Letters to the Editor, March 20

Marco Eagle

Don’t hamper ambulance personnel

Had I been aware of the restrictions that Collier County has placed on the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department ambulance personnel, my decision to relocate to Marco Island would have been certainly been different.

As a retired firefighter, I have 23 years of experience responding to emergency situations. During my tenure, I attained a bachelor’s degree in fire science management from Southern Illinois University. Coupling experience with education has given me an insight into proper emergency tactics and procedures.

The handcuffing of first on the scene ambulance personnel flies in the face of all the training and experiences that I have encountered in my career. To be required to merely render what amounts to be first aid until another ambulance from another town arrives is unacceptable. Let’s not forget that Marco Island has limited access.

Editorial cartoon

The removal of the ambulances during the recent hurricane strengthens my concern.

The residents of Marco Island, both seasonal and permanent, deserve protection and prompt medical service. Assessing the medical needs required to address the emergency and applying the procedures needed to alleviate the emergency is the goal. Politics needs to butt out!

Lawrence Miller, Marco Island

For smarter laws

Why ban straws on the beach when plastic cups are a much bigger problem? I’m just saying I’m for smarter laws.

Lynn Greenling, Naples

Vote for quality board members

As a former school board member and teacher, I am deeply committed to public education. Indeed, at the very foundation of our democracy is public education. It is a public good provided by the community — through taxpayer funding — to all the children of the community.

It is the system that America has chosen to teach all children what they need to know, including what they need to prepare for college or a career. Equally important, it is the way that we teach them how to live together as informed, responsible citizens of an ever-changing, global society.

In public schools, students learn the history of our country and their duty to participate actively in maintaining the values for which we stand, including the equality of and freedoms bestowed on all persons as described in foundational documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Beyond the curriculum, students learn through experience how diverse people can live together effectively and harmoniously, resolving conflicts and collaborating to work for the common good.

I am proud of the Collier County Public School (CCPS) system, its diversity of students and programs, achievements in many arenas and recent record of significant improvement on multiple measures. Public education generally and CCPS specifically deserve our support.

One of the most important ways to show our support is to elect talented and dedicated school board members who believe deeply in public education and will fight to ensure that every student is supported in learning and growing to reach his or her potential. We have an opportunity to elect three school board members in August.

Vote and remind others to do the same.

Sharon Harris-Ewing, Naples

Let people vote on daylight saving

I, for one, am absolutely amazed that not only the governor, but the state House and state Senate would try to cram down our throats this idea of a permanent, year-round, daylight saving time for Florida.

If there ever was a proposition that should be put to a statewide vote by the people.

Just the thought of being out of sync with the entire eastern U.S., airline schedules in and out of Florida, the list goes on.

What in the world are those daydreamers up in the Panhandle thinking? Let’s find out first if this is what a majority of people in Florida really want. OK, Gov. Rick Scott?

Donn Pinkney, Naples

Attend program on state constitutional change

Did you know that Florida is one of 38 states with a clause in the state constitution that forbids the use of public funds, directly or indirectly, for religious purposes?

The “No-Aid Clause” (Article 1, Section 3) goes back to the 1870s, when President Ulysses S. Grant wanted the same language added to the federal Constitution. Florida tested whether that language should remain several times, lastly in 2012 when voters determined that public funds should be used only for public purposes, not religion. 

During the past few months, you have heard about something called the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC).

One of its chief goals is to remove Article 1, Section 3 (the “No-Aid Clause) from the Florida Constitution. What you probably don’t know about the CRC is that Florida is the only state in the union to have one. And despite what you hear about “religious freedom” and “discrimination against religion,” the real goal of the CRC is to eliminate the “No-Aid Clause” so Florida can expand its voucher program and getting more public tax dollars to religious schools. That is the purpose, the rest is junk.

Americans United for Separation of Church & State is a nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.

On March 21, the Greater Naples Chapter will present a program titled “Public Funds for Religious Purposes?” It will begin with a 6 p.m. reception in Thomas Hall, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6340 Napa Woods Way, Naples. 

See us on Facebook — au-naples or visit our website — www.au-naples.org. For more information, call 609-647-1343.

Bill Korson, Naples