishful thinking. They scream about bank records and foreign business deals; neither are against the law. Every one of their so called whistleblowers have been a flop, no incriminating testimony at all. 

D. Wallace, Cape Coral

Justice system and Bidens

Let’s review the “Biden problem” using the logic of a letter writer in The News-Press Aug. 26.

Trump appoints a prosecutor to look into “horrible outrageous criminal misconduct by President Biden and his overpaid druggie son Hunter.”  Five years pass and tons of money spent by Trump-appointed prosecutor Weiss. Then, lo and behold Hunter is charged and makes a guilty plea deal that blows up.  Why! So, now, President Biden through his DOJ stooge Judge /Attorney General Garland appoints the prosecutor appointed by Trump (Weiss) as a “special prosecutor” to  spend more time and taxpayer money thus “politicizing the DOJ” to investigate who?  Himself and his son?  Seriously?

What we need to “do” according to the letter writer is “anything” to indict, impeach, impugn, disrespect two men she clearly dislikes. Doesn’t really matter if there is little or no proof of misconduct, “just do it”!

Instead of attributing lack of any prosecution to lack of sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the American standard of proof, the writer blames it on Republican “laziness,” “lack of energy,” “impotence” or “lack of brains.”

Can we assume that the writer shares the mentality of most of those that have been misled into becoming rage warriors for Georgia Inmate P01135809, that is, that it just doesn’t matter if there is any evidence sufficient to convict President Biden, because if the writer says you are guilty then, by God, you must be guilty! 

By the way,  if the Bidens have committed crimes, they should be indicted and would share the same presumption of innocence now afforded to four time indicted President Trump.

If you agree that we need professional non-partisan men and women in our prosecutors’ offices and juries that are free from bias and free from intimidation by defendants and their supporters, then I hope you agree that you need to support political candidates in 2024 and beyond who share your beliefs and not those who share the beliefs of the letter writer and others who misunderstand and misrepresent how the American criminal justice system operates. 

You know what you need to do!

Robert Geltner, North Fort Myers

Trump, Clinton, Putin

With Donald Trump’s fourth indictment I think back to my first reaction when the story broke of his supposed collusion with the Russian government. I assumed it was some kind of stupid joke that would quickly fade away since it failed any sort of historical sanity check. Russian communism has been at odds for 102 years with Republican capitalism since the formation of the Soviet Union in 1921. It had to be hard for Putin as a KGB agent to watch the destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

So which is more likely — Prime Minister Putin suddenly getting over the fact that while he was a KGB agent it was the policies of a Republican president that led to the break-up of the Soviet Union or that Hillary Clinton made up the Russian collusion story to take the heat off her private email server? The Democrat economic philosophy has always been closer aligned to communism — fighting for socialistic things like forgiving college debt. Hillary Clinton was counting on there not being enough people knowledgeable of history and buying into her Trump Russian collusion story. Unfortunately, she was right and the Mueller probe cost taxpayers $32 million.

Ben Furleigh, Port Charlotte

Sexism in letters

You continue to print men’s letters way out of proportion to women’s letters in ‘Views’ Today, my count is 12 men’s to five women’s letters. This has been a pattern of The News-Press for a very long time. Years. Rarely,  every once in a while you print almost an equal number of letters. I can’t even remember the last time that happened!

The sexism here is so blatantly apparent it’s ridiculous. Men’s views are more important than women’s views? What are you afraid of?

Cynthia Best, Lehigh Acres

Tribal political behavior

As a long-time Independent, I would have the same amount of disgust for any Democrat who has behaved like Trump.

I’m amazed and deeply concerned at the number of people who are willing to overlook serious allegations, including borderline treason, and rush to defend Trump. These supporters are claiming these are politically motivated charges despite the number of his fellow GOP associates’ testimony that led to these indictments. 

This tribal political behavior is what Trump is counting on in the court of public opinion. It may be uncomfortable realizing you have been deceived, but it’s justifiable anger to see our democracy attacked by a person who denigrated the office of our presidency.

Let’s come together and help our country move on with a responsible GOP patriotic candidate.

James Keough, Cape Coral

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