Don’t invite guns into schools
I want to register my opposition to implementing The Guardian Program at Collier County schools. I do not believe that more guns in the school will provide any relief, solution, or prevention of gun violence occurring in that location. I believe it will make it a higher probability. I was a primary school teacher in CCPS for my entire teaching career and I know from experience that there is no way that a gun will not end up in the hands of a student if guns become more prevalent in the classroom. CCPS will be welcoming a catastrophe of their own making. It doubles the risk of homicide and triples the risk of suicide.We should be focused on effective methods of curtailing gun violence BEFORE it enters our school sites, not inviting it in.Thank you for your consideration.Rochelle Lieb, Naples
‘No’ vote on debt ceiling wrong
Wednesday, Lee County Florida Congressman Byron Donalds voted “No” on raising the debt ceiling of the U.S. government. Any member of Congress who voted no on this bill deserves our full condemnation and does not deserve to serve as our representative in Congress.Failure to pay the bills of the U.S. government would have a cataclysmic effect on our economy and our standing in the world. As foreshadowed in 2011 the last time the debt ceiling was in jeopardy, such an event would cause stock and bond markets to collapse, interest rates to skyrocket, and most likely a severe recession to occur (which paradoxically would cause much greater harm to the U.S. debt.)The time for Congress to take a stand on the U.S. debt is when the nation’s budget is decided, when the debt is incurred and not when the bill comes due. Proper debt reform must involve hard decisions and negotiations, not just on low-hanging fruit like benefits for poor people but also on difficult issues which make up the largest part of the country’s debt like Medicare and Social Security benefits, defense spending and taxes.Besides, no Republican or Democratic member of Congress who was in office during the presidency of Donald Trump can be allowed to rail and whine about this country’s debt when he or she was silent on the issue while taxes were lowered and deficits ballooned unconscionably.
Stephen McCarthy, Fort Myers Beach
Patriotic music concert
Last week I attended the Patriotic Pops Concert at Artis-Naples. I was expecting …well.uh…patriotic music. There were indeed some patriotic songs. However, I counted only nine songs of 16 performed that could be considered patriotic. Songs from “Oklahoma,” “West Side Story” and “Phantom of the Opera” hardly qualify as patriotic.
The program started on a high note when the colors were presented. The moment the flag and the honor guard entered the stage, the crowd rose in silent respect. No announcement asked them to do so. It was a powerful gesture of the patriotism everyone felt at that moment. The audience then loudly and proudly sang the national anthem.
The program then hopped between Broadway melodies and patriotic songs. The audience reacted most enthusiastically when the patriotic tunes were played. Why the aversion to making “Patriotic Pops” all about patriotic music? My guess is that when Artis has “A Night on Broadway” we won’t hear “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” or songs by John Phillips Sousa intruding on the medley from “The Phantom of the Opera.”
The programmers at Artis are free to develop their programs as they see fit. I’m asking in the future for Artis not be deceptive in promoting “Patriotic Pops.” Call it “Americana” or “American Folk Music” or even “Some Patriotic Music.” Don’t trick me into believing that I’m going to be see a full evening celebrating the rich music of our history and heritage. I, for one, will not be fooled next time.
Richard Cacioppe, Naples
Who’s going to fix the roof?
Governor DeSantis: Well you’ve gone and done it!
Now, are you and your flunkies going to come and replace the tile on my and my neighbors’ roofs ?
Franklin Warner, Fort Myers
Teacher shortage in all subjects
In response the the editorial titled “Math, science teacher shortage,” I wanted to share this from the Florida Department of Education:
According to the data gathered by the DOE, the critical areas of teacher shortages are ranked in the following order:
• English• Exceptional Student Education (ESE)• Science-General• Reading• English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)• Math• Science-Physical
Perhaps true at one time, there is no longer a tree to shake where “English teachers fall out of it.” The teacher shortage Florida faces is across the curriculum.
