It's 3D

Venice artist Wayne Ramirez uses his hand at lower left to display his three-dimensional work inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Editorial on vote is ‘penny wise, pound foolish’

To the Editor:

Sarasota County has one of the most highly rated schools systems in the state.

An important reason is because residents here have voluntarily supported a 1 mil-that is $1 per $1,000 property valuation, for local revenue for the schools.

We first moved here 26 years ago. Shortly after, there was a referendum on this local tax to support the schools.

Expecting a community whose children were generally grown, I feared the referendum would fail.

It passed. And every time since it has also passed. These have been special elections, just on this issue, and not confounded by local, state or federal election competition and divisiveness.

Local issues, including City Council elections in Venice, that are in “off years” reflect real voter interest, those in larger election years, are affected by partisan voters turning out, not solely interested in the local issues

The separate election system has worked successfully for the 26 years we have lived here, why change what works. We can afford good schools.

I’m afraid your editorial is “penny wise, pound foolish,” this time.

P.S.: My grandchildren are already college graduates, I have no personal agenda, only citizen value interest.

Ed Martin


Where did facts on Nigeria come from in letter?

To the Editor:

In the 5/16 Venice Gondolier letter to the editor from Judith Short, she stated that Nigeria is the “biggest nation” in the African continent.

It is the 14th largest nation in population and area, according to The largest is Algeria.

Makes one wonder where she got the rest of her “facts.”

Marty Dover


Time to get country reopened from COVID-19

To the Editor:

When COVID-19 appeared, there was limited testing but significantly rising hospitalizations and deaths. However we had very limited testing. Then in April with both increased testing and more importantly anti-body testing we discovered both in New York and California that there were significantly more population that had contracted the disease without significant symptoms.

At this time we have ramped up significantly testing 100-times and in a lot of places still locked down. The fierce debate is opening the economy. Alarmist and very cautious medical experts stress caution. Others want full opening.

Also, statistics can be manipulated to support any argument but here are the reported facts. More than 90% of the deaths are to those older than 60 and a very high percentage have health issues

Also consider that testing is more extensive currently compared to March and yes we will get more positives.

So the most important gauge to consider is not positives but hospitalizations and deaths.

We are as a country now creating the worst economic disaster in history to protect the elderly and those with compromised health issues and put more than 30 million people out of work and food lines growing each day.

Who is going to pay the bill for the debt we are running up? China? A better plan should be to keep the economy open, get people back to work and also put in place more aggressive plans to protect those at risk. I am 76 and have health issues but do not want my country to collapse due to false narratives.

I and my family accept responsibly to protect myself and my wife and those that want to work should. Are we strong-willed Americans or have we become a weak nation? Stop the alarmist rhetoric and get this country back.

John Nilsen


Noticed what Bob Meade has noticed as well

To the Editor:

What Bob Meade, the CEO of Doctors Hospital, noticed is exactly what I noticed on a recent trip to the North Jetty.

It was the first day of the opening of our beaches, so I drove out to Nokomis Beach, drove past the area along the Intracoastal where a friend of mine and I used to fish and saw about 8-10 cars and trucks parked along that area by the water with some sitting in chairs and others fishing or just sunning themselves…and from there I drove down to the North Jetty.

And I was shocked.

The parking lot was absolutely full and people were sitting in front of their cars, some fishing and others just sitting there with no distancing….people walking back and forth with kids, friends, others, and the first thing that struck me was: “Wow this is just like a normal day at the North Jetty.”

And what a relief felt for just a brief moment, then as I turned to exist the parking area, reality struck and I realized that no one was social distancing and absolutely no one was wearing a mask.

That is when I knew it sure wasn’t time to venture out and I headed back home and into my safe hunkering down cocoon.

Way too many people think this is just something we had to deal with for a while and now it’s time to get back to normal. When we realize the number of Floridians who have contracted this virus has increased substantially since we opened the doors, those at the North Jetty the other day may realize how stupid they were — because right now they just might be carrying that highly contagious COVID-19 virus.

God help them and their families if they are. — Ross Benjamin, Venice

We need testing in Venice for our community

To the Editor:

We applaud Mayor Ron (Feinsod) for urging our City Council to bring in more testing kits and establish local testing sites for our Venice community.

We appreciate the state’s test site at the University Town Center Mall however the half hour drive and subsequent 3-plus hour wait makes this a daunting task, especially for our older population (those most at risk). We also appreciate the pop-up testing sites, like the one the Department of Health will conduct at the Venice Community Center on May 21.

However this is not enough.

The fact is that out of Florida’s 67 counties, Sarasota County ranks seventh in the number of COVID-19 deaths. Sarasota County, the 14th most populated county in Florida, has the seventh highest death rate.

Our public health officials are increasingly concerned by how the virus is being spread unwittingly by asymptomatic people. Therefore, simply, we need widespread testing throughout our community to bring this dreadful virus under control.

