Letters to the editor: Jan. 5, 2010

Here are letters to the editor from Daily News editions of Jan. 5, 2010:

Letter of the Day: Time for a detour?

Editor, Daily News:

Now that almost every citizen has received a “right-turn-on-red” citation, isn’t it time we re-evaluate this system?

The camera lights were installed to catch red-light runners (that is for everyone’s safety!), not someone who turns on red!

For example, if I stop at the light as required, then I make the right turn into traffic, what if I turn too slowly and the oncoming cars have to slam on their brakes or, worse yet, they slam into me?

I followed the supposed new law but did not really make myself or the roads any safer.

Let’s put an end to this once and for all. At every right-turn intersection, put in a red arrow and no one will be able to turn until it turns green.

Now that is safety over greed! Florida is backwards enough already. Let’s do the right thing!

Get with the program and get your head out of your bank account, Collier County!

— Matt Steves

Naples

Who we are, what we do

Editor, Daily News:

The North Naples Professional Firefighters Association (NNPFA) would like to thank the individuals and businesses that helped us this year with our Adopt A Family program.

The heartfelt contributions of time, money and support helped make this holiday season a little nicer for those families in need.

With the lifesaving trust of our residents, our pride in the community and the integrity of the firefighting profession, it is important that I report to our residents about solicitation companies working in our area. The NNPFA does not solicit by phone, nor are we part of any mail-out campaign to solicit funds from our residents.

On behalf of all of our firefighting members, thank you.

— Christopher Spencer

President,

North Naples Professional Firefighters

P.S. — Please remember to wear your seat belt.

Unexpected indeed

Editor, Daily News:

It’s the season to be giving.

The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida was presented an unexpected gift.

An unidentified donor gave the association the use of his yacht to be used in the Venetian Village Boat parade on Dec. 10. Captained by Jim Atrozkin of Absolute Yacht Service, the yacht won first prize for boat decorations. The prize was $1,000.

This money will be used to further the Mental Health Association’s Children’s Mental Wellness program in the coming year.

Special thanks to the donor, Capt. Jim, Lutgert Companies and the volunteers who helped decorate.

Happy holidays!

— Petra Jones

Executive director,

Mental Health Association

of Southwest Florida

The gift of life

Editor, Daily News:

We have just completed a rather successful blood drive here at the Vineyards.

Forty-five people volunteered to give the most precious gift of all: the gift of life. It’s a unique and wonderful gift of unrequited love that can never be returned and cannot carry a thank you, because the donor is anonymous.

And the donor never knows who is receiving his or her gift.

Giving blood is not only a life saver, it is a gift no one can buy. It has to be given freely to a grateful person who can never acknowledge your generosity. This is one gift that can never be returned by the donor or the recipient.

Thank God we have in Naples such willing and generous blood donors. This gift they offer is priceless.

— George Merritt

Naples

It’s a dog’s life

Editor, Daily News:

I am a well-cared-for, well-behaved, 14-year-old schnoodle dog.

My master and I have all sorts of adventures. We often walk on Third Street South and Fifth Avenue South, where we are warmly greeted everywhere we go.

Waterside Shops is one of our favorite destinations, and we have been welcomed in several very grand stores. Our latest adventure was a walk in the beautiful Naples Botanical Garden.

However, we are not welcome in most parks or on the beach! Some places even post warnings of fines should we disobey.

I really don’t understand this at all, and I wonder if you can explain it to me.

— “Shallie” (and Barbara) Rosenbach

Naples

No, no, after you

Editor, Daily News:

Re: Robert Miller’s Dec. 26 letter, What a bunch of hicks.

Mr. Miller, my good deed for the day is to let people with a few items in a store go ahead of me, especially working people on their lunchtime.

— Anne Bahr

Naples

Plenty of victims

Editor, Daily News:

Illegal drug use is sometimes described as a victimless crime.

But if you look at Mexico today, there are victims aplenty — victims of our demand for drugs in this country.

I don’t know how to stop it, but maybe a start would be if drug users looked in a mirror and said, “It’s not just me I’m messing up. I’m contributing to the deaths of lots of other people.”

Happy new year.

— Michael Collins

Marco Island

Good news only, please

Editor, Daily News:

Re: Daily News article recapping of “Offbeat Crimes of 2009.”

This is the time of year when all media forms discuss the past year’s important events. The crimes re-reported in the above article were necessary to publish at the time of their occurrence.

However, was it necessary to revisit the year’s most disgusting events? I’d list them here, but then I’d be doing the same thing for which I’m faulting you.

Talk about airing one’s dirty laundry!

I suggest highlighting stories that show the best of Naples. This is a tourist-dependent county.

— Vince D’Angelo

Naples

Let the paving begin

Editor, Daily News:

What is delaying the paving of Santa Barbara Boulevard extension from Davis Boulevard to Rattlesnake Hammock Road?

From Davis it looks like it’s been ready since October.

— Harold Glenzel

Naples

No bailout for landlords

Editor, Daily News:

I am in favor of bolstering commerce on Fifth Avenue South.

