Letters to the Editor, September 7

Marco Eagle

Support Erik Brechnitz? Why should I? 

The short answer is because Marco Island deserves experience, success and a professional approach in all of its City Council members. Erik brings that. His experience managing client money, his seat on a  municipal council and as mayor in the Midwest, his role as a long-term Marco property owner and resident, his seat as chair of the Marco Planning Board – all these experiences make him an excellent qualified candidate for Marco City Council. 

Editorial cartoon

What do we need more of on Marco's council? Most residents have their own ideas. Civility to staff, other residents and other council members. Someone who can organize and stay on meeting agendas and timelines. Someone aware of issues on Marco and with relevant experience to reference for potential solutions. Someone prepared for the meetings, having read staff reports and met with residents. Someone who naturally looks for efficiencies in cost to provide municipal services. One who is ready to reach out and work cooperatively with interlocal agreements.

We have some good council members. We need more. Erik Brechnitz is one we residents should elect.

Paul Tateo, Marco Island

Weed pulling arrest unnecessary

Arresting an upstanding citizen of our community for cleaning weeds out of the lake at Mackle Park is a total embarrassment.

Rocky Cale has been an active participant in community programs, donating many hours to improve the community. In particular, he is the head of the community sailing program, teaching our kids how to sail and how to be safe on the water.

Samantha Malloy should have been able to handle this minor issue intelligently instead of reporting Cale to the state authorities and having him arrested. As park commissioner, she should have had the weed problem taken care of before it became a problem for our community members to use our lovely parks.

Ken Bardon, Marco Island Commodore, Sailing Association of Marco Island

Jury duty a privilege

As I am now a veteran of jury duty in Collier County, having recently served, I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge what an overall beneficial experience it was.

Clearly, my fellow jurors and I were entrusted with a decision that was to impact the individual on trial. None of us took this matter lightly and we were consistently aware of the attention to detail required of the facts presented and the sense of fairness and respect required both to this individual and the process.

One of the most unique aspects was interacting with five uniquely different people I had never before met with whom a very positive relationship was established at the conclusion of our deliberations. I must also commend specifically County Judge Robert Crown, who exhibited both personal kindness and professional knowledge in his dealings with all of us in his courtroom. I’ve had difficult and frustrating experiences with what I considered to be an imperfect legal system in the past, but my participation reaffirmed how fortunate we are to have this judicial system available to us.

Let me assure you that for several reasons I did not initially welcome my summons to jury duty; however, I now do clearly understand what a necessity and privilege of our democracy this service is and encourage my fellow citizens to view it as such.

Regina L. Dayton, Marco Island

Meds not always the answer

Medications are never a substitute for good parenting. As the summer days pass and the thoughts of children returning to school fill my mind once again, the idea of more kids diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety and depression also does. Then as we see the smiles on their faces extinguished by medications and their little bodies left overstimulated or tranquilized like elephants on the Serengeti, I have to ask our society, why?

As a mobile crisis team clinician, I have seen my share of 6-year-olds being robbed of their human rights to be who they are. If who they are is truly so unacceptable, then maybe we must first examine who we are.

Lance McCormack, Marco Island

Stand behind elected officials

There you go again. Recognize that phrase? It was spoken during the 1980 presidential debate by Ronald Reagan to Jimmy Carter.

Let me say up front that I voted for U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney. Like so many other elected officials, he has had victories and defeats since being voted into office. But for the life of me, with all of his efforts to deliver on his promises, I keep reading in this section letters with so many negative messages, I am beginning to wonder if there is an organized effort to paint him in a bad light.

It is so easy for us who chose to sit on the sidelines to find things to complain about. We all do it at one time or another. Sporting events, political campaigns, federal/state/city governments, home repairman, police departments — we complain about how others are not doing their jobs. Yet how many of us actually step up to run for office, volunteer to be a coach or sign up to help our first responders?

Too many of us elect to register our dissatisfaction publicly by submitting letters with no chance of rebuttal from theaccused. I asked the congressman’s office to shed light on his positive steps to

deliver on his campaign promises. A short list of his accomplishments includes introducing legislation to institute term limits and HR 4770 opposing offshore drilling, securing over $500 million for important Everglades restoration projects, introduced the current Employee Representation Act for workforce reform, and more.

So, I suggest setting aside your personal biases and getting behind all of our elected representatives to help them deliver on their promises. They need our help.

Keith Dameron, Marco Island

Obama set stage for recovery

President Donald Trump and his supporters are boasting about the expanding economy, citing job creation, the unemployment rate, economic growth (gross domestic product), fewer food stamp recipients, among others. These soothsayers are blind to see that all these economic indicators are following the trajectory set by President Barack Obama’s administration and some of them are even headed in the wrong direction.

Trump was elated to know that the GDP growth rate was 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018 and termed this as “amazing.” U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data show that, under Obama, the growth rate was above this rate at least four times: 5.1 percent, 2014, second quarter; 4.9 percent, 2014, third quarter; 4.7 percent, 2011, fourth quarter, and 4.5 percent, 2009, fourth quarter.

Average monthly job creation (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics) during the first year of Trump’s administration was 171,000, below Obama’s last six years, where the monthly average exceeded 174,000.

