Good job, RIP Medical Debt

To the Editor:

Hats off to the nonprofit organization RIP Medical Debt and all the associated individuals as reported in the Venice Gondolier on Feb. 13.

It is shameful that “The curse of being sick in America is a lifetime of debt, which means you live a less-than-opportune life”, as stated by Mathew Fentress.

In no other major industrial country do residents face bankruptcy and relentless harassment from debt collectors due to medical bills In no other major industrial country are hospitals and medical providers sometimes uncompensated or forced to turn their patients over to debt collectors. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Reasons for health care costs in the United States being typically twice those of other countries are many and are complex. However, much of it comes down to our fragmented, convoluted, duplicative and highly inefficient approach that includes multiple “systems” and administrative nightmares for medical providers.

Numerous studies and analyses by academic institutions, liberal and conservative think tanks, public agencies and independent experts conclude that a unified system including all residents and providing comprehensive coverage for all medical needs would generate improved medical outcomes and would save money compared to current spending.

Glen Peterson


Wellen Park people want to live in Venice

To the Editor:

I really enjoy reading about the drama in Wellen Park. It used to be called by another name, which I have already forgotten. According to the lawsuit, it is about tax dollars. It is not about tax dollars, it is about what city they live in.

Their postal address says Venice and they want to live in Venice, except everything else says they live in North Port. In our area it is very easy to find out where you reside. What is the name on your trash can. If you live in Deep Creek your postal address is Punta Gorda, but your trash can says Charotte County. That means you live in Port Charlotte.

If you live in Wellen Park your trash can says North Port. If you are that worried about which city/county you live in please do us all a favor and figure that out before you move in.

Mike Wilson

Port Charlotte

Some peace of mind, please

To the Editor:

COVID vaccinations continue to be a problem in Sarasota County. Essential workers like teachers, police officers, and fire fighters deserve priority because retired people like us don’t need to be out in the public.

However, this isn’t going to happen in Florida so we registered to get the vaccine.

The vaccination process was very efficient although we weren’t too happy about being placed in a room with more than 50 people in order to be monitored for side effects.

But our biggest concern is that Sarasota County doesn’t give people who receive the first vaccine an appointment for the second vaccine. Although we’re due for the second vaccine in several days, we still haven’t been contacted.

I called the Sarasota vaccine number and waited over an hour and a half to ask if we would receive priority given the delays due to the weather. The receptionist assured me that there were no delays even though this was posted on the Sarasota County website.

Why doesn’t Sarasota County give appointments for second vaccinations when you receive the first vaccine? Given the many difficulties with the system, this would give people some peace of mind.

Laraine Bortner


Tribute to Don Moore

To the Editor:

I just read the article on Don Moore.

Practicing law in Venice for more than 46 years and appearing before both the Venice City Council and the Sarasota County Commission, I got to know Don.

Among other things we share the same last name although we never could find a family connection. I liked him, I admired him and his work.

He was gruff in initial contact but, once you got to know him, he was funny and you knew he had a good heart.

Your article captured the man I knew and admired.

Robert Moore


Always enjoyed Moore’s stories

To the Editor:

What a great tribute to obviously a great journalist, Don Moore who recently passed away. I had enjoyed his veteran stories for many years. They reminded me of when I was a kid, in the ‘40s in Delaware and how I was always afraid we would be attacked by the Germans.

We had nightly blackouts, with air raid wardens patrolling the streets to make sure we didn’t let any light shine out past our window blinds, or they’d blow an alerting whistle! Automobiles had the top half of their headlights painted black to prohibit light from shining in the sky. Volunteer aircraft watch towers were manned to report aircraft movement to a control center near Washington (this was before radar).

Don’s stories always reminded me of my scary childhood memories.

Obviously he was of a breed of investigative journalism that seems to be lacking today.

He didn’t seem to worry about being politically correct or whether he offended an official or not.

He was a great journalist and you gave him a fine tribute.

C. Edward Dahn

Port Charlotte

DeSantis has priorities out-of-wack

To the Editor:

Gov. DeSantis has made clear what his No. 1 priority is for the coming legislative session and it’s a doozy.

He wants a bill to punish Amazon, Apple, Facebook Google and Twitter for what he claims is discrimination against conservatives.

This is wrong on so many levels.

First of all, the legislation is a solution in search of a problem. According to a study by researchers at New York University, no anti-conservative bias exists. Quoting from that study, “The claim of anti-conservative animus is itself a form of disinformation: a falsehood with no reliable evidence to support it.”

Of course, with a pandemic raging and the economic havoc it has wrought on our neighbors struggling to make ends meet, one has to wonder why the governor doesn’t have any legislation that he considers a higher priority.

Finally, if DeSantis truly has it out for large profitable international corporations like Apple, Google and Amazon, perhaps he might consider removing the generous provisions of the state’s corporate income tax code that allow these companies to pay a pittance in support of Florida’s families, communities and economy.

