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It should have been unanimous

Thank you to councilors who voted affirmatively on the dispensary issue. 

On behalf of those who could not avail themselves of local help, and for those who at some future point will be able to visit a local dispensary, for your research, understanding, compassion, and even bravery, we extend our gratitude. 

A win against narcotics/opioids and a win for personal freedom in decision-making. 

Well done.  

It should have been unanimous, so if nothing else, the vote has also given Marco’s citizens a primer on how to vote when re-election time comes around. 

Thank you again!

Ray Netherwood/Marco Island

Deputies in Collier schools

I’m confused. For the eighth year in a row, the county’s taxable property value has increased, and if commissioners follow staff’s recommendation to leave the tax rate unchanged next year, revenue to the general fund is projected to increase by $17.8 million. (Source: “Collier County taxable value to increase for eighth straight year,” Naples Daily News, Thursday).

Yet after more than 40 years of paying 100 percent of the cost to have sheriff’s deputies assigned to our elementary, middle and high schools to maintain security on campus, our county commissioners decided that starting next year, they will pay just 50 percent, leaving the school district to come up with the approximately $3.3 million difference. (Source: “ 'A financial burden': Collier County wants schools to share cost of youth relations deputies,” Naples Daily News, June 7).

At the same time, the state Legislature, too, is siphoning money away from our public schools. Most recently, it diverted $130 million from revenues otherwise available for public education to a new private-education voucher program (SB 7070). And the Legislature limited public school funding further by requiring that any local school tax dollars be shared with private charter schools (HB 7123).

Why now, in a time of increasing school violence and concern for student safety, did our commissioners decide to cut support for such an important program?

Collier residents, let your voice be heard. Ask our county commissioners to reconsider their decision. Continue to fund 100 percent of the Sheriff’s Office Youth Relations Bureau — and keep deputies in Collier’s schools. Their contact information is at https://www.colliercountyfl.gov/your-government/divisions-a-e/board-of-county-commissioners.

Sandy Parker, East Naples

Trump's 'refusal to accept reality'

“I Yam what I yam what I yam”

This tautological phrase was the claim of Popeye the Sailor.  In some ways, it was a boast; in other ways, it was a lament. 

So it is with our current president, Donald Trump. His braggadocio, his penchant for distortions and lies, his ignorance or indifference to the consequences of his utterances and actions, his seeming unawareness in the face of dire and existential dangers such as global warming and human rights abuse are somehow but inexplicably even admired by some. 

The refusal to accept reality on the part of the president is testimony to the essence of a man who was raised in a value system that urged him to “win at any cost.”

This “ I win, you lose” imperative explains much about Trump’s willingness to play the field in his married life and to walk away when the going gets tough.

Indeed, it takes a charlatan to “stiff” creditors, to duck out of military service and to look the other way while white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers strut and demonstrate their venomous hatred.

Without a moral compass, it is no wonder that Donald Trump is adrift in a sea full of rocks and shoals. He is attracted to beacons emitted by some of the world’s worst demagogues — men such as Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Rodrigo Duterte. 

Under the best of circumstances, the world is a dangerous place. Careless words and precipitous actions carry consequences that history teaches us can lead to costly entanglements and even world wars. 

Red alert! We have an amoral, unhinged and dangerous occupant in the White House. Unfortunately, he “is what he is what he is.”

Robert P. Sanchez, Naples

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