Letters to the Editor: Jan. 22, 2011

Pawl

Pawl

Pawl, my constant companion, says Mariana Vandivier. Family photo

Learning from Pawl, even in death

Editor, Daily News:

I am hopeful you will print this so it may help others in their own time of grief.

I recently lost my golden retriever, Pawl, to cancer.

I had Pawl from the age of nine weeks until his passing at the age of 12 on Dec. 30.

Pawl was my constant companion through so many meaningful milestones in my life; some good, some not, but always there with his open heart.

He was more than a pet; he was family. I miss him deeply, and the hurt, as all pet owners will attest, is very real.

Upon his passing, his remains were removed by a local company, and I must say the process was every bit as dignified as if the remains were human.

Respect and empathy were fully extended to me and my family. For this I am grateful.

He was cremated, and his ashes returned quickly in a carved wooden box, with a poem, “The Rainbow Bridge.”

If you have lost a pet, I encourage you to read this and yes, my friend, I will meet you on that bridge one day.

In my overwhelming sadness, I was encouraged to seek out a grief support group for pet owners. The group meets the third Monday of every month at Avow Hospice in Naples. While I was eager to go, I was also hesitant. Within the first few minutes, my reluctance was washed away and I felt quite comfortable.

The gentleman in charge was compassionate, genuine and comforting. I was able to put my feelings out there and know I was among those who understood.

I know to some the death of a pet is a momentary loss of an animal. That is not the case for those who have that special bond with an animal like Pawl. This support group is not overly attended, and I do not feel it is well known.

The support and comfort I felt was real, and I would encourage you to print this so others can work through their grief and understand the rainbow bridge is waiting.

— Mariana Vandivier

Naples

Letter of the Day: Step aside, sonny

Editor, Daily News:

For 2011 I have a new plan. It is time grandmothers take over the big world problems.

First, the wars would end, since no grandmother would allow her kids or her grandchildren to fight and kill one another. She would teach them the art of sharing and compromise.

Next, we would not have a $1 trillion budget deficit. Grandmothers save coupons, look for sales and never go into debt. Our treasury would have a surplus, not a deficit.

Grandmothers think ahead. They plan. No grandmother would ever remove Social Security or Medicare. Grandmothers have a sense of what is good for other grandmothers and future grandfathers as well.

Grandmothers hang in there, even when the going is tough. Grandmothers raised large families with no computers, cell phones, washers, dryers, microwave ovens or technology that consumes kids today.

Grandmothers told stories, sang songs, gave hugs and kisses and raised large families in spite of recessions, economic depressions, wars and conflict. Their kids survived and achieved.

Yes, it sounds like a good new plan for our future. Grandmothers are wise, gentle, honest and loving.

Why not elect us to run the country?

Yes, you guessed it, I am a grandmother.

— Nancy Shuster

Naples

What I have learned

Editor, Daily News:

Although my children were never very chummy with Kenny Slusser, I can remember him coming to our house and having nice chats with his mother, Debbie, when he was young.

Hearing of the terrible hit-and-run accident that seriously injured him in October, one wonders why a higher power targeted this nice young boy and why the terrible pain that he must be in.

My reason for writing this letter is twofold.

1. I would like to send my most sincere condolences to Kenny’s parents. I feel their pain and that I am praying for his recovery.

2. When you see the ads on TV that state you can get insurance for a dollar a day, for once they are not lying.

I presently have insurance for my two children with Blue Cross for $30 a month. It is called catastrophic insurance and covers only that, catastrophic cases. No routine office visits or anything else. There is also a $2,500 deductible.

Obviously to get this rate, your child has to be in good health — no smoking or drugs.

Please note that I do not work for or represent any insurance company. In these tough economic times, I am only trying to spread the word around so that other families feel less stress if ever a catastrophic event were to occur.

I hope this letter will help some families.

Again, I am praying for Kenny.

— Virginia Devisse

Naples

Ramp users, mutiny

Editor, Daily News:

I enjoyed reading the news article on the Goodland boat ramp.

There was a reference to people designing the ramps without a good working practical knowledge of the design and how it will work.

