Letters to the editor: Oct. 9, 2009

A mushroom cloud at Freedom Park. Photo submitted by Louis Erickson

A mushroom cloud at Freedom Park. Photo submitted by Louis Erickson

Here are letters to the editor from Daily News editions of Oct. 9, 2009:


Editor, Daily News:

I have anxiously waited for the opening of Freedom Park in Naples so I could enjoy the serenity of the walkways and natural surroundings.

Being a person who is opposed to war and violence I’ve been suspect of the name.

This mushroom cloud developed on my first visit (photo at left).

— Louis Erickson


* * *

Letter of the Day: Next

Editor, Daily News:

I just came back from one of those large discount variety stores.

I was in line behind a woman and another gentleman in front of her, when five minutes later another man shows up with his full shopping cart.

I said, “Excuse me, I was next.”

He proceeded to yell at me, saying, “So what? My wife was here!”

Sorry, Bud.

If the shopping cart isn’t there, then you’re not in line.

Just because your wife is there, supposedly “holding the spot,” does not make you in line.

You were rude, ignorant and belligerent.

Then he told me, “What difference does it make?”

If it didn’t make any difference, then he should have gotten behind me.

I always feel better after I have vented.

Thank you!

— Donna Stanganelli


Insult to injury

Editor, Daily News:

In August, a red-light camera caught me at the corner of Airport-Pulling and Immokalee roads.

I made a right turn on red, and I did not come to a complete stop. I finally received the ticket three days after the due date (over a month after the original “offense”).

According to the ticket, there is a $4 convenience fee for calling to pay or paying online. The other two options are to mail a check or go to the office off Horseshoe Drive.

Since my payment was already past the due date, I went to visit the lovely ladies at Horseshoe Drive. Upon arriving, they told me that the only payments they accepted were MasterCard or Visa and that it came with a $4 convenience charge.

When I said, “It says on the ticket that there is a charge for the other methods of payment,” one of them responded, “Well, it doesn’t say we don’t charge.”

After an outrageous $125 dollar ticket, I drive out of my way to avoid $4 and am asked to pay the fee anyway?

If by going to the office they will be charging us $4, they need to state that directly on the ticket.

Thank you, Collier County!

— Chelsey Gutierrez


Blood money

Editor, Daily News:

There is no question that the multiple butchery of Haitians in North Naples was horrible.

The Daily News was right on top of the “story” from the moment it happened.

We get it.

It’s “your” story and you think you can make money off of it. That’s also the horrible part. The Daily News keeps running Page One “stories” to keep people buying the paper.

I don’t know if your sleazy tactic is working, but it is long overdue that you tone down your “coverage.”

It, too, is sickening.

— B.D. Douglas


Unhealthy situation

Editor, Daily News:

Thanks for the editorial on a possible freestanding emergency room in south Lee County.

The Estero Council of Community Leaders’ (ECCL) Don Eslick, Sam Levy and members of the Bonita Springs City Council have been pushing for a much-needed facility on 40 acres at The Brooks owned by Lee Memorial Health System.

Your editorial and accompanying comments from NCH Healthcare System and Lee Memorial help prove that the decision is strictly about money and not about patient needs in the area. Patients have nothing to say about their fate.

Dr. Allen Weiss and James R. Nathan have never published a price list. They say it’s proprietary data. How can a nonprofit, getting 80 percent reimbursement from government funds, be out of the sunshine?

We will keep trying and will have to use politics, not health-care needs, to win this project. Sad and too bad.

The Daily News’ Jeff Lytle might want to get a “man in the street” victim of the lack of health care on his “One on One” program rather than Weiss, who never heard of genetics as a underlying cause of illness, or Nathan, who never talks about health care, but about profit margins.

Just my opinion.

— Richard Ferreira

Bonita Springs

Member, Bonita Springs City Council

The audacity

Editor, Daily News:

“Audacity of Hope.”

Nice book title and catch phrase.

Now, how’s it playing out?

Some $787 billion now in order to fix the economy and stop job loss.

Afghanistan is the “right” war we must win!

