Letters to the Editor: July 14, 2006

Daily dose of comment and insight from our readers.

The Naples Daily News welcomes letters of up to 250 words. We reserve the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, brevity, good taste and accuracy, and to prevent libel. No poetry, attacks on private individuals, or letter-writing campaigns, please. Writers should limit submissions to one letter every two weeks. Include a phone number and make certain you have signed your letter.

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No problem?

Editor, Daily News:

I am greatly shocked and dismayed that our Florida tomato and citrus crop will rot on the ground as we do not have adequate stoop labor to harvest them.

My, my. The sky is falling, or is it?

The Florida Labor Department has spent millions of taxpayer dollars in the past years to insure that Big Sugar would have no problems in importing Jamaicans to machete the sugar cane crop. Now, why shouldn’t our Florida truck vegetable farmers not be given the same Department of Labor support to import Mexicans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, Ecuadorians, etc., to harvest the tomatoes and citrus fruit?

They are only waiting and praying to come and harvest the tomatoes and citrus!

Folks, don’t you yet realize you are being “suckered” by election-year politics?

John Lukosky/Naples

Reader goes out on a limb with comment on photo by Garrett Hubbard, of boys at play.

Photo by Garrett Hubbard, Daily News file photo

Reader goes out on a limb with comment on photo by Garrett Hubbard, of boys at play.

Did you see that?

Editor, Daily News:

You’ve had great photographs in the Daily News. My favorites have been the ones for the “Our World” series in the Neapolitan section.

However, none has startled me like the one appearing in the July 10 paper.

What? A tree growing out of a boy’s head?

I just had to mention it.

Ada G. Timblin/Naples

What a treat

Editor, Daily News:

Many thanks to the Collier County Republican Executive Committee for the great, oldtime, covered-dish dinner and candidates showcase on July 10 at a Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church hall rented for the occasion.

The enthusiasm of everyone who attended was wonderful. We had over 100 guests.

The food was outstanding — and there were loads of it.

Thanks to Ann Brown for coordinating the event.

The candidates for the School Board and fire departments were very informative.

It was a great evening. Thanks to everyone for cooperating.

F.S. Erlichman/Naples

We can do better -- as in Ohio

Editor, Daily News:

It was refreshing to see your editorial regarding the Naples Fourth of July parade, as I was one of the letter writers complaining about the lack of live music.

But why do we have to undertake the momentous task of organizing musicians from the community when we have ready-made marching bands from the high schools in Collier County? What legitimate excuse could they possibly give for not wanting to be a part of this patriotic event?

Where has our pride gone?! The reason for having a Fourth of July parade is to celebrate our nation’s independence, not to provide two hours of commercials and political statements.

We don’t see children coming to the parade waving flags. They come with bags to collect candy.

Where has our pride gone?! I come from Upper Arlington, Ohio. In our Fourth of July parade, every high school in the county participates as well as the Ohio State University Alumni Marching Band, numbering over 200.

We have floats from most communities sharing and displaying their pride. The parade route is painted with red, white and blue stars. This is a community that hasn’t lost its pride!

I ask Naples and Collier County: Where has our pride gone?!

Russ Anderhalt/Naples

Someday ...

Editor, Daily News:

Thanks to Ruth Dorfman for her Sunday essay on gay marriage.

Opponents are vocal yet offer no substantive argument for their position, but this article provided credible and factual reasons why it is time to extend the rights and privileges of marriage to all loving and committed couples.

By sharing the real-life story of her daughter’s marriage, Mrs. Dorfman also puts a face on gay marriage and provides evidence of the success of gay unions.

It is time for opponents of gay marriage to ask themselves how two people who want to spend the rest of their lives in a committed relationship threaten traditional marriage. And why should a loving gay couple not have the same rights (over 1,000) that straight couples enjoy?

I understand that opponents often rely on their religious beliefs for their prejudice, but gay marriage is a secular issue. For that reason, religion has no place in this debate. Without a secular or religious argument, people who oppose gay marriage are left to face the truth behind their intolerance — fear, hatred and lack of awareness. These values are neither Christian nor American.

It is time for opponents to stop using gays as scapegoats. Discriminating against gays does nothing to address the actual causes of failure in traditional marriage.

I know it may be a while, but one day I will be able to marry my life partner in the state where I live, work and pay taxes like every other American.

And, Mrs. Dorfman, you’re invited.

Hunter Baptiste/Bonita Springs

Yes, yes, yes -- no service

Editor, Daily News:

What can be done about Waste Management?

Some 18 years ago our garbage collection was managed by an independent contractor. We paid them ourselves and received excellent service. Everything we put out was picked up. Trash days were a blessing because we could count on good service. If we did not get good service, then we didn’t pay — or moved on to another, independent garbage collector.

There was motivation for good service.

Several years later Collier County decided they would get into the garbage collection business. It is mandatory to use the county garbage collection, and we are charged a fee whether service is good or not.

Where once you could put anything out for collection there is now a maze of bureaucracy that is unbelievable even for big government. The “dos” and “don’ts” for garbage collection are overwhelming and what might have been the right thing to do yesterday may change overnight and without notice.

My problem now (Wednesday) is that for nine days we have had appliances beside our driveway. Yes, we called for pick-up. Yes, we were on the list last week. Yes, we got an orange tag telling us to call for pick-up even though we already had. Yes, we called again. Yes, we were on the list. Yes, we called a supervisor. Yes, we’ve called again. Yes, the appliances are still beside our driveway.

