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Let the voters decide

The referendum process has long been part of our Ggovernmental process. It is a vehicle for voters to initiate and vote on an issue, independent from politicians and governmental bureaucracy.

Regarding legalization of recreational marijuana, our Florida governor and state legislature have rightfully (in my opinion) opposed the passage of any legislation. But Beware! There are well-funded groups in the state that are using the referendum process to get the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana on the 2020 or 2022 Ballot.

Statewide, this issue represents 100’s of millions of dollars to big money backers of this referendum. Their budget for advertising is limitless. We should and must do something to protect our community in advance of this inevitability.

We are close to our referendum requirement to get this issue on the August 2020 ballot. We ask each and every registered voter to fill out and sign the petition and send it to: brm_pac, P.O. Box 1310, Marco Island, FL 34146. Or, drop it off at Professional Dry Cleaners in the Hoot’s Plaza on Elkcam.

If you require a petition, email us at brm_pac@yahoo.com

Ed Issler, Marco Island

Pickleball court fees

East Naples Community Park — what a wonderful exceptional facility. I have been playing pickleball there for six years and marvel how it has transitioned into a world-class facility, at the same time allowing hundreds of us to enjoy playing there.

Pickleball Enterprises, under the helm of Jim Ludwig, has created an environment for fun play without unnecessary bureaucratic oversight. I doubt it could be run better.

I am amazed about the controversy over the rate increase — $100 for a season pass is such a deal. In New Hampshire, we have three inside courts and six outside. Fees are $200 annually, $2 drop in.

To maintain the quality Jim provides, including decent wages for his employees, I feel the fee increase is totally warranted. Where else can one find such quality at such a rate?

I agree with a two-tier rate for residents vs. non residents. I am a snowbird and feel taxpaying residents certainly deserve a break.

I played today and there were over 75 playing at the twelve 3.0 courts. The other 40 courts must have had over 100 playing at them. Just another normal fun day at East Naples Community Park.

Steve Riggs, East Naples

United Way’s county combinations

I was very surprised to see United Way Collier had merged with Key West, with 270 road miles between the organizations.

The reason for a merger of this kind should be so the agencies can be better served. I did not see that anywhere in the announcement. It was noted that another layer of overhead was established to handle the consolidation.

United Way Lee, which includes Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties, is 50 miles away. I have been a member of Lee for years; it is a dynamic organization with an annual goal of close to $11 Million. The combined goal of Collier and Key West will be half that.

A United Way of Southwest Florida would just make a lot more sense. A consolidation of Lee and Collier would result in a substantial reduction in administrative and fundraising expenses and better serve member agencies.

Brad Scribner, East Naples

Higher education for women

The Marco Island chapter of P.E.O. International recently held its first major event — a gala — to honor an outstanding local woman and raise money to support higher education for women.

It was successful beyond our expectations, thanks to the generous support of local businesses and individuals in the Marco-Naples area.

Our Feb. 5 Dining by Design for Education honored tireless Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala and raised thousands of dollars that will be awarded to women, including high school seniors, in the form of scholarships, low-cost loans and grants.

We owe thanks to West Home Collection, Naples; our Star Sponsors Mary Ann Tittle and Darcie Guerin for the Jennifer Riordan Foundation, and our other wonderful Tablescape designers.

We also want to thank the scores of local residents and visitors who purchased tickets to the first of what we expect to become an exciting — and gratifying — annual event on Marco Island.

(From the Ways and Means chair, Chapter GT P.E.O. International.) 

Georgiana Matz, Fiddler’s Creek

Get help to clean Florida’s water?

Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani made a valid point in his guest column on the need for bold action by the Florida Legislature on water quality. Politics have diminished efforts to clean our water by diluting the effectiveness of policies and legislation.

Out-of-state experts are needed to review policies and enact compliance criteria, since their futures will not be affected by Florida politics. This step is essential to ensure clean water for Floridians.

Dorothy S. Kuzneski, Naples

To pay teachers more, OK gambling?

On Feb. 10, the Naples Daily News covered our Legislature considering pay increases for state workers and teachers. There would be plenty of money for these raises and plenty left over if Florida would pursue sports gambling like most other states. Billions are gambled illegally — what is the problem?

James Cavanagh, Naples

More: Letters to the Editor, Feb. 14

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