Count the blessings of the community and spread the word about Bobby Jones Park

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On Thanksgiving, count the blessings of the community

On this Thanksgiving day, we should be thankful for so many things.

We live in an area with more than beautiful beaches. We have theaters, education, and plenty of competitive events including speedboats, rowing, and racing.

Our community is a community of great compassion and respect for the less fortunate, especially when it comes to feeding the hungry.

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As we grow both in terms of new developments and an abundance of new citizens, our region is truly blessed to have so much of everything and so many people willing to share their good fortune.

That’s why it’s a very “Happy Thanksgiving”.

Rich Unger, Sarasota

Congratulations to SMH for demanding vaccination

Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s recent decision to comply with the federal COVID vaccination mandate is to be applauded (“SMH Updates Vaccination Policy,” Nov. 20).

Our public hospital made the right decision to impose vaccinations on all employees, suppliers and contractors. In doing so, the organization has demonstrated its commitment to taking care of the health and safety of our community.

David Kotok and Christine Schlesinger

Educating the community in the land of Bobby Jones

Over 150 people attended Bobby Jones Day on November 13.

They went bird watching with an expert from Audubon and hiked the trails with experts from other conservation organizations. They learned how the park improves water quality, restores wildlife habitat and mitigates red tide, and how conservation easements work.

Everyone was delighted to roam around town-owned land that was previously only accessible to golfers.

Plan 3, adopted last year by the Sarasota City Commission, will rehabilitate the golf course (18 standard holes and nine executive holes), mitigate the red tide in Roberts Bay to protect our economy and create a new park. Everybody wins.

From wetlands to playgrounds, trails to golf and birds to butterflies, the city’s plans for these 300 acres will preserve the quality of life in Sarasota long after residential and commercial development ends.

It is time for Bobby Jones’ property to be protected in perpetuity with a conservation easement. Until the easement is in place, it can be developed for residential and commercial purposes. We have a lot going on.

It’s time for the Sarasota City Commission to finalize the conservation easement with the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. No reason exists to delay it.

Keep Bobby Jones now.

Edda Post, Sarasota

A futile local Republican-Democrat effort

Zac Anderson, in his column for November 21, reported on meetings between Democratic and Republican clubs in Longboat Key (“Effort made by Longboat Key GOP and Dems”). Their goal was to do something about the American political quagmire, he said, “by engaging in thoughtful dialogue … embracing differences” and “ensuring the survival of our democracy.”

The talks required the assistance of an expert in conflict resolution, which resulted in their “miracle on the key”.

These talks do nothing to address the current threats to American democracy. Our growing political division was accentuated by former President Donald Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen.

No audit or court challenge in any state supports his claim, but sadly 68% of Republicans believe the election was “stolen,” according to a November poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.

Legislatures across the country, including Florida’s, are passing laws to address the non-existent problem of rigged elections. Their real objective is to restrict access to the vote for citizens who are not inclined to vote Republican.

Even more frightening, some states are passing legislation that would allow them to overturn election results and choose who won their election.

Republican senators have blocked consideration of legislation that would protect the integrity of our elections. If this real problem is not resolved, our democracy could end with the elections of 2024.

F. Lowell Curtis, Key to the Rowboat

Republicans only offer “no”

I am a member of the Democratic Party. Nonetheless, I am saddened by the lack of vigor and intellectual vitality of the Republican Party because vigorous opposition offering interesting and plausible alternatives to the ruling party is good for free government.

The GOP has rallied its members in Congress to oppose President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better program. Fine; the party out of power should not be a rubber stamp.

But what alternatives are offered by the GOP to face the problems left by a serious pandemic causing many deaths and unspeakable misery to many citizens? If the best Republicans have to offer is to become the ‘no’ party, do you think they deserve to be elected to any office?

Sigmund Tobias, Sarasota


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