The city of Naples wants to spend money to bring customers and merchants back to this wonderful street, and I am in favor of this. The problem I do have is that this would end up being a subsidy to bail out the greedy landlords who rent space on this special street.

Those empty stores and entire buildings were as much caused by economic conditions as the stupidity of the landlords. These “businessmen” were so shortsighted as to attempt to raise rents as commerce crumbled around the world.

To provide funds to attract merchants to fill the empty space without some pledge and demonstration of comprehension of the situation on the part of the landlords would only be encouraging their greed and ignorance.

This is a street where rents should be high, but now is not the time. Fill the space with smart stores and galleries and wait for the economy to revitalize. Supply and demand will dictate the cost of a square foot.

— Robert Klein

Naples

Democracy, then tyranny

Editor, Daily News:

It is quite clear that there have been multiple examples of breakdown in our security system since the presidential election; yet the personnel involved have not changed except at the top levels.

This certainly raises the suspicion that there has been a memo or directive to the effect that the new administration will tolerate no “profiling” or any other action that might “offend” Muslims.

When will this administration come to the realization that radical Muslims are at war with the United States, and not just with the former administration?

Other thoughts on this administration include the fact that the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, authorizes Congress to do 21 things only; yet today as much as three-quarters of what Congress taxes us and spends our money for is nowhere to be found in that list!

For example, there is no constitutional authority for Congress to subsidize farms, bail out banks or manage car companies.

A significant majority of this country seems to believe we are a democracy and therefore the majority rules. So 51 percent of the populace can support laws taking whatever they want from the 49 percent.

We are supposed to be a republic, but the representatives have begun to act as if we are a democracy. It has been shown time after time in history that a democracy always leads to a breakdown and then tyranny.

We appear to be well on our way to proving that fact again.

— Donavin A. Baumgartner Jr.

Naples

Security incentives

Editor, Daily News:

Airport security problems could be solved fairly easily if the government were really interested and showed some aptitude for freedom and innovation.

Regular screeners should have low but livable wages and have opportunities to get bonuses on a frequent and ongoing basis.

Another group of security workers should have the job of finding ways to get inoperative weapons and test bombs loaded with non-explosive ingredients past the screeners. If the screener catches the test, he gets a bonus. If this happens with some frequency and the rewards are sufficient, the screeners will be much more attentive to what may turn out to be real problems.

Those whose job it is to get the test weapons and test bombs through security would be able to use innovative ways to get past security and may be able to anticipate real potential problems.

Of course, our present politicians would never agree to spending money on such personnel. They would rather buy expensive scanners and X-ray machines from companies that make big political contributions.

— Bill Greystone

Naples

Declare by nationality

Editor, Daily News:

In the past few weeks, reading about the “kick a Jew day” school issue and a public outcry before the school administration had a chance to deal with the problem has me worried.

So, as a new year suggestion, I offer the following for thought.

We are a nation of different nationalities, so let us just proclaim our heritage in that form. Example: My grandmother was born in Germany but was of the Jewish faith. My father was born into the Jewish faith but was an American. I am American first and my faith follows.

If you wish to declare yourself South African, Israeli, English, French, American or Canadian, that is wonderful! But, do you get my point?

Religion has been the root of almost all wars and strife and it will continue as long as people keep referring to all evils against each other instead of moving forward. Continuing to refer to Germany as “Nazi Germany” only fosters ongoing hate. Did it not occur to some people that many forced followers of Adolf Hitler did so because of fear, to protect themselves and their families, but had no involvement physically? Many German people of all faiths sheltered those of the Jewish faith, risking their own lives!

Let us declare ourselves by our nationality!

Maybe it is time rabbis, pastors and priests of our country preach humanism from their pulpits. It is time for them to set a new path for all their flock; stop greed, thoughtlessness and doing harm to others. This is what makes a good citizen of the United States — people coming together from all countries of the world, to live in peace.

This is my wish for 2010!

— Ellen M. Milotte

Naples

Tax the pork

Editor, Daily News:

The Democratic health bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 60 (Democrats) in favor and 39 (Republicans) against.

There was a conspiracy between Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., to buy Nelson’s vote.

Reid agreed to pay Nebraska $1.4 billion.

This wasn’t the only “backroom” deal made by Reid. There were others.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts captured $500 million for his state. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa took a smaller bribe of $55 million for his vote.

Then there was a “little lady” from Louisiana, Mary Landrieu, who bitterly complained when approached by the media and yelled back: “I cannot be bought,” but refused to disclose how much she negotiated for her vote.

It seems obvious that the U.S. senators are individually corrupt and can be expected to accept bribes when they are promised “pork” in return for their vote.

The big question, of course, is how much of the pork eventually falls off into their pockets.

Let me reassure these so-called “honest” politicians that any cash or property that accidentally falls their way from these “deals” represents taxable income and should be reported to their uncle — Uncle Sam, that is.

— Don Forman

Naples

Here’s to term limits

Editor, Daily News:

Re: A rude awakening.

How could I not have seen it? The U.S. Congress (both houses) is no longer about “doing the people’s business.” It’s all about getting re-elected.

