Letters to the Editor, Feb. 4

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

No zoning change for Isles of Capri

Isles of Capri is loved by many for its location, mix of homes, and access to fishing – backwater and offshore. People visit for leisure dining offered through four restaurants in a tropical waterfront setting.

When developed in the ‘60s, it was zoned residential with a centrally located area for minimal business/commercial enterprise. The zoning designation C-3 assures the ambience desired by residents who choose to buy as full-time or part-time owners.

A developer, Fiddler’s Creek, wants to change zoning to allow a 14-story condo, 200-seat private club restaurant, wet and dry boat slips, ship store, etc. to drastically alter the appearance and use of an environmentally sensitive island. As a 21-year resident, I join my fellow Capriers in strongly advocating no change of zoning.

Paul Westberry, Naples

What Black History Month means to me

I am white. I grew up during the closing chapters of an era when one knew one’s place. We didn’t need to be taught that good people were Christians, that boys had more important roles in life than girls, and that being white was better. These were so much a part of our culture that, growing up, we knew which was our rung on the ladder.

But times, they were a-changing, and current events challenged this order. George Wallace made a speech 'segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever' and was cheered for it. Schools integrated, sometimes with violence, the civil rights movement divided the nation, and Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize, but was later assassinated. Cities burned. Moral consciences awoke.

Black History Month was incorporated into public schools in 1976, but it wasn’t until my own children attended school that it had an impact on me. I learned from their assignments that my ignorance was both embarrassing and blind. A void existed where there should have been a wealth of information on a topic fundamental and central to our development as a nation, and my own history.

I lived and worked in the Washington DC area, and loved the city without knowing its majestic Capitol, stately White House, and gothic Smithsonian were built by slaves. I knew Frederick Douglass and Harriett Tubman, but nothing of Dr. Charles Drew, to whom I likely owe my life. My fathers and uncles all saw combat in WWII, but the roles of the Arlington Black code-breakers, Tuskegee airmen, and Air Force Gen. Benjamin Davis went unpublicized.

Black History Month teaches American history. It teaches about war heroes, poets, artists, musicians, inventors, scientists, educators, authors, and the everyday heroism of ordinary men and women who have to struggle for what so many can take for granted. And it continues to teach me about the fabric of American life, the rich layers of its culture, the disparity that can poison our well, and the hopes I have for our future.

Susan McGuire, Bokeelia

Channeling Mark Twain

Mark Twain once remarked that politicians and diapers need to be changed frequently. How true. Lately, many of our politicians are acting in an alternate reality. Is it time to change the diapers? Term limits anyone?

Richard Ferreira, Bonita Springs

Placed on leave for doing his job

Unbelievable! Orange County Health Director Dr. Raul Pino placed on leave for doing his job! He recommended to his staff that they be vaccinated. As he said: 'I have a hard time understanding how we can be in public health and not practice it.' As a health professional he may be trying to save the county money and the hospitals from being inundated. In fact, he is trying to save us all from paying for the care of unvaccinated patients and the risk of becoming sick ourselves. He seems like a great health director to me.

Janet Markel, Naples

More:Letters to the Editor, Jan. 21