Letters to the Editor, Dec. 28

Marco Eagle

Did not act in the best interests

Has the Marco Island Planning Board become a pawn and enabler of a large, powerful real estate developer? According to the official City of Marco Island website, the Planning Board’s focus "is to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors on Marco Island while managing growth and development and protecting the island’s tropical small-town character.”

Editorial cartoon

After attending the Marco Island Planning Board meeting on Dec. 7, it was apparent that the planning board did not act in the best interests of Marco Island residents. The planning board recommended that the City Council approve a zoning change to a planned unit development so that the developers could construct a large assisted living facility on the parcel of land located at the corner of Bald Eagle and San Marco Road. A great number of Marco residents had attended the meeting and pointed out numerous negative aspects to the project, but the planning board ignored the residents’ serious concerns and recommended that the City Council approve the development.

It is my sincere hope that the City Council will listen to the island’s residents and will vote “no” on this particularly planned unit development zoning change. The simple idea of such a large assisted living facility at the proposed location has already hurt property values in the area, while such a facility’s completion will generate significant traffic, noise, and a host of other negative consequences. Simply stated, this large assisted living facility does not “enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors on Marco Island.” Let’s strive to keep “the island’s tropical small-town character” for the benefit of residents and visitors without bending to the commercial interests of a large, powerful developer.

Jane Fotopoulos, Marco Island

Water quality/fertilizer ordinances

As a local Marco Island homeowner and avid gardener with a B.S. in Horticulture, I would like to express an opinion as to the current water quality/anti-fertilizer attitudes on Marco Island as expressed by the Marco Island City Council.

Starting with the oxymoron of wanting lots of “Greenspace” such as Veterans Park but not allowing the use of fertilizer for four months a year or more, doesn’t it seem like a prescription for just a brown, weedy space? Such poor horticultural practices give no ability to filter pollutants as would healthy grass and plants. Just how do our counselors reconcile this obviously impossible position?

Next, we homeowners are required by code to have lawn space and nicely groomed yards. Great! But then council proposes a ban on good maintenance practices. This yields a result of brown, half-dead, poorly fed lawns and swales which do not provide a filter for our waters!

Why not let our direction be governed by science, not politics? New, modern fertilizers are available in many forms which are tweaked by better bonding with the soil or by eliminating certain offending elements while preserving our ability to feed our plants and lawns without adding to our water quality crisis! Why not research these rather than pursue a knee-jerk no fertilizer policy?

Dead, weedy yards and swales will not save our waters. Oil and runoff from our roadways will only pollute more. And just how does our council propose to keep Veterans Park green and healthy with a major fertilizer ban?

The solution to our water quality crisis is the intelligent use of proper fertilizer(s) especially formulated for Marco Island’s unique environment.

Let’s follow the science folks-not the politics of the day.

Elliott Mascoop, Marco Island

Enough is enough

Hurricane Irma was over 15 months ago and it’s now time for the Marco Police Department and the Collier County Sheriff’s Department to enforce the traffic laws for the “Worker Bee’s” with their pickup trucks and vans that race around town; ignoring stop signs, speed limits and going through red lights.

Time to return to normal and return our safe, residential community back to the walkers, runners, bikers and drivers respecting the law.

Rich Kane, Marco Island

Weiss cares for patients

Doctor Allen Weiss, the president and CEO of NCH Healthcare System, is one of the most caring individuals you will ever meet. After triple bypass surgery that saved my life, Weiss waited in my recovery room until I awoke. Weiss cares.

At another time, my wife and I scheduled a meeting at his office. He greeted us in the hall and on the way to his office he proudly showed us an amazing, modern system where he is able to monitor how the emergency part of the hospital is handling patients. He was thrilled at knowing through his observation he knew patients were being handled properly. Weiss cares.

Lately, there has been much debate about a pilot program at NCH regarding hospitalists. The key word here is pilot. Only after studying the results of this program will Weiss and the board of directors at NCH know if it resulted in a better and more positive method than today’s outcomes in treating patients.

The definition of hospitalists from the Society of Hospitalist Medicine: “Physicians whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Their activities include patient care, teaching, research, and leadership related to hospital medicine.” Hospitalists are either internists, pediatricians, or family medicine physicians.

So, folks please understand that Weiss has your best interest at heart: he cares.

Irv Povlow, Marco Island

Hospitalists improve patient care

I read with great interest the controversy surrounding NCH Healthcare System and Dr. Allen Weiss, president and CEO. I work as a chief nursing officer in Oklahoma. I have vacationed in the Naples area for 30-plus years.

Employed physicians at a hospital are quite the norm throughout the USA. Most independent physicians don’t want to cover their patients 24/7 when they are admitted.

Secondly, many patients come to the emergency room without a physician. If they are admitted to the hospital, who cares for them? We cannot make physicians be at the hospital 24/7 when one might need them. So, hospital-employed physicians were created to provide coverage in the acute care setting. Many of them are “experts” at general medicine, or internal medicine. With the hospitalist physician on staff, care is provided 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

According to statements I’ve read, Weiss hasn’t denied private physicians from being in the hospital. He is asking them to consult with the doctor who is managing the patient’s care 24/7. The hospitalists are inhouse and able to put eyes on the patient at any time. When the nurse calls them, they know the patient because their service admitted him or her.

I don’t think NCH is not really trying to pull anything over on anyone. It is providing Naples residents good reliable care even when their private physician is out of town, sick, golfing or at a conference. I believe hospitalists improve care. I know hospitalist medicine is already happening across the USA. I am glad NCH is offering it for Naples residents.

Chris Ward, R.N., MSN, Allegan, Mich., and Marco Island