Cynthia Kautz, teacher, Punta Gorda
OBGYN caught in the crosshairs
An Indiana Obstetrician/Gynecologist was recently reprimanded and fined by the Indiana Medical Board. Her crime? Providing legal medical services to a patient that presented to her and answering questions by a reporter. You may remember the case of a 10 year old rape victim from Ohio who had to cross state lines to Indiana to receive an abortion. Ohio had a “heart beat ban” in effect, which is around 6 weeks, and the child was 6 weeks and 3 days into her pregnancy. Dr. Bernard provided the legal safe procedure without complications to her patient. She reported the possible abuse to the authorities as required and reported the procedure to the Department of Health within the required time frame. The attorney general of Indiana then filed a complaint with the Medical Board citing violation of privacy laws. At no time did Dr. Bernard provide any identifying information about the patient; only the age and state she came from. The hospital system did its own investigation and found that Dr. Bernard did NOT violate any privacy laws. This action by the attorney general is nothing more than intimidation and scare tactics to practicing OBGYNs. The patient and her family have no problem with the compassionate care she received. Obstetrician/Gynecologists across this country are now daily caught in the crosshairs of providing standard of care medicine to their patients for which they took an oath, and facing criminal charges and civil lawsuits. Shame on the Indiana Board of Medicine.
Wendy Humphrey, M.D., Naples
After almost 40 years and about the same number of mailbag letters my wife and I are calling it quits. We have sold our home and moved north. Maybe the cold will get to us but there are several things we won’t miss.
We won’t miss hurricanes, gridlock traffic, insane insurance prices, and Ron DeSantis!
But there are several things we will miss.
We will miss great neighbors like Burt, Jean, and Jack. It was a very loving neighborhood. We will miss our wonderful home. We raised our kids and grew old there. We will miss union brothers like Kevin, Laura and Cathy. Keep fighting the good fight. We will miss workers like Ramon, the mail lady and Dr. T. You will be hard to replace. We will miss Publix, Disney and The News-Press. Most of all I will miss all my former students from Cypress Lake High School. Have a long and happy life. This is Solak signing off.
Steve and Nancy Solak, Boardman, OH
What subjects are off-limits?
What happened to the First Amendment? Apparently the gatekeeper of the Fort Myers News-Press and Naples Daily News reader forum is not a proponent of equal free speech. As a courtesy, that individual should publish a list of what subjects are off-limits. This gesture would save considerable time for submitters researching and fact checking letters that are destined for a trash can.
My last two letters met this fate. First I dared to offend George Soros, the Democrat billionaire enabler who likes anonymity. Why should this man’s activities be kept secret? Another letter addressed the continual assault on America’s white men by Black Lives Matter, NAACP, LGBTQ, every other liberal faction, in addition to the mainstream media. Males have every right to defend themselves against trumped up charges of racism, sexism and misogyny by radical groups.
At age 90, my time is limited and my eyesight is almost kaput so realistically my letter writing is a short-term thing. But have I earned the right to see my opinions in print? The fact that my five brothers and I gave decades of military service to America should count for something, especially at a time when so few are willing to physically defend the nation. Factually, most today give lip service while dividing a great nation. Doesn’t seem right but that’s America today.
Gerald Ponder Cape Coral
Nearly everything Ron DeSantis says and does is textbook fascism (the textbook being Webster’s Dictionary).
I have a couple theories as to why he is who he is.
Why he continually disparages the military.
Why he attacks corporations that don’t agree with his antisocial philosophies and promotes laws and rules that are anti-capitalistic.
Why he rails against those he describes as “woke,” a word he apparently does not know the actual meaning of.
Why he wants to remake our public education system (as well as our country’s history) through banning books and outlawing diversity to mirror that found in authoritarian countries.
Why he wants to make voting difficult for young adults, people of color, the economically disadvantaged, and anyone else who isn’t a MAGA Republican.
Why he describes the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia as a “territorial dispute.”
Why he wants to criminalize the LBTGQ community and women’s health care.
Why he lies by omission when he describes his response to the pandemic (he was a supporter of mask mandates until the MAGA base voiced their mindless opposition which resulted in thousands of needless deaths).
Why he gets visibly angry and flustered in response to questions from the press that he either doesn’t know the answer to or have the intellect (despite his education, a la Trump) to answer with knowledge or honesty.
There is video evidence of each of the above.
Theory #1: He is a long-term sleeper agent of a foreign country tasked with destabilizing our democracy.
Theory #2: He is just one more sociopathic, power-hungry nut job.
