Letters to the editor: Oct. 8, 2009

Here are letters to the editor from Daily News editions of Oct. 8, 2009:

Letter of the Day: For the dogs — or not?

Editor, Daily News:

My friends and I comprise a group of dog owners who regularly utilize Naples’ Cambier Park for walks and socializing with our dogs before and after work.

As of late, we find the Naples police diligently making sure that all ordinances pertaining to dogs in the city are properly followed.

We constantly question why Naples is missing an off-leash dog park as well as designated hours for dogs on the beach.

We gained a glimmer of insight one morning while at City Hall with our dogs to inquire about such facilities. Bumping into a City Council member, Penny Taylor, we asked why such facilities did not already exist and if the lack of interest was a default insinuation that it was not encouraged.

She said the problem is that there are no locations readily available.

I find that hard to believe, as I know the city owns property all over. We also were told that beach access for the dogs would never be approved, insinuating that the residents who live adjacent to the beach owned the beach. I felt this dismissive attitude spoke volumes as to whom City Council members serve.

There will be an off-leash area and a dog beach access in Naples one day for sure, just as in most enlightened communities all across the country.

It’s a shame that simple services that cost very little money that would benefit a huge percentage of the local population are so agonizing to obtain.

The irony in this is the City Council member to whom we spoke is a dog owner.

It’s tragic to see that this political mind-set, or shall we say purchased governance, trumps that of a model pet owner.

— Rob Herscoe


Exorcisms? Tell us more

Editor, Daily News:

Having read Rev. Michael Orsi’s Oct. 1 guest commentary, I respect his academic credentials but am skeptical on the subject of demonic possession.

In his commentary, Orsi, of Ave Maria Law School, refers to two exorcisms in which he participated, and writes: “It was an experience I shall never forget, and I hope I am never asked to repeat.”

I respectfully request that Orsi provide us the details and specifics of this unforgettable experience.

If, in Orsi’s words, “Satan does his worst when we believe he does not exist,” he should give us the facts and expose the devil!

Shine some light on the Prince of Darkness, Father Orsi.

Otherwise, all of your words are little more than mumbo jumbo.

— Michael Hanson

Bonita Springs

‘What I’m suggesting’

Editor, Daily News:

If America has contributed the most to the progress of humanity — and it has;

If America’s strength has stabilized the world and allowed lesser countries to grow unimpeded by the responsibility of defending themselves — and it has;

If America’s love of liberty and law has driven the creation of a world of greater justice — and it has;

And if America’s strength and leadership are critical to the continuance of a world of progress and safety — and it is;

Then what opinion should we hold about a leader who is acting to dismantle that greatness and is attempting to make America only the equal of inferior nations, many of which offer nothing but ignorance and oppression?

I would suggest any leader doing that is an imminent danger to the well-being of every person on the planet.

Many of you will react indignantly to what I’m suggesting; yet, you also know who I’m talking about because of his actions. These actions have been devoted to only one outcome: the emaciation of America.

He has attacked our economic systems, shown contempt for our political system and a wanton disregard for our legal system, all the while apologizing to other nations, many of which owe us their very existence.

If the price I pay for saying this is to be considered “offensive,” then so be it. I choose to stand with America, and at this point, you can either stand with America or you will fall with the misguided, radical, destructive policies of President Barack Obama.

— Andrew R. Joppa


Further investment unwarranted

Editor, Daily News:

At the last Collier County Commission meeting, commissioners Donna Fiala and Frank Halas questioned the number of jobs the Economic Development Council (EDC) claimed it brought to Collier County, what the EDC did to bring the jobs, and whether the county should continue its annual $400,000 contribution to the EDC public/private partnership.

Excellent questions. In the last six years, the EDC has received over $2.4 million to manage its self-initiated incentive program to bring new businesses and additional high-wage jobs to Collier County.

What has the EDC incentive program accomplished? A county report shows the EDC helped add 98 jobs and the county paid $2.2 million in incentives to participating businesses. Of the 98 jobs, 27 were added at Anchor Health to treat patients living in Collier County. Where else would they expand?