As a follow-up article one should go and view the Bayview Park ramp and see what they designed. It shows no working knowledge of a boat launch. They spent a lot of our money on new seawalls, launch ramps and a beautiful long floating dock that you can tie your boat up to. If you go and look at it you will see that if you launch your boat, and are standing there with the bow line in your hand, you are unable to access the new dock. They have placed a big fence along the dock to prevent access from the launch ramp.

Is this nuts or what?

Then, if a person looks at the cleaning table they put in, it will make you sick. There is no water at the table to use to clean it. The table top is made up of several boards which have cracks between them. Fish slime and blood can get in between and rot. A proper cleaning table has to have a flat solid surface that can be properly cleaned when done. The table they have there is so bad that someone would have to be nuts to use it. It stinks terribly and those who have used it could not clean it.

These two items alone show that someone who is in charge has no real practical working knowledge of what is needed at a good boat facility.

— Dennis England

Naples

Just come together

Editor, Daily News:

What do over 2 million people in the United States have in common with people in the Naples area? The Alpha Course.

Five area churches are conducting Alpha Courses starting this month.

What I think is most interesting is that these churches are working together, without regard to denominations, to provide this course in Naples, Bonita Springs and Marco Island. They are: North Naples United Methodist, St. Mary’s Episcopal, Community Congregational, Kingdom Life Anglican and the New Life Community Church of God.

Sometimes pastors are hesitant when anyone from their flock wants to attend activities at other churches. Not so with Alpha. One church I know of is sending a group of folks to participate at another denomination’s Alpha. Isn’t that awesome?

Alpha is a 10-week, in-depth course in basic Christianity, It is video-driven and includes a dinner. The course is free of charge and donations for the dinner are accepted. It’s offered communitywide to anyone and everyone, regardless of denomination, or lack thereof. I think this is the way God meant for us to share.

— Nora Roth Peek

Naples

The best they can do?

Editor, Daily News:

My husband and I are parishioners at St. Leo Catholic Church and would like to offer some personal thoughts on the public smear campaign against Father Stan Strycharz, outlined in your Jan. 13 news report.

Father Stan revitalized our parish, increased its membership by more than 50 percent in a few short years and, most importantly, brought a new sense of Christian community. His personal caring and counseling for “his flock” has been cited by hundreds of parishioners as the reason they are supporting Father Stan in this time of persecution without merit.

There are several inconsistencies in the statements of Bishop Frank Dewane and the diocesan spokesman, Bob Reddy.

How credible can their statements be when they announce in July that an audit is going to be conducted into alleged financial improprieties, and six months later say it’s still ongoing without any resolution or timetable for conclusion?

Dewane distributes an October letter to the parishioners with several libelous allegations, yet appoints Father Stan’s replacement without announcing a conclusion to the audit or investigation. Reddy said the investigation takes time; it can take years, it can take days.

Is that what the diocese came up with collectively to say to the public?

Father Stan’s reputation is just hanging out there, damaged forever.

I am in complete support of Father Stan and welcome anyone to go to his supporters’ website at savetheswfldiocese.net to find out the real story!

— Cindy C. Connor

Bonita Spring

Let us pray — and move on

Editor, Daily News:

I am tired of a small group of people co-opting the majority of the faithful Catholics at St. Leo Catholic Church.

A small group of people from St. Leo’s have been passionate in their defense of Father Stan Strycharz.

Admirable, perhaps, but very misguided when they blame the bishop of the Diocese of Venice for the problems that Father Stan brought on himself.

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church operates nothing like an American business. When I saw the quote, “(Otis) Wragg said the Roman Catholic Church provides some flexibility with a priest’s vow of celibacy,” I was flabbergasted.

What part of the vow of celibacy is flexible? What part of the vow of obedience to the bishop is flexible?

A bishop in the Catholic Church receives the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and as such he is changed in his very being. The new identity is permanent and cannot be removed. Even if a priest or a bishop is removed from the priesthood (defrocked), he remains a priest or a bishop, sacramentally speaking, so a priest or a bishop cannot be fired in the sense that a corporate employee can be fired.

The bishop, because he has the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, is head of the local church, the diocese. His authority is not delegated to him from the pope, but from the sacrament which has changed his very soul.

