Letters to the editor, friday, april 6, 2018

Improving the traffic flow on Pine Ridge Road will help prepare for the anticipated growth in the population of our community over the next few years. While construction is underway, I understand it will get worse before it gets better but something has to be done.

I did not experience road rage until I moved to Naples three years ago. It seems that with each passing season it not only gets busier but it also feels longer. Driving from Interstate 75 to U.S. 41 on Pine Ridge Road is the worst part of my work commute.

I understand a Naples resident’s comment that traffic is only a little bad for three months. With the expected growth in the population of Naples, I think it is better to prepare for the influx of visitors and new residents by easing the flow of traffic as much as we can right now.

Collier County Senior Transportation Planner Jeff Perry summed up one of the problems by explaining in the article, “The problem is these intersections are in a two-minute cycle. But instead of 60 seconds for each direction, those left turns run for about 18 seconds in each direction. So they’re stealing 30 percent of our movement capacity.” Fixing this is one of the many hurdles we can overcome to improve everyone’s experience driving on Pine Ridge Road.

In early March, in the height of the dry season and the tourist season, Collier County officials determined a "controlled" burn on a Friday was a good idea, until two days later, when the controlled burn turned into an uncontrolled burn. On the following Monday and Tuesday mornings, U.S. 41 East was closed from San Marco Road to State Road 29 until 9:30 a.m. due to smoky and foggy conditions. Port of the Islands residents had to travel Interstate 75 to State Road 29, then right onto U.S. 41. This is approximately 40 miles out of their way to get home and/or to work. NBC news was at Port of the Islands both days covering the fire and its effects on the community.

On March 21, a cold front producing lightning struck the area, causing a natural disaster named the Greenway fire. On March 26, 41 was closed again from State Road 92 to State Road 29 due to smoky and foggy conditions in the morning. U.S. 41 was re-opened, only to be closed again in the afternoon hours. Port of the Islands residents again had to travel I-75 to get back to their residences and/or work, only this time, they had to pay.

• Do you believe that every American has a constitutional right to any kind of armament necessary to ward off a government agency (e.g., FBI, ATF, state police, police, National Guard) that may come to seize such weapons or impose the law in any way and so on?

• Do you believe James Comey, Andrew McCabe, James Clapper, James Woolsey, Michael Hayden, John McCain, Ken Starr, Karl Rove or journalists like Davis Brooks, George Will and Charles Krauthammer and even Glen Beck have joined the haters of the liberal left?

Ironically, many citizens believed that this "actor" was the real goods and elected him to the presidency, only to find he is so taken with only his own opinion and so egotistical that he refuses to be briefed on the most serious of international occurrences as well as real local problems (not the fake news he keeps spouting about).

As a Canadian visitor to this great country and its generous and welcoming people, it is totally inappropriate for me to involve myself in your internal affairs, political or otherwise. However, when unilateral decisions are made in Washington which unjustly affect the well-being of my country and its people, well, I must speak up.

When President Donald Trump talks of tariffs against Canada, he should not overlook the fact that Canada is the largest and most secure source of crude oil needed to meet the daily energy requirements of the USA. Online research indicates that around 3 million barrels of crude oil are shipped to refineries in the USA every day at a discounted price from the world price of crude oil

As a Canadian taxpayer, it is bad enough that I am subsidizing the cost of gasoline at the pump in the USA while paying world prices myself, but for Trump to have the audacity to contend that the USA is being screwed by Canada and is to be punished with tariffs, well perhaps it is time to reluctantly draw a line in sand with a friend since my country and its people are being detrimentally treated.

As a self-professed great deal-maker, perhaps Trump would appreciate trying this one on for size: The day tariffs are implemented against Canada, we implement an export tax on all crude oil shipments to the USA. As the USA refineries will not absorb the additional costs but pass them on to consumers, I wonder how his base support will react to increased gas prices at the pump?

There seems to be much controversy over whether or not we should be allowed the right of the Second Amendment. My mother used to tell me to think before I spoke, not while I was speaking or after I already spoke, but before my lips started flapping.

The way I see this is we as the people of the U.S. have rights so that we may maintain our independence, thereby making us in charge of ourselves. Included in the Bill of Rights are the right to speak (First Amendment), the right not to speak (Fifth Amendment) and the right to protect ourselves by bearing arms (Second Amendment).

This tells many of us all we need to know. We need to maintain our independence by maintaining these amendments, thereby maintaining our freedom. Criminals, until caught and prosecuted, are as free as we are. So this means there really is no such thing as a “gun-free zone.” All zones should be somewhere somehow secured for safety.