With strong support from leaders in Florida’s House and Senate, this legislation is likely to move quickly toward passage. Just another example of the perverse priorities of Florida politics. Hopefully, Democrats in the Legislature’s minorities will be able to steer legislative action to measures that will benefit the majority of Floridians rather than appeal to the irrational fears of a few.

Mady Byrne Pennisi


Buchanan, Gruters: Vote against Fine bill

To the Editor:

Yet again, Rep. Fine wants to punish newspapers, for the third year in a row, for their perceived negative coverage of him. He has again proposed a law removing legal notices from newspapers.

The fact is that many Floridians do not have access to the internet. While that is an issue that should be addressed in itself, those people would be unaware of tax increases, zoning changes, and other valuable information about their community should this law pass.

A 2019 poll indicated that 83% of Florida residents support keeping the requirement to post legal notices in newspapers. There is not a single citizen that is lobbying for this change. This is at Mr. Fine’s behest alone.

Luckily, this bill has not been passed in prior years. Why does it continue to be re-introduced, especially in light of these facts? The true answer is to attempt to deliver a blow to what Mr. Fine sees as his enemy — a free and open press.

I request that my legislators, Sen. Gruters and Rep. Buchanan, vote against this measure.

Jason Cachia

North Port

Rigged election a repeated lie

To the Editor:

The “election is rigged” is a long-standing Trump gambit. He first used it in the election of 2012 when Obama won a “rigged” election.

In early September 2016 Trump raised the “rigged” subterfuge again. It continued throughout the campaign. It was part of every campaign speech, accompanied by raucous cheers from his adoring, but unwitting, fans.

Little did they know they were being conditioned like Ivan Pavlov’s dogs. Like the ‘brainwashed” Manchurian candidate they responded to mind embedded stimuli. They heard “election,” they thought “rigged.” They were played like a Stradivarius

It continued right up to the last minute. On the evening of the day before Election Day, when it seemed that he was going to lose the election, Trump called it a “rigged” election.

Trump won a “rigged” election. Evidently the election was “rigged” so that Trump would win.

Early in the 2020 campaign before a single vote was cast, Trump returned to his tried and true ploy. He banged away on the “the election is rigged” drum from September to the day before Election Day. He said it every day, many times a day.

On Trump’s unsubstantiated say so many people came to believe the election would be “rigged” is the truth. It was all part of Trump’s machinations. His fans ate it up. They did not and do not realize, to this day, they have been duped.

He told a big lie and repeated it often.

John J. Marshall


Alice White is right for North Port

To the Editor:

March 9 is an important date coming up in North Port. We will be turning out to elect a new commissioner for our city.

I have lived in North Port for almost 30 years. I have never seen a time when any candidate did not promise they would create new jobs for our town. They all promise it, whether or not they know how to do it. Most of the time, not. So why is this?

One of the reasons is that the city is already doing exactly that. The city has its own Economic Development Department that works relentlessly to attract companies to relocate to North Port. This department is staffed with experienced people who really know what they are doing. So anyone who claims they will “bring jobs to North Port” either doesn’t know the city, already knows how to do it better, or thinks it will sound impressive to the voters.

I also read about how one of the other candidates smeared Alice White as “anti-business.” The truth is, Alice White has created and managed a number of entrepreneur businesses throughout her 30 years in North Port.

Alice White, is the perfect advocate for our town. She is practically a household word in North Port through her immensely popular events and tree-planting projects. And of all the candidates running for office, she is the one who really does have a game plan.

The real issue is how North Port can continue to grow and thrive while respecting the city’s natural character.

Isn’t that why you moved to North Port?

Allain Hale

North Port

Publix is great, aside from shot sign-up

To the Editor:

Having lived full time in Florida for over 45 years – 17 years of which were in Lakeland (the home of Publix) – my wife and I have been long time shoppers and loyal supporters of Publix supermarkets.

We appreciate their presence in our Englewood community and their desire to assist in the fight against COVID-19, although we could have done without some of the favoritism that they and Gov. DeSantis have shown towards certain communities in Palm Beach, The Villages, Naples and Kings Gate to name some of the chosen few.

As seniors in our 80s hoping the county would come through — and they haven’t thus far — we became active early morning participants in the Publix COVID-19 vaccination “crap shoot” game of the past few weeks. But like many of you and folks interviewed on local TV stations we have become quite frustrated with our lack of success on the website to date.

We were heartened that they would start offering sign-up opportunities three mornings per week, but we were quickly eliminated this past Monday morning when their website re-directed us to South Carolina instead of Florida.

Yes – it was a computer glitch and we don’t have to drive to South Carolina to get our shots! But we look forward to the day that we can say “Publix – where vaccine shopping is also a pleasure.”

William P. Rice



Load comments