IslandWalk, one of the current West Villages communities, will soon be known under the overarching name of Wellen Park.

North Port should not allow deannexation

To the Editor:

Where is it?

Where is West Villages located? Let’s see now. It is located in North Port but it has a Venice address.

Also, it is Wellen Park and not West Villages — very confusing.

Some West Villagers (Wellen Park) complain of the new and wonderful North Port Aquatics Park. They should be pleased common folk residents have a new wonderful, fun place to go.

Again, some also complain of renovations plans (long overdue) to upgrade Warm Mineral Springs — which is really an international tourist destination good for the local economy.

Both of these activities are open for all residents in the area to enjoy.

West Villages (Wellen Park) have grand deluxe resort type plans for “their” area that will cost many millions of dollars. I am sure when built it will be “with restrictions” to limit or keep out the common folk.

Come on, North Port city commissioners: Stand your ground. Do not let them deannex.

Bill Bakter


Government mandating masks won’t work on any level

To the editor

Wednesday’s Gondolier headlined a number of stories about wearing a mask.

A government mandate to wear a mask is never going to work, whether state, county or municipal.

That is primarily because of enforcement. If you strictly enforce you will create a level of anger and resentment among the citizens. It would also be a waste of time and resources.

If you don’t enforce people will ignore the rule.

What is not being strongly brought out to people is, as stated by County Administrator Lewis, “The advice is still based on the idea that the mask is more effective in protecting others from the wearer, not the other way around.” When I wear a mask in public I get a lot of stares from people not wearing masks as if I am crazy, or foolish for believing “fake news.” What I want to say to them is, “I am respecting you by trying to protect you from any illness I may have. Why do you not respect me?”

It is the business establishments themselves who must dictate the wearing of masks. Recently, in a local establishment that I like to frequent, there were at least six people standing shoulder to shoulder at the register waiting to pay, none wearing masks. There were also more than a comfortable number without masks enjoying their purchase without social distancing. Many adults and children had their hands all over the glass display case, with no sign advising proper behavior and no employee cleaning it down. A simple sign at the entrance that says “Masks and social distancing required inside.” would correct the problem. A sign that says “No Mask, no service” is somewhat confrontational.

But if owners are afraid of losing business let me say this. I am no longer going to frequent the establishment I mentioned until the pandemic is over, if at all. More often now I bring my business to places where I can see that they are being responsible. Employees wearing masks is great, but if the business is filled with people not being responsible we are still going to have people, including employees as we have seen, getting the virus.

Ken Jordan


Why are people not following CDC guidelines?

To the Editor:

Retailers were closed. Businesses shutdown. Golf courses were deemed essential and they were to follow the guidelines recommended by the CDC. Most courses realized their good fortune and complied.

Now, however, several are no longer following social distancing guidelines and are forcing two people to a cart.

Those golf courses are placing profit before safety. If they are unable to conform to CDC recommendations, they should be closed. People and or places willing to manipulate public health and safety to ensure profit margins are pandemic poison and a danger to society.

I know there are those who believe the pandemic has passed. It has not, and I quote Dr. Manuel Gordillo, an epidemiologist, from the June 10th edition of the Venice Gondolier, “It’s out there lurking, waiting for opportunities. We cannot let our guard down. There is no good biological reason why the virus would not come back.”

Robert Conover


It’s time to don your mask in the COVID-era

To the Editor:

Mask: a covering worn over the face to disguise or protect.

The Lone Ranger was unusual because masked-men were associated with crime. If you saw a man with a mask going into a gas station or bank, you’d call the police.

During the COVID-19 era, there were laws or suggestions to the public involving not entering public places without a mask.

Recently, my wife and I took a Sunday drive to watch spring emerge and soon found ourselves looking for a place to eat.

We stopped at their curbside card table and ordered a late lunch. Wearing my powder-blue mask, which my wife had made, we waited a mere 10 minutes for our upscaled brown bag. Easily done.

Looking for a place to sit, we went to the end of the block, crossed the street and walked into a Lutheran church garden with beautiful shade trees and nicely spaced benches.

No one else was there. Several feet behind us was a statue of St. Thomas Aquinas. as our designated protector from the coronavirus. We felt safe. We forgot about our lives being fragile until we noticed our bench was in the congregation’s memorial garden.

In front of us the sign read “HEAVEN’S GATE.”

At that time, it was everyone’s task; To do as the merchant would ask; When going to the store, And at the front door, We were told — to don our face mask.

David Swanson



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