Letters to editor for Sunday, March 21, 2021

Readers write about voting by mail, seeking COVID vaccinations and other topics in…

Letters to editor for Sunday, March 21, 2021 1
Letters to editor for Sunday, March 21, 2021 2

Make voting harder?

Only someone totally out of touch with the lives of average Floridians would argue it’s good for people to fill out more state-mandated paperwork. But that is exactly what Republicans are saying about their voter suppression bill, SB 90.

About 4.8 million Floridians voted by mail in 2020. In Florida, the 2020 election went off without a hitch, but Republicans argue we need to require voters request a mail ballot every election instead of every two elections and have included this provision in SB 90.

Republicans claim this will invigorate election participation. Who are they trying to fool? Nobody likes filling out paperwork. Requesting a mail ballot every election cycle is one more task to add to what is often an overwhelming “to do” list for harried Floridians and likely will result in fewer people voting.

That is, of course, the reason Republicans are pushing it. They are more likely to win when fewer people vote.

A democracy works only if people vote. Adding requirements to vote keeps people from voting and makes America less democratic.

Sarah Lewerenz, Punta Gorda

Holocaust Memorial Week

Southwest Florida residents who survived the Holocaust will tell their stories during Florida SouthWestern State College’s Dr. Talbot Spivak Holocaust Memorial Week March 22-25.

The virtual events of “Camp Liberation: 75 Years On,” including presentations by FSW faculty on a variety of topics, will be free and open to the public. Presentations can be viewed live on YouTube or at a later date.

For a full schedule and links to the virtual events, see www.fsw.edu/holocaust/spring2021.

The mission of the Dr. Talbot Spivak Holocaust Memorial Week at FSW is to educate students and the community about the Holocaust, to honor its victims and survivors, to cultivate tolerance, to promote awareness of modern-day genocide, and to support the world’s promise of “Never Again.”

Florida SouthWestern State College, Fort Myers

‘What does it take?’

As senior citizens living in Southwest Florida, my husband and I have been trying to get vaccine appointments since January. Family and friends from all over the country have been graciously trying as well. Here it is the middle of March and we still are trying.

We have registered with the Florida Department of Health, Publix, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Millennium Physicians Group and Lee Health. What does it take?

When we were fortunate enough to click the “Book now” button on the Public vaccine website, only three times since January, we thought we had won the lottery. But our elation was short-lived. After filling in the required information, there were no appointments available for the selected county. Trying to choose another county that wasn’t a 6-8 hour drive rendered the same results. 

I have contacted the governor’s office and my federal, state and local representatives. The responses from staff members: “I will pass this concern on” or “This is handled on a state level.”

What does it take? I’m beyond frustrated.

Delores Lobbato, Sanibel

Got through at 2 a.m.

A friend relayed success when accessing the CVS COVID vaccine appointment website at 3 a.m.

I couldn’t sleep last night, so I signed on to the CVS website at 2 a.m. There were multiple vaccine sites and times available in and around Cape Coral and Fort Myers. I had an appointment for this weekend and a second dose in April booked within 10 minutes at a CVS about 3 miles from home.

Good luck!

Kathy Hultgren, Cape Coral

‘Outstanding care from VA’

Last weekend’s edition had three letters bashing the VA. I got my first shot (March 11) at the Cape Coral VA site. It was run extremely well: on time, prepared, polite and caring for us veterans.

Blame Biden, Trump or DeSantis, not the VA, who have no control over when they get the vaccines.

I served in the U.S. Air Force in Tampa and Thailand 50 years ago. I’ve had nothing but outstanding care from the VA.

Doug Johnson, Lehigh Acres

Right place at right time

Recently I was leaving the VA clinic in Cape Coral late in the afternoon. It seemed some COVID vaccines were available and would be discarded. I was asked if I wanted a vaccine. Yes! So I got one.

Hopefully, I’m going to be in a position where I am significantly protected from getting COVID and passing it. If you have the opportunity to receive the shot, take it! You might just save someone’s life.

William James, Bay Pines

Hypocritical about risks?

Re. Monday’s editorial (in the News-Press) describing the limited access to Florida’s legislators and proceedings:

Our state government wants businesses to open and capacities to be 100%, yet it is protecting itself by keeping the interested public outside its doors. They want us to take risks that they won’t take themselves?

Arlene R. Foreman, Fort Myers 

Shots via Senior Center

I had trouble signing up for the COVID shot. I called the Naples Senior Center. They put me on the waiting list. One to two weeks later, they called me with a time. Got my shot and will get the second one the end of this month.

My friends were having trouble signing up. They called the Senior Center and now have their shots and are waiting for the second one.

Try it and see what happens. You might have to call more than once to get through, but you will.

Charlotte Chase, Golden Gate Estates

DeSantis wrong on fines

Gov. DeSantis is wrong again. After so many previous mistakes dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, DeSantis has issued a broad executive order against enforcing most civil penalties recently issued (by cities and counties) to people who violated (pandemic-related) rules. What an awful example of policy. These were reasonable fines imposed by legal means to deter (certain) conduct.

Gerald P. Flagel, North Naples

Too much; too little too

Gov. DeSantis wants it both ways. He complains that the American Rescue Plan is too big, while also lamenting he didn’t get his “fair share” from it. This is reminiscent of the diner who complained the soup was terrible and that there wasn’t enough of it.

Frank Crotty, East Naples 

Most of beach for rich

During a few days (last week), I observed the shameful humiliation of several families who, since they could not find another space, unknowingly placed their chairs and towels on the section of Vanderbilt Beach reserved for the rich and exclusive people.   

Evidently, authorities and politicians think it is OK to allow a few mansion owners and rich hotels to own the best of the beaches and, on the other hand, to crowd thousands of people in a ridiculously small public section. Where are resident voters?

Next time, I might vacation in a place that does not allow private ownership of a coastline that should belong to all the citizens of the nation.

Coral López, Ann Arbor, Mich.


‘La Traviata’ was a treat

The production of “La Traviata” at Baker Park (in Naples) was an absolute treat. Granted, it had been a long while since we had experienced any “in person” entertainment, but we were totally captivated Saturday evening (March 13).

My husband and I have been to many shows in many cities, but there have been few that rivaled this one for sheer enjoyment. Kudos to all at Opera Naples who made it happen, and thank you to your reviewer who suggested we take a blanket.

Denise Stanley, North Naples

St. Patrick’s Day Festival

Kudos to the United Arts Council for providing the St. Patrick’s Day Festival at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex in East Naples on March 13. It was a delightful event for the entire family. The Irish music and dancing was wonderful. I hope they continue the event annually.

Nancy and John O’Brien, East Naples

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