Letters to the Editor: Dec. 24, 2010

The deadline for nonprofit agencies to submit holiday wish lists has passed.

But, readers can still see those lists of needs for everything from office supplies to diapers — and cash — on our website at naplesnews.com/wishlist.

Readers are encouraged to scan the organizations’ notes and do what they can to help.

Thank you.

Letter of the Day: Going public, but quietly

Editor, Daily News:

We are usually bombarded by pictures and stories of the same people noticeably doing the same nice things for others and our community.

Certainly nothing wrong with that.

I believe for every one of those, there are several "quiet heroes" going about their daily business, serving the needs of others with absolutely no expectation of recognition or reward.

We experience these quiet heroes almost every day and may not even notice because we are in such a rush to get in and get out. Yet, when we can’t get "out" fast enough, we notice who isn’t satisfying us and usually remember them.

Let me share a recent happening where I discovered a quiet hero in the most unlikely place.

My usual morning routine includes going through the Marco Island McDonald’s drive-thru for my senior coffee.

Most trips include seeing a bright wonderful smile from a young lady who happily takes my 63 cents while wishing me a good day.

Taking a few vacation days meant no early morning senior coffee, so what did I receive?

The beaming, bright-eyed young lady in the Marco McDonald’s drive-thru, Evena Etienne, called to ask why I was a no-show for several days — with a nice request to come back soon.

How about that!

Thank you, Evena, and thanks to all of the quiet heroes who are but don’t realize it.

Keith Dameron

Marco Island

Already doing that

Editor, Daily News:

Re: Jorge Mester being replaced.

Myra Daniels states the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts is looking for a person “who speaks well to people and interacts with them.”

That is exactly what he does in the free concert prelude prior to the performance.

— Katherine Ferrari

Naples

You got that right

Editor, Daily News:

I wish to commend you on your Dec. 21 editorial dealing with the funding situation for the Collier County school bands’ trips for the governor-elect’s inauguration parade.

You are absolutely 100 percent correct in concluding that the reimbursement approach be settled in a manner that is consistent with the governor-elect’s campaign speeches and promises.

This situation is true with most of our elected officials: They all say one thing and do something else, mostly to favor their supporters who have made large contributions to their campaigns.

I wish all news agencies, reporters, journalists and commentators would join you in taking similar position and question our elected officials when they take positions different from their campaign positions.

Thank you, and please keep it up!

— P.K. Misra, Ph.D.

Naples

Appalled

Editor, Daily News:

I was appalled to read of Rick Scott’s invitation to our high school bands to march in his inauguration parade without covering the costs.

I was further appalled and amazed that the Collier County School Board rallied immediately, authorizing $100,000 to cover costs when we are pressed for funds with the prospect of hiring hundreds of new teachers, legal fees involved in challenges by our outgoing superintendent, et al.

After investing $60 million to win the governor’s office, Scott could afford a mere $100,000. It would be a drop in the bucket for him.

My thoughts keep coming back to one question: What would Alex Sink do?

— Flo Beckler

Naples

Invisible, but there

Editor, Daily News:

May I please express a zillion thanks to a gentleman customer at the NaplesWalk Publix?

On Tuesday, Dec. 14, the gentleman was in line ahead of me and helped unload my cart on to the belt.

He then paid his charge and left the store.

When my charge was due, the cashier advised that my bill was paid by the gentleman customer.

I never saw a Santa Claus, a halo or a pair of angel wings; but I wish to thank this man and wish him a very Merry Christmas and a happy and profitable new year.

God and the holiday spirit are still with wonderful people.

Thank you!

— Pat Dunn

Naples

Where schools need to go

Editor, Daily News:

I write re: a reader frustrated by the lack of local interest in the ongoing debate over the decay of public education, as shown by the rarity of news stories and letters to the editor.

Hopefully, many of these non-writers to the Daily News will have listened to the recent NBC program on the subject of the recent “Meet The Press” program and will see the documentary movie, “Waiting for Superman,” which the teachers unions have tried to boycott. They have also tried to obscure that statistic showing how far our young people have fallen behind graduates of other developed countries’ public schools.

Admittedly, many flaws in our society contribute to this result, such as poverty, broken homes, a weak economy, ineffective instruction in schools of education, racial animosities and other factors.

But within the educational establishment, we encounter stubborn, long-term union opposition to teaching, to testing as one way to prepare young people for the challenges of the real world, to competition of charter schools, and, by far the worst of all, sensible procedures for awarding tenure and indeed higher salaries only to the ablest, most dedicated teachers.

Despite the difficulties in measuring individual abilities, the other professions have methods of doing so. We can reward our many heroic, hard-working instructors.

Endeavoring to challenge the entrenched educational bureaucrats is Secretary of Education Erne Duncan, who is, so far, backed by President Barack Obama. Their ongoing Race to the Top, whereby federal funds are awarded to states which are willing to make major reforms, has stirred constructive state and local turmoil.

Hopefully, Duncan will provide the necessary spur to an honest-to-God evaluation system for our public school teachers and place in the proper perspective the endless demands for smaller class sizes and upping teachers’ salaries, regardless of our economic and financial straits.

