Letters to the editor for Thursday, May 19, 2022

Sanibel Causeway noise

We have heard from COTI (Committee of the Islands) members and other Sanibel residents that amplified music coming from the Causeway islands, particularly on weekends and holidays, is causing a disturbance in their neighborhoods.

The problem is not from Bluetooth speakers (for example), while people enjoy a day at the beach. Apparently, there have been advertised concerts with DJs who use powerful amplification systems during the day and well into the evening hours.

Since the Causeway islands are in Lee County (not Sanibel), the Sanibel city government and police departments have no control over activities there. Lee County has a noise ordinance that’s intended to prevent human-generated noise from intruding on the peace and quiet of others, but noise ordinances are difficult to enforce and not always the answer. Perhaps the county should consider other approaches, including increased police presence during busy Causeway beach weekends.

The Lee County Board of County Commissioners are your elected representatives. If you are being disturbed by the noise these concerts generate, you can let the members of the commission know and ask them to protect your right to the quiet enjoyment of your property.

Committee of the Islands, Larry Schopp, president, Sanibel

Landlords are charged for trash pickup

Landlords are being charged to pick up trash. I was charged $257 to pick up in front of a unit in March.

Seven dollars of the charge was for registered mail.

Being I was charged I don't feel I'm an irresponsible landlord.

Howard Rardin, Cape Coral

Coverage not accurate reflection of rally

I was very disappointed by the coverage of the "Bans Off Our Bodies" rally in downtown Fort Myers on May 14. The photos and captions did not accurately reflect the climate or atmosphere that day. Pro-choice attendees were respectful; we chanted very simple messages "My body, my choice" and "Bans of off our bodies." We did not denigrate, start arguments, name-call, or voice any hateful messages. We only had two small megaphones to lead our chants and the speaker we used played inspirational, joyful music. We joined together peacefully in a common cause: our right to make our own health care decisions. On the other hand, the anti-abortionists had two incredibly loud and overpowering microphones and sound systems blaring the whole time, and they spewed nothing but hate and vitriol. They called women "murderers," said we were "going to hell" and had no intention of engaging in constructive conversation. One caption referenced a pro-choice protester who pushed an anti-abortionist. In reality, one of the pro-choice protestors was pushed down by an anti-abortionist and broke her wrist.

Ellen Rubenstein, Fort Myers

Erosion of GOP, democracy disheartening

As a onetime Republican, I continue to be disappointed in how this party has changed. I am a veteran, and I am the kind of guy that the flag brings tears to my eyes. I believe in the America I grew up in and in the America whose ideals I was willing to defend.

Now I am just confused. I have a copy of the Constitution and I refer to it often trying to rationalize the Republican agenda. I have failed to understand why they are trying to destroy the America I love.

The hypocrisy and lies are blatant and the generation of hate are obvious. I feel unable to stem the tide of their determination to destroy the America I know. People that I consider rational and intelligent continue to support this party just because they have always been Republicans. The discourse that they obviously understand as dangerous is not their concern. They are Republicans and that is their mantra.

I am just one man and I have just one vote and even this I am not sure is sacred especially with the efforts of our state to manipulate the system. I will not vote by mail due to efforts to sabotage the process and voting in person may be subject to some form of election police.

To watch the erosion of democracy and see my country fall into the hands of radicals is heartbreaking. I just don't understand. God bless America.

Russell Peer, Fort Myers

Concert complainer not a proud patriot

Regarding the disenchanted concert attendee:

I am a veteran and a proud American patriot. Your comments about the May 7 concert at Sugden Park being a MAGA rally indicates to me that you are not a proud American patriot nor a Florida resident. There are many privileges we, as Florida residents, are very proud to talk about. Some of these gifts are: A state that relishes veterans, a state that honors the rights granted to us in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, respect for the unborn, for our police officers, firefighters, first responders and every citizen of this state.

The elected officials and others who spoke at the concert had every right to do so. If you think they didn't, stay home next time. Continue to be glued to CNN, MSNBC, etc. The fake news will probably make you happy but it will not open your eyes to the real events that are happening throughout this country with sky-high crimes rates from repeat offenders that your progressive DAs do not prosecute.

Also, what are you even doing in this state if you are not a proud American? Go to Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, etc. Those locations might just have what you are looking for since apparently you didn't find it in Naples or at the concert.

