Letters to the editor for Saturday, December 4, 2021


Note to readers: Partisan politics has kept state and national issues on the minds of many of us, and we understand that. But we would like to encourage more commentary on local issues affecting Southwest Florida as well. Today’s letters include perspectives on local issues to get things going.

– publishers

World-class healthcare at your fingertips in Naples

What a joy to see our community hospital achieve high marks. Naples has made it clear its long-standing desire for world-class healthcare – today it seems close at hand.

Paul Hiltz (CEO of NCH Healthcare System) is everything we hoped he would be. A bright and modest leader with a plan to deliver, he assembled a team to be successful. The proposed rezoning of our landlocked downtown hospital is a work of art.

Considering everything from adjoining related specialties to providing affordable rental housing for exceptional medical staff, here is a plan we all need to embrace. This includes our city leaders who need to understand that sometimes the top is the only direction available.

For too long we have heard our doctors say “if you are REALLY sick, I will drive you to the airport”. We are about to see this change forever.

Joe Trachtenberg, Naples

Years of retirement enriched by neighbors

In the spirit of the holidays, I want to thank Naples for enriching our lives, providing a small town environment with a sophisticated and diverse community to spend our post-career years. My husband and I built a Neapolitan house 16 years ago. Ironic for a daughter of immigrants from southern Italy. We were fortunate enough to join our HOA with several longtime friends from Minnesota; therefore integrated friends to take advantage of years of retirement in the sun. We are fortunate to have neighbors from Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Canada, Germany, Belarus, Ukraine, Michigan, Illinois and more, each with very different backgrounds and life experiences. And yet, unlike much of this country, we respect, value and even celebrate our differences.

Neapolitan life, however, isn’t all about manicured gardens and golf courses, gorgeous sunsets, and gourmet dining. Our city has its share of social and economic challenges, all of which are manageable; unlike our country, which is a mess. Our Commander-in-Chief blames the previous administration for COVID, inflation, supply chain issues, immigration issues, Afghanistan, gas prices, etc. Where’s the guy who promised to unite the country? And why is he pampered by most of the media? I mourn the loss of fair and balanced journalism and worry that too many people rely on social media for “the news”.

Meanwhile, back in our neighborhood, life is good. Grazie, Naples. Excellent choice for us.

Rita Schiavino Simmer, Naples

Moving to Southwest Florida? Everyone too

Lee County is one of the fast growing counties in Southwest Florida. This may be great news for developers and businesses, but for the environment it is cause for concern. The demand for resources and land will increase dramatically as more people move to Southwest Florida. In addition, the health of the environment is threatened by increasing pollution, waste, fertilizers, etc., as humans invade the local area. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the rapid construction of tourist attractions, hotels, commercial buildings, etc. swept across the diverse lands of Florida. In fact, a study by 1,000 Friends of Florida, a nonprofit organization, predicts that 33.7% of Florida’s land will be developed by 2070. Wetlands, conservation lands, and critical habitat are included. in those 33.7%. This year alone, Florida bought thousands of acres of land for conservation purposes; however, these lands (composed of wetlands) are also available for development with mitigation banks. So the land is for conservation, but if someone pays the price, can they destroy acres of wetland and then start construction?

We need county and local government officials to ensure that land labeled for conservation is actually protected and preserved rather than being used for agriculture or development. Efforts must be made now rather than later to regulate and limit development before reaching a point of overdevelopment on critical protected lands and habitats.

Paige Pierpoint, Fort Myers

Generosity allows the Neighborhood Health Clinic

We can never say it enough. For over 22 years, we have had the privilege of saying “Thank you” countless times in response to the generosity we have received from our supporters who have embraced the clinic’s mission to provide quality medical and dental care to those who need it.

The breadth and variety of charitable donations we receive are staggering and profound. Monetary gifts are gratefully accepted and necessary, although this is only the tip of the iceberg. Volunteer medical and dental professionals, ably assisted by an army of volunteer administrative and support staff, form the backbone of our organization, providing a range of quality health care services to clinic patients. Thank you.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and volunteers, no patient pays for the services. And since clinic patients are looking for a helping hand, not a handout, they donate – if possible – $ 20 per month towards the clinic’s overhead costs. There is never a cost for the services provided.

This holiday season, as we all come together to celebrate with family and friends, on behalf of everyone at the clinic, I wish happy holidays especially grateful to all of our doctors, dentists, nurses, hygienists, technicians. , non-medical administrators. , staff and donors, whose generosity energizes the mission of the Neighborhood Health Clinic. We couldn’t do the work we do without neighbors like you, who help us help neighbors in need. Thank you!

Paul Jones, MD, Chairman-elect of the Board of Directors, Neighborhood Health Clinic, Naples

County should transfer more funds to food banks

Your article, “Food banks struggle to keep up” (November 23), is a sad commentary on the priorities and values ​​of our county commissioners and administrators. Lee County recently began allocating the $ 186 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Nonetheless, our food banks – a lifeline for many residents – are struggling to meet demand. How can this be?

Of the $ 186 million, the county has allocated a paltry $ 5 million to help food banks. However, here we are with a situation that calls the attention of our county. Obviously, $ 5 million is not enough to deal with this situation. According to the article, food banks are asking residents for help with donations despite the fact that many are still feeling the negative impacts of the pandemic themselves. The county has the money. Is it too much to ask our Commissioners to transfer dollars NOW to directly help hungry families this holiday season?

Our commissioners constantly brag about the prosperity of our riding, but families always line up for food to put on their tables. There is something desperately wrong with this image.

Charlotte Newton, Women for a Better Lee, Fort Myers


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