In quarterly reports, the EDC takes credit for creating and retaining about 1,600 jobs, including 300 new jobs for Physicians Regional Hospital, 470 new/retained jobs at Anchor Health, 306 new/retained jobs at the Daily News, and 71 new jobs for the Ave Maria Law School.

Does anyone really believe the EDC convinced these companies to come to, or not to leave, Collier?

The EDC simply processed a piece of paper so the businesses could participate in the Fast Track program, run totally by county employees, to expedite building construction.

A cost/benefit analysis would never support this program. The annual $400,000 should be retained by the county to help avoid a tax-rate increase in fiscal year 2011.

— Janet Vasey


No cheers for Letterman

Editor, Daily News:

Whoever it was that forced David Letterman to admit to his own indiscretions is a low-life just like Letterman.

But it brings to mind a saying: “What goes around comes around.”

It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. How could Letterman have had the audacity to be so judgmental with his cruel remarks toward the young daughter of Sarah Palin?

His arrogance is unbelievable.

We already knew he was a slob when he used his power so maliciously.

Now maybe CBS will fire him!

— Mary Storto


Beyond any doubt

Editor, Daily News:

Sex education was introduced into the schools around the 1960s, and before you knew it, abortion, promiscuity and sexually-transmitted disease among teenagers skyrocketed.

Throw out sex ed in schools and bring back God, the Bible and prayer and change will be for the good.

Sex education doesn’t work. Don’t you get it?

— H.M. Peno


Short memories

Editor, Daily News:

It is truly amazing how much amnesia has afflicted all the tea partiers, the Sarah Palin death panelers, the town-hall panickers, the birthers — the list goes on and on.

Were they not aware of the past administration which pushed and forged our nation into a mindless, needless war in Iraq? The tremendous cost in lives and money?

It took them eight years to take this country to the brink and President Barack Obama is supposed to straighten out this horrible mess in the eight or so months since he has been in office?

Give me a break!

— Neil Sullivan


Treason, I say

Editor, Daily News:

Have the congressional Republicans gone completely nuts?

A number of Republican congressmen — including several from Florida, such as Rep. Connie Mack IV of Fort Myers and at least one senator — have gone to Honduras to show support for the “interim president” installed by the military after ousting the elected president.

I always thought that foreign policy is set forth in the name of the United States, and that foreign policy is determined by the administration in power. The administration has refused to recognize the government installed by the military.

Since when do individual members of the party out of power have their own foreign policy which they conduct on foreign soil? Since 1799, the Logan Act has forbade unauthorized individuals from negotiating with foreign governments.

Another term for what these congressmen are doing is treason.

— Martin Bercovici


Moments in time

Editor, Daily News:

We enjoyed seeing the photos of the opening of the wonderful Freedom Park in Naples.

The pictures of the band members by your photographer David Albers, and especially his photo of the young woman bowing her head, captured for us a special moment, and we are delighted he recognized it.

Thanks to everyone for a well-planned event. I hope everyone takes Senior Park Naturalist Nancy Olson’s invitation to come take a quiet walk on the boardwalk, with her staff or on your own.

You will marvel and be glad you live in a county with such special places.

— Margaret Winn

Bonita Springs

Making a difference

Editor, Daily News:

Calling all nonprofit directors and their volunteer coordinators!

Volunteer Collier Inc., a faith-based, nonprofit agency whose mission is to recruit, mobilize and empower volunteers throughout Collier County for the benefit of everyone in our community, is extending an invitation to all directors and volunteer coordinators from our local nonprofit agencies to join us for a continental breakfast on Oct. 16 at the Hilton Naples, 5111 U.S. 41 N., beginning at 7:30 a.m.

A special program beginning at 8 a.m. focuses on the promotion of the upcoming week-long campaign (Oct. 19-25) by our local television affiliates to broaden the views on service and volunteerism in our community, culminating in the 19th-annual Make A Difference Day on Oct. 24.