I am a retired president of three universities, professor at three others, director of two national education foundations and national director of the Job Corps.

— Frank Johnson

Bonita Springs

Fantastic support

Editor, Daily News:

Many thanks to all the people who attended the Naples Orchestra and Chorus concert on Dec. 11 and 12 at Golden Gate High School.

We are warmed by your applause and appreciate your support.

I want to clarify the message that was in the Daily News on Dec. 9. Recently, Toni Stabile, the president of the Vincent A. Stabile Foundation, generously donated $5,000 to the Stabile Endowment Fund.

In 2009 the original Stabile $2,000 donation to start the endowment was matched by members of the orchestra and chorus and was again matched by the Stabile Foundation.

We encourage our friends and supporters to contribute to the endowment to assure a bright future for our concerts.

The NOC also received an additional $5,000 from the foundation for its operational expenses to augment the free-will contributions received at the concerts.

This fantastic support will allow us to expand our programs, purchase new music, assist student musicians and present outstanding soloists.

We are deeply grateful.

— Marcia Reff

Naples

Board President

We’re on duty where?

Editor, Daily News:

Am I the only one who thinks it is strange that we cannot guard our border with Mexico, but we can go to Guatemala and help guard that Mexican border?

— Barbara Curd

Bonita Springs

‘One has to wonder’

Editor, Daily News:

Shirley R. Swart, in her Nov. 26 letter to the editor, stated that 3 percent of the local Planned Parenthood activity is abortion-related.

However, the above percentage doesn’t tell it all unless accompanied by a number. The lives of 409 pre-born babies have been sacrificed by the local Naples abortion clinic. The appalling number is as of Sept. 14, 2010 per the Daily News and per Planned Parenthood.

What an absolute waste of precious God-given life!

PP is the number-one provider of abortions in the United States. Another statistic of significance is that Florida was number one in the U.S. for killing babies in 2004, totaling 91,710 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Now that is something to be proud of!

About one out of every four possible births is aborted in the U.S. (Alan Guttmacher Institute or AGI).

I have seen an abortion, and it is gut-wrenching to the core of one’s most inner soul.

Seventy-five percent of women choosing abortion say having a baby would interfere with work, school, career or their other responsibilities (AGI).

The shame and ignorance of all the above is unbelievably shocking. Where is the sanctity of human life? One has to wonder what God, the provider of all life, must conjecture when that life is wantonly, brutally obliterated.

On another note, please join Pro-Life on Monday mornings near the abortion clinic in support of the sanctity of life. For details, contact the Pro-Life office at 262-5433.

— Gordon Skrede

Naples

Going public, but quietly

Editor, Daily News:

We are usually bombarded by pictures and stories of the same people noticeably doing the same nice things for others and our community.

Certainly nothing wrong with that.

I believe for every one of those, there are several “quiet heroes” going about their daily business, serving the needs of others with absolutely no expectation of recognition or reward.

We experience these quiet heroes almost every day and may not even notice because we are in such a rush to get in and get out. Yet, when we can’t get “out” fast enough, we notice who isn’t satisfying us and usually remember them.

Let me share a recent happening where I discovered a quiet hero in the most unlikely place.

My usual morning routine includes going through the Marco Island McDonald’s drive-thru for my senior coffee.

Most trips include seeing a bright wonderful smile from a young lady who happily takes my 63 cents while wishing me a good day.

Taking a few vacation days meant no early morning senior coffee, so what did I receive?

The beaming, bright-eyed young lady in the Marco McDonald’s drive-thru, Evena Etienne, called to ask why I was a no-show for several days — with a nice request to come back soon.

It seems my mug is very familiar on the island.

How about that!

Thank you, Evena, and thanks to all of the quiet heroes who are but don’t realize it.

— Keith Dameron

Marco Island

Where are our priorities?

Editor, Daily News:

What a strange combination of Dec. 13 Daily News front-page articles!

Donors have given over $1 million for a fancy inauguration for Gov.-elect Rick Scott; and directly below that a story about a young man who is a paraplegic and may lose his home.

What is the matter with our society?

There are so many people without adequate food, housing, clothing, basic necessities of life, and we choose to give our money for an opulent celebration of an election.

I would not deny Scott a celebration, but I would respect him more if he were to concentrate on the needs of the people of Florida.

— Barbara M. Rosenbach

Naples

An exclusive club

Editor, Daily News:

In the Dec. 12 edition of the Daily News, BP had a full-page ad with a message for me and the rest of the American public.

I am sure this public relations ad appeared in many other coastal newspapers.

Their theme, Making This Right, pointed out how wonderfully they handled the oil spill and their generosity to its victims. They make no mention that they have their army of lawyers fighting the U.S. government, claiming the government has over-estimated the amount of oil spilled by over 50 percent.

The amount of oil spilled is going to determine how large BP’s fines are going to be.

When Exxon spilled in Alaska, they, too, were going to “pay whatever it takes to clean up Alaska.” In truth, they rolled out their lawyers and fought and stalled their fines for 20 years, probably paying five cents on the dollar.

BP joins an exclusive club.

