Letters to the Editor, July 26

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Barking at the moon

Planning Board member Edgar Issler and his crew of NIMBYs (not in my back yard) should find a hobby. Mr. Issler and his fellow Planning Board colleague Joe Rola established a Political Action Committee to submit to voters a referendum to “ban recreational marijuana” on Marco Island. Pretty bizarre use of time considering recreational marijuana is already illegal federally and in the state of Florida. Gov. DeSantis said recreational cannabis won’t happen during his time in office.

Therefore, this proposed referendum reeks of big government overreach, and stoops to hysteria and fear-mongering while peddling false information. The group’s only real goal is to run around the island, and try to become relevant again. They thrive on conflict; they are some of the most negative people ever involved in our city’s politics. 

Has-been former city councilor Amadeo Petricca, who came in dead last in the 2016 election, joins former city councilor Bob Brown, a bitter obstructionist who held the city hostage for nearly two years by refusing to select a city manager. As soon as Brown was off the council and two new members were elected, a new manager was installed within a month. Regina Dayton is another familiar name to many. She has filed over six frivolous complaints and lawsuits against members of city staff and councilors and every single one of them has been dismissed. Her actions have cost the taxpayers nearly $200,000.

I will expose the other PAC members at a later date. It’s a shame they didn’t chose to use their time more wisely. Instead they’re chasing a nonexistent foe, barking at the moon, to ban something that is already illegal.

Alex Popoff, Marco Island

Are Marco’s beaches receiving their fair share?

Recently, you published my letter regarding water quality issues at the Tigertail lagoon. Since writing, I have done some follow-up work on county budgets and expenditures, and I believe these figures will be of interest to Marco residents.

First, Collier County collects Tourist Development Tax (TDT) dollars from both Naples and Marco Island. In the last three fiscal years (FY 19 is YTD) Naples has collected S25.4 million dollars and Marco Island has collected $25.1 million dollars; very nearly the same amount. During this same time period the county spent $6.5 million dollars on Naples beach re-nourishment but only $4.0 million dollars on Marco Island beaches. This seems unfair, especially since we are faced with deteriorating conditions at Tigertail lagoon.

Second, Let’s look at the beach visitation figures, again according to figures obtained from County sources.  For FY 2018 (October 2017 through September 2018) figures for total visitors to Tigertail show 521,123 people.  For South Beach access, figures show 230,706 people.  In summary Marco hosted three-quarters of a million pairs of feet through Marco Island County beach operations during FY 2018. You don’t need me to tell you: That’s a lot of feet on the Marco beaches!

I should also mention that my repeated attempts to solicit input from County officials responsible for formulating beach maintenance plans have yet to receive a reply.

I suggest that our residents need to hold County officials responsible for the financial imbalance and urge our city officials to work with the County to rectify the situation.  I would remind everyone that water quality issues at Tigertail are important for both human and wildlife activity; seeing the lagoon turn into a stagnant pool through political and physical inaction is unacceptable on many levels.

Andrew Tyler, Marco Island

Affordable housing in Collier

It's ironic that one of the front-page headlines of the July 21,1969, Daily News — “Low-Cost Housing Shortage Cited by HUD Official in Naples Visit” — is still relevant and still a major concern of Naples-area residents today. 

One would expect that Naples-area officials would have had more than enough time in 50 years to develop a plan of action that would have actually addressed the issue and rectified it by now.

Kathrine Drayton, Golden Gate

Median maintenance costs

Regarding your story on median maintenance costs: Anyone notice that the county is adding median greenery on Collier Boulevard from Golden Gate Boulevard north?

I’m sure the response will be that that project was already in the budget before the county decided they don’t have the budget for this stuff.

A fool and his money are soon parted.

William Wright, Golden Gate Estates 

A right to even hateful speech

I remember a period in my life when Tailgunner Joe reigned supreme, when as a college student I was afraid to sign petitions or protest. Our futures lay in the hands of the HUAAC (look it up), when free speech was a quaint appendage to the Constitution.

Today we are once again faced with this recurrence. There is much posturing and speech that I find hateful, anti-American and counter to my beliefs, but I share pride in my country that permits it.

We should never forget that hate and anti-Americanism is a right of free speech. Disagree, counter-protest, write, but each time take pride that this is the land of the free.

Marvin Geller, East Naples

Good economy, 'corrupt president'

A recent letter tried to shame those who want the president to show some morality, and referred to a thriving economy (helps me, I own stock; doesn’t help my neighbor struggling on Social Security) and is probably too young to remember that the Germans loved Hitler because he had a grand plan (MGGA) to restore Germany’s self esteem after losing World War I.

On our border, migrant children separated from their families, sleeping on concrete floors, hungry and untreated for illness, living in their own filth. Trump supporters cheering him on because these aren’t people like us. 

Anyway, we’ve got money, yay. Except Trump policies don’t help his supporters, and they don’t have money. But they forgive him because he says it’s OK to hate, and they love to hate. They think anger is leadership. And he will make our country white and Christian again.

I left the Christian church at 16 when I realized they marginalized women. I despise today’s version of faith: my way or die.

In any case, economic gains take years to develop after decisions are made, and I think Obama policies have contributed to economic health. But, don’t you worry, righteous writer, just go on defending a totally corrupt president. 

Harriet Stanton-Leaffer, Matlacha

Silence of GOP in Congress

Sen. Rubio, Sen. Scott and Rep. Rooney, why were you silent, and why did you not immediately condemn the racist comments of President Trump last weekend regarding the four minority women of the Democratic Party?

If you had minority daughters and granddaughters, or minority sons and grandsons, how would you feel and what would you tell them? If you had eight of those young Americans, human beings like you and me deserving equal respect, who were your granddaughters and grandsons like I have, would you tell them to go back to the disgusting places they came from?

Isn't America a place where all women and men, all girls and boys are created and treated equally? And don't we see all girls and boys, all women and men in the world as created and treated equally? Does not God see all boys and girls, all women and men, created and treated equally?

William Coughlan, East Naples

The economy under Trump

It was 981 days ago that the Democrats first started talking and planning to impeach the duly elected president of the United States, Donald J Trump.

In case you're not sure of that date, it was Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016 .

 It's time to get in step with the majority of legal US citizens who are happy with the economy, low unemployment, lower taxes and regulations and work with the president to continue making America great again. Stop whining about the election.

Democrats lost; get over it and get on with doing some constructive work in Congress to further benefit this great nation.

Donald Sporn, Naples

'Camouflaging' racism?

Three recent letters defended President Trump against the charge of racism.

One argued that the president is not racist because he insulted only 10 percent of women of color in the House. Relying on the same logic, anyone who kills a single individual in a full movie house is not a murderer, and anyone who burglarizes only one unit in a high-rise is not a thief.

It is not the number or percentage of targeted victims that determines whether someone is or is not racist. It is what one says and how one acts toward any single “other.”

Two additional letters exonerate Trump’s racist trope by claiming that it is merely “cultural bias” and that the president simply said, “If you don’t like this country, leave.”

Nice try. The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has cited those precise words as “workplace harassment” and “potentially unlawful conduct.”

Instead of camouflaging it, racism needs to be unmasked and called for what it is.

Michael Rubner, Naples