Letters to the editor: Oct. 20, 2009

Two's company with the arrival of the swan at right. Photo submitted by June Bromiley

Two's company with the arrival of the swan at right. Photo submitted by June Bromiley

Here are letters to the editor from Daily News editions of Oct. 20, 2009:

PHOTO: Happy ending

Editor, Daily News:

When the swans were placed in the lovely lakes at Coconut Point shopping center, near where I live, there were two white trumpeter mute swans and two black Australian swans.

About a year ago, one of the black swans became sick and died. Sadly, the remaining black swan swam around with no companion for many months; to make matters worse, it was rejected by the white swans, which are very majestic and beautiful but do not have a congenial personality. The Australian black swan, on the other hand, is a sweet, beguiling, friendly swan — that needed friendship of the same kind.

Many shoppers love to go by the lakes on their shopping tour to see the swans and take delight in seeing them. At times there are crowds of people taking pictures with their children.

On my visits to see the swans, my heart broke to see the poor, lonely black swan. I thought she just cannot go through life alone.

So I set out to bring to the attention of the Simon Property Group Inc. corporate office the swan’s plight. Without hesitation, David Simon, chairman and CEO of Simon Property Group, passed on my request to Jamie Grofik, general manager of Coconut Point, to purchase another swan as a companion to the black swan.

Much to my surprise, on Sept. 17 a beautiful, 1-year-old, brownish-black swan arrived via Delta Airlines. The new swan immediately bonded with the black swan, and they obviously are exceedingly happy in each other’s friendship.

It is brownish-black in color presently and will be black when fully mature.

My heart swells and my faith in people is reinforced.

Thanks to Simon Group.

— Joan Bromiley

Estero

* * *

Letter of the Day: Get tough and help them

Editor, Daily News:

What is this world coming to?

We have teens setting other teens on fire; teens beating one another to death; and people are arguing over politics and other nonsense topics.

Teen violence is becoming more common, and it’s time something is done about this issue.

It’s time our kids get punished when they do something wrong instead of getting a slap on the wrist. It’s time for us, as parents, when our children do wrong, to stop saying “they are innocent” or “my child would never do that.”

I know it’s not easy to do, but if we keep saying our kids our innocent when the proof shows they are not, what are we teaching them?

It’s time for parents to pay attention to their children, and this means to know who your child associates with and where they are at all times.

I believe this starts at a young age. There are too many bullies in school who get away with hitting others with little or no punishment. If a child already has a record at the age of 12 or 13, what are these parents doing to steer their child in the right direction? People can blame rap music, violent games or President Barack Obama, but the truth remains that a parent has the greatest influence over a child.

It’s time we stand up to our children and let them know that this behavior will not be tolerated. If your child does a violent crime, let him do the time!

It’s time we all get involved in our children’s lives and try to end this violence before it’s too late.

— Debra Hamel

Naples

What would Tip do?

Editor, Daily News:

I had hoped, when I departed Collier County in early summer for vacation in cooler environs, that I would return to read letters from writers with cooler heads.

What a mistake that was. In Wednesday’s paper, I witnessed one of the most acrimonious pages of letters I had seen since the original fight for Marco Island cityhood.

The writers couldn’t just disagree, they had to condemn, in strongest terms, people holding opposing views.

I subscribe to the late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s principle: Disagree with your opponent strongly, but with respect absent of name-calling. And after 5 p.m., sit down and have a drink as friends.

It seems we are now in an era of hatred. It is distressing to witness the absence of respect and civility that pervades the populace today — even more distressing to see it getting worse.

It’s my hope that people who otherwise have more class will limit their criticism to a respectful manner. Hatred has a way of eating through a person.

— David Rush

Marco Island

Loved it

Editor, Daily News:

“To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.”

The Naples men’s theme song (only kidding):

Super performance by Willie Nelson.

The 2009-10 season for the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts is off to a great start.

Sold-out performances prove that.

Looking forward to a wonderful season once again.

