Letters to the editor, June 5
Responding to chairman Erik Brechnitz
As the President of Marco Island Civic Association Board of Directors, I would like to address statements made at this past City Council Meeting on Monday. When City Council discussed holding an abbreviated format of fireworks on July 4th, Council Chair Erik Brechnitz misstated MICA’s position regarding the fireworks.
The MICA Board of Directors had a discussion and made the difficult decision that it would not be hosting its annual July Fourth Celebration this year due to the COVID-19 situation. MICA sent a letter to City Council on May 8, advising them of the decision and outlining the concerns it had with the sheer number of people who typically gather, especially to watch the fireworks.
Chairman Brechnitz stated that it was unfortunate that an unelected body and director could make a determination for the City of Marco Island. First, the MICA Board of Directors is elected by its members and is responsible to its members to make decisions as to the safety, enjoyment, and cleanliness of our properties, i.e., Marco Island Residents’ Beach and Sarazen Park. Secondly, MICA made no decisions for the City of Marco Island.
The continued concern with the unknowns of the Corona Virus has given us all pause.
Neighboring communities and counties have not yet opened their beaches; restaurants are just at 50% capacity; and July Fourth fireworks displays have been canceled almost everywhere. As explained in an email to City Council on June 1, offering an abbreviated fireworks display will still attract out-of-towners and bring at least, if not more than, 5,000 people to our beachfront, thereby creating a gridlock with all of those people exiting via a few narrow walkways. A 12 minute display versus a 25 minute display – no difference to people looking to attend a fireworks show.
MICA wishes to thank the City Council for its continued mutual cooperation with our organization. We certainly hope in the very near future our difficulties with the virus, red tide, and other issues will be resolved, and we can all go back to enjoying the Paradise where we live!
Study up on fertilizer ban
Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island was founded in 1982, a time when there were fewer than 6,000 residents on Marco Island. One of Calusa Garden Club’s founding principles in 1982 was protection of the environment. Now, in 2020, with Marco Island’s population of over 17,000 permanent residents, plus part time residents and vacationers, the stress on our island’s natural habitat had increased exponentially.
In February, one of our club members and past presidents, Sue Oldershaw, spoke to Marco Island City Council about our city’s water quality report. Our waterways are polluted with high nutrient levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and chlorophyll. We, the Marco Island residents, are to blame --- and we can start now to change this water emergency.
A major cause of the water problem is the existence of many, many home and condominium landscapes with grass lawns and non-Florida friendly plants that need fertilizer. That fertilizer is washed directly into our waterways from our seawalls and through our stormwater drainage system. If our home and condominium landscapes were planted with Florida-friendly, regionally appropriate plants, fertilizer would not be necessary and, as an added bonus, the need for irrigation would be drastically reduced.
Our City of Marco Island fertilizer ordinance prohibits fertilizer application between June 1 and September 30 and prohibits all fertilizer application within 10 feet of a waterway at all times of the year. Calusa Garden Club of Marco Island wishes to wake up our landowners by reminding them that this fertilizer ban is fast approaching, and to educate our citizens about the need for change in our landscaping practices.
Truth is important
Voters are told that two of the most important values or principles for the Collier County Board of Commissioners are “honesty” and “integrity.” Yet, in Mr. LoCastro, we have a candidate who seems to be lacking both.
His campaign claims have been “modified” over time. The first one was that he was a “military hospital administrator” — as a retired Medical Service Corps officer, I knew that to be false. When I inquired, he quibbled and became confrontative. That claim has disappeared.
The second one was that he was a “combat veteran” — to which a sharp eyed Marine took exception to — and within 24 hours that claim was modified. In other words, HE IS NOT A COMBAT VETERAN.
A third one would seem to be a claim he was a “Senior NATO Commander” — which was changed/modified without any prompting.
The bottom line: This issue isn’t some “dredge up” from his past 10 or 20 years ago, or somehow having been misquoted by the media. These are claims Mr LoCastro has made during this campaign, by his own hand and keyboard — claims which now would seem to be clear misrepresentations.
It would be nice if the Republican Party, or media, would do a little vetting.
I know as a voter in District 1, the thought of a candidate being a “truth distorter” before even getting to public office, is simply repugnant. I thank him for his service, and hope that he continues with his community volunteerism.
I'm tired of not being able to sit with my friends and enjoy their company.
I'm tired of people dying in far too great numbers.
I'm tired of politicians putting power ahead of people and self-interest ahead of solutions.
I'm tired of being media-bludgeoned over a terrible senseless act and having it presented as if it were the first, the worst and the only time it ever happened.
I'm tired of hearing that people's righteous and appropriate anger only exists and is driven by extreme left-wing agitators.
I'm tired of seeing acts of deliberate lawlessness perpetrated by people who seem to think they have a right to do it.
I'm tired of not having my dear wife of nearly 56 years, here to help me deal with all this tiredness (not because of the pandemic).
I guess I'm just tired. Will I, and we, ever not be tired again?
John Ostrowski, Naples
Trump boaters' parade was their right
The Trump boat parade was these individuals' right to freedom of (their) expression. For anyone to, without facts, accuse these boaters of not offering contributions is just more of the tit-for-tat attitude.
I did not attend this event, nor do I hail from the mounds of great wealth. Just an "ordinary Joe," healthy and working, (still able to be) shopping for groceries and paying my bills and mortgage.
Personally, I did not vote for this man. I also believe he most likely will win again, but not because of me. However, he is the president of the United States and if people want to shout it to the heavens, that is their choice.
People shouldn't be raining on someone's parade, pun intended, just because of their dislike for him. I'll bet at least one of you reading this got that stimulus check and didn't give it away.
I know I didn't. That 1,200 beans, while certainly appreciated, is in no way close to what I put in over the years. I bought a case of beer (or three), thanked the Donald over a cold one and am holding on to the rest of that cash for a rainy day. And that's my choice.
Steve Zihala, East Naples
Wear a Mask
After almost three months of social distancing and wearing a mask, with the latest loosening of guidelines for businesses, more people are blowing off mask- wearing and jeopardizing your safety and mine.
If your favorite restaurant is not requiring all the staff to wear a mask, whether picking up a delivery or hoping to eat there, cross it off your list as I have just done.
If your favorite barber, hair stylist will not wear a mask, cross him/her off your list. If your favorite grocery store does not encourage customers to wear a mask and keep social distancing, find one that does or have groceries delivered. And if you are a non-mask wearer, realize the danger you are putting all of us in from this killer virus. My wearing a mask protects you from anything I may unknowingly be carrying, and your mask protects me. Be caring. Save one life or perhaps many. Wear a mask.
Shirley Woolaway, Naples