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Kill 'invading' iguanas?

It’s important to remember that animals such as the iguanas and pythons “invading” Florida were once “pets,” dumped when the novelty wore off. They are here through no fault of their own and should be dealt with humanely.

Startling people and eating plants surely shouldn’t be cause for a death sentence. In general, iguanas want to stay away from you as much as you want to stay away from them.

Make your property unappealing to iguanas. There are many plants and ornamentals that iguanas do not eat. If you have fruit trees, don’t let dropped fruit stay on the ground. Make sure your screens are secure and undamaged. Keep brushy areas where iguanas like to nest to a minimum. Hang cheap CDs as wind chimes from trees or prized plants (the reflective surfaces often scare iguanas away).

Nonlethal deterrent sprays are available at hardware stores. Living in harmony with free-roaming iguanas is possible without having to blast them to smithereens.

Jennifer O’Connor, Norfolk, Va.; PETA Foundation

Tax dollars ‘wasted’ on Fourth

I am writing (July 3) to complain about the careless wasting of taxpayers’ money for the president’s military salute to himself on July Fourth. He is diverting millions of dollars of park funds, rolling in tanks, giving VIP access to GOP donors, politicizing a nonpartisan event, etc.

The GOP used to represent the kind of fiscal conservatism that attracted me in the first place. Things like responsible stewardship of tax dollars and trying to at least look like the budget is being balanced seem like ideas of the distant past.

Diverting tax money to finance this kind of nonsense has got to be illegal. We certainly can make better use of the money elsewhere. Yet, I notice the president is getting away with it all and suffering no consequences and almost no push-back from Congress. Francis Rooney, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott need to step up and do their jobs protecting my hard-earned money and making sure it is spent more appropriately for the public benefit.

Gloria Garber, East Naples

Betsy Ross flag and Nike

July Fourth made me think about the Betsy Ross flag issue and the 13 colonies, without which we would not celebrate this great day.

Without the brilliant minds of Thomas Jefferson and Quincy Adams and others, we would not have the “Declaration of Independence” and our unparalleled Constitution. Without the thousands of patriots, including George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, who were willing to lay down their lives against the largest military force at that time, we would not have our freedom and way of life that is America.

All national histories are messy, and none of us are proud of all of it, like slavery; but warts and all, America is the greatest country in the world. You never hear of thousands of people wanting to emigrate to Russia or China; but they do to the USA.

I wish Nike would have thought about all that before stepping on the Betsy Ross flag and the 13 colonies.

Stefan R. Bothe, legal immigrant and citizen, Naples

'Disappointing' parade 

What a disappointing Fourth of July parade this year. I only saw the first 40 minutes, but all it was  car after car of local people walking dressed in a little bit of red, white and blue. There was very little that resembles a parade.

The only good part was when the police and the servicemen came through with the flags.

The last straw for me was seeing someone passing out car stickers with the name Trump and a whole display that someone in the Trump camp must have put together to promote Trump. I thought it was disgraceful at a parade that’s for the unity of our country.

He has bred such disrespect and hatred in this country — kissing up to dictators who randomly kill their citizens over any opposition. I feel like he is trying to lead this country into fascism. He is slowly eroding our Constitution and our beliefs. I could go on and on with the negatives ... anyway, my day was ruined.

Annette DiPaolo, East Naples

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