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How much you know

My dad once told me no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Successful politicians have mastered the counterfeit of empathy by kissing babies, patiently listening to hard luck stories from potential voters but they cannot fake the real thing.

Our giant clashing U.S. population are convinced they know more about pretty much everything with those who do not agree with them. We had a middle to balance once but identity politics by design has all but devoured the last middle.

In society, without a political middle, we’d be at each other’s throats with tribal viciousness. Are we there now? Political and religious tyrants are never satiated with submission. Totalitaian intent always finds criterion to divide and oppress by appearance and speech.

With healthy negotiations, pursuit of a sustainable middle ground can have a predictable result. Without this we have violence, force and war. When extremes rule bad things happen as history has shown us. Problems arise when parts of the extreme middle start to manipulate the rest of the middle and a tyrannical influence allows them without consequence to a high degree of political power as it serves their agenda.

Be careful showing tolerance to actions otherwise abhorrent but make allowances because it serves a brand of politics. Disaster is always at the end of the road.

In this Republic if you do not acknowledge the pursuit of happiness and the inherent God given, constitutional rights to live-free, then the firewalls of freedom are breached and we we’ll soon find ourselves in bondage as the riptides of fascism and division sweep across our country.

Walter R. Jaskiewicz, Marco Island

Please light our bridge

The first time my wife and I came to Marco Island, we marveled at the dramatic introduction to the amazing skyline of the city, as we crossed the crest of the beautiful S.S. Judge Jolley Bridge.

This graceful bridge, with its amazing view, provides a wonderful introduction to all who come to our island, to enjoy and to share this special place with us.

Unfortunately, the Jolley Bridge, that once sparkling entrance to our city, is no longer as attractive and meaningful, as it once was.

The two rows of warm and glowing lights, that guided our approach to

the brightly shimmering city of Marco Island in the evening and at night, are now dark. Only a handful of almost 40 lights, light up at night. The gateway to Marco has become unattractive and depressing. It feels as if the Jolley Bridge is in a sad state of neglect.

I don’t know who is responsible for maintaining this important landmark. Is it Marco or the county? I do know that our enjoyment of this once brightly shining architectural monument no longer makes us proud. It no longer illuminates our spirit, when coming home in the evening.

Not only our spirit, but even our property values takes a hit when a monument, like the Jolley Bridge, falls into neglect.

Irma is long gone, so we can’t blame her. I guess we can only blame

ourselves, and those we entrust with our taxes, to maintain our infrastructure and the beauty of our city.

Hans Weissgerber, Marco Island

Help to find missing kitty

Near the end of December, my dear kitty was among the missing. He is still among the missing, but not for lack of effort on the part of many here in Naples, starting with neighbors and friends who kept an eye out, allowed me to post notices on bulletin boards and referred his missing status to other agencies involved in pet rescue.

Lost Pet Finders of Collier County posted his picture in this newspaper and set up cameras in areas where “sightings” were noted.

Collier County Domestic Animal Services employees and volunteers were also extremely caring and helpful. I learned a lot about their mission through my visits several times a week. We are very lucky to have such an organization here in Collier County.

My sincerest thank you to all as I cling to hope, however slim that might be at this point.

Alice Tunney, East Naples

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