Each bishop governs his diocese in and by virtue of his own authority given to him by Christ himself. The policies are not set in Rome. While each bishop is accountable to the pope and the whole college of bishops, the terms of that accountability are actually quite narrow.

While many loved Father Stan and loved his sermons, as I did, I do not believe his actions on July 25 (I was at the 10 a.m. Mass that day) and since are either in his best interest or the best interest of his flock.

To and for all I pray: Obey your bishop or move on!

— Rheal Desrochers

Bonita Springs

Ho hum; snooze news

Editor, Daily News:

We have lived in Naples for about six years, and I noticed recently that I seem to be going to sleep a little earlier.

I kind of chalked it up to getting older.

And then, the other night, it suddenly dawned on me.

The real cause for this is the local 10 p.m. news.

After six years of watching the endless litany of issues regarding school buses and their drivers, the continuing trials and tribulations of the Cape Coral City Council and the fascinating saga of the elderly woman who got charged an extra $1.19 for the sticks in her ice cream bars, I now know why I cannot make it past about 10 p.m.

Zzzzz.

— Jon Garon

Naples

What a mess: Here and there

Editor, Daily News:

The memorial service in Tucson, Ariz., was nearly as depressing as the horrific event that resulted in the deaths of six and the wounding of 14.

Funerals or memorial services often have a religious tone. However, it was not necessary for the president of the United States, attorney general and the secretary of Homeland Security to read Scripture from a poorly written ancient work of fiction. That should be left to the Sunday morning televangelists looking to get into your wallet, the holy man trying to molest your children or the goofball telling his flock to drink purple Kool-Aid.

It is unfortunate the president has stooped to being a Bible thumper.

If that wasn’t bad enough, I turn to a recent paper to learn our public schools are sponsoring a Religious Freedom Day. In a country that trails the rest of the civilized world in math and science, let’s promote a belief in invisible superheroes.

Yeah, that is a great idea.

— Robert Elliott

Bonita Springs

Getting gas

Editor, Daily News:

In case you haven’t noticed, there are dramatic weekend fluctuations in gas prices. In fact, prices often increase by 6 to 8 cents per gallon every Friday through Sunday at most gas stations in the area, and then there is a corresponding reduction every Monday.

Fortunately, not all gas stations play this game and we as consumers should “vote” for the gas stations that don’t gouge customers every weekend.

Watch gas prices during the week and vote with your wallets.

Buy gas at the stations that offer the same price all week.

— Dean Oestreich

Naples

Play is hard work

Editor, Daily News:

I thought the parks in Bonita Springs were our parks.

Then why are the ball fields locked up on Sundays?

I’d like to practice with my nephew, but can’t get in because they are padlocked.

Why is the pool closed on Sundays? That’s when kids are off.

— Brian Reed

Bonita Springs

Read all about it?

Editor, Daily News:

Your readers need your help. The Affordable Health Care Act signed by President Barack Obama on March 30 has been debated and debated ever more loudly.

What exists today is being administered by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

Here’s where you come in.

Taxpayers paid for the production of this law. Therefore, every individual who filed an income tax return in 2010 is entitled to have the government send them a copy of the law so they can read for themselves what it contains.

Will you get this done?

— H.R. Buttleman

Fort Myers

How could he know?

Editor, Daily News:

Re: The octogenarian who commented on his recent good care at the hospital.

I am glad he did receive such good care. I am happy for him that he is able to be an octogenarian. I wish him well.

What does baffle me is how he knows what type of care he or anybody else would have received under what he calls Obamacare? How does he know about something he has not experienced?

I wonder what type of insurance he has. I wonder if he will let Medicare pay for any of the care he just received?

— Larry Rosenberg

Estero

Dreadful timing

Editor, Daily News:

Why would you choose to publish on Martin Luther King Jr. Day the Rev. Michael P. Orsi’s polite but pointed put-down of America’s greatest prophet of nonviolence?

Remember the original resistance to his holiday — much of it from Arizona, state of our latest deadly gun tragedy?

How far we have yet to go to be worthy of King and President Abraham Lincoln, their lives and works cut short by more gun violence. George Washington had the chance to enjoy retirement!

Orsi acknowledges Washington as “a product of his times.” He saw slaves as three-fifth human and limited voting rights to white, property-owning males. That is not what I would call “America at its best.”

