kayaks at Sen. Bob Johnson's Landing

Above: Several kayakers took advantage of the opening of Senator Bob Johnson’s Landing in 2019. The new park has a floating dock so kayakers and canoe users can launch into the Myakka River.

Bob Johnson park helped save some sanity

To the Editor:

Venice’s gem of a park just off U.S 41 in West Villages called Bob Johnson’s Landing saved our sanity during the pandemic shut down.

Closed only at night, the landing, facing 300 feet on the Myakka River, provided picnickers, hikers, fishermen, kayakers, and people like us who just wanted to sit and relax in Florida’s scenic outdoors a place to do so and we are so grateful.

The restrooms are immaculate, the boat launches well maintained, and the shaded picnic areas are welcoming.

Bob Johnson, a University of Florida law school graduate and a captain in the U.S. Air Force, served both in the Florida House and in the Senate and worked tirelessly to protect the Myakka River watershed and helped develop legislation that designated 34 miles of Myakka River within Sarasota County as “wild and scenic“ because as he wrote, “This was the Florida I knew as a boy and the Florida I wanted to preserve for my family in coming generations.”

Johnson passed away at 80 years of age in 2015 after raising millions of dollars to preserve Sarasota’s heritage.

His quote is engraved on the pavilion at the entrance: “The only way you understand some things is to experience them.”

I hope others discover and appreciate Bob Johnson’s Landing as we have during the last six weeks. With this oasis among Florida’s greenery under sunny skies, our daily “confinement” was the most pleasant part of Florida we have ever experienced.

Kathy A. Megyeri

South Venice

State: Use caution with mail-in votes

To the Editor:

I plead with Legislatures to proceed with extreme caution with regard to voting by mail.

Do you believe that your state’s election division data is accurate and up-to-date? What we have needed is an open and transparent investigation and audit of each state’s election division.

I registered to vote in my jurisdiction in 2000. How does my state know I am not dead? How does my state know I have not moved? Has my state done a query of addresses to see who is currently registered to vote at that address? Has my state done a query to see if noted addresses on the rolls even exist?

In states or localities where non-U.S. citizens are allowed to vote, are the rolls separate? In those states where local elections are combined with federal elections — are the (U.S. citizen vs. non-citizen) rolls separate?

How are the dead reported to the State Election Offices? How are those who are registered to vote in other states reported to the State Election Offices?

I will tell you this: My father’s state still showed him on their “registered voter” rolls two year after he was passed away.

All State Election Offices are not created equal.

It is too soon to implement ballots by mail until such audits have been accomplished and the public has confidence in the results.

Theresa Ullmayer Venice


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