Now, a new doozy: Put the entire weight of the American presidency behind muscling the Olympics for Chicago. It was rejected in the first round! Why? South America has never been host.

That’s pretty compelling if you believe in fairness. Rio won, congratulations.

Audacity is OK when applied judiciously. Otherwise, it can be one (more) big embarrassment for America.

Let’s think a little more long-term about consequences of your decisions, Mr. President. Yes, that especially applies to considering the real engine of jobs recovery: small businesses!

Creating new capital is not defined as “just print (and spend) it until it’s worthless”!

Cutting taxes cuts costs, stimulates investment here.

Demand term limits!

— J. Mark Strong


... And red and read all over

Editor, Daily News:

I must disagree with James Cavanagh’s letter published Sunday that the rules regarding right turns on red should be changed.

Leaving traffic rules open to the interpretation of old folks, teenagers and the gamut in between invites anarchy. In my opinion, a hard-and-fast rule is the way to go.

How hard is it to come to a full stop and then proceed with care? It’s something you do at every stop sign. How much time or gasoline will it save as compared to the loss of one child, the injury of a workman?

Not everyone is a safe and considerate driver who can be left to decide what is right. One error is all it takes to cause a tragedy.

On another subject, I would like to suggest a change in the format of the Daily News’ mutual fund tabulations. An anemic effort adorns the financials four days a week. I think that one weekly detailed comprehensive tabulation, including closed-end funds, would serve your readers better. Many daily papers do it that way.

— Mario DeMicheli


Maybe if we combine issues ...

Editor, Daily News:

Our president certainly has his hands full with health care, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the war in Iraq, addressing the Afghanistan dilemma, etc.

Then he gets a great disappointment in his bid to secure the Olympics for Chicago.

A better plan for him might have been to stump for holding the Olympics in Afghanistan. We could have siphoned off a few billion dollars to help the Afghans get ready, which would have helped their local economy tremendously.

Also, it would have been a good test to see if Afghanistan is ready to handle a difficult security situation (although I think it’s probably safer in Afghanistan than Rio de Janeiro).

One thing is for sure: the opening ceremony would have been a real blast.

— Jack Dwight


What we should call it

Editor, Daily News:

I am totally against people “demonizing” groups of people by negatively labeling them as has been done throughout history. So here is some food for thought:

Everyone in the United States totally trusts their lives to highly trained medical personnel working in government-owned and government-managed fire and ambulance departments, and we do not call that socialism. We call it public service.

Is it possible that all medical care, not just emergency services (that we already accept), should be a public service?

— Gary Page


I’m lucky, for them and him

Editor, Daily News:

In the evening of Sept. 29, heading into the Collier County Public Schools administration Building, I fell and smashed my face. A stupid accident: I just wasn’t attending to where I was walking.

People raced to help me; first a news crew, then a gentleman who helped me to stand and brought wet and dry paper towels for cleanup.

The biggest help, however, came from Collier County Sheriff’s Deputy Dean Walton. Learning that I still planned to attend the workshop, he helped me to a bench and went for ice for my face. He returned with Band-Aids, upset because he’d been told no ice was available in the building (seems strange, doesn’t it?). He then actually drove to McDonald’s to obtain ice!

Using the ice and paper napkins he brought, I was able to limit the swelling and stayed to speak during the public portion of the workshop revising the district’s sex-education policy to include age-appropriate, medically accurate information on contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases in addition to the gold-standard abstinence, from sixth through 12th grade.

My dentist says I’m lucky, as the teeth could have broken off at the gum, instead of being fractured. Additionally, I could have broken my wrist or arm instead of bruising my hand, or broken my hip instead of scuffing my knees.

The swelling is subsiding, and the dental repair begun, so I guess the biggest injuries are to pride and pocketbook.

My biggest thanks, however, are to my unnamed rescuers, and especially to Deputy Walton, who literally went the extra mile so I could fulfill both my first-aid needs and my public duty.

Sheriff Kevin Rambosk must be proud to have this fine gentleman in his department.

— Judith E. Meissner


Personally speaking ...