You don’t want to miss this program, with lots of information and networking opportunities available. Seating is limited and reservations can be made by e-mailing sdowney@volunteercollier.org or calling (239) 250-5000 by Monday.

— Don Scott


President, Volunteer Collier

Waste not ...

Editor, Daily News:

Congratulations on the redesign of the Daily News.

I hope you have achieved your goal of making your paper more modern; and more importantly, the saving of thousands and thousands — or perhaps millions — of dollars in the cost of newsprint with the new size.

Good job.

However, I think you missed the boat in one area. I suspect there are only a handful or perhaps no daily papers that still carry three pages of comics. It’s a luxury you cannot afford.

You have 31 comics spread over three pages. This is so “old world,” not to mention how costly. I suspect the readership of the comics is going the way of the eight-cylinder auto.

I suggest you poll 1,000 of your subscribers to find which are the 15 most-read comics. You could reduce the size of the comic strips and condense them to fit on one page. It has been done very successfully by many daily newspapers.

Your savings of two pages of newsprint every day will be a very significant saving.

— Raymond Luggiero


Fresh ground

Editor, Daily News:

Now hear this!

The makeover of the Daily News is an unexpected, realistic, delightful and positive change.

I am really enjoying reading and getting newly acquainted with your new version and layout and makeover more than ever. Nary a complaint do I have!

Frankly, I’m disappointed that others do not take the time to see the Daily News’ makeover as a very positive in so many ways. My morning coffee tastes even better as I sit and read the new down-to-earth rendition of the paper, page by page. But to each his own.

So, I’m extending my belated and sincere congratulations to staff, as I truly find the makeover a welcome change — yes!

Also, I am an avid reader of newspapers. As a 20-year reader of the Daily News, I say: many thanks to the delivery persons of your newspapers for their good service. They deserve a gold star!

— Terry Anderson


The best he could do?

Editor, Daily News:

Professor Jason Eyster’s guest commentary of Sept. 26, regarding the reason(s) Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) staff members assisted in illegal activities does little, if anything, to address any such reasons at all.

To blame the divergent political opinions of conservatives and progressives for these staff members’ misdeeds serves no purpose whatsoever. Those ACORN employees acted as they did for reasons we may never know.

Most assuredly, ACORN has systemic problems, such as voter registration fraud allegations that forced the U.S. Census Bureau to eliminate ACORN from assisting them; embezzlement of funds by high-ranking officials with ACORN; and failure to pay federal taxes. These and other sordid activities lead this (not self-indulgent) writer to conclude that ACORN is simply a corrupt entity.

Whatever public good this organization (and all of its companion conglomerations) performs is far outweighed by its nefarious tactics and utter abuse of taxpayer funds.

The government is correct to cut its funding. Now it is time for the Department of Justice to step in and conduct a full and thorough investigation of ACORN and all of its subsidiaries.

I struggle to understanding how a clinical law professor could not have come to a more logical conclusion.

— Howard M. Nulse


Evidence on my side

Editor, Daily News:

Wow! What a concept: evidence-based medicine!

Dr. Allen Weiss’ article contains all the answers to our medical problems. Seriously!

A pre-med when I started college in 1943 in the Navy V-12 program, I had a course (Applied Physiology 63) which addressed this problem. I had experienced the problem in the early 1930s as a child with largely undiagnosed allergies.

The article should be reprinted in envelope-stuffed form and made accessible to everyone (countrywide) and be required reading for President Barack Obama and Congress before they kill us all financially, if not medically.

Meantime, for you and me, the wisdom of our part is simple enough: Don’t smoke, stay close to ideal body weight, exercise three times a week for at least 20 minutes, eat fruits and vegetables.

Hop to it, dude!

— James F. Cantwell Jr.


With sadness, appreciation

Editor, Daily News:

What happens in society these days is overwhelming. I cannot stand and watch without saying anything.

The Bible reads: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”

The main purpose of my statement is that even though this crime was committed by a Haitian (Mesac Damas), not all Haitians are bad people. When a crime is committed, the blessing of God is diminished; when the authorities pursue justice, God changes his mind.

