Letters to the Editor, June 20

Marco Eagle

People deserve better than Rooney

Although I suspect our political beliefs are quite different, I agree with letter-writer Lisa Freund’s conclusion: Unless his performance with respect to constituent’s changes, Rep. Francis Rooney does not deserve a second term. The issue for me is consistent with Freund’s. Neither Rooney nor his office responds to the people he supposedly represents.

Several months ago, I asked the congressman for his opinion regarding the FairTax. The initial response was what appeared to be a boilerplate “thank you so much for your question.” The response indicated that I would receive a follow-up communication that would outline his position on this “important issue.”


Well, guess what? The follow-up did not occur despite repeated attempts to obtain one. He or his staff evidently either do not have a position on FairTax or don’t wish to share it. It was not my intention to “trap” the congressman, but simply to hear his position.

Recently, House Speaker Paul Ryan commented that the president’s frequent missteps are the result of his lack of familiarity with how Washington works. Perhaps that’s what the congressman suffers from. But how does answering questions from constituents require an extensive knowledge of national politics? We deserve better.

Ron Saffin , Marco Island

In favor of sports complex

I am the chairman of All American Games, the creator and owner of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl — the nation’s largest high school sporting event — televised on NBC every January, and more recently the creator and owner of the FBU National Championships anchored in Collier County. I am writing to endorse the efforts of Collier County to build a sports complex to provide facilities for the local community and to attract significant sporting events to the Paradise Coast. I am also writing with the perspective of being the former state treasurer of New Jersey and someone who appreciates the critical role key infrastructure investments play in creating long-term positive economic growth.

More than 50 million youth athletes travel to participate in sporting events. Estimates are that over $7 billion dollars is spent on youth sports travel costs. At All American Games, we can attest to the enormity of the industry as we conduct more than 250 events a year across the country.

And, more importantly, we can attest to how attractive Collier County is as

a location in which to anchor an event like the FBU National Championships. We have brought our event to Naples for the past three years. Each year — working with the Naples, Marco Island and Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau — we have grown the number of athletes and parents participating, and each year they only give the highest marks to their experiences in Southwest Florida.

This year we are growing the event even further by adding 18 more teams. Without a facility like the proposed sports complex it is becoming an ever greater challenge to host the event in Collier County.

Douglas Berman, Rockaway, N.J. Chairman, All American Games

Zika prevention program

As a health care provider in Southwest Florida who has provided care for over seven years, I know firsthand that Planned Parenthood’s Southwest and Central Florida health centers are an irreplaceable resource for all members of our community, providing lifesaving health care to over 40,000 people each year including breast cancer screenings, birth control and sexually transmitted infections tests.

With experts forecasting an increase of Zika cases this year, it is critically important that we ensure all people — and especially women — understand the risks of Zika and methods of prevention. This month Planned Parenthood, along with Florida Gulf Coast University, launched a new research-based Zika prevention program that includes public service announcements, accessible information graphics and community education opportunities in English, Spanish and Creole focusing on protecting women who are most at risk of Zika-related complications.

Medical experts agree that family planning — including birth control, condoms and education — are foundational to combating Zika. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says family planning is the primary strategy for reducing Zikarelated pregnancy complications and our health centers provide family planning care to many who otherwise would have nowhere to turn.

We are a crucial part of the formula for keeping our communities healthy. Fifty-four percent of Planned Parenthood health centers are in health professional shortage

areas, rural or medically underserved areas. The well-being of millions of people depends on Planned Parenthood health centers across the country and we are honored to be playing a leading role in Zika prevention too.

Lauren Jacobsen, Naples