I’ve been around a long time. I can remember when we had statesmen in Washington. No more!

Is there a solution to this disgraceful situation? The only one that comes to mind is limiting the time served in office. It’s working for the presidency.

Will it happen? I can only hope.

But who’s going to take the initiative?

— Charles C. Hewitt Jr.

Naples

Our own special Santa

Editor, Daily News:

My letter is to say thank you to a very special retired fireman who so willingly helped us recently when our car would not start.

We had just come out of Sweetbay Supermarket with our groceries.

He would not accept anything but our thank you. We had at least hoped to buy some gas for his truck.

It was Christmas Eve, and Santa was there!

Thank you.

— Ruth Ellen Gordon

Naples

Say good night, Dick

Editor, Daily News:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has no shame.

The Bush administration got us into a war that was a lie, destroyed the economy and ignored warnings about 9/11. They didn’t keep us safe.

What ever happened to “If you’re not with us, you’re against us”? It is going to take years to undo the damage done by this loudmouth and his cronies.

His continual barrage against President Barack Obama is ridiculous.

Go quietly into the night, Mr. Cheney. You’ve outlived your relevance.

— William Dooley

Naples

Charges all around

Editor, Daily News:

I wonder when former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert comes to town if he would address the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict issued this past summer? In sum, the report found Israel imposed a blockade amounting to collective punishment and carried out a systematic policy of progressive isolation and deprivation of the Gaza Strip.

During the military operation, houses, factories, wells, schools, hospitals, police stations and other public buildings were destroyed, with families, including the elderly and children, left living amid the rubble of their former dwellings. More than 1,400 were killed.

Israeli forces also humiliated, dehumanized and carried out an assault on the dignity of the people of Gaza through the use of human shields and unlawful detentions. The firing of white phosphorus shells and the intentional strike at Al Quds Hospital, using explosive artillery shells, was clearly a violation of international law.

A crime against humanity has been committed. Will Olmert answer these charges?

On the other side, will the Naples Town Hall Distinguished Speakers invite a representative from the Gaza Strip to answer charges that they violated international law by firing rockets and mortars into Israel since 2001? They have injured hundreds, while causing terror, psychological trauma and erosion of the educational, social, cultural and economic lives of the communities in southern Israel.

In firing rockets and mortars into southern Israel, Palestinian armed groups operating in the Gaza Strip failed to distinguish between military targets and the civilian population and civilian objects. Will a representative from the Gaza Strip come forward to answer these charges?

— Louis Thompson

Bonita Springs

Asking for sympathy

Editor, Daily News:

Rick Borman of the Naples Town Hall Distinguished Speakers series will welcome former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as a guest speaker, discussing “Why Israel Matters.”

Borman says it is a timely appearance “following Naples’ ‘kick a Jew (day)’ scandal.”

What a conflicting introduction. There are volumes of documentation on Israel’s leaders who endorse the hundreds of checkpoints, roadblocks and confiscation of Palestinian lands — plus the installation of the 448-mile-long wall (several times longer than the Berlin Wall) that cuts off free movement and dashes any hope of economic development for the oppressed Palestinians.

In the recent book “Palestine in Pieces,” by retired CIA senior analyst Bill Christison and Kathleen Christison, the authors point out that not only have these acts been proven illegal under international law, but that “terms like annihilation, ethnic cleansing and genocide” are increasingly being used by serious Middle East scholars to describe Israel’s actions.

And yet, after his election in 2006, Olmert made a speech before our Congress stating that he believed Israel had the “eternal and historic right to this entire land,” and he did not hinder the illegal expansion into Palestinian lands.

I look forward to hearing Olmert, but it would be quite a display of hypocrisy for him to ask for sympathy for Israel’s position in the Middle East when they are well-documented as a human rights violator to the Palestinian people.

Or is it OK to kick a Palestinian?

— Jay Thomson

Naples

The problem is local

Editor, Daily News:

Last Wednesday, I saw something that made me embarrassed to be a citizen of Collier County.

I witnessed an unknown number of rude, self-absorbed, evil-spirited people, with absolutely no regard for anything or anyone other than themselves.

I had stopped to help a young lady whose car had broken down at the intersection of Pine Ridge Road and U.S. 41. The people who passed by swore at this person for causing them a problem. They cut off other drivers or refused to let other drivers merge to change lanes to get around the disabled vehicle.

I had to tell one “lady” to hang up the phone and drive.

I noticed that all of these people — with no manners — had Collier County tags on their cars.

People of Collier County: Do not complain about people from somewhere else when the problem is you.

Grow up and take a driving school lesson somewhere.

— Tom Hoffman

Naples

Wrong or right?

Editor, Daily News:

Wrong. Wrong. Right.

Is there something wrong with the right?

Usually if you agree that health-care reform is the right thing to do, you suggest things or ideas about the right thing to do.

Wrong: Wrong will never make it right when you know health care needs reform.

Right the wrong with ideas, not all the so-called wrongs — and maybe you’ll be right.

Am I wrong?

No excuses please!

— Bog Klatt

Marco Island

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