Mayor Ron, please keep pushing for adequate test kits and local test sites. Our top priority must be the testing of our frontline workers, first responders, and health care workers, and then every single resident of Venice should have the opportunity to be tested at a convenient location as soon as possible. — Maureen Graybill, Venice

An open letter to Wellen Park residents

To the Editor:

Wellen Park may have been designed for the well-being of humans, but how much consideration was given to the welfare of the native flora and fauna your plans will effectively be eradicating with your grassy parks, walk ways, shopping centers, houses, roads and parking lots?

How much land have you set aside to remain as natural habitat? Have you reached out to the Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society or any environmental agency to determine the impact Wellen Park will have and how you might lessen the negativity of that impact?

So far, it appears that no consideration for the animals, reptiles, insects and birds that live here has been given. Nor has any thought been given to keeping or replacing the native trees, shrubs, plants and flowers that provide them food and refuge.

To date, your development has involved uprooting and burning to make way for alien trees, shrubs, grass and flowers that require irrigation and poisons and fertilizer keep them “pretty.”

When snakes, alligators, armadillos, bobcats, pumas, caterpillars, bees and spiders begin to move into your “idyllic” spaces, how will you respond to the urbanites who demand that they be removed/killed?

As you buy up and destroy land that was once wetland or devoted to agriculture, do you not understand there will come a time when the U.S. cannot provide all the people living in your houses and artificial paradise enough food to eat, or clean water to drink, without importation from foreign countries? How will you have Farmers’ Markets without local farms?

Are you donating a portion of those 7,000 acres to Nature Conservancy or any money to local conservation efforts? Or are you paying lawyers to help you skirt laws designed to protect our environment?

What exactly are you doing to preserve natural areas in Wellen Park?

We need all types of insects and seeds and berries from native grasses, flowers, and shrubs to feed “pretty”native birds. We need thick stands of trees and undergrowth to provide them with nesting areas, even if they look unkempt.

Wellen Park, LLC, until you start giving our natural environment more consideration, I and many other true nature lovers will never feel any sense of joy or “well-being” in Wellen Park. Presently, I find the concept quite depressing and smacking of greed.

I didn’t move here wanting to live in the Disneyland you are proposing… that’s The Villages. I chose this area because it was quieter and more natural, the Florida I have known since childhood.

I am praying you will come to see the “bigger picture” before you totally destroy what can never be replaced the real Florida.

Please demonstrate to those of us now feeling trapped in Wellen Park that your development philosophy can and will be changed to one more compatible with all God’s creatures, not just human “party animals.” — Claudia O. Holmes, IslandWalk

Blame president for domestic terrorism, danger

To the Editor:

I believe domestic terrorism is a real and present danger to our families and our country.

Condoning attacks on citizens by white supremacists with military weapons and supporting their entry into government buildings with loaded machine guns is domestic terrorism. Bragging about not wearing a face mask to protect others from potential contamination during this viral pandemic is also domestic terrorism.

When I see people in Publix and elsewhere without masks, I blame our president. When I see paramilitary hate groups swagger into government buildings threatening lives, I blame our president. When I see American school children murdered by those he allows to kill with military assault weapons, I blame Donald Trump.

Trump and his terrorist cult are a danger to my family and my country and I resent it. He belongs in prison with the rest of his criminal friends. — Harry T. Barnes, Englewood

Liberals should attack policies, not people

To the Editor:

When I see the letters in your paper written by liberals I wonder if they would know how to present a case other than by name calling. For example, I think President Trump has been a great, a great president. He built a strong economy, brought back our military, made the U.S. an energy exporting nation and brought countless new people into the workforce.

To a liberal reading this I would be sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic etc. I put up with Obama for eight years but on the several occasions I wrote to the paper disagreeing with his policies that is where I focused the argument — at his policies. — Troy Wilson, Port Charlotte

We need term limits to fight corruption

To the Editor:

If you want to serve this country you should be subject to a few rules. It seems that they have forgotten why they were elected instead trying to impeach a president with rigged proof, completely disregarding legislation for the people who elected them.

Then they have the nerve to constantly send us letters asking how we feel about abortion, battered women, child molesters, etc., etc., with the implication that they will find a solution if you will reelect them and that requires that you must send them money.

Now we have a choice $10, $25, $50, $100, $500 or more. Why do we support these dinosaurs — many who have been in Congress over 20 years a few even longer. A recipe for corruption. It’s time they are paid for what they accomplish and not for what they promise.

The irony of all this is that when they leave many become lobbyists (payoffs, more corruption) need I say more? We need to give them a chance to get a real job and learn what it means to work for a wage.

No more giveaways which you put into law for your own advantage at the expense of the American people. We need a referendum placed on the ballot at the next election. Term limits. — John Weber, Englewood


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