NaplesPublished 4:48 p.m. ET May 2, 2018
Bring back Big Ten Network
I am an alumna of the University of Michigan. For the first time in my life, as far as I can remember, I find myself agreeing with someone from Ohio State, a member of the Ohio State Alumni Club.
The cancellation of the Big Ten Network in Florida is a big mistake. We willingly pay a premium for this service: why cancel us?
I wrote to the program director of Comcast Cable, 1 Comcast Center, 1701 JFK Blvd., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103. Perhaps she and others will join me to express our disappointment and ask for reinstatement.
Kathleen Slebodnik, Naples
UM Alumni Club of SWFL
Right the wrong
Attention Comcast officials:
I am one of the thousands of Big Ten fans living in Naples. That’s right, thousands.
Your recent decision to stop carrying the Big Ten Network (and, therefore, Big Ten football games) in Naples really irks me. What makes you think that any diehard Big Ten fan (did I mention thousands in the Naples area?) wants to watch Florida teams play during the football season or any other season. In our opinion, football outside of the Big Ten Conference is inferior and pretty much boring. I have been watching my beloved Michigan play for too many years to count and I still get a thrill watching every game.
For you to do this almost makes me want to move to Arizona. Let me check if the Big Ten Network is being carried there.
Yours was a stupid decision made by someone (I’m sure) who graduated from, ugh, Florida State University. You still have several months to right this wrong.
One last thought: Why did you make this announcement after most of the Midwesterners (who strongly support Naples) went back north for the summer?
Fred Scensny, Naples
Opera a beautiful thing
Opera Naples’ recent production of “The Elixir of Love” was my very first opera! I went because my friend was singing in the chorus.
Everyone was enjoying it, even laughing and I assumed most of those in the sold-out audience must have understood Italian. Finally, I realized there were English subtitles projected above the stage. At that time I too became intoxicated by the tale of infatuation, charlatans and true love, told in song.
Last week’s ingeniously directed concert, showcasing the impressively talented students of the Opera Naples Academy, enhanced my taste.
Now I am looking forward to Mozart’s engaging music when Opera Naples stages “The Marriage of Figaro” May 10 at Artis–Naples. I invite those who stay in May to give a warm reception to “The Marriage of Figaro.”
This could be the start of a beautiful thing for me.
Ron Klein, Naples
Smell Naples and die
Naples promotes itself as a special place, with pleasant winters, beautiful beaches and clean Gulf water. However, red tide now threatens this ideal Naples and our economy.
Red tide is caused by a massive bloom of algae that comes down the Caloosahatchee River and drifts southwards into proximity to the beaches. The red tide produces an airborne toxin that produces coughing and eye irritation miles from the beaches. At its worