Letters to the Editor, Oct. 2

Marco Eagle

Anonymous emails sent by cowards

Many people have received negative emails about me. These emails were sent from the same “keyboard commandos” that sent thousands of emails during the 2016 City Council campaign to prevent me from getting elected. They succeeded. I ask you: “How well has this dysfunctional council worked for Marco Island?”

You may have seen an edited video of me discussing a proposed structure for the Veteran’s Community Park presenting the pros and cons for this project. At that time, I was the chairman of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and that agenda topic was passed along to me for “committee discussion.” I was simply doing my job … discussing. 

Editorial cartoon

We do not live in Nazi Germany, Communist Soviet Union, or repressed China! On Marco Island we should be able to discuss ideas and consider options without hysteria, innuendos or distortions. If the options are not viable, then end of that discussion. The City of Marco Island has established advisory committees and a Planning Board so that ideas can be discussed.

In the 2016 surveys and at recent public meetings, the majority of citizens expressed support for a band-shell, decent restrooms, shade trees, walking paths and perimeter parking, leaving the remainder of the property, (94 percent) as green-space. I supported this in 2016 as chairman of Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and will support it again in 2018 as your city councilor. 

For the record, I do not support buildings or parking structures on the park property.

Anonymous emails sent by cowards with snippets of videos taken out of context are smear campaigns.   They have no credibility, deserve zero interest, and zero of your time. 

Jerry Swiacki, Marco Island

Signs of the times

Recent Letter to the Editor writer, Mr. Bill Harris, boldly stated that the city of Marco Island shows favoritism to City Council candidates Swiacki, Richards and Young, by allowing them to place their campaign signs in the swales/right of way. 

He asks, why would anyone vote for a candidate who has no regard for laws, suggests that the candidates may break laws if elected, and states the candidates are lacking in character. Mr. Harris’s questions and comments are not correct. 

City of Marco Island Sign Ordinance 18-11 states that in residential districts, signs may be placed in the public right-of-way between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., 60 days prior to an election and seven days after. 

Rest easy Mr. Harris, you no longer need to be “deeply disturbed.” The City is not showing favoritism and the candidates are not breaking laws. It would be nice if you would inform your friends, apologize to the city, and apologize to the candidates for your uninformed, unkind, and incorrect accusations.  

Ray Seward, Marco Island

Candidate supports healthy waterways

I urge everyone on Marco Island to read the Naples Daily News’ Sept. 16 editorial in support of a fertilizer rules summit. I have been asking for this for two years in presentations to community groups.

My thoughts can be found on my website, www.votesamyoung.com. Conservancy of Southwest Florida President Rob Moher says, “Our economy, human health and our quality of life in Southwest Florida depend on the health of our waterways.”

This summer, I solicited support from three volunteer Marco Island committees to hold a joint workshop to review, revise and update our fertilizer ordinance: and then enforce it.

The Marco City Council should also review our stormwater management practices and current conveyance of untreated stormwater directly into our waterways through 1,800 outlets punched through sea walls and into our canal waters.

Healthy waterways have been the cornerstone of my campaign as a candidate for Marco Island City Council.

Sam Young, Marco Island

Young is natural resources advocate

Our waterways and beaches are the single most important asset we have. We take them for granted and that needs to change. Marco Island needs leadership that understands this and will work proactively to protect our natural resources.

This is why I am supporting Sam Young for the Marco Island City Council. As a charter fishing captain, a member of Marco Island’s Waterways Advisory Committee and with his background working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Marine Resource Education Programs, he has the extensive knowledge base that is sorely needed.

Young has immediate and long-term solutions to protect and restore our waterways.

Check out his website at www.voteSamYoung.com and learn about who he is and what he has to offer. You will come to the conclusion like I did that we need him on the council.

Our future depends on electing good people who understand what we are up against. On your ballots for the Nov. 6 election, you can vote for up to three candidates for City Council. Please join me in voting for Young as one of them.

David Rasmussen, Marco Island

Get all solar data first

In finally catching up, I read Jim Rogers’ letter regarding solar energy in the Aug. 30 edition. Rogers is highly active as an advocate for carbon-based electricity production in Southwest Florida and is on record as strongly opposed to subsidies provided to alternative energy technologies.

First, let me say that Rogers’ advocacy for investments in energy efficiency is to be admired, and an area in which we all should wish for more investment; the potential scope is huge, personally and publically.

What appears to be lacking in his subsidy calculations are the costs of carbonemissions. The permission to emit carbon gasses for free is in itself a giant subsidy for utilities. The facts are clear: The worst place in Florida for solar energy is betterthan the best place in Germany. That is an easy-to-remember aphorism. Even at that

relatively elevated latitude, even in mid-winter, European solar installations generate useful wattage.

How to put a price on carbon emissions? According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, 2016 energy-related carbon emissions nationally were 5.1 billion metric tons. European carbon futures (in essence, a license to pollute in Europe) had a recent spot price of 55 euros, or about $64 per metric ton. Lacking a credible U.S.based carbon market, using this figure, we get a value of $326 billion, or about $933 annually for each U.S. resident.

I have no philosophical objection to the desire for subsidy reduction, but let’s account for all inputs and outputs beforehand.

Andrew Tyler, Marco Island

Candidate forum to focus on education

Some may think that the only important vote on local educational issues would be for school board. They would be wrong! The school board makes policy decisions. The administration is responsible for daily Collier County Public Schools operations. But did you know that the school board and district are bound by and must follow state law? Legislators make decisions that affect Collier County’s children. The Coalition for Quality Public Education (C4QPE.org) is hosting a Candidate Forum for Florida House Districts 80 and 106, as well as Florida Senate District 28 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples, 6340 Napa Woods Way, on Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Voters should know candidates” views on the following topics, which will be explored:

  • Bundled legislation.
  • Charter schools.
  • Hope Scholarship (response to bullying).
  • Local vs. state control of public schools.
  • National ranking of Florida public schools.
  • Re-segregation of Florida public schools.
  • Schools of Hope (response to failing schools).
  • Selection of educational materials.
  • Tax credit scholarships.
  • Teacher recruitment and retention.
  • Unfunded mandates.
  • Universal Prekindergarten.

Please join us.

Beth Povlow, Marco Island

Supports Young

Devan Patel had a great article in the Sept. 25 edition of the Marco Eagle about a potential water quality workshop. I was especially impressed by seeing the great suggestions brought up by City Council candidate, Sam Young. Frankly, I wish he was already a sitting city councilor, because he clearly understands the steps that need to be taken to help our waterways.  

This election we have the opportunity to put people in office that truly care about protecting our natural resources. Ask yourselves what else really matters if our waters turn into toxic green sludge, our beautiful marine life dies and our beaches rot with festering fish carcasses? Our quality of life will be nonexistent in Marco Island.

We can't mess this up, folks. There are candidates running whose priorities seem to be putting hotels, office buildings and parking garages in Veteran's park.  We can elect them and see what little, remaining green space we have on the island destroyed, or we can elect candidates like Sam Young and Victor Rios that have a proven track record of working for real life solutions to protect our waterways and beaches. The choice should be very easy.

Donald Bonica, Marco Island

Perfect lawns environmentally harmful

I just have to have my designer lawn, like all my neighbors.

You know the type lawn I mean. Every blade perfect, no weeds or bugs. I will ensure this by using lots and lots of water, fertilizer and bug spray.

I like to sit back, with a cup of coffee and admire my perfect lawn.

Sometimes I ponder why we are having so much problems with red tide and pollution.

I'm too old and set in my way to change, my only hope is the new generation, coming out of school, will take up the cause and stop this madness.

John Nevelus, Marco Island

Liberty undermined

The pleasure of hearing Irving Berlin's music, especially “God Bless America,” in a recent presentation caused me to think about Berlin's relationship to America today. 

Berlin was the opposite of President Donald Trump - an immigrant, a Jew, a soldier.  He didn't divorce a wife.  He said, "I want to pay taxes. I love this country." 

Letters in this newspaper challenge us to listen to the most dishonest and retrograde "newscasters," such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. A letter-writer accuses the media of "trying to destroy this country." In truth, Trump told journalist Lesley Stahl that his aim is to "demean" and "discredit" reporters so that negative stories about him will not be believed. 

Many Trump supporters are not trying to improve our country by pointing out true defects. Their acceptance of Trump's lies does more damage than the lies themselves. With the continuing falsehoods, many citizens have lost or will lose faith in our governmental institutions and each other. This is the beginning of tyranny.

We have as president a sexual predator, an admirer of autocrats, a lover of falsehood, a megalomaniac.  He licks the boots of and absolves Evangelical Christians and other religious people of their prejudice, ignorance and fear by expressing those abhorrent qualities himself.  He takes the burden of them unto himself, much as Christian theology imagines Jesus as the bearer of peoples' sins.  Trump's religious followers simply intone unanimously "Amen."

Alexander Hamilton worried that those who have undermined liberties have started "by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants."  We are near the end stage of the denouement of our republic.

Robbins Winslow, Naples