They will keep this area special


When we arrived in Venice, we found just what we were looking for as a place to retire. That was 15 years ago, and every year we congratulate ourselves for our wise decision. It is truly unique as we have confirmed when we travel to other areas in the state.

In part, why it is so special — the small quaint town area with its charming shops and lovely hanging flower baskets, restaurants with every choice one would want, activities like the Sarasota Institute for Lifelong Learning and Great Decisions, art shows and music in the park, and maybe most important of all, the numerous beautiful beaches.

We are selfish. We don’t want this lovely place to change, but we understand that other people will want to come live here, too, for generations to come. Development will happen and that is ok so long as it is done with care.

There are two particularly well qualified candidates for the Venice City Council that we hope will win in November’s election because they love this place for the same reasons we do. They will protect its special character. Voters, please elect Sandy Sibley and Jen Lewis.

Dee Hardin


Research the topic before writing


I understand that letters to the editor offer readers the opportunity to vent their opinions and feelings. All I can ask of those who submit letters to the editor is to research before you write and don’t write about yourself.

First, in a short 200-word opinion on being “called names on Legacy Trail,” the writer uses the words “l” or “my” about 2 dozen times.

The writer obviously has a healthy sense of her self importance vis-a-vis those of others she doesn’t even know. Caring about others more than yourself will go a long way toward making this world a better place.

Second, to the gent who claimed that “Afghan soldiers wouldn’t fight,” I ask that he research the facts before he writes. Having spent 24 months on the ground over five years in Afghanistan working intel, I can say that the Afghan army was never close to 300,000 strong. The entire ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces — army and police) had manning targets that approached 300,000 but never achieved it in the months I served.

Capabilities and readiness were major ANSF issues for a variety of reasons. Blaming Afghan soldiers being “gutless” as the cause for the evacuation mishap is flat wrong.

In any discussion or debate — your opinion, my opinion — I win; your facts, my opinion — you win.

Tony Lauglaug


Biden is questionable while Trump shined


Here is are my comments to a Wednesday letter to the editor:

Mr. Benjamin certainly had a lot to say in his letter on Wednesday. I counted twice the words, 496 or so by my count, you require. That aside, he covers many of the points made by Roger Ross with his own slant. Trying to keep my comments at the 250 word limit, Bush did not have dementia and still doesn’t.

There is something wrong with Biden; I’m not certain what, but he can’t put a sentence together without the prompter. His staff keeps him away from the media so he doesn’t embarrass himself and the nation.

The fact that Biden didn’t follow his generals’ advice is exactly how so many were killed at the flawed withdrawal, how we left billions of dollars of equipment behind, and worse, many of our own citizens and allies behind. Truth is, Trump planned for a more orderly withdrawal, and Biden, with his Trump derangement syndrome, nixed it as he has with so many of Trump’s policies.

He can do that, but does that actually help the country? You know the answer.

Trump did as much possible to mitigate the pandemic. Who else could have accomplished the vaccines in so short a time?

As for the political prisoners being held in the Jan. 6 fiasco, the Constitution is being violated daily by the Democrats’ actions: solitary confinement, beatings, horrible food and water and the very fact that most are held without bail. That’s reprehensible.

I’ll follow the rules and stop at the 250 mark.

Charles Magill


Do not try to put blame on Afghan soldiers


In response to the writer who claims the Afghanistan debacle is the fault of the “gutless” Afghan soldiers, I would point out that over 60,000 of these so-called gutless soldiers died fighting the Taliban.

Trying to shift the blame from Biden’s incredibly incompetent and ultimately fatal abandonment won’t work. He pulled the rug out from under our allies, denying them air support and resupply.

An entire platoon of Afghan commandos fought to the last bullet. Then they were captured, forced to kneel and executed by the Taliban. You call that gutless? The excuse of ending an “endless war” is mere gaslighting.

We’ve had American soldiers in Germany since 1945 and in Korea since 1953, in both places insuring our allies’ safety. Are these examples of what you would call “endless wars?”

I’m not defending every foreign intervention we’ve gotten involved in, but to intentionally abandon an entire country to a terrorist group who will no doubt allow it to become a crucible for an anti-western jihad is simple insanity.

The people who are “gutless” are the politicians who allowed this to happen, and those folks who try to justify the political decisions, ignoring the horrific outcomes we are just beginning to see.

Randy Mineo


A statesman is like this


In response to the opinion column in “Our View” of Aug: 25: “We need statesmen in our politics,” I would like to put it more simply, by quoting one of our founding fathers, John Quincy Adams:

“A politician fears man; a statesman fears God.”

Erika Veit


Columnist should not have used bird as example


A recent guest columnist used a local black water bird as a bad example, warning us to “avoid people like” the Anhinga.

It’s true these lovely birds, the Anhingas, were called devil birds or snake birds by an indigenous people in Brazil. But these interesting birds are called snake birds because they have the ability to swim with their bodies underwater and the neck extended to breath while fishing.

They are good partners. The male gathers the materials while the female builds a basic nest. Unlike some birds, the couple takes turns incubating their 3-5 eggs, white or light blue, and they both work hard to spear fish with their pointed bills to feed their chicks.

They are a good team. Nothing about them makes me think they are a bad example for humans. I love the Anhinga and urge you to take a closer look at this beautiful and interesting bird that frequents the Venice Audubon Rookery.

Jack Foard


There are so many to thank after our crash


On Monday, Sept. 20 at about 4:02 p.m., my Dad and I were in a horrific car crash that felt like we got hit by a train.

Driving on Jacaranda Blvd. in Venice under the overpass of I-75 heading toward Border Road, somebody blew the stop sign as if it’s invisible.

Many people stopped to help get us out of the car as they thought it was going to blow. They got my bag and glasses, which being in shock I’d not even noticed they were missing.

They also got my Dad’s computer bag. So many stopped to help, I’d like to thank them for their kindness. A lady let my Dad sit in her car so he didn’t have to stand. Her beautiful dog was in the back but I couldn’t sit as I’m highly allergic but she tried to get me to sit somewhere.

I didn’t want to leave my father’s side. I’d also like to thank the fire department and ambulances 21 and 26 that came to assist and check us out and bring us to the hospital.

God bless and many thanks to you all

Madeline Bianco


If you were this person, what would you do?


I am writing a response to John Derr’s letter that was in your paper on Sept. 22. Please picture this.

You own three barbershops in the capital city in Honduras. Your wife has a hair salon. You have two young children. You pay protection money weekly to a local gang. Everyone does. Still you are doing okay.

COVID-19 hits. Your shops are closed. The gang is demanding more money. You go into your savings to pay but the price keeps going up. Finally you are close to running out of money and tell them no more.

They send you pictures of your two little kids, warning you that something is going to happen to these precious children if you can’t pay.

What do you do? Run for office to clean up the government? Go to the police who will shrug their shoulders? Find a way to get that money?

Or do you run?

I didn’t make up this story. I met this couple last month when I was volunteering at the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas.

People do not come to us for a handout. They come for a chance to raise their children in peace and safety. They are ready and willing to work at the many jobs that we are having trouble filling at the moment.

Please, for just a minute or two, walk in this barber’s footsteps and tell me what you would do.

Mary Ginley



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