Two other members come to mind — both insurance companies that pulled out of Florida and left homeowners high and dry:

No. 3: “You’re in good hands with Allstate.”

No. 4: “Just like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”

— Ed Rogan

Naples

Prowling for value

Editor, Daily News:

Re: $1.3 million for a panther crossing in a remote area.

That would buy $7 million worth of food at the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

— Marilyn Stuck

Naples

Go ahead — tell them

Editor, Daily News:

Another season, and many thanks to Macy’s for its very responsible give-back to our community.

Thanks to Bob Kapish, general manager, and his crew for their generous help at local nursing homes, letters to Santa and the annual Thanksgiving Parade — enjoyed by all.

Merry Christmas!

— Virginia Shannon

Naples

The key word here is ...

Editor, Daily News:

I applaud the Dec. 9 guest column by Pam Grothaus on the issues of gays in the military. She wrote truthfully and nailed it right on.

As for the response the following day by writer Maureen McCarthy, she states that Grothaus’ column was “merely an excuse to justify an attack on her follow citizens who happen to have a lifestyle of which she doesn’t approve.”

The key word here is “lifestyle.” One doesn’t choose to be black, white or Jewish. But one can choose a “lifestyle,” as you call it.

To lump any race or religion into the same category as the homosexuals is what is really appalling.

— Frank D’Agostino

Naples

How cruel — and sad

Editor, Daily News:

If there ever was a “fascist imposer” of his personal beliefs, it is Cal Thomas. I figure the former fundamentalist minister feels himself the “author of what is right.”

His entirely to-be-expected attack on the people who happen to be gay is typical (read Pam Grothaus, Dec. 9).

I suppose if you have preferred living in a complete closed heterosexual world, which Cal must inhabit, you can happily add his column printed on Dec. 7 to your library.

The fact it was printed on Pearl Harbor Day, which honors our military, including its many gay members, is doubly insulting.

Having spent a tour of duty in the military and worked for over two years for the best supervisor I encountered, and then learning from him that he was about to inform people there that he was gay, I found myself trying to convince him to complete his enlistment. I pointed out he had only a few months to serve.

He had shared this after a conversation in which I learned that his friends in Hollywood had been fixing him up with some starlets — we were stationed in California. I had always thought he was straight.

He said no; he had to do this.

He disappeared, to be found some time later confined to an unfinished hospital on base where he was housed alone. He left the military — must have given up his entitlements — and found other work.

At times, reminded of this experience by the craven and witless writings of Cal Thomas, I feel sad we still discriminate.

— John Herr

Bonita Springs

Saved by an honest person

Editor, Daily News:

This letter is somewhat overdue, but I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to the person who was at Costco in Naples the day before Thanksgiving and turned in the debit card that dropped out of my pocket.

I thank you again for your honesty.

May you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.

— Diane Rustay

Naples

Born again in Naples

Editor, Daily News:

At the tender age of 60, I find myself a single parent of an 8-year-old little girl.

In attempting to entertain her, I am reliving all the fruits that Naples has to offer through her eyes. For the past 20 years, I have been oblivious to all the reasons why I fell in love with Naples: the charm of Fifth Avenue, the beaches, the zoo, the parks, the pier, the arts, and, oh yes, the charm of the people who have made Naples what it is — paradise.

My little girl is falling in love with the same things that brought me to Naples, and we are now enjoying it together. Naples offers so much. Take a few minutes and revisit what brought you here.

You’ll be glad you did. I know I am.

— Raymond Goulet

Naples

Where are their priorities?

Editor, Daily News:

Re: Letter asking if we want animal cruelty prevention paid for by our tax dollars.

The answer is a resounding “no.’’

There are many programs paid for by our hard-earned taxes already. The very worst in my opinion is murder by abortion.

Where are the proponents of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) when it comes to the dismemberment of human babies? If they have sympathy for rats, where is the sympathy for the unborn, especially the ones who could survive outside the womb?

They do feel pain, and there is proof of this regardless of the fact that the mainstream media refuses to acknowledge this proof.

We can save the panther, sea turtles, woodpeckers, owls, wales and on and on — even tiny fish that do nothing but cost the livelyhood of thousands of farmers in California’s bread basket by simply turning off the much needed irrigation water that resulted in their rich farmland becoming a dust basin. This should not be tolerated in this day and age.

These measures were taken at the whim of politicians who could care less for God’s people and more for their own agendas.

Now to add insult to injury, our tax dollars are also paying for the murder of babies in Africa and China. Where would the pro-choice people be today if their mothers felt as they do and aborted them? Why continue to make excuses for butchery and murder? There certainly must be other more worthwhile causes that can do far less harm to humanity.

Man is surely above the animal world, or should be, even if some still maintain this is the politically correct agenda we all must follow.

Merry Christmas and blessings to all.

— Virginia Cannone

Naples

Found: An honest person

Editor, Daily News:

Naples has honest people.

I left my pocketbook in my shopping cart and didn’t realize it until I returned to my car. Within three minutes I was back in the store in a panic, and the young man I spoke to said, calm down, we have your pocketbook.

To whomever found it and turned it in, I want to say a big “thank you’’ and have a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

— June Bianchi

Naples

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