Wednesday's letters: Golfers sell souls, high risk for COVID, septic tank failures, more

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Phil Mickelson hits from the rough during the first round of the LIV golf tournament July 1 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, in North Plains, Oregon. The first place winner, Branden Grace, took home $4 million.
Phil Mickelson hits from the rough during the first round of the LIV golf tournament July 1 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, in North Plains, Oregon. The first place winner, Branden Grace, took home $4 million.

LIV golfers have forgotten 9/11

The LIV golf tour was created by Saudi Arabia for the sole purpose of “sportswashing” its image.

In a poor attempt to get the world to ignore its role in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and other atrocities and human rights violations, the Saudi prince is paying the golfers who join this tour obscene amounts of money.

A long list of golfers – among them Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson – have joined this tour and sold their souls.

More: How to send a letter to the editor

After 9/11 the phrase “Never Forget!” rang loud and clear across the USA. Those two simple words expressed the patriotism and resolve of Americans to never let anything like it occur again.

Most of the golfers on the tour were in diapers on 9/11, so I blame their parents, who apparently forgot to teach them about the horror and angst that swept across the nation.

Mickelson and Johnson, however, were adults on 9/11/2001. I’m sure that they experienced the same emotions all Americans above the age of reason felt that morning: a combination of intense outrage and anger at those who would murder thousands of our citizens on our soil, combined with the gut-wrenching fear of “Where is the next plane going to hit?”

Mickelson and Johnson have obviously forgotten. To them I want to emphasize that the “Never” in “Never Forget!” did not come with an expiration date!

Anthony Sellitto, Sarasota

Let down your guard and COVID will get you

We are all tired of COVID.  Most are ready to end self-isolation and resume the things we love. However, COVID is not through with us, and may never be.

Sarasota County remains high-risk – per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – and Sarasota Memorial Hospital had 75 COVID inpatients, as of July 1.

While vaccination helps dramatically to reduce death and severe illness, COVID is still serious and often prolonged for those affected.  All remain at risk, even if vaccinated or previously infected.

Those infected spread the virus, beginning before symptoms develop. If you become ill, testing, treatment, isolation, masking and distancing are very important in reducing spread.

Each of us can make choices every day to reduce personal risk and community spread. Social distancing helps. Masks reduces risk of infection by half.

Wearing a mask when social distancing is not possible says, “I care about my community and my health.” Why not?

Bruce Robinson, MD, Sarasota

Vote for Ziegler, candidates like her

Recently, School Board candidate Dawnyelle Singleton said: “My opponent wants to target our most vulnerable students with hate and divisiveness.”

For too long, instead of debating facts, politicians like Singleton have accused those who disagree with them of promoting “hatred.”

I was the mentor to DJ when the school district was fighting us in court. Bridget Ziegler was the only current board member who did not side with the system that failed this child, who was placed inappropriately in a program for students with severe cognitive disabilities. Ziegler defended DJ.

We need more board members like Ziegler, who will fight for our students.

I was appalled in 2020 when Jane Goodwin suggested they make a public statement regarding the death of George Floyd, while at the same time she and Shirley Brown were appealing the ruling against the district that included seven years of compensatory education for DJ – an African American student in their own community – essentially withholding justice. Total hypocrisy!

These same board members now endorse and support Singleton, Lauren Kurnov and Nora Cietek. We don’t need more of this. We need a School Board that represents its constituents.

Vote for Ziegler, Tim Enos and Robyn Marinelli.

Stephen Marland, Sarasota

Poor functioning of septic tanks overlooked

Good government is not necessarily an attribute of either political party.  Republicans and Democrats have exhibited good and bad governance at local, state and federal levels.

Good governance is providing the services necessary to make our lives livable, especially those services that cannot be provided by commercial enterprises.

One of the most critical but overlooked problems is septic tanks.  Florida is estimated to have 2.6 million septic tanks. Rising tides, higher sea levels, heavy storms and large amounts of rain inhibit the proper functioning of these septic tanks.

These conditions are increasingly prevalent in Florida. Septic tank failures result in contamination of drinking water and other potential health issues. They also are likely to contribute to red tide.

Arguing about the cause of weather changes does not contribute to solving the problem. The administration of Gov. Ron DeSantis has decided to focus its efforts on matters that have far less impact on the health and safety of its citizens.  By all measures, this is poor governance.

Walter Frank, Longboat Key

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Golfers sell their souls to Saudis, COVID is not through with us