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Letters to the editor for Thursday, November 25, 2021

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Stop drilling for oil in Big Cypress, Everglades

It baffles me that there are still people and corporations here in Florida interested in destroying our many unique ecosystems, water and wildlife by drilling for oil in the Big Cypress watershed. If you didn’t see it already, earlier this month, Trend Exploration applied for a permit to do just that, putting residents in Immokalee and their groundwater at risk for new oil fields. Thankfully, FDEP listened to residents and the public and denied the permit. The drilling would have caused irreversible harm to the Big Cypress watershed.

Other oil exploration/drilling permits should similarly be denied in our state. We are not out of the woods yet: Trend Exploration announced plans to appeal the permit. Burnett Oil is still seeking permits for oil exploration and drilling within the Big Cypress National Preserve. We need to be setting an example locally for how we fight climate change by putting an end to oil drilling and instead overhauling our infrastructure by investing in a clean energy future. We should have the state agencies buy the mineral rights for the Big Cypress National Preserve so that this special place can never be threatened by oil drilling.

Casey Howard, Sarasota

Uneasy about economy

Something is going on. The daily news discusses an economy much like the opening of the book “A Tale of Two Cities.” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” There are signs out there that do not make any sense if our economy is roaring back.

If so, why is Ford offering their most popular truck, the F-150, with free financing? Why was there a report way back in the paper where Disney is showing signs of slowing at their theme parks and streaming services. Prices are rising on fuel, food, clothing and other necessities. The other significant breadcrumb is the stock market itself. The market is making new records weekly but what is the driver of good news? Retail sales up, unemployment down, infrastructure passed and new taxes on the rich to power a new path to the future — right? So why are we headed to a recession of monumental proportions.

America has been supercharged with money flooding the economy. Inflation is rising faster than reported. Unemployment is not as rosy as reported. And I just heard the construction industry is slowing down, meaning housing has hit it high water mark.

The newest recession will be littered with long food lines, falling housing prices, unemployment on the rise, and inflation on the way to a 1980’s double digit appearance. Do yourself a favor, pull back a little, save what you can. The government will attempt to sugarcoat the future — don’t fall for it. Your family depends on you.

Jack Holt, Cape Coral

What happened to healthy compromise

There was a time when Democrat vs. Republican debates were vigorous, sometimes contentious but yet mutually respectful pro and con searches for answers that will best serve the average American. Healthy compromise was often the end result.

Those times are gone. Now, instead of rational Democrats vs. Republicans debates, it has become, quite literally, Good vs. Evil where Republican hateful tribalism from Trump on down to Gosar promotes physical injury to their Democrat counterparts.

How can healthy compromise ever result from such evil lunacy?

J. Cant, Naples

Need to find common ground

What has come to define the GOP is the infamous quote by Ronald Reagan stating the nine most terrifying words in the English language: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” In Florida and other states, these words have morphed into the government has no authority to protect the health of workers and the public. Lots of rhetoric today equates almost anything that the government does in an attempt to make things better for citizens as socialistic and therefore beyond consideration.

Reality is not so simple. The government is very good at some things and not at others. For example, we do and should welcome and respect police, firefighters and EMTs. The U.S. military is feared by our enemies and greatly admired by our citizens and friends. 

I recently had a discussion with someone who characterized the Build Back Better legislation as socialistic. We had a civil discussion but when pressed she told me that she wanted to eliminate Social Security and Medicare because she opposes government programs like these. She’s gone to the extreme. 

We used to be able to discuss things and find common ground. Too many times, good ideas (and bad) get labeled and as a result become taboo to one group or another. We need to be able to have difficult discussions while respecting our differences but with the goal of finding ways to agree that improve the common good. 

Bill Feldman, North Naples

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