Wilburn P. Reed, Fort Myers
Dems proud of their mess
The economy is great. The borders are secure. Hardly anyone is dying from fentanyl poisoning. The cartels are not running entire cities in our country. Russia has invaded Ukraine. We have fully armed the Taliban with our military equipment. Two of our biggest enemies (Russia and China) are now combining forces. Saudi Arabia is tying up with Iran thanks to China. South America and Africa are being influenced by China.
It doesn’t matter that kids are being physically, mentally, and emotionally mutilated for profit or that they are being indoctrinated in schools. It doesn’t matter that less than 40% of kids can read or do math at grade level, they are learning sexual orientation which will serve them well in the world.
Banks are failing and interest rates have skyrocketed. Inflation was at a 40-year high and gas prices reached an all-time high. We have to deplete our strategic oil reserves to dangerously low levels to lower prices and we have to beg Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to produce more oil (and not our own country because we have to be green). Our formerly great cities have turned into crime and drug-ridden cesspools, but hey! We have more diversity, equity, and inclusion than ever before!
Keep up the good work, Dems! If the Democrats had spent half the time on trying to help our country in the last seven years as they have on going after Trump, maybe we would not be where we are today. However, seven years of constant effort has finally paid off for the Democrats with an indictment of Trump that most people see as totally bogus. Maybe if only Trump had not paid off a porn star, we would not have all the problems we have now.
Ron Wobbeking, Naples
Need a better choice
I must admit, I’m surprised that the Republican leadership (whoever they are), have adopted a pro choice stance. However, their choice is between Donald J. Trump, a one term failed president who was impeached twice, who has been accused by at least 18 women in varying degrees of inappropriate behavior, and is currently under indictment for a scheme using campaign money to pay off a woman that he was involved. In addition, as a result of refusing to accept the result of the 2020 election, Trump incited those who believed his lie of a stolen election, to attack the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, for the purpose of interfering with the democratic transfer of power.
Now if you don’t like that choice, the Republican Party is prepared to offer as a second choice for your president, the current governor of Florida, who has been running on the fascist platform of don’t do as you do, do as I say. The governor takes great pride in declaring Florida a “free state” and by that he means “you’re free to do whatever I say.” He has spent the past two years campaigning for president and with his complicit legislature, creating laws that threaten to punish people for teaching things that they don’t teach, but are intimidated by the consequences of the law. Is it any wonder that the educational system of Florida is up in arms?
I have been an Independent voter all of my life and I’m not crazy about the Democrats’ choice to give Joe Biden another four years. I think that Joe is a decent man who has served his country for over 40 years and has done a reasonable job after throwing himself in the breach in order to stop Trump from another four years of chaos. Biden will be 81 in November and 86 at the end of a second term. I am 84 years old, ran two companies, was president of a prestigious country club and I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday. Mitt Romney, at 76, (Trump’s age), would be 77 at election and at the end of four years he’d be 82 and still able to remember what he had for breakfast the day before. He’s smart, a decent man and I would be willing to vote for him, or any other decent person, not under indictment, with leadership qualities.
Roger W. Quagliano, Estero
Support for disaster relief
The people of the United States, through their representation in the U.S. Congress, have responded generously to their fellow citizens in Florida, who have suffered the devastating consequences of Hurricane Ian. Data indicated that $3.1 billion has been approved or disbursed by FEMA to assist those who have been so greatly impacted.
This funding was approved by our representatives in Congress. It should be noted that in December, a continuing resolution passed the House of Representatives to keep the government funded at current levels. A portion of that funding was very germane to Florida: it contained $18 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund.
Not one Florida Republican member of the House of Representatives voted for that resolution. That fact bears repetition: Of the 16 Florida Republican House members, ZERO voted for that resolution. That vote was 224 for and 201 against (215 Democrats and 9 Republicans outside of Florida guaranteed passage).
Governor DeSantis chipped in with $25 million in relief. In a state that has a budget of $115 billion, his donation, which he publicized with much fanfare, was a staggering 0.8% of the federal response.
In these times of significant climate disruption, Florida and other parts of the nation will become increasingly susceptible to devastating natural disasters. One should question why a Republican conference group, the Republican Study Committee, would support significant reductions in disaster relief funding. Responsible representation should go beyond blind party advocacy. It would behoove Floridians to start thinking about the next storm. The aid they so readily accepted for Ian may be absent, if Hurricane Ron and his ideological cohorts are making the federal budget decisions.
Manny Cacciola, Fort Myers