— Jeri Hurckes

Naples

This is serious stuff

Editor, Daily News:

In Monday’s Daily News, you chose to highlight the debate over whether the H1N1 virus vaccine was “safe.”

In doing so, you gave extensive coverage to a concierge pediatrician who advises the parents of his patients not to get their children the vaccine. To support his perilous position, he cites traditional methods of proving the safety of a vaccine and points out that not all of these methods were used in this case.

He goes on to say that most of his parents will likely not allow the vaccine for their children.

Now, I do not know the extent of his training in public health, virology, infectious diseases or contemporary methods of vaccine development and testing. I do know that if I were the parent of one of his patients who contracted the H1N1 virus and did not get the vaccine because of this doctor’s advice, I would sue him to the maximum and do everything in my power to have his medical license revoked.

I cannot imagine what I would want to do to him if my child died.

— Leonard Lash

Bonita Springs

The $5-plus aspirin

Editor, Daily News:

It’s a mystery to me why the explanation for high hospital costs is only touched on briefly by those advocating change in our health-care system.

If you have been hospitalized and received an aspirin, did you wonder why it cost $5 or more? The reason is you are paying for the care of those who cannot afford insurance. Hospital care costs so much because the insured are paying for the uninsured. This is a hidden tax.

Insurance companies base rates on the demographics of each community they insure. When the number of uninsured rises, the insurance rates rise, including costs of employers providing health insurance to employees.

Here’s the conundrum: When community rates rise, fewer can afford insurance payments. Then the rates escalate, with insured people paying increased rates.

Those who cannot afford insurance often ignore their need for medical care until pain or other manifestations become so harsh that they must go to an emergency room with ailments that could have been treated for much less had they been treated earlier.

Those who have insurance pay twice for these persons, through higher costs of hospital stays and increased premiums, even if the insured hasn’t been hospitalized.

It is strange that this dilemma isn’t discussed sufficiently so people understand what they are up against with the present system. But, as in mysteries, the solution often comes down to “cui bono” or who benefits?

Or are we all victims of the present health-care system?

— Alice J. Fraser

Naples

Not so fast there

Editor, Daily News:

Re: Proposed Collier County recycling center.

The Saturday Daily News article by I.M. Stackel states the proposed recycling center is to be built off Santa Barbara Boulevard near Calusa Park Elementary School.

Response: What has not been stated by the county officials is the proposed recycling center is not off but on Santa Barbara Boulevard and will sit directly in front of the Calusa Park Elementary School, separated by a small retention pond built by the county. I do not believe the county officials can guarantee that the retention pond will not become contaminated sometime in the future.

The article goes on to say that the proposed recycling center will not be any different than the Marco Island Recycling Center.

Response: The Marco Island center is indeed a clean facility, but the center is not next to a school, next door to an apartment complex or in a designated residential planned unit development (PUD). County officials do not take lightly to changing any established PUD that would be proposed by Collier County taxpaying citizens.

But the county officials propose to change this designated residential PUD to an industrial site PUD!

— Marlene Sherman

Naples

Not so fast there II

Editor, Daily News:

After reading the article on the planned recycling center near Calusa Park Elementary School on Santa Barbara Boulevard, I must declare my outrage.

After moving to Berkshire Lakes in 2005, thinking I had found my dream home, I learned about the planned road expansion in my backyard. A six-lane overpass and highway over a four-lane interstate, which has now destroyed any enjoyment of my lanai and pool (approximately 50 feet from the road) due to the excessive traffic noise.

I became very involved in the investigation of why Berkshire Lakes did not meet the criteria for a noise barrier, as the Shores across the highway did.

After many meetings with state Department of Transportation and Collier County officials, and hours spent looking at records of the project, I still have not been shown proof of decibel levels across the street being louder!

The Shores now sits behind a 12-foot barrier on a 4-foot berm, and I look at cars and trucks passing by Berkshire Lakes’ 6-foot fence!

Now, I am reading that a notice was sent to residents in the area of a recycling center outreach program meeting, and I can assure you I did not receive one, nor did any of my neighbors!

