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.
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.
The $5-plus aspirin
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
Not so fast there
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.”
Many letters are begging for close cooperation with the “Pied Piper of wealth distribution.”
How many of those praising the current leader are sending extra money to the U.S. Treasury to support this idiotic drive to socialism? How many of these writers have ever been in direct touch with real live communists?
Have they ever visited Cuba, Chile in the early 1970s, Brazil in 1963-64, Guyana, Venezuela, East Germany, China, Romania, Poland, the U.S.S.R., etc.?
My career put me into the unenviable position of trying to get these folks to pay for Caterpillar equipment they had purchased on credit terms. Without exception, the people I dealt with were unabashed liars who always used the argument that Cat was a rich company and should just forgive their debts.
Now we’ve got a leader who has surrounded himself with radicals who would love to change the U.S. into a clone of those listed above. Socialism/communism does not work. It enslaves and demoralizes its citizens.
Now it is becoming clear why President Barack Obama has no resume. He talks but never makes decisions.
Example: He is dissing his hand-picked general who asked for more troops. Why? He’d rather float around making a lot of senseless promises.
Finally, Iran defaulted on a $50 million debt. These guys have our guy on a yo-yo string and will soon be trotting out the big bomb.
Remember Nero and his fiddle?