Letters to the Editor, August 31

Marco Eagle

Names should have been omitted

As a former writer, I was deeply impressed with the in-depth investigative journalism of Devan Patel on the sex scandal of the Marco Island Police Department. I am a staunch supporter of the First Amendment and the public's right to know.

Having said that, I thought it was poor form to mention the officers’ names in print. There are two primary reasons for this:

Editorial cartoon

While it certainly appears that the officers are guilty based on the content of the piece, in this country, according to the Constitution, a person is deemed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. However, based on modern mores and values, these type of charges alone are enough to brand a person for life. 

No cases were more egregious than the cases brought against numerous nursery schools in the '90s by overzealous prosecutors and social service personnel. A majority of these cases were thrown out years later after falsely accused perpetrators were exonerated after years in jail. Unfortunately, the accused are branded for life.

Perhaps more important is the embarrassment, suffering, and humiliation borne by the spouses and children of the accused. The rumor mill will announce these folks soon enough, but to announce their names in the local paper ensures they will have no peace at all. Let us look only to the Golden Rule before we make these types of decisions.

Frank J. Keefer Jr., Marco Island

Equal pay would cut poverty rate

Sunday, Aug, 26, was Women’s Equality Day, commemorating the ratification 98 years ago of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. 

Unfortunately, we cannot celebrate real equality for women because women continue to be significantly underrepresented in elective offices and continue to suffer serious pay disparities. The 2018 American Association of University Women Inc. report, “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap,” documents that women working full-time are paid just 80 percent of what men are paid, on average. (Florida does better at 87 percent.) The disparities are greater for Hispanic and black women. At the current rate of progress, the earliest any women will achieve pay equality with white men will be 2119.

Many women must work to support their families. Paying women equally with men would cut the poverty rate for all working women in half, and cut the higher poverty rate for working single mothers from 28.9 percent to 14.5 percent (Pay Equity & Discrimination, Poverty and the Social Safety Net, Briefing Paper I.D. #C455, Institute for Women’s Policy Research 2017).

Beyond research, AAUW works to end the gender pay gap by: 

  • Asking employers to conduct salary audits to monitor and address gender-based pay differences;
  • Advocating for legislation, such as The Pay Equity for All Act (H.R. 2418), which would prohibit employers’ use of salary history to determine future pay.
  • Offering salary negotiation workshops to empower women to advocate for themselves about salary, benefits and promotions.

It is time to make equality for women a reality. 

Laura A. Candris, J.D., Naples; President, AAUW Greater Naples Branch

Energy efficiency best for Florida homes

Naples, and Florida in general, is not a favorable place for solar energy systems.

A typical summer day here starts out sunny but soon becomes cloudy and it rains, which not good for solar.  For more on this, Google “Commentary: Florida’s Solar Energy, Myths v Reality.”

Also, Florida does not have the state tax credits and utility rebates of other states. I believe that is good and one reason why our electric rates are less than in states that require taxpayers and ratepayers to subsidize solar projects. Also, Florida’s rapid growth provides opportunities for our utilities to construct new, high-efficiency generating plants that use clean, abundant and cheap natural gas. That helps keep our electric rates low.

The only Florida solar projects that make any sense are those built by the utilities themselves. They can produce power for much less than rooftop solar because they are large installations that benefit from economies of scale, are located near grid substations and are often sited near gas-fired generation and batteries that provide backup when the solar energy production is low.

Most solar zealots are misinformed about the benefits of solar power. One solar project cited by Naples Daily News reporter Lisa Conley in her Aug. 10 article had a 17.7-year payback. There is no guarantee the systems will even last that long. 

If you really want to help the environment, spend your money on improving energy efficiency. A more efficient air conditioner, better-insulated buildings, a variable frequency drive on pool and irrigation pumps, and LED lighting all save twice the energy, per dollar spent, than the solar projects will produce. Every dollar spent on solar could have produced twice as much carbon dioxide reduction if spent on improving energy efficiency instead.

Jim Rogers, Naples