I’m at a loss, with no apparent recourse. I get to pay for poor service whether I want to or not.

What can be done?

Margaret R. Bender/Golden Gate Estates

Why I was in, and now out

Editor, Daily News:

When I started my junior year in August 2005 there was a difference in our school system: The high school schedule. The schedule caused an uproar with students, and teachers were threatening to stop supporting school clubs and extracurricular activities. I felt this change was unfair to us students and I didn’t want to just sit back and let it affect my academic life. So I decided to do something about it by running for the Collier County School Board.

I also made a statement that kids should have a voice. The School Board decisions showed members didn’t think of the effects they would have on us or our families.

The board should be working to create the best learning environment for students.

Even though I am young I found support not only from students but also from adults. This is great because it shows that voters are willing to consider someone young and it will open the doors for other students to get involved in their community. There is no limit to what we can do if given a chance.

Campaigning takes time and money. As I am taking summer classes and online classes, my time to raise funds and campaign is limited. I want to be a good student, and as a School Board member I would want to give my time to that also. That is why at this point I am withdrawing from the School Board race and still supporting change in the educational system.

Nick Ballo/Naples

Sign us up

Editor, Daily News:

Our heartfelt thanks is extended to Ruth Dorfman for her compelling July 9 essay in support of gay marriage.

We, too, support marriage equality. In years gone by, especially through our travels, we’ve met many gay couples whom we admire for a host of reasons, but in particular their enduring commitment and devotion to one another. We’re sure that, given the chance, all of them would marry in a heartbeat. We believe they will remain together with or without the chance to marry.

But, can we, as a loving, caring, largely Christian people, continue to deny these couples the legal benefits of marriage? For example, an IRS ruling makes it unlawful for same-sex couples to file their federal taxes under any married status, even if the jurisdiction in which the couple lives recognizes such marriages!

Or, do we continue making up appellations, such as domestic partners, that allow gay couples to enjoy a few rights and us to soothe our unconscionable evil souls?

It is frightening to us personally and a serious threat to our freedoms that Americans would even consider a constitutional amendment to effectively prohibit marriage by any couple other than a man and woman.

It is way past the time when true Christians should look into their hearts, listen to the loving words of Jesus for all his children, and join the crusade to eliminate this blatant injustice.

Bruce Ramsay and Sylvia Gough/Naples

‘Bible doesn’t mention Viagra’

Editor, Daily News:

Regarding Stan Chrzanowski’s letter in his rush to judge Rush (Limbaugh), the liberal media couldn’t wait to jump on this non-story. You would think Limbaugh had smuggled heroin in his luggage instead of a legal prescription drug in his shaving kit! Caught with Viagra!

I hope I’m never caught with the Advil in my purse.

Being a fairly famous person, Rush had his prescription in his doctor’s name to save embarrassment, no doubt. Not many men brag they use it.

As far as wondering why “an unmarried conservative Christian Republican male” needs Viagra — is that to imply that only married, liberal Democrats should use it?

And what he “intended doing under the effects of the drug,” I dare say, is a no-brainer, Mr. C.

What “Biblical prohibition” does it violate? To my knowledge, the Bible doesn’t mention Viagra. But the Bible does mention an important commandment — “Thou shall not commit adultery” — which your cherished William Jefferson Clinton not only blew out of the water while married, but also in crude disrespect as a sitting president of the most power office on earth.

Some example! Aren’t you proud?

Yet, you call Clinton’s scandal a “minor moral failing.” Get real. Rush is divorced. Where is his crime?

As far as “making most of his money and fame” off Clinton, well, what can I say? There is just too much material there to ignore.

Rush was the first one to laugh over this whole thing. In fact, he said he purchased the Viagra at the gift shop of Clinton’s law library.

Tee hee!

Cindy W. Rucker/Naples

The matrix

Editor, Daily News:

To what extent should religious ideas impact political decisions? This question generates tremendous social controversy in America.

In reality, however, every idea is only political when it is offered in the political sector. The incidental fact that an idea had its origins within a religion does not extend it any presumption of value. Its worth must be assessed on its potential benefit.

Religion is not an expression within the open marketplace of ideas. It is a unique expression between an individual and their God. In a like manner, a politician could not go into a church and demand that they adapt their theology to fit the secular world. It’s the fulfillment of “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.”

This notion does not seek to attack religion. It merely recognizes that religion should have no greater influence on society’s decision makers than the ideas from any other source. Religious ideas can be attacked, reproached or supported, as can any other idea that is offered.

For example, the ideas of any religious faith that might be directed towards United States immigration policy or stem cell research can be given no more inherent value than the ideas on this subject that might be offered by Britney Spears. Ideas are good or bad independent of their source.

Judaism and Christianity have generally learned to live within this parameter. Islam, however, lags behind by a millennium.

Unfortunately, it may never get there because of its insistence that social direction always emanates from Islamic dogma.

Andrew R. Joppa/Naples

I don’t love that parade

Editor, Daily News:

I have attended many parades, here and in other cities, but our Fourth of July parade was a joke.

I took two boys, 7 and 8 years old, and sat on Fifth Avenue South across from Starbucks.

The politicians were endless and there was one band, thanks to the Daily News.

There were at least 10 children standing in front of me but no candy was thrown.

We were shot with water guns, and as one float past us buckets of water were thrown into the crowd.

If this is what Naples thinks is a parade, please let’s not have any more.

Not only a disappointment — but an embarrassment.

Barbara A. Farnandis/Naples

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