I thank the U.S. and Haitian authorities for moving so quickly to capture Damas.

The American authorities deserve respect and appreciation. They need the support of all to accomplish this difficult task.

I request all Haitians to come together to help cover any fees required to prosecute this case.

I appreciate the authorities for their quick service to the community by capturing the criminal without delay.

May God continue to bless America.

— Amonnon Louis


Bordering on brilliant

Editor, Daily News:

Illegal immigration is costing American citizens billions of dollars every year.

Very few illegal immigrants pay income tax; many receive welfare payments; many receive free health care; many are criminals and gang members; and many clog our jails.

When are our elected officials going to address this increasing problem?

Employers of illegal aliens should be prosecuted and fined a sufficient amount to pay court costs plus the cost of deporting the illegal aliens.

Think of the immediate beneficial side-effects: Newly available jobs would reduce our 9.5 percent unemployment rate. The cost of unemployment benefits and food stamps would decrease. Money from income taxes of newly employed American citizens would increase.

The magnet that draws the illegal aliens across our southern border with Mexico would be eliminated. The workload of our Border Patrol would decrease. Border Patrol could then concentrate on the equally important illegal drug problem. It’s a win-win situation.

Let’s tell our elected officials how we American citizens feel now!

— Russell O. Blaisdell


Camera does a public service

Editor, Daily News:

On Aug. 21, I took that giant step and traded in my “clunker” for a new car. The first week was spent adjusting to the amenities of my prized possession — getting the overall feel.

In 58 years of driving, I prided myself on the fact that I had never been ticketed for either a moving or parking violation. Imagine my surprise when I received a certified letter on Sept. 8 for a traffic violation committed on Aug. 27.

I finally accessed the video images on my computer. I’d been driving this route for years and was fully aware of the traffic pattern at Vanderbilt Beach Road and U.S. 41. I could not fathom what I was doing differently.

There it was before my eyes.

In my old vehicle, I always slowly approached an intersection and tapped my brakes twice before making a right turn on red. This was adequate to stop my old vehicle in compliance with the law.

However, on film, after the approach, even though I did tap my brakes twice, I apparently did not yet have the feel of braking in the new car, and thereby “rolled through” (no full stop).

Indeed, and Big Brother caught me.

Yes, I paid my $125 (but happily).

First, I want to commend the innovators of the new safety system for providing a very thorough process for ticketing traffic violators (and there are many).

Secondly, I believe this new process will provide increased revenue and leave-law enforcement officers free to pursue more vitally needed community services.

And finally, I may have been caught by Big Brother, but I believe that seeing the error of my ways will make me a better driver and hopefully will do the same for others.

— Joan M. Scariati


P.S. — I am unhappy about breaking my driving record and do feel that a first offense is worthy of a “warning.”

Remembering ...

Editor, Daily News:

Like the late Barbara Bova, I walked the Gulf Shore Boulevard beach walk almost daily for many years and often enjoyed a few minutes’ chat with her.

She was always upbeat, had a smile on her pretty face and seemed happy to take a brief time out to visit and exchange news of our respective families.

I was saddened to read of her untimely death and send my condolences to her husband and children.

She is already missed by her countless friends.

— Marian Lippucci


See? It’s bad for animals

Editor, Daily News:

Thank you for your important article Saturday reminding readers about the dangers of discarded fishing tackle (“Eagle tangled in fishing line seen around Bonita Springs, public’s help sought”).

Wildlife rehabilitators have consistently told People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that fishing line and other tackle is the number one danger to aquatic animals today. Even a tiny amount of lost or discarded fishing line can have heartbreaking consequences.

Birds and bats who fly into fishing line caught in trees become hopelessly entangled; most will slowly starve to death. Animals who get entangled in line that is on the ground can become trapped underwater and drown if it catches on rocks or debris.

Baby birds can be strangled if their parents use bits of fishing line when weaving their nests. Unfortunately, the more animals struggle, the tighter monofilament line becomes — animals who don’t die often suffer severed wings or feet.

