Letters to editor for Monday, April 19, 2021

Readers write about protecting mangroves, voting by mail and families separated at border…

Letters to editor for Monday, April 19, 2021 1

Mangroves protect our shores

The article “Environmental restoration at home: Sanibel volunteers grow mangroves,” posted March 27, was both enlightening and inspirational. The work of Coastal Watch and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation is so important to the future of the Southwest Florida ecosystem.

As a newer resident to Southwest Florida, I have fallen in love with the mangroves and estuaries in this area. I take my dog, Layla, to Dog Beach in Bonita Springs often and we love wandering through the mangroves together.

The article stated how crucial mangroves are to the environment, a fact that we Floridians can sometimes overlook. Mangroves provide habitats for wildlife, incubate our seafood industry and protect our picturesque shorelines against erosion.

I believe we have a duty to protect our environment just as the mangroves protect our shores. I urge anyone who uses the waterways in Southwest Florida to consider growing their own mangroves to eventually support the waterways that give us so much. The mangroves protect and support us, and I believe it is time we return the favor.

Daniel Sanabria, Estero

More families separated at border

The policy of the Biden administration is that if families cross our border, they are sent back, but if a child crosses our border without parents, we take them in and provide for them as we try to place them with relatives or foster parents.

This policy encourages parents to send their children unattended into the U.S. Talk about separating children from their parents. Where is the outrage from those outraged at Trump for separating children from their parents? The Biden administration’s policies have separated thousands more children from their parents than any policy by the Trump administration.

Ron Wobbeking, North Naples

Legislature to vote on voting by mail

Our Legislature soon will vote on Senate Bill 90, which could affect your ability to vote. According to Florida.gov bill tracker, SB 90 would:

  • limit the duration of requests for vote-by-mail ballots to the end of the calendar year of the next regularly scheduled general election;
  • require additional identifying information on requests for vote-by-mail ballots;
  • prohibit display of a voter’s party affiliation or other partisan information on the outside of vote-by-mail ballots and return envelopes;
  • prohibit drop boxes for the return of vote-by-mail ballots;
  • limit ballot delivery to identified relatives.

Do you want to request a vote-by-mail ballot each year? Do you want county supervisors of elections to pay for updating these requests each year by sending postcard reminders and applications, and by staffing to update computer records on voters?

Do you want to provide more identifying information to the state? Currently, you provide your driver’s license number, last four digits of your Social Security number, address and signature.

Do you want to be able to deliver your ballot in a drop box?

Do you want authority to designate any person of your choice to deliver your ballot?

Tell legislators how you want to vote.

(From the voter services chair of the League of Women Voters of Collier County.)

Cynthia Cromwell, North Naples

In this stressful time, call for help

A recent statewide survey found that more than half of Floridians have experienced increased stress since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but fewer than half (just 44%) of those individuals sought professional help.

April is Stress Awareness Month, and it’s crucial that people experiencing mental health or substance use issues seek behavioral health care services. All it takes to start is a call to 211. That initial call can help people get on the road to recovery. A professional will direct callers to services and resources available to them.

Florida’s seven Managing Entities, which assist in the behavioral health care safety net system in the state, are encouraging Floridians to join in their social media campaign, “Mind Your Mental Health Florida,” by downloading a sign and posting a picture of themselves on their social media accounts, using the hashtag #MindYourMentalHealthFL. By raising awareness about how easy it is to get help, you can change a life.

Natalie Kelly, Tallahassee

Editor’s note: Kelly is the CEO and president of the Florida Association of Managing Entities. The seven entities help the state Department of Children and Families tailor funding in Florida regions to providers that help people alleviate mental health and substance abuse problems. An operator who answered a 211 call said the line is managed by United Way and gives referrals for help with a variety of problems, ranging from paying rent to overcoming depression. April has been Stress Awareness Month since 1992 to increase awareness of the causes and cures of stress, according to the website of the Stress Management Society. 


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