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Another view of 'ugliest' building
A recent article which quoted Fort Myers City Council member Fred Burson, stated that the coral-color parking garage is the "ugliest downtown building, and it doesn't fit in with the city's downtown image of grayish and white buildings nearby." "We would like it to complement all of the nearby facilities to create a charming downtown."
What Councilman Burson and other like-thinkers don't consider is that with no originality and diversity, we are creating a monochromatic, look-alike area that resembles every other city. Fortunately, we have perhaps the last vestige of visual diversity already in place. Let's improve on what we have and let it draw attention to an otherwise increasingly mundane setting.
Since the mid-'90s, my wife and I have regularly visited Fort Myers and watched it grow. Every visit we noticed the very Florida color coral parking garage. Yes, it stood out, but it was a warm reception to the Fort Myers area.
Take advantage of what you have, and instead of destroying it, improve on its ability to garner attention, and make it an asset rather than a liability. Perhaps a large palm logo (for the City of Palms). Some of the most interesting features of an area are what some people may consider ugly, while others appreciate their aesthetic diversity. A little innovational thinking will, hopefully, keep us from being an all gray/white city.
William Bond, North Fort Myers
Take down Robert E. Lee portrait
Brandon Jett’s guest opinion on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. was spot on. But one thing he failed to mention was what we here in a county named after Robert E. Lee can do to address racism – and that is remove the portrait of the Confederate general that hangs so honorifically in the chambers of our County Commission. This portrait says a lot not only about the values of the county we live in but also the values of the men we have elected who sit under it. Failure to remove this portrait is disrespectful to our Black community and the many others who recognize the portrait as not-so-subtle support of the Confederate cause. It is time for this portrait to be taken down and for our county commissioners to lead the way. And the time is now.
Charlotte Newton, Fort Myers
Return Robert E. Lee monument
Robert E. Lee was a son of Revolutionary War officer Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III. Lee was a top graduate of the United States Military Academy and an exceptional officer and military engineer in the United States Army for 32 years. Lee served throughout the United States, distinguished himself during the Mexican-American War, and served as superintendent of the United States Military Academy. He was the husband of Mary Anna Custis Lee, adopted great-granddaughter of George Washington, and Arlington National Cemetery is on their property. When Virginia's 1861 Richmond Convention declared secession from the Union, Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his desire for the country to remain intact and an offer of a senior Union command. During the first year of the Civil War, he served in minor combat operations and as a senior military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Gen. Robert E. Lee died a nationally recognized champion of peaceful American reconciliation.
Stop judging the historical figures of America's past by 21st Century values. These men were a product of the customs and culture of their times. It did not stop them from doing what, in good conscience, they thought was the right thing to do for their country.
At the end of the war these men swore a new oath of allegiance to the United States of America and the Constitution. As part of the healing, Lincoln, against considerable pressure, decided to not take draconian measures against his countrymen. He chose compassion and reconciliation over occupation.
Return Lee's monument to its rightful place.
Cookie Shepard, Fort Myers
Freedom lovers invading my space
Let's try and think logically for a minute and try to get past the emotion, rhetoric and outrage. You say you want freedom and you want the government to get out of your private life. You're against mask mandates and vaccine requirements, right? No government is going to tell you what you can and can't do! OK, got it.
Now, help me understand how it can possibly be OK for that same government to insinuate itself -- literally -- into a woman's body and tell her she cannot choose to have an abortion. A choice of the most private kind -- one that should be between a woman and her doctor.
So, all of you freedom fighters, either mask up and get vaccinated or GET OUT OF MY UTERUS! You can't have it both ways.
Ricki Baker, Naples
Heavy-handed and hypocritical
In Kathleen Passidomo’s blog about current legislative events, she reports that Senate President Wilton Simpson stated (we want Florida to) “succeed without the heavy hand of the government telling (us) how to live.”
And yet he IS the government and this Florida Legislature is considering a 15-week abortion ban for all women in the state. How is this not heavy-handed?
Let’s be clear, this is very heavy-handed and totally hypocritical.
Jane Graham, Naples
Thoughts on 'worst president'
Recent letters to the editor have claimed that President Biden is "the worst president in our history." The objective criteria for such profundity? Inflation is the highest ever (patently false), empty grocery shelves (not close to reality), Afghanistan (where four U.S. presidents have struggled with policy), and vaccine mandates (where the health of the population has become a cultural issue).
Have we become a country where the idea of shelling out $15 more on a tank of gas for our Audi SUVs requires pangs of sorrow from the rest of the world? Has the face of America now become a bunch of whiners, complaining about the sad situation where the grocery story is out of Raisin Bran and we have to settle for Cheerios? Is it really fair to condemn the current president for the tragedy of the Afghanistan exit, when four other U.S. presidents had presided over the inconvenient truth of the horrific loss of American and Afghan lives for 20 years? And finally, can a president be faulted for the cultural wars over vaccine mandates, when his sole purpose has been the well-being of the population in whose service he governs?
At least now we have president who actually governs. He engages his adversaries with respect; he passes legislation which will assist all Americans and not just the select few; and, amazingly, he has compassion and empathy for those he serves.
When a sitting president incites a mob to destroy the seat of U.S. democracy, watches his followers in their attempt to overturn a presidential election, and takes no action to stop the violence; those would be some valid criteria for the "worst president in our history."
Manny Cacciola, Fort Myers
Blaming Biden for global ills
To blame Biden for all the ills in our country conveniently forgets that inflation is worldwide, supply issues are worldwide, gas price hikes are worldwide. As much as I like Joe I don’t think his reach extends that far. Many, if not most of these problems, are due to the pandemic, which doesn’t seem to want to disappear when politicians wave their fairy dust. Don’t forget to blame him when Russia invades Ukraine; after all, it’s his son’s fault.
Philip Wyckoff, Fort Myers
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Letters to the editor for Sunday, January 23, 2022