Fishing is not a harmless pastime. To learn more, please visit PETA’s Web site: www.FishingHurts.com.

— Paula Moore

Norfolk, Va.

Research specialist, PETA

Get the message?

Editor, Daily News:

I learned that a mother was killed by a young man accused of texting on his cell phone while driving at 75 mph.

I am a mother of two and a grandmother of three. In my opinion, it was an accident that could have been avoided had the state of Florida put more energy and thought into passing a law forbidding the use of cell phones while driving a motor vehicle.

But no, officials would rather put cameras up at intersections, policing drivers and sending them tickets for hundreds of dollars.

Tell me, was that done for our protection on the city streets or was that a way to generate more money? I think we can all answer that one.

My sister lives in Fort Lauderdale, and on her way to work she observed a bus driver using her cell phone while transporting children to school. Her employer recently saw a sheriff in uniform on a motorcycle using a cell phone.

I have also witnessed people driving carelessly, only to see that they were text messaging.

A study has shown that cell-phone use while driving is equal to putting a drunk behind the wheel.

A child can get his driver’s permit at the age of 15. At 16, he receives his driver’s license. My granddaughter is 15 and my opinion is that she should not be driving a car at that age. She will be using her cell phone while driving, I can guarantee that. I am worried for these children.

Talking on your cell or sending text messages has been a silent but deadly killer.

— Kathleen Downey


Hands down — and on the wheel

Editor, Daily News:

Re: News story headlined “Government seeks ban on texting truck, bus drivers.”

I am now convinced we have smarter people in the first grade. From day one the law should have been no talking on cell phones, and definitely no texting.

I still go back to what mom and dad said: Always have two hands on the wheel.

I have nearly been in two accidents because the other driver was on his/her phone.

— Elaine Paulson


Planting seeds for better ways?

Editor, Daily News:

I am delighted to see discussion of Collier County median plantings in your newspaper and by Kara Kenney on NBC-2.

I couldn’t agree more. Very often, choices are simply wrong.

My Oct. 2 column in the Daily News describes expensive choices made on Vanderbilt Beach Road. Other examples include the Golden Gate Parkway fly-over and Goodlette-Frank Road.

Median and roadway plantings contribute hugely to the character of our county. I tell my homeowner-association clients that the purpose of common-area plantings is fundamentally to support property values. This is also true on a county scale, where professional designers have been engaged and have made serious errors.

The issue of horticulture should be as trivial as a plumber using the correct type of solder — an intrinsic detail that never reaches public attention.

What is wanted, though, is surely more than horticultural approval by state agencies. This is because horticultural suitability insufficiently narrows the plant material choices for a given application. As an example, while an oak tree and a bottlebrush tree share very similar cultural characteristics, the bottlebrush cannot bring a sense of endurance and stature to a community.

The failure, then, is more nuanced: We want a simple, enduring design that contributes to our county. We want simple design, fewer materials, lower construction costs and lower maintenance costs.

I remind everyone that roadway design has a very long history and is well-understood by the properly trained professionals.

Collier County has sadly taken a different approach.

— Michael Spencer


You pick

Editor, Daily News:

What is the last bastion of our individual freedoms? Health care that is selected by the individual as opposed to a plan mandated by the government?

What’s more important: to continue living with our Constitution/Bill of Rights as our guide or giving it all up to be controlled by a few individuals?

What’s more important: an Afghanistan/Iraq solution or the 2012 Olympics location?

What’s more important: preserving capitalism or edging toward government/socialistic control?

Who is the boss: elected federal politicians or 300-plus million American citizens?

Who should receive taxpayers’ hard-earned benefits: American citizens or illegals immigrants?

Who would you want to lead our great country: a strong patriotic person who believes in the Constitution and the country’s accomplishments or someone who only apologizes publicly for its shortcomings?

Who/what do you want your children singing about in school: our country or the person who is the president of it? (Remember China and Russia’s past history.)

When are we going to wake up and realize where this country is heading and do something about it and quickly?!

— Tom Hmurcik


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