Letters to the Editor, Feb. 26

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

‘Stark contrast’ of whom to honor

COVID-19 has taken the lives of more than 500,000 Americans in a year. So many families have lost loved ones because of this virus. (Monday) night, President Biden honored those Americans during a compassionate and respectful speech.

In stark contrast, Gov. DeSantis has decided to honor a racist, misogynistic, hateful man — Rush Limbaugh — by ordering flags to be flown at half-staff.

More than 30,000 Floridians have lost their lives because of COVID-19. Those lives should be honored and flags should be flown at half-staff in their honor.

The people of Florida deserve better than what they are receiving from this incompetent and politically motivated governor. Let us all remember this when DeSantis runs for re-election.

Art Hofstetter, East Naples

Control home rentals for vacations

In an act of contempt against local government’s power to decide what’s best for residents, Florida has moved one step closer to destroying the sanctity of our communities. Committees in both houses of our Legislature have approved sweeping legislation to seize control of vacation rental regulations.

Our own state Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, in supporting the bill In

committee, offered what might be the craziest rationale. After acknowledging her neighbors are dead-set against it, she voted yes because “this practice is going to continue, whether we regulate it or not.”

Kathleen, do you intend to apply this reasoning to enforcement of speeding and DUI laws? How about zoning and code violations? Why enforce anything when the offenses will undoubtedly continue?

Equally disappointing was the yes vote by state Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, in the House committee.

Sadly, the real power is with the lobbyists for VRBO, Airbnb and Realtors. Why else would homeowners’ opinions carry less weight than those of visitors from out of state?

If you haven’t had a bachelor party or similar convergence in a weekend rental near you, your turn will come. We decided not to live next door to a hotel, but a Club Med could be coming soon.

Joe Trachtenberg, Naples

Affluent community to get vaccine

A fire department, in conjunction with the Florida Department of Health, is offering vaccines to residents of Pelican Bay only, because Pelican Bay (in North Naples) has a high proportion of residents over 65. You need a Pelican Bay resident card to qualify.

What an utterly unfair, discriminatory arrangement favoring one of Collier County's most affluent neighborhoods with this special treatment. I live in the 34108 ZIP code as well and qualify based on age, but because I don't have a Pelican Bay identity card or address, I can't participate.

(Editor's note: The North Collier Fire and Rescue District is able to provide COVID-19 vaccinations in an arrangement with the state Department of Health. The district is not involved in registration of Pelican Bay residents for vaccine or verifying eligibility. The shots will be provided at a future date at Pelican Bay.) 

Ross Edlund, Naples

Say no to condo towers near beach

I am extremely concerned about the (proposed) One Naples project. How can a developer get this far in the process when zoning and codes are already in place? Why have codes then? Why plan at all?

Zoning and codes are established for reasons. Planners meet well before a site is developed and take into consideration population growth, density, esthetics, road capacity, evacuation routes and time, wind shear and other factors. They sometimes hire experts because they want to get it right. They do this in advance so they aren’t thrust into a debate about use when it's time to develop. Even after all that planning, most boards will allow a hearing for a variance, usually considered for a minor change to a code.

One Naples would not be a variance. It would be a fundamental, massive shift from the current code and would transform the area of Vanderbilt Beach and North Gulf Shore in ways we can’t predict.

What we do know is that two massive (residential condo) towers 15 feet from the sidewalk would cast shadows, create wind tunnels and drive immense pressure on the available infrastructure. The roads cannot be widened and there is simply nowhere for all these cars and people to go.

This corner is ready for redevelopment, and a scaled-back One Naples with a commercial component would be a nice fit.

This is not hard. The answer is no to the variance.

Maria Pasquinelli, Naples