Editor, Daily News:

Recent pro-abortion letters to the Daily News — and in fact, the entire debate — have been filled with personal accusations against protesters.

Claims of bigotry, hypocrisy and insanity, among other things, are rampant. Apparently they are meant to pass as valid support of abortion.

These allegations are not only objectively false but also wholly irrelevant. Abortion is a despicable crime. It is a sordid attack on children and families; truly it is nothing short of legalized infanticide.

Personal attacks do nothing to change that reality; they merely change the subject.

— Jillian Lawrence

Ave Maria


Editor, Daily News:

Health care is an inalienable right. If the right to life is an inalienable right, then life’s first and main ingredient — health — is also a right by extension. If we don’t have good health we can’t support life.

The Constitution of the United States does not guarantee one the right to an education; yet we are forced by the states to pay school taxes in our property taxes.

One lady, at the Fort Myers health forum held by U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, asked how much she would be fined if she didn’t buy government-run health care. I wonder if this lady had children; and if she did, did she ever give any thought to all the other people who helped pay for her children’s education?

Robert Sanchez, a panelist at the forum, said under current bills, people who make bad health choices, such as smoking, promiscuous sex or excessive consumption of alcohol, will pay the same as people who take care of themselves.

We already pay for these people via higher insurance rates. I work out at the gym at least four days a week. My insurance rates, for myself, are equal to a monthly home mortgage. I tried to find less expensive insurance but was turned down by several for-profit Wall Street insurance firms, because I had an operation in February that corrected a medical problem.

Why should I be denied insurance, Mr. Sanchez?

So my question is this: Why should people have to help pay for other people’s children’s education when they can’t afford health insurance for themselves? Doesn’t that put an added financial burden on people who can’t afford insurance, thus taking away people’s basic, guaranteed right?

— Ron Smiley

Fort Myers

To our good health

Editor, Daily News:

To my elected leaders:

As a health-care practitioner and educator, as well as a constituent, I am writing in support of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s bill, H.R. 778. Please trust and allow “the people” to exercise their right to consume natural raw milk.

The federal ban is an unjust and unworkable law. Please uphold our right to the freedom of food choice by supporting H.R. 778 for the following reasons:

1. This bill upholds consumer freedom of choice. The consumption of raw dairy products is legal in all 50 states. The bill enables consumers to exercise their legal right in states where the sale of raw milk and/or raw milk products is illegal or where there are no in-state sources.

2. This bill upholds states’ rights. Decisions about the safety of raw milk should be made at the state and local level, not by the federal government.

3. This bill supports family farms by expanding their markets for raw dairy products. The bill increases the chances of survival for those dairies that are no longer able to subsist solely on the income from the dairy cooperative system.

4. This bill promotes the local food movement by connecting consumers to producers who happen to live just across state lines.

5. This bill would free Food and Drug Administration officials to focus on the pressing problems in our food system; e.g., tainted imports and under-inspected large-scale food processors.

— Donna Wolf, M.S.N., A.R.N.P.


See the light?

Editor, Daily News:

There seems to be some confusion about stopping at the “stop bars” at traffic signals.

Some recent letters imply you are to stop and stay there before tuning. The intention of the law is to make sure there are no bikers or pedestrians coming from your right. Most drivers have a tendency to only look to their left as they approach the signal and cross over the bar to see better and that’s how the accidents happens.

Once you stop and observe both directions, then you are permitted to ease forward to get the clear view you need to proceed.

This said, I do not condone the camera ticketing, as it does not address the real problem, which is the persistent running of left-turn and straight-through red lights which cause 96.5 percent of the accidents nationally, as reported in this paper.

Plus the fact — that is now known — of judgment and mechanical errors.

— Steve Ritter


His aim is true

Editor, Daily News:

After reading your article on the criticisms of Naples Mayor Bill Barnett for supporting a program to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, I am convinced that we have reached a new level of insanity.

Right-wingers once again respond like the lemmings they are when the National Rifle Association says they should condemn Barnett for wanting to keep criminals from getting guns.

Even as I write that sentence, it is hard to believe it.

