Bring balance to County Commissioner board

To the Editor:

This year, voters in Sarasota County have the chance to change the balance of power on the all important Board of County Commissioners.

There are three candidates running, who would finally put environmental protection ahead of development.

If you are concerned about the pace of growth in our County, please check out the campaign websites of Alice White, Cory Hutchinson and Mark Pienkos.

You’ll be glad you did.

Mary Jane Adams and Klaus Schumann


Remember 9/11 and vote in November

To the Editor:

This morning, I went to the 9/11 and Fallen Heroes Memorial at Patriots Park in Venice after reading (Bob Mudge’s) “Remembering 9/11” story.

Having recently relocated to Nokomis, it was a memorial site I was not aware of but I wanted to be there today.

On 9/11/2001, the day America was attacked, I was living and working in the Bronx.

I am asking for your help with my efforts to demonstrate support for our military and their families. Being an American citizen comes with both rights and responsibilities such as registering for the Selective Service, obeying the law, paying taxes and jury duty.

Civic duties embody these responsibilities. Some responsibilities are mandated by law, some are voluntary. Voting is voluntary.

Historically, only 56% of all eligible citizens vote.

Most non-veteran citizens do not know how they can best honor those who have served our country while wearing a uniform. I have been told when veterans are asked how civilians could thank them for their service, the most common answer was vote:

It has been said that a veteran — active duty, retired, national guard or reserves — is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including his or her own life.

As one Navy veteran said: “If your not using your constitutionally granted rights, like the right to vote, in our democracy, then what the hell was I fighting for?”

This year’s election is only eight days before Veterans Day, a day in which we honor our military veterans and their service.

Let’s encourage our citizens to honor our nations veterans by casting their vote in the general election.

Honor our nations veterans by voting in this General Election, Tuesday, Nov. 3. Those of us who serve you in uniform, ask you to serve by voting.

Joe Reynolds


We should elect Brian Kelly to Venice City Council

To the Editor:

This is a letter of endorsement for Brian Kelly Venice City Council seat 2.

Brian is passionate about clean water, clean beaches, and a healthy environment. Just a few years ago we had a terrible red tide. It stunk, killed most of the marine life, and shut down the economy. Brian and his wife Samantha took action and started Hands Along the Water, Venice.

This organization is dedicated to attacking the sources of red tide. Brian has put in countless hours in this pursuit. And continues to do so.

Brian also believes in responsible development. Following a plan that takes our environment and infrastructure into effect when allowing new development. Also make the developer pay for infrastructure improvements.

Public health and well-being is also a concern of Brian’s. Especially now. What part can the city play to ensure the health and safety of it’s citizens and visitors.

And finally Brian believes we should protect the history of Venice. Brian grew up in Sarasota and remembers fondly the Venice of his childhood.

While looking to the promise of a brighter future, let’s not forget the people and places of our past.

Brian Kelly will be the voice of the people not the special interest in Venice. Please vote for Brian Kelly Venice City Council Seat 2.

If you want to learn more about Brian check out his website

Joseph Kehoe


Not educators’ responsibility to teach respect

To the Editor:

I am writing this in response to the letter sent in by Frances Gonyer “All K-12 educators should be teaching respect.”

It is not a teacher’s responsibility but the parent’s responsibility to teach respect.

I am not a teacher but I have watched society blame teachers more and more for not teaching children things which are clearly the responsibility of the parent.

It is a teacher’s job to teach math.

However it is a parent’s job to teach a child to use that math to balance a checkbook or credit card account. It is a parent’s job to teach their children responsibility and respect.

Just because a parent refuses to do it does not mean that it becomes a teacher’s job.

Judy Heipel


Connect mayhem to our education system

To the Editor:

In observing the continuously erupting mayhem going on across the nation, is it such a stretch to connect the dots back to our education system? These rioters are the direct product of our public schools. Consider that they are being instructed in sex ed classes that human life is disposable. If it gets in the way of your plans, it can easily be made to disappear.

As a sidewalk counselor at clinics in Sarasota and Port Charlotte, I often witness a young couple pull up; the girl is given an extended embrace by the boyfriend before she goes in and he pulls away to return a few hours later. Maybe. I say maybe because sometimes he doesn’t return and she is left to find her way home by herself having left her child behind.

In the 46 years-plus that I’ve been doing pro life work, I’ve watched the continued emasculation of young men. They are rarely held responsible for the new life they have participated in conceiving. We have created two generations of “Peter Pans” and “Scarlet O’Haras.” “I don’t want to grow up” and “I’ll think about it tomorrow” could be the theme songs of these past generations.

While the sympathetic sentiments of peaceful protesters are laudable, isn’t it time to examine the root causes of blatant disregard for the sanctity of human life and for the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of private property owners?

Margaret Yerman


Top 5 reasons for West Villages de-annexation

To the Editor:

We saw no noticeable advantages for remaining in North Port in your Sept. 2 editorial. Here is an abridged list of our top five disadvantages:

1. We receive no added benefits for paying 26% higher taxes than our Sarasota County neighbors with homes of the same appraised value. (Validated by comparison study city manager requested, June 24, 2020.)

2. We object to the commissioners’ irresponsible spending and bloated budgets for “pet projects.” Recent example: unanimous approval of a new department that included one new hire, one upgraded position and $100, 000+ for remodeling the department’s offices.

3. We are angered by the negligent, corrupt behavior of North Port City Commissioners: reinstating the city manager after investigation finds evidence of his guilt; ethics complaints against McDowell and Hanks, etc.

