Letters to the Editor, Dec. 12

Marco Eagle

Stormwater ordinance needed

It’s incredible that in the wake of Hurricane Irma a stormwater ordinance cannot get passed.

Marco Island’s total area is less than 23 square miles, 10.5 miles of which are water (mostly existing in canals, where expensive waterside properties lie adjacent). Considering that most of Marco Island is at sea level, it’s amazing we didn’t have more damage from this hurricane.

Let us not take our luck for granted again; as the years pass, we are seeing more and more destructive hurricanes. Next time, we may not be so fortunate. Something needs to be done to prepare for another extreme flood.

While Marco Island is a tropical paradise, we do not exist outside the laws of nature. I was raised on the island; it is my home. As someone with a degree in soil and water sciences, I plead that something be done, and applaud those who supported the ordinance.

Kayci Kowalski, Marco Island

Editorial cartoon


Restore civility to free speech

Today, in this country, there is too much incivility. It exists and festers, especially in social media and politics.

Where and when did so many Americans make the devastating U-turn that confuses freedom of speech with freedom to be rude, crude, mean, hurtful or brutal without accountability?

As children, we were taught to behave respectfully to everyone. Common sense

said unkind words should never be spoken in public, a professional setting or at home. It was referred to as “respect for others.”

I support that the concept of freedom of speech is the right to have our speech protected, but not when it deliberately denotes ill will. Today freedom of speech, especially in social media, reflects the right of users to slander, mock, bully and hurl unconscionable words of hate at those unlike themselves. Where is the common respect to promote civility?

Outright lies or veiled insults flood public airways. Common courtesy and respect for others are no longer being practiced.

In America, this type of behavior has struck a new low and our national leadership is leading the pack. This behavior is not acceptable in business, politics, public service or at home.

Compassion is at its lowest level in faceto- face conversations, social media, texting, messaging and blogs. We are split as a country. We vote by party rather than by a person’s character, ability, intelligence, dignity and good behavior.

As Americans, we should not disparage anyone of any race, religion or color.

How do we begin to encourage the change back to civility? Let it begin with a clear conscience and words that become effective through civility. Let it begin with each and every one of us.

Coral “Corky” Miller, Marco Island

Disagrees with commentary on schools

As a retired Collier County Public Schools high school teacher who had many diverse and, often times, difficult, needy and or troubled students, I must take exception to Byron Donalds’ guest commentary, headlined “Collier County School Board makes the wrong call.”

When addressing the “success” of charter schools and the Schools of Hope in House Bill 7069, Donalds does not address those charters that have failed. When they do fail, the affected students will re-enter the public school system at a social and educational disadvantage while the charter school administration walks away unscathed after having funneled our tax dollars from the very system they claim to fix.

Nor does he address the fact that, despite claims to the contrary, these schools get to pick who attends using methods such as not providing transportation and the ability to “un-invite” troubled students. Like any failed business, charter companies and for-profit schools can close their doors while the “products” of their business are filtered back into the public school system that needed those tax dollars in the first place.

I applaud my former employer for joining the HB 7069 lawsuit in the hope that we, as the public, will honor and support the desire to educate all students.

Charles Freydberg, Naples