Letters to the Editor, April 2

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Sidewalks needed

We need to have sidewalks across all vacant lots on main streets.

I live off Landmark and walk my dog every day up Landmark, up San Marco, down Heathwood, down Winterberry, down Fieldstone and finish going up Landmark to Ironwood. The sidewalk on the western side of Landmark is very narrow, as is the sidewalk on the western and most of the eastern side of Heathwood. 

Bikers who mostly opt not to use the bike lane have literally run me off the sidewalk, which is very dangerous to them, to me and to my dog. On Landmark, I cross to the eastern side which has several vacant lots, forcing me to walk in the street. The Winterberry bridge is a horror; so narrow that it is hard for two walkers to pass. I don't understand why they didn't put wide sidewalks on that bridge when they renovated it.

Our sidewalks are very well used by walkers, dogs, families with strollers, runners, and, unfortunately, rude bikers. No one seems to get the concept that it is wise to call out when approaching a dog walker from behind. I keep my dog on a very short leash, but one slight step side-wise could cause a collision, dangerous to all. 

It is a danger to all who use these sidewalks not to complete them. 

Carol T. Martin, Marco Island

Teachers with guns?

Addressing school safety by arming teachers is a horrifying prospect.

As a retired elementary school teacher, I read the impassioned letter to the editor from a current Naples teacher, Cynthia Odierna. As I read, I thanked God that I no longer get up daily to teach in a school. I loved my work, but I never had to carry fear in my heart, praying each day for the safety of my school community.

What could go wrong if fellow teachers are armed?

Inadequate training — even full-time police officers are challenged in crisis encounters.

An armed teacher could be mistaken as an active shooter.

Gun accidents could harm innocent members of the school community.

An armed teacher in an angry confrontation with a troubled unarmed student could get violent.

And so much more.

Certainly, we need swift actions to keep our students and teachers safe. Powerful locks, sophisticated security systems, metal detectors, preventive mental health measures and highly trained security guards all could be part of the solution. Sensible public policy measures such as background checks and outlawing assault-style weaponry also would go a long way to help re-create a sense of security in our valued institutes of learning.

Our school campuses must continue to be places of sanctuary, joy and learning — not buildings that bring daily fear of gun violence.

Mary Porcino, East Naples

Same health plan Congress has

A Sunday NDN this month ran an interesting Pro/ Con article titled “Should America provide universal health care?” Relax, the purpose of this letter is not to promote one position over the other. The article’s title should have included at the end the words “for all.”

The one thing we can all be assured of is if a singlepayer government health care program ever is enacted, members of Congress will continue to be enrolled in their own exclusive super-duper health care program.

Having performed an informal, non-scientific survey, I have concluded there is uniform agreement that members of Congress should be on the very same health care program they prescribe for America’s electorate and uninvited non-voting guests from other countries.

Obviously, what I am proposing is hardly new or original. Everyone knows that left to it’s own devices, Congress will never impose such a limitation on itself.

However, perhaps there is a way to lend someencouragement to Congress if it ever undertakes to adopt a single-payer, one-size-fits-all health care plan totally controlled and run by Uncle Sam. Contrary to the common mantra that “the House controls the purse,” in reality we the people do. Therefore, what Iam proposing is voters should write their electedCongress-persons, placing them on notice that ifsuch a single-payer plan is enacted into law withoutall members of Congress being included in the same plan, we the people will withhold paying our income taxes until such time as Congress’ equal plan participation is ensured. If enough interested

voters join in this movement, everyone in the Land of Oz will get the message.

Bill Klug, East Naples