Letters to the Editor, Nov. 29

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Local help with epilepsy services

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United Sates, after migraine, stroke and Alzheimer's Disease. In fact, one in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. In Florida, 400,000 people are diagnosed with the disorder. Despite the prevalence of epilepsy, the public is largely unaware about how to respond to or even recognize a seizure.

Here at Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida, our goal is to assist in the process of empowering our patients toward self-management with a goal of being able to lead as close to a normal life as possible.

ESSWFL is celebrating over 50 years of providing uninsured patients with low or no cost medical, prescription and case management services. These services include access to consultation with neurologists, diagnostic testing and assistance accessing medications. Additionally, we offer prevention and educational programs to the community at large.

Please visit our website, epilepsy-services.org to learn more about epilepsy, seizure recognition, and first aid or to make a financial contribution.

To schedule a free training for your workplace, school, or social club, please contact Barbara Coleman, Executive Director, at bcoleman@esswfl.org.

Barbara Coleman, executive director, Epilepsy Services of Southwest Florida

Time for action to stop mass killings

The day before Thanksgiving I awaken to the news of six people killed at a Wal-Mart in Virginia. This follows killings at the Q nightclub in Colorado only days earlier. Several months ago, shootings at shopping malls in South Carolina and Texas in addition to the murders of the elementary school students in Uvalde, Texas.

I am numb; I think of Pete Seeger's song with the refrain, "Oh, when will they ever learn?"

When are our legislators going to advocate for us, before we become the next victims?

Is the NRA lobby that important that our representatives cannot prohibit the sale of AR-15s and other military-style weapons?

"Oh, when will they ever learn?"

Adrianne Cady, Naples

Collier School Board election

On Nov. 8, Jerry Rutherford, Kelly Lichter and Tim Moshier were elected to the Collier County Public School Board. What did these candidates all have in common? Their campaigns were funded by local celebrity/farmer/grocer, Alfie Oakes. Why would a farmer fund the campaigns of these individuals running for school board seats? What's in it for him?

On Nov. 18, Collier County Public Schools announced an invitation to bid on a new fresh produce contract for their approximately 70 schools and 48,000 students. According to the invitation (bid number and title: #23-006 Fresh Produce), available on the CCPS website, "The School Board or Purchasing Department reserves the right to award the contract(s) to the bidder(s) that it deems to offer the lowest responsive and responsible bid(s), as defined by this ITB [invitation to bid]. The Board and/or Purchasing Department are therefore not bound to accept a bid based on the lowest price. Award will be made to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder whose bid represents the best overall value to CCPS when considering all evaluation factors that meet or exceed the minimum requirements of this ITB."

On Nov. 22, the three new school board members were sworn in. In December, these new school board members will have the opportunity to vote on a new produce vendor. This contract doesn't even have to go to the lowest bidder! A rarity in government. It can go to whoever this new board believes will provide the best value.

I wonder who it will be awarded to.

Andrew James, Naples

Let's be a gift to one another

My wife and I spent three days in the ICU at Miami Jackson South last week with our sister and brother-in-law, family and friends praying and hoping my 27-year-old nephew (six months married, last year at Harvard Law) would somehow pull out of his body shutting down from running a triathlon. We spent those three days with three other families, all of varied ethnicities and backgrounds -- not one time did color, politics, sexual preference or religion come up. We talked, encouraged, offered food and blankets and when my nephew passed away they were all around offering their prayers, hugs and condolences.

We were all humans, we were all in this together and we all cared no matter what/who/how one was. Can we please all try to be like those in the ICU, all the stuff we hear that tries to divide DOES NOT matter. I hope you post this, especially as we come into Thanksgiving and the holiday months -- let's be a gift to one another and I bet we can all change the world and make it a little sweeter -- thank you.

Charles Young, Bonita Springs

More:Letters to the Editor, Nov. 18