The NRA is not satisfied that it has virtually every elected official in its back pocket, officials who tremble at the notion that the NRA could unleash its members on them if they ever utter a word against the sale of any type of gun to anyone, anywhere, with no strings attached. What’s next, a campaign to allow guns to be sold to convicted criminals in prison?

The Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group Barnett joined, focuses on enforcing existing gun laws and closing gaps in background checks and ensuring law-enforcement officers have the tools they need to prevent illegal guns in communities. Normally, these are all things right-wingers would stand behind.

But when the NRA speaks, all right-wingers jump and do its bidding, without even asking why.

They should be ashamed of themselves and apologize to the mayor for their despicable actions; and also pray that one of these criminals doesn’t use an illegal gun on them or any of their loved ones in the future.

— Robert E. Dimond


More homework needed

Editor, Daily News:

I dislike wasting my words on rebuttals, but a letter by Alan Keller published Sept. 30 warrants correction.

As a signer in 1998 of the Petition Project in opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, I am quite familiar with it. The petition has now grown to over 31,000 scientists and engineers who do not support the Kyoto hypothesis that humans are the dominant cause of global warming.

Keller writes that this petition was “circulated under the auspices of the father/son Oregon Institute of Science (and Medicine) by Frederick Seitz.”

This is simply not so. From the beginning, the “father/son” are Arthur and Noah Robinson. Seitz, a former president of the National Academy of Sciences, was involved only to the extent of writing a cover letter endorsing the petition. For references, see Petition Project via both Google and Wikipedia.

With regard to Antarctic sea-ice coverage, Keller reports a study that presumes to show on a total basis more Antarctic sea ice is melting than is growing. His interpretation is incorrect.

On the basis of the data provided by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the Antarctic sea-ice coverage currently is significantly greater than the daily average since 1979, the year that satellite coverage made such measurement possible.

From these and other misstatements in his letter, I presume that Keller spends more time reading the blogs of pro-AGW (anthropogenic global warming) alarmists than the blogs of the serious skeptics who question the AGW hypothesis.

— Frank M. Tuttle

Bonita Springs

Now everyone knows

Editor, Daily News:

“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” — Oprah Winfrey

In this era of dishonest politicians, CEOs and scam artists, I am thankful for Naples companies which employ honest, dedicated people of integrity.

Recently my air conditioner was not working, and I called Supreme Heating and Air Conditioning. The company sent a repairman even though it was a Sunday evening. Supreme’s service person, Wayde, looked at the system and informed me that we needed a new “motor and module,” which is a large dollar repair/replace job.

I wasn’t happy about the amount, as money is scarce these days; however, it was hot! I wrote a check.

When Wayde returned the next day, he said the figures he had gotten on his equipment and gauges just kept bothering him all night, and he wanted to recheck everything. He found a hard-to-see corrupted wire in the system and recalculated the bill, which was one-fifth of the original.

He could have let the whole matter go, and I would have never known; but he chose to do the honest thing. Needless to say, I will continue to do business with this company forever!

Thank you, Supreme AC and Wayde, for restoring my faith in people.

— Debi Rogers


Where are we going?

Editor, Daily News:

On Sept. 17, President Barack Obama canceled the U.S. missile sites in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, to the delight of White House officials, said Russia “would join in sanctions against Iran ... .” White House officials ignored the rest of his sentence: “... although sanctions are seldom productive.”

And his boss, Vladimir Putin, said the next day, Russia would “support no tougher sanctions against Iran.”

On Sept. 24, Obama, who, according to the New York Times, already knew about Iran’s secret nuclear enrichment site, said nothing about it in his disarmament address to the United Nations.

The next day, the White House said: “He did not want to dilute his resolution by diverting to Iran.”

Obama dumps two NATO allies, is pleased by meaningless Russian support and hides a crucial piece of nuclear-armament news, all to avoid diverting to Iran?

What is his actual policy here?

— Jay Wolff


It’s war, again

Editor, Daily News:

Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are bound to repeat them.

How many mistakes does it take for us to learn?

Ground troops and armaments are not necessary in a war against terrorists.

You ought to know that by now.