Under Obama, the unemployment rate (Source: BLS) dropped to 4.8 percent from 9.6 percent, whereas in Trump’s first year, it dropped to 4.1 percent from 4.8 percent.

Average real weekly earnings (Source: BLS) were up by 4 percent under Obama, whereas they were up by only 1.1 percent in Trump’s first year.

Food stamp recipients were up by 33 percent during Obama’s eight years in office, whereas they were up by 6.9 percent in the Trump’s first year.

The number of people lacking health insurance dropped by 15.2 million during the Obama years, whereas the number was increased (Gallup poll) to 3.2 million in Trump’s first year.

U.S. crude oil production was up by 77 percent during the Obama years, whereas it was up by merely 5.8 percent in Trump’s first year.

Mukhtar M. Ali, Marco Island

Limit Trump to one term

Do we really have to withstand and put up with continued effrontery from those misguided supporters of President Donald Trump (to this day!) who can’t see what this boob means to this country.

They go ahead, as a recent letter writer did, and actually think his tweets, his press conferences and his speeches are coming from a well-groomed, intelligent orator when most think he would have a tough time communicating with a fourth-grader.

We have put aside exemplification and exemplary behavior we would expect to come from the president for one who exercises spavined excuses when he tries to be exegetical in his speeches.

Our forefathers are turning in their graves. What have we come to here? Do we sacrifice what our founders wanted the world to see in our leaders for a man who is anomalous, churlish, perturbational and downright stupid when it comes to the presidency?

I am voting Democrat if only to rid this world of the likes of Trump.

Abraham Lincoln’s campaign managers fostered the young to vote during his run for president. The “Wide Awakes” as they were soon to be called, were urged to vote to make a change. We need the young to get out there and vote. One term and one term only for Trump. Let’s make America great again.

Dick Murphy, Golden Gate Estates

Saving golf course will benefit county

As a resident of The Pars, a community surrounded by the Golden Gate golf course, I am heartsick over the possibility of a large housing development being built on that property.

Not only will it spoil the beautiful views out our windows, but also adversely affect all the residents in single- family homes that border the golf course. It will increase traffic along 44th Street Southwest, Golden Gate Parkway and Collier Boulevard, creating a more dangerous environment for the children who live and go to school nearby who regularly walk and cross the street there.

Additionally, it will have a negative impact on the value of the properties that the golf course surrounds and abuts.

Lastly, the surrounding residents and the community will benefit from the open space. As a municipal course, it would be available to all the residents of Naples, many of whom do not live in private golf course communities. It can be used by local high schools and could be a great facility to foster and grow the junior golf programs in the area. Junior golf programs do more than just teach golf. These programs teach, through golf, many of life’s lessons such as honesty, fair play, community and sportsmanship. Kids will learn a game they can love for an entire lifetime and most of all they will have fun.

I hope that all the county commissioners will support the idea of purchasing the Golden Gate golf course because once open land like this is developed you can never get it back.

Frank Esposito, Golden Gate

Preserve slice of paradise

I am a 67-year-old resident of The Pars condominiums that are surrounded by the golf course located on Collier Boulevard and Golden Gate Parkway, formerly known as the Golden Gate Country Club. I would like to add my voice in support of the county commissioners efforts to purchase the golf course from its current owners and prevent the sale to developers who would build more housing and eliminate our green space.

As a lifelong Detroiter, I know a little something about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Florida is known for its beautiful environment in both lush greenery and pristine waters. I have only lived in Naples full-time for about five years and am disturbed to see the deterioration of both green spaces and water quality. Flooding of some areas also seems to be a problem.

As a younger man, I heard a song with the refrain, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

This golf course supports a lot of wildlife including bald eagles, ducks and fish. It absorbs tremendous amounts of rainfall. Flooding (even during Hurricane Irma ) has never occurred. It is one of the few green spaces in Golden Gate.

I support Collier County commissioners’ efforts to purchase and preserve this little piece of paradise.

John Lewis, Golden Gate

This church is like family

According to experts, regular church worship leads to a longer, healthier life. A recent striking discovery is that going to church weekly is good for you. Attending services regularly — any denomination — can add quality years to your life.

Regular churchgoers are healthier, have less depression, better achieve their goals and lessen their risk of dementia compared to nonchurchgoers.

Knowing this, when I relocated to Golden Gate Estates, a stranger to the community, my priority was to find a church home. With so many churches, I thought it would be easy to find one to connect with.

I was wrong. Sunday after Sunday, I tried new churches, including the small churchwhere no one noticed me or spoke to me, though the sermon was, “We need to grow our denomination.” Yet, I walked in and outwith no one noticing. I tried a large church.Same thing. And several more with similar results. They all left me cold with no desire to return. And all were a distance

from my home in the Estates. I was discouraged, ready to give up.

Then Google led me to “churches near me,” where I found Rock of Refuge Church at Sabal Palm Elementary School on 18th Avenue Northeast. Thanks to Pastor Israel and Ana Caraza, I’ve found a warm welcome and a family at Rock of Refuge. I’m so thankful for this wonderful community here in the Estates.

Barbara Pierce, Golden Gate Estates