Letters to editor for Monday, March 8, 2021

Readers write about COVID-19 vaccination opportunities in SW Florida and other topics in…

Letters to editor for Monday, March 8, 2021 1
Letters to editor for Monday, March 8, 2021 2

Letter writers
 |  Naples Daily News

Why were troops delayed Jan. 6?

The Defense Department didn’t hesitate to authorize National Guard troops to police racial justice protests last summer. But two months ago, when Trump supporters violently stormed the nation’s Capitol, the department wasted over three hours before finally authorizing troops to repel that attack.

Why did it take so long? By then, Trump had so politicized the military that his Defense Department lackeys feared how he would disdain a prudent military response to his supporters’ menace if cameras vividly showed troops quelling their rampage.

After the debacles involving a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes and a COVID-19 outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, Trump ensured that military commanders understood how much he detested images. In Trump’s realm, optics reigned over reason, for which our country paid a very heavy price. 

Politicians who coddled and enabled Trump are now keeping their distance from him to save their own hides, but it’s too little too late. The damage has been done.

Since even before he was elected, I tried to express how unsuitable Trump was for president. And what did I get in response from Trump supporters? That I could move out, and other nasty remarks. I even received nasty mail. Will they come out now and say they were wrong to support this despicable man? 

Doris Brown, Fort Myers area

Bill would go too far vs. protesters

The state House Judiciary Committee must stop House Bill 1 in its tracks. It is unnecessary, nakedly political and dangerously undemocratic.

I am opposed to violent, destructive behavior, whether it takes place on the margins of peaceful protest, as during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, or whether it is a deliberate, intrinsic part of protest, as during the violent Jan. 6 mob invasion of the U.S. Capitol, resulting in vandalism, brutalization, injury and death.

Fortunately, there already are laws for penalizing such behavior. Florida law enforcement (agencies) seemed to have no difficulties in prosecuting violent behavior last summer; and federal law enforcement (officers) seem to be having no problem pursuing (perpetrators of) the Jan. 6 violence, having already charged over 300 mob participants.

HB 1 would offer no advantages, but it would be a clear and direct infringement on our civil liberties, including our precious First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.

There is no legal or moral justification for:

  • declaring the peaceful blocking of a road by more than nine people a felony, leading to possible loss of voting rights;
  • denying bail to protesters;
  • allowing people who kill or do bodily harm to protesters to escape liability from civil lawsuits.

The bill also would override a municipality’s decision to use some police budget funding for mental health resources, for example.

Cynthia Odierna, East Naples

HB 1 would suppress right to protest

Dear Florida House Judiciary Committee, please be sane and sensible and kill House Bill 1 in your committee.

It is my hope you will realize the destructive nature of this bill and the suppressive effect it would have on free speech in our state. There is only one reason to consider making protesting a felony: suppression of free speech.

None of us condone protesters who use violent or destructive behavior as a means to their ends. However, HB 1 is a huge over-reaction to this behavior. If your desire is to eliminate destructive behavior by protesters, there already are laws in place to accomplish that through conscientious actions by law enforcement officers.

If you enact HB 1 into law, you will not be eliminating destructive behavior; you will be eliminating every Florida citizen’s First Amendment rights. By making protesting a felony, you will be penalizing people who exercise their First Amendment rights. You will force people to make a choice between protesting what they believe to be injustice and being eligible to continue using the right to vote. That is, quite plainly, undemocratic.

Carol Waterman, North Naples

Vaccine appointments 100 miles away

On Friday, I finally was able to have the “Book now” button come on after only half an hour on the Publix website. I made vaccination appointments for my wife and me, but they are more than 100 miles away on two days at different stores. 

Since multiple appointments are allowed, this should be the first question: How many reservations do you require? The Publix website has too many questions; and when something is not correct, highlight it in red.

The only statement after the appointment is made is call the store number if you have questions. I will do so to ask: Is there a way now to have our appointments on the same day and at the same location since we will be traveling 100-plus miles?

David Woodworth, Naples

Two vaccination ‘sites available 24/7’

I’ve been following the news and letters to the editor concerning the availability of vaccine for seniors and their frustration with the Publix online sign-up. We received an email from friends, snowbirds in the Scottsdale, Arizona, area, who have secured both vaccine shots. They said the state has two sites available 24/7 in their area, for residents and visitors alike.

Our dear governor should have someone contact his Arizona counterpart’s office and determine how that state’s smooth-running system works. It sounds like a huge improvement over the Publix system we now have.

But then again, we’re probably stuck with the contract (that Gov. Ron DeSantis) made with his donor, Publix. Its online reservation site, as many already have described, seems to have been designed to frustrate people, especially those in Charlotte, Collier and Lee counties.

I wonder how many days we’ll need to be up early to log in before my wife and I are blessed with the chance to leave the waiting room.

We have pre-registered on the floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines website, but beyond that and logging on to Publix every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, I know of nothing else we seniors can do. And now we’ll be competing with first responders and teachers over 50.

Dennis Rodgers, Fort Myers area

COVID-careful ‘Evita’ was ‘spectacular’

I attended a spectacular presentation of “Evita” at the Barbara B. Mann Hall on Friday night. 

Being a longtime subscriber to the Hall’s Broadway Series and due to this season’s shows being canceled, I had not gone there since the beginning of the pandemic. However, because Maestro Andrew Kurtz  was willing to make this performance available, following strict COVID guidelines, I felt very comfortable about attending. 

I had two empty seats in front, beside and behind me, due to 25% capacity. I did not see anyone in the audience without a mask. Because Maestro Kurtz cared more about following health guidelines, rather than lining his pockets, he was able to share this spectacular show with the Fort Myers community. 

The Gulf Coast Symphony orchestra and an incredible cast of singers truly made for an unforgettable evening!  Thank you, Maestro Kurtz.


Mary Jane Mitchell, San Carlos Park area

‘Dropped the best comic strip’

It is extremely disappointing that you have dropped the best comic strip, Mallard Fillmore. I suspect you are afraid of any opinions other than those on the left. Please bring it back.

Pat O’Brien, North Naples

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