Lincoln, and especially King, stood against their times, even their “own people,” to call us to do better, more expansively, more inclusively — in short, more fully humanly! America’s best lies ahead in us, not buried with Washington.

I may not be one of Orsi’s “true Americans,” but I think the present allocation of holidays is fit and just. King remains uniquely relevant to our best national and transnational aspirations.

In civil religious terms, Washington is the father, mythical founder, general progenitor. Lincoln is the son, sad sufferer, self-sacrificer, preserver of union at all costs.

King is the Holy Spirit, haunting reminder of the unfinished business of all our liberations — still luring us, leading us, leaping our limits. He troubles us most because we still cannot put or keep him “in his place.”

— John Auer

Naples

You just watch

Editor, Daily News:

The other night I went to the Hollywood 20 movie theater in Naples.

While I expected coming attractions, the other messages were mind-boggling. In the middle of commercials for auto dealers and other businesses, there was a series of ads for TV programs with the station, time and date.

My wife and I were dumbfounded. Why would a movie theater tout a TV program? Aren’t they trying to draw people out of their homes to watch the movies? This would be akin to finding a billboard in Burger King touting the Big Mac!

While I’m on the subject, why commercials at all? We’re paying an admission charge to see a movie, not be bombarded by commercials. You don’t have commercials during a play or a concert — why in a movie? It’s not only an imposition, it labels the city “Hick Town.”

Is this what we want Naples to be?

— Jack Sauter

Bonita Springs

We blew it

Editor, Daily News:

The apparent collapse of the Jackson Laboratory initiative is more than a missed opportunity for Collier County.

If Jackson were to locate a research facility in our county, it would be a true opportunity to diversify our economy. A biotech research hub, lead by Jackson, could be the incubator for entrepreneurial spin-offs that would provide far more than the initial 200 jobs directly associated with Jackson.

Granted the size of the initiative was a stretch for Southwest Florida; however, our community has the intellectual and business experience to bring it to fruition.

Is the argument affordability or whether biotech is appropriate for Collier County? If we agree that biotech fits our model for economic diversification, why can’t the opposing factions work together with Jackson to revise the proposal so that it is affordable for our community? Litigation will not lead to a mutually acceptable solution.

It is one thing to lose an opportunity because we could not afford it; it is another to lose an opportunity because we were unwilling to work together to find an acceptable solution.

I am concerned that in the future Collier County will be viewed by businesses considering relocation as a very difficult place to do business and the perception will be that Southwest Florida is not interested in economic development.

— Jim Lozelle

Naples

Teaching children good lessons

Editor, Daily News:

I invited myself to C’mon — the Children’s Museum of Naples, which is under construction, when I was in Naples.

I’m a museum professional specializing in environmental sustainability, and I was pleased to see how “green” mattered at C’mon.

Embracing environmental sustainability at nonprofits is tough because “green” attracts debate. With new information, misinformation and personal opinions providing every opportunity for second-guessing, how can leadership make the “right” green choices? By putting mission first and letting environmental sustainability support it.

C’mon is creating a safe, imaginative place for children to play and learn — with Florida’s ecosystem in mind.

That means water is a big issue: how we use inside water, what we do with outside water. The cisterns, grass parking, low-flow and waterless fixtures, and grey water use will make big differences while teaching important lessons.

Keeping cool is important, so the fancy, curvy roof is more than an architectural statement: overhangs cut down on heat gain every sunny day.

Middle-schoolers will study alternative energy with the solar water-heating system and wind cylinders. Wind won’t be a big energy source, so they didn’t overdo it; just enough to teach while making some difference. The energy-efficient cooling system and cutting-edge circulation will save energy money to spend instead on programs. And the invisible modular flooring means easy exhibit rearrangements, saving money and materials each time.

Museums have been surprisingly slow to embrace environmental sustainability, but the children’s museums recognize its importance for the health and education of their young visitors.

C’mon is starting pretty strong — good for them.

— Sarah Brophy

Easton, Md.

Where was the mourning?

Editor, Daily News:

Re: Arizona memorial.

Never let a political opportunity go to waste.

Great pep rally!

— J.D. Grey

Naples

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