4. We are wary of the city’s long-term sustainability when less than 10% of land is for commercial/industrial use. In 2013 former North Port city planner, Sam Jones, said in a Sun article the city needed 13% to 17% commercial development to help offset special assessments and taxes for residents.

5. We are deeply concerned about a tsunami of budget threats: $34 million in repairs needed to water control infrastructure, $1 million in maintenance and repairs needed for Warm Mineral Springs, annual Aquatic Center operating deficits — 800,000+ in FY ’20, etc.

John Meisel


John Meisel is co-chair of West Villagers for Responsible Government,

What president said, knew, were different

To the Editor:

On a March 19 Woodward recording, Trump said the coronavirus was much worse than the flu with a 5% mortality rate (flu is less than 1%).

Publicly Donald told us it would go away like magic, that it was just like the flu. Donald responded “I wanted to play it down …I don’t want to create a panic.”

Playing down a pandemic is like saying a hurricane is just a storm. Trump lies, people die.

Now Trump says we need to let the virus run its course to gain herd immunity. Perhaps because COVID-19 strikes disproportionately against people of color, seniors, health impaired individuals, obese and poor people, he can live with 300,000 or more American deaths.

The long-term effects of coronavirus on brain impairment, heart disease and kidney failure is now emerging, even among the young.

Trump ordered the CDC and health leaders to remain silent so he could spout nonsense about ingesting bleach, opening the body up to sunlight and taking hydroxychloroquine (which poisons people). He had CDC reports rewritten to water them down. Why can’t our medical experts speak freely without government censorship?

While countries who contained COVID-19 took steps like mass testing, tracing contacts, containment and isolation, he is trying to reopen states to save his flagging campaign.

Donald endangers our children, demanding schools reopen as child infection rates soar. Mr. President, you have the blood of 200,000 Americans on your hands because you knew the truth, and refused to lead us out of this hell.

Dennis Higdon


Time to reopen Florida, end mask wearing

To the Editor:

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ fantastic COVID statistics released last week contrasts with New York Democrat Cuomo’s bungling mandate, which forced nursing homes to take senior coronavirus patients and resulted in more than 6,400 deaths.

DeSantis tweeted: COVID+ patients currently hospitalized is down more than 70% since July. Daily hospital admissions for COVID have declined by 74% since July. Hospitalized COVID+ patients represent less than 5% of total licensed beds in Florida. 24% of all hospital beds are empty; 22% of all ICU beds are also empty. COVID+ patients in ICU have declined by almost 65% since July. The number of percentage positive of diagnostic tests for 9/10: 4.87% in Miami-Dade/3.19 % in Broward.

Floridians want restrictions ended, Florida to open, end mask wearing, to get working by restarting their businesses and rehiring employees, and quit caving to the left.

Gladys Green


Veteran resents putting life on line for President Trump

To the Editor:

A recent letter writer (Sept. 12) “resents putting his life on the line for socialistic agenda.”

I am also a veteran and I resent putting my life on the line for a president who ridicules a handicapped reporter on national television; who claims a war hero isn’t a hero at all because “he got caught;” who berates a Gold Star family; who tells our active military personnel he gave them a raise like no one else which was exactly like and in some cases less then previous administrations.

A president who when told his pal Putin possibly put a “bounty” on or soldiers heads, treated it like nothing or his famous “fake news;” who makes the perfectly believable (based on all the other things that have come out of his mouth) statements about our veterans who’ve made the supreme sacrifice and blows off a visit to their burial site because of the weather.

Those are the things that writer should resent not the imaginary and often made-up issue of socialism or “socialistic agenda.”

Larry Basta


President deserved COVID-19 Death Wall, Statue

To the Editor:

We all know Donald Trump loves walls and statues — he asked about having his likeness placed on Mount Rushmore.

Let’s give him a Donald Trump COVID-19 Death Wall and Statue.

The wall would be near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, which is 494 feet long representing 58,318 deaths.

Trump’s COVID Death Wall, matching it in design, would be over a quarter-mile long (1,646 feet), representing 194,000 COVID-19 deaths.

When we reach the predicted 415,000 deaths by January, the wall would be over two-thirds of a mile long.

Contrast this to Japan’s Prime Minister Abe’s handling of the virus with only 1,448 deaths: His wall would be only 13 feet long.

Trump’s statue would stand in front of the wall. It would be sized according to his empathy and intelligence, the height of a very small child, facing away from the wall.

One hand would be holding bleach and the other a golf club.

The base would have his statements regarding COVID-19 chiseled in marble:

“I don’t take responsibility at all.”

“It is what it is”

This can easily be paid for (without Mexico’s help) with money saved from Medicare and Social Security payments due to early deaths of 330,000 seniors by year’s end.

We need to forever memorialize Donald Trump’s catastrophic failure — a reminder to never again elect an incompetent leader.

We can still save lives by wearing masks, social distancing and not gathering in large groups.

Arnold Eick


Snowbirds hoping Florida will be ready for season

To the Editor:

We are perennial “snowbirds” from Colorado.

We spend two months in the Sunshine State in January and February. We are anxiously watching the positivity rate in Florida, hoping that the state we love second to Colorado can get the positivity rate below 5% so we feel safe to come in 2021.

Colorado’s positivity rate is below 3%. If Florida has a rate below 5% then we would feel safe to visit restaurants, amusement parks, beaches, museums and other visitor attractions. Or, in other words, spend our money.

I wonder if we are the only snowbirds that feel this way?

Larry and Becky Roberts

Watkins, Colo.


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