So how is it, we now have to endure even more noise and disturbance due to traffic, and are continually being treated as if our tax dollars are not as “green” as everyone else’s in this county.

My “dream home” has become my “worst nightmare.”

— Julia Maloney

Naples

I pray ...

Editor, Daily News:

I am so thankful the Naples Community Services Advisory Board recommended extending the lease for five years to Celebration Community Beach Church at Cambier Park.

As a previous city resident, I attended the church and enjoyed praising the Lord in paradise along with other city residents and visitors.

Celebration Church continues to be an important part of my life, as I listen to the podcasts and visit as often as I can since I recently returned to Georgia.

I plan to return and continue my career in Naples.

I pray Celebration Church will continue to be allowed to provide praise and worship in Cambier Park for all of its residents and visitors.

— Belinda Burroughs

Brunswick, Ga.

Blinded by love

Editor, Daily News:

Martin Schram’s op-ed piece in Friday’s paper about renaming the Washington Redskins is a futile gesture.

There are some institutions that defy logic — or any attempt to correct a seeming injustice, regardless of its obviousness.

When the Redskins came to D.C. they were greeted with open arms and this embrace has lasted through the good years as well as the lean — and there have been many lean years.

The love for this team has no bounds.

I attended my first Skins game in 1938 at the old Griffith Stadium and I, along with thousands of others, would live and die with the Skins, as they are affectionately known.

From Sammy Baugh to Jason Campbell, D.C. and its suburbs live for and die with the team.

The Redskins are here to stay and the name is not demeaning in D.C.

— W.S. Orlove

Naples

We did our part; now?

Editor, Daily News:

I want to offer my sincere thanks to Alan Mengel, Delores Sorey, Sue Smith, Doug Finlay, Michael Moose and all the other volunteers who stood with me in the hot sun and collected signatures on petitions asking the U.S. postmaster general to keep the downtown Naples post office open at the Sixth Avenue South location.

I also want to thank U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, Florida Sen. Garrett Richter, Florida Rep. Tom Grady and Naples Mayor Bill Barnett for their support and encouragement.

Most important, I want to thank the 2,902 individuals who took time from their busy lives to stop and listen to the volunteers talk about this important matter and then signed a petition or sent an e-mail supporting our efforts.

The response and level of support far exceeded expectations. This is hometown democracy at its finest.

On Oct. 14, the petitions and e-mails were sent to Mack for delivery to the postmaster general.

The facts are so clear — convenience, parking, long lines, safety and retaining part of the fabric of the city of Naples — that it would be ludicrous to close this facility.

Now we await the decision.

— John Sorey

Naples

Member, Naples City Council

In case you missed it ...

Editor, Daily News:

On Sept. 29, the Collier County commissioners voted to not proceed toward charter government; and, as recommended by their Productivity Committee, they voted to seek proposals from consulting firms to study efficiency — their payment to come from the savings they produce.

Several of us expected the commissioners to propose charter government through their creation of an ordinance as described by the county attorney in his April 28 letter to Commissioner Fred Coyle and discussed extensively by the Productivity Committee.

Obviously, the Productivity Committee gave a presentation but declined to recommend charter government, because it had not identified a strong reason for it and had found no significant public support.

They, nor any commissioner I know of, could identify just one problem in Collier County that could be solved with charter but not with our current constitutional structure. They obviously found that the opposition was strong and widespread.

No one from the public spoke in favor, but several spoke against charter. I was first; others included John Vaughn, Richard Nivisen, Georgia Hiller (candidate for County Commission, District 2), former sheriff Don Hunter and current sheriff Kevin Rambosk.

Since none of the above was reported in the Daily News, this letter is to advise those who are interested.

The Productivity Committee has not given up. The committee started promoting charter government in 2006 and will no doubt continue, especially since some commissioners lean to charter.

— Harold L. Hall

Naples

Does that add up?

Editor, Daily News:

My question is this:

How can President Barack Obama accept a peace prize when he so fervently and actively supports the killing of unborn babies?

Or was this an “appease” prize?

— Steve Seidel

Naples

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