Woody Graebe, Naples

On criticism of Biden

A letter writer claimed that Biden lied about reducing the federal deficit, and in fact had raised it "every year he's been in office." For starters, Biden has only been in office for 16 months, not "years," only eight months of which were counted in fiscal 2021. In an article from CNN which fact-checked the president's claim to have reduced the deficit, it was noted that it "was about $360 billion lower than the roughly $3.1 trillion deficit in fiscal 2020, Trump’s last full fiscal year in office," but that it would have been substantially lower than that if he hadn't implemented the extensive pandemic relief spending. That spending has enabled a faster than expected economic recovery, which, in my book, is a good thing.

The article goes on to note that the deficit was $587 billion in Obama's last full fiscal year in office (2016) but rose every year under Trump to $984 billion in fiscal 2019, before pandemic-related spending took effect.

Finally, the same writer criticized Biden for claiming that 200 million people died of COVID under Trump. That was a misstatement at a rally, which the president later corrected. As far as whether Biden is responsible for the continuing pandemic, it's mostly the people who refuse to be vaccinated and boosted who are continuing to suffer the most illness and death, and they are overwhelmingly living in red states which supported Trump.

Sarah Ridgway, Naples

Where's the outrage?

I find it interesting we heard political outrage over Critical Race Theory (an established academic theory proposing racism has shaped American public policy) including Gov. DeSantis banning the "theory" from public schools, yet when faced with the Great White Replacement Theory (a white nationalist far-right conspiracy theory) we hear no such outrage!

Current Replacement Theory proposes a cabal, including Jewish and liberal Democrats, is attempting to replace white Americans with nonwhite people through immigration, interracial marriage and, eventually, violence. It has been cited by several mass shooters since 2018 in places such as New Zealand (51 killed), Pittsburgh (11) and El Paso (23) and recently Buffalo (10). It has been promoted by Reps. Gaetz (FL) and Babin (TX) and Fox Commentator Tucker Carlson. Even ex-President Trump hinted at it by using rhetoric relating to a migrant "invasion."

So where is the outrage now? What does Gov. DeSantis have to say about this "theory" to Floridians of which almost half are Hispanic and people of color? Will he be as forceful protecting his constituents against the violence of replacement theory as he is against the academic ideas of CRT?

Arthur Tomasino, Fort Myers

Pervasive poison

Another mass shooting. Just one of 198 so far in this year. My goodness, aren't we proud?

I no longer wonder what it will take to slow this carnage, because it is fueled by a force that is now so strong and so convoluted that I realize that it will take a lot more than any elusive acts of Congress to change anything.

Got racism? Here in the U.S.? You bet!

It is a poison that is pervasive and has the ability to finally take the oxygen out of our democracy.

It is not OK to continue to ignore these mass shootings! It is not OK to have assault weapons available to the public! And it is not OK to kill anyone, let alone hundreds of people, for any reason at all.

What is wrong with us?! We are all to blame if we continue to shrug this nightmare off.

Sarah Wilmarth, Fort Myers

Faux outrage after mass shootings

Is anyone as disgusted as I am at the faux outrage and instant calls for gun regulations after every mass shooting? The shootings are a tragedy, but where is the outrage and the outcry over the 100+ thousand deaths from the illegal opioids and the number of shootings around this country every weekend. Which are far greater than these horrific acts of violence. Is it because the news media can't have a photo op and the politicians can't get a sound bite? The death from the opioids pouring across our southern border and the continued gang and street violence in the inner cities is just as tragic. The difference is the race baiters and politicians can't get a photo op from every young dead person who died from an overdose and every young Black man that died at the hands of another young Black man. So, I guess it's not important. Stop the photo ops and grandstanding and quit talking and do something.

Hart Kelley, Bokeelia

Are Floridians going back 40 years?

Forty years ago our Florida state Constitution article was approved by the voters! The Florida Constitution states in Article 1, Section 23, the right to be left alone and free from governmental intrusion into a person’s private life.

If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, our Florida Supreme Court will decide future laws and restrictions.

Will there be a legal fight? The majority of Floridian voters support choice. Will this subject be brought up for discussion by the Florida lawmakers?

I support women's health.

Kathleen Callard, North Fort Myers

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Letters to the editor for Thursday, May 19, 2022