Major accomplishment by Collier schools
Congratulations to the Collier County Public Schools for providing an in-school education this year for the majority of our students.
Last spring /summer the leadership of CCPS reached out to many community organizations as well as parents to develop a safe school plan in compliance with CDC guidelines. It resulted in a multiple-choice option for parents to choose from four teaching alternatives: 60 percent of parents chose in-school education for their students, but by the second semester more than 80 percent of students were in school. Yes, there were bumps along the way, but let’s look at the accomplishments: Students were in a safe environment with all their friends, all athletic programs were able to be held as well as most other school activities, seniors were able to graduate on time at their own schools, and the parents of the 46,000 students could continue with their normal activities (either by going to work, or other family activities)
Although school leadership set the plan it took the whole community to make it work: teachers, students, parents, food workers, bus drivers, custodians, local school and headquarters staff, major investments in technology as well as support from first responders, the sheriff’s department and many other community services.
I mention this not only to make the community aware of a major accomplishment, but as a reminder that even in a politically divisive environment communities can rise above partisanship and accomplish great things.
James Moritz, Naples
Guadalupe Center graduates story inspiring
Your recent story and photo about the Guadalupe Center’s Tutor Corps graduates is an inspirational example of what makes the United States unique and why so many people around the world want to come here. Congratulations and best wishes to those remarkable young people for their initiative and achievement.
Gary N. MacDougal, Fort Myers
Recognizing racism an uncomfortable journey
I would like to respond to a recent letter in which the writer stated with great certainty that the USA is not at all racist.
The writer and I may have a great deal in common. I’m guessing that we both were born into families with education, land and money; grew up in leafy all-white neighborhoods and attended good schools. We extended that “good life” to our own children, regarding our “success” as a product only of our own efforts and merit.
I’m also guessing that hostility toward and superiority over Black people were part of the picture. Although I have an abolitionist ancestor, both sets of my grandparents were openly racist. My maternal grandparents belonged to a country club that excluded Black people (and Jews). I swam in its beautiful pools and ate in its lovely clubhouse.
The first step for me was realizing that racism holds sway in my heart and mind. It is my “default” setting. Replacing those thoughts and reactions, bit by bit, is the job of a lifetime.
I then began to look at my white privilege. If some people are disadvantaged because of their skin color, it follows that I am advantaged because of mine.
At Wellesley College, a woman named Peggy McIntosh compiled a list of these advantages, which she called “the invisible knapsack.” (It’s available online.) I recommend that list as a good starting point for white people who don’t believe that they benefit from racism.
Warning: This is not a comfortable journey. And it does require open-mindedness.
Melanie Chadwick, Naples
What if Dems open primaries to independents?
The political primaries for each political party choose their one candidate to run for office and, thus, are closed to foil attempts by the other party to skew their primaries. Both parties do this.
I have an idea though. What if the Democrats would open their primaries to their independent brethren, America would have a better chance for more representation by more people. Who knows? Maybe some of the independents, whose candidate didn’t make it past the primaries, may sway a little more to the left than to the right? But either way, this would allow many more people to enter the political arena far before election day. These independent voters might be more likely to vote with the party that includes them, than the party that does not.
I believe that it will be a great day when a president picks an independent for a running mate.
Kathrine Drayton, Estero
Democrats need to ‘get over it’
The headline of a recent letter was “Trump lost. Get over it.” And a second headline could have been, “Don’t audit or perform recounts” because Trump lost. The election is over, Biden won PERIOD. The only ones concerned about these topics are Democrats. What scares you and why are you still fixated on the election? Maybe you protest too much.
How did you feel about Hillary losing? To this day, many Democrats claim the election was stolen from Hillary. The Mueller report basically ended this hoax along with two failed impeachments. To this day many still do not recognize Trump as the 46th president.
Deep down, I suspect you voted against Trump more than for Biden. But the Biden you voted for is not the man in the Oval Office today. Speculating, you are shocked by his policies on the border and the economy. And you are stuck with Joe, at least for awhile.
Many say America cannot handle a scandal. Well, whether you voted for Hillary, Donald, or Joe, America is a strong nation with good people and a strength to overcome corruption, outside interference, or even a pandemic. We are strong, we are resilient, and we believe in the American spirit.
Jack Holt, Cape Coral
Approach election audit with open mind
In response to a letter writer, she said as evidence of a fair 2020 election that 60 judges dismissed lawsuits. May I remind the reading public a dismissed case does not allow evidence or a discovery phase to a judicial decision.
Allow the audit in Arizona, don’t fear it. As we have seen recently the truth is hard to contain. More importantly it is what should be sought by all political partisans, but rarely is. Many of us rant about others being delusional all the while accepting the most improbable because it coincides nicely with our world or political views. This is not a rational thinking process.
Gerard Fischer, Naples
Go after the polluters
It appears the state is not doing enough to protect our sea life and our waters. With the massive numbers of manatees dying already this year from starvation and water quality issues and being hit by boats, what kind of help can we depend on from the EPA and FWC and the governor?
Our water issues with red tide and blue-green algae have been exacerbating for many years. We hear platitudes and snake oil solutions.
Where is the commitment to go after the polluters, the sources of our toxic waters and death of our sea life?
We need a conservation director to bring all agencies together and prioritize saving our water and our sea life. Obviously the governor is not doing it. Talk is cheap. We had enough of that already. We need commitment from all agencies that are supposed to protect our state. Let the research go on. However, lawsuits against polluters can lead us from cheap talk to the saving action we need.
Cynthia Best, Lehigh Acres