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Pier fishing and seabirds’ injuries

Stop the madness of pier-fishing induced seabird injuries.

During the past few weeks, the public has been presented with a variety of information regarding seabird injuries from fishing at the Naples Pier. Some injuries are truly accidental, but many are due to carelessness and ignorance. Experts have provided excellent advice, sharing their knowledge and expressing compassion for the animals, with suggestions such as using braided fishing lines, barb-less hooks, and having part-time resources at the Pier to help capture and transport injured birds to the Conservancy hospital for treatment.

More: Guest commentary: Capping a successful 2019; looking ahead

As a Conservancy hospital volunteer, I have experienced the seabird trauma first-hand. Often it is like a MASH unit; wounded birds are rushed in, assessed, and a treatment plan is created and enacted quickly. After many weeks of in-hospital care, some are released back into nature, but some die.

On two occasions, pelicans died in my arms while the vet tech tried to administer lifesaving treatment.

All of this could be avoided, thus freeing up hospital resources to help more needy wildlife.

After Hurricane Irma, while the Pier was closed for repairs and no fishing was allowed, there was no huge influx of injured seabirds needlessly suffering or dying.

Why then are people allowed to fish from the Pier? Is it because there is no need for a fishing license?

It is time to reconsider this practice and protect our wildlife from harm.

James Eby, Marco Island

Thank you for sharing

I am writing to thank Marco Island residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Because of the generosity of donors in Marco Island and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, collected more than 8.9 million shoebox gifts in 2019. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2019, the ministry is now sending 10,569,405 shoebox gifts to children worldwide.

Through shoeboxes — packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items — Marco Island volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories since 1993.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though drop-off locations serving Marco Island are closed until Nov. 16 – 23, 2020, information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/occ or by calling 407-273-6112.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project—many who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Dana Williams, Operation Christmas Child

Economy worth it?

I continue to monitor letters supporting Trump and am aghast at how they try to legitimize and provide data which they say proves Trump is the sole reason for such a wonderful state of affairs in the U.S.

Supporters have set aside honor, trust, sincerity and truthfulness for a robust economy. Is it a fair trade?

We have a man who has no sophisticated grasp of the important issues, no discipline in regard to exhaustive research when dealing with foreign policy, and he lies at the drop of a dime.

He is costing us a fortune while at the helm and spends more time at our expense doing unpresidential things like utilizing personal assets to draw away taxpayers’ dollars. No need to elaborate; the supporters know what I am talking about.

Trump suffers from a huge case of moral myopia between public service and personal gain.

I am ashamed of this president.

Dick Murphy, Golden Gate Estates

Blame for people killed?

A gun safe at home is left unlocked. A child removes a weapon and accidentally shoots and kills a sibling. Who is to blame?

Iran accidentally shoots down an airliner, kills all passengers and crew members. Who is to blame?

In the first instance, the parents will shoulder the blame and forever grieve.

In the second instance, 176 lives were lost, and there is one person who will never shoulder the blame or grieve.

Charles Stampfli, East Naples

Blame for people killed?

A gun safe at home is left unlocked. A child removes a weapon and accidentally shoots and kills a sibling. Who is to blame?

Iran accidentally shoots down an airliner, kills all passengers and crew members. Who is to blame?

In the first instance, the parents will shoulder the blame and forever grieve.

In the second instance, 176 lives were lost, and there is one person who will never shoulder the blame or grieve.

Charles Stampfli, East Naples

'Hate' Trump or love economy?

Democrat politicians and their adoring mass media have little on President Trump but their partisan hatred. Their three-year impeachment circus has done little besides destroying their credibility and filling the Republican 2020 campaign coffers.

If Americans would open their minds and concentrate on the president’s accomplishments, it should be widely celebrated that most are saving on gasoline and taxes, wages are up, inflation is low, the stock market is at record highs, retirement plans are growing nicely, unemployment is at a record low, the dollar is strong, American industry is returning, the military is being rejuvenated, border security is improving, long-standing trade inequities are being corrected and our free-enterprise economy is again the envy of the world.

One must also hate America if one wants this amazing progress to be reversed.

Robert A. Strohaver, East Naples

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