— Richard Fairfield

Bonita Springs

Here and abroad

Editor, Daily News:

President Barack Obama’s priorities are just fine.

His visit to help Chicago in its Olympic bid is proper and commendable, and he has not taken his eye off the true critical priorities facing our nation.

While abroad, Obama met with our top general in Afghanistan, to discuss in person the situation in that war.

I, like many Americans, consider that war and the Iraq war to be among the critical priorities facing our nation. And Obama is right on top of the issue.

Let’s hope he makes the right decision and begins to put an end to these wars, brings our troops home, stops the endless drain of our human and financial resources in those two countries and instead put these resources to better use here in the United States.

Are we safer from terrorist threats today as a result of the eight years of those two wars abroad than we were before Sept. 11, 2001? No! Our improved safety here in the U.S. is due to improved intelligence by the CIA, improved work by the FBI and improved work by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and law-enforcement agencies across our nation, as well as the fact that Americans now are aware of how real those threats can be here at home.

— William Dooley


Not across, just cross

Editor, Daily News:

We, the crossword-solving public, are in deep mourning over the loss of your previously challenging crossword puzzles.

We delighted in the word play and clue obfuscation that formerly appeared in the daily puzzle. Where puzzles used to dare us to dig deeper into the recesses of our gray matter, they only now elicit facile and adroit answers.

We beg you, give us back a well-articulated, strenuous, demanding, unyielding, intricate, arduous and formidable puzzle, so that we, the people, may not be reduced to dribbling idiots. Medical professionals concur: Solving crossword puzzles helps build new pathways in our medulla oblongatas and may help to ward off the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease!

The new format the L.A. Times has adopted is bourgeois.

Solving progressively difficult puzzles will also help us to remember where to buy newspapers and who the advertisers are that support our papers.

We urge impetuosity in this matter as, we fear, due to the decline in the difficulty in our beloved crossword puzzle, we will not be able to hang on to our minds much longer!

— Joyce Eggleston


Flu view for you

Editor, Daily News:

Senior citizens have been warned for years to take the seasonal influenza injections, as they are the most likely to develop serious complications from this infection.

So, many of you are asking, why am I on the bottom of the list for the new H1N1 flu immunization? No, it’s not an anti-senior citizen plot or conspiracy, but a method of distributing the initially limited supply of vaccine to those most susceptible to this particular virus.

The so-called novel H1N1, or swine flu, more closely resembles the H1N1 influenza pandemic of 1918 than the seasonal flu, in that most of the cases of H1N1 this time around have also affected those younger than 65.

I’ll quote from a recently published study: “An analysis showed that only 1.3 people for every 100,000 people 65 and older are/had been infected with 2009 H1N1. This is compared to 26.7 per 100,000 of those five years to 24 years of age, and 22.9 per 100,000 in those younger than five years old.

“Rates among younger persons were 15 to 20 times higher. This has been true both in the United States and in the Southern Hemisphere during (its) flu season. Laboratory tests on blood samples indicate that older people likely have some pre-existing immunity to the 2009 H1N1 flu virus.”

So, will we seniors ever be able to receive this vaccine? The answer is, yes, as soon as those most likely to become infected have been immunized.

Meanwhile, take the annual flu vaccine.

— Allen Malnak, M.D.

Bonita Springs

We are together

Editor, Daily News:

I feel a strong need to point out something very positive about the people who live in our community! I am so grateful, it amazes me every day!

In Naples, Bonita Springs and even as far up as Estero, there are so many wonderful and supportive people in our area.

I run a small business center in North Naples (North Bay Business Center) with a U.S. Postal Service contract station by Wiggins Pass and U.S. 41. My wife and I have been in business here for over 15 years, along with some great employees.

We have had our ups and downs, and right now times are tough!

I want to let the community know there are so many great and caring people around. I do not think a day goes by without a customer telling me they come to our business because they really do care about small mom-and-pop shops and want to support us. Many tell me they drive out of their way to support us.

It touches me deeply! Thank you, everyone!

I felt a need to say, despite a lot of negative news and letters, most people really are nice and do care! Don’t let the bad overshadow the good!

— Tom Gardella

North Naples

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