Sunday's letters: Back in campaign mode, fish farming experiment, smearing unions

Hundreds of Donald Trump supporters gather near the former president's Mar-a-Lago estate Tuesday night, awaiting his big announcement. As expected, Trump announced that he will make his third run for president in 2024.
Hundreds of Donald Trump supporters gather near the former president's Mar-a-Lago estate Tuesday night, awaiting his big announcement. As expected, Trump announced that he will make his third run for president in 2024.
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A day after he was elected, a Collier County School Board member said he favors bringing corporal punishment back to the classroom.

How do you feel about paddling students? Right? Wrong? Only with the parents’ permission?

Send us your letter of no more than 200 words, along with your full name, address and phone number. We will only use your name and city. Email your letter to

No letup in tiresome campaigning

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of elections and campaigning. The midterms are over, no more constant ads on TV, and we should be able to have a break.

Now, days after the midterms, Donald Trump announces he is running for president again and we are back in campaign cycle. That means we will have daily Trump press releases and will hear the same old stuff.

Since Trump has declared he is running in 2024, does it mean he is finally moving on from 2020? Or is he running for both elections? Who knows, but I’m election drained. There should be a law that you can’t campaign until one year before an election.

More: How to send a letter to the editor

I would love some peace and quiet for a while. How about you?

Joseph Marra, Venice

Don’t move to Florida to turn it blue

The Nov. 15 column by Carli Pierson urging Democrats moving to Florida to change the state’s politics, reminded me of an incident years ago.

A couple had moved from New York City to a small rural town in northern New Jersey. Almost immediately they complained there were no streetlights in the community, they had to drive almost 10 minutes to buy milk and the stores didn’t stay open late.

As the man started to continue his complaints, a longtime resident said, “Why don’t you just move back to the city? We like this little town the way it is!”

I would say something similar to those Democrats who may enjoy the lower taxes and business opportunities that Republicans support. Stay back in your blue states if you’re coming with changes; we like Florida the way it is.

Sidna B. Mitchell, Venice

Make fish farming a true experiment

As a barrier island resident, my initial instinct was to oppose the proposed fish farm.  But a Nov. 14 letter, “Nothing evil about fish farming in Gulf,” made an impression on me.

Why don’t we try a true scientific experiment along the lines of this:

• Competent scientists determine historical baseline levels of fish waste and resultant algae blooms and estimate what acceptable effluent levels would be. Between the federal Environmental Protection Agency, our Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and our universities we should be able to assemble a team.

• License the fish farm for a fixed period of time, say five years, with the default condition that it expires and is not renewed unless environmental monitoring shows acceptable levels as predetermined in Step 1.

• The results of the five years of monitoring can be used to determine what, if any, capacity our local Gulf ecosystem has to support fish farming, based on the acceptable levels from Step 1. If the farm meets the Step 1 guidelines, further rules can be established as to the number of fish per farm, required distance between farms, distances offshore, etc.

Bob Nusbaum, Longboat Key

Right-wing columnist smears teachers unions

As a former local teachers union president in Maryland and a former state teacher of the year, I find the opinion piece by Ashley Varner offensive and inaccurate (“Florida’s teachers’ union pays the price for far-left agenda,” Nov. 16).

The drop in union membership in the various teachers unions over the past couple of years pretty much parallels the reduction in total teachers employed. There has been a 3% drop in teacher employment over the past three years, which explains the drop in memberships.

Dues do not go to political candidates. The unions have political action committees that members voluntarily donate to. Dues pay for the operation of the various unions.

The opinion piece contained intentional misinformation, and it was a typical example of how radical right-wingers hate public education.

Paul Schatz, Sarasota

Living legend, back where he belongs

With all the negative news recently in our beautiful paradise of Southwest Florida, what a godsend it is to see and hear Dick Vitale back again on ESPN.

The last couple of years have been a battle for Dick, fighting his own cancer while bravely persevering in raising money for the V Foundation to fight pediatric cancer.

I’m encouraged to put the hurricane damage, inflation issues and political divisiveness in the rearview mirror. Why? Because we have a living legend, healthy and back where he belongs.

It’s awesome to have you back, Dick.

David Toy, Englewood

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: 2024 campaign already heating up, accept Florida or stay home