Letters to the Editor, March 9
Fly north for COVID shots?
Something is not right with the vaccine rollout in Southwest Florida. At the ages of 81 and 75, we surely qualify, yet we find that the only vaccine available is from a grocery store where access is through an online lottery-like signup system.
Florida gets high marks for its senior care facilities but somehow is missing the boat for us seniors at home. For several weeks, we have been getting emails from our health organization back in Illinois asking when we would like to schedule a vaccine appointment. Why is Florida seemingly so far behind in providing a similar level of medical service?
It would be absurd to think we might be forced to fly back to Illinois to get a critical vaccine. Can anyone explain?
Robert Hinds, Marco Island
Ideas for affordable housing
Regarding the editorial “Affordable housing crisis getting worse,” Sadowski funds will never solve the affordable housing crisis. As long as “affordable housing” means below-market-rate housing, demand will always exceed supply.
Two measures would make housing in Collier County more affordable: First, allow more and more dense housing of all types. Housing responds to the law of supply and demand like everything else does. Increase the supply, and the price will come down.
Second, reduce the county’s very high and regressive impact fees. These fees disproportionately affect new, low-priced housing since the fees depend on the type of housing, not its cost. For example, the impact fee on a $20 million mansion in Port Royal is $31,707, a rounding error. The impact fee on a small new home in Immokalee is $29,207 which could be 15% of its total cost. Does that make any sense at all?
One of the biggest reasons that builders can’t and won’t build affordable housing is that the county’s fees make it unprofitable.
Andrew Terhune, East Naples
Hostile to mask message
Last month you published my letter regarding the lack of mask use at Celebration Park (for food trucks in East Naples). Several days later, I received at my home address an anonymous letter accusing me of being anti-capitalism. The writer told me that I should move to California and called me a f------ idiot.
Exercising my freedom of speech in a public setting is a truly American act, and this anonymous coward tried to censor me through intimidation and aggression. While it is a bit frightening to think that someone would make the effort to research my address, write a letter, use the stamp and make the trip to a post office just because I expressed an opinion counter to theirs, I remain undeterred.
Anonymous letter writer, wear your mask. It’s the right thing to do!
Nell Mayotte, East Naples
Why make it harder to vote?
The 2020 voting season resulted in one of the most efficient and successful elections in the nation here in Florida. Why? Because of the ability to vote by mail, vote early in person, and submit mail-in ballots in drop boxes. We had high voter turnout, no election fraud, and efficient ballot counting. That is what we want in our democracy, right?
Why then are Gov. DeSantis and Florida Republican legislators proposing to limit these options that make voting more accessible, particularly for working and elderly citizens?
Essential workers, working people and older citizens have begun to understand how Republican policies have hurt us. Three examples:
Rick Scott and other Republicans gutted the unemployment compensation system when Scott was governor. This was exposed after businesses laid off workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many workers frustrated by the system and with (delayed or) no benefits.
DeSantis favored Republican donors in the COVID vaccine distribution, leaving the rest of us scared and frustrated.
DeSantis insisted schools reopen, with no plan to prioritize vaccination of school personnel or implement school safety measures.
The only way Republicans can keep Florida red is to make it harder for us to vote.
Judy Freiberg, East Naples
Masks, distance disregarded
We are horrified by the brazen and overwhelming lack of mask wearing, as mandated by ordinance, in a substantial number of Naples retail establishments. Where is the enforcement of the mask mandate?
We also find the complete disregard of social distancing by restaurants with their placements of outdoor tables to be reckless and irresponsible.
More than 500,000 dead Americans must not be a high-enough number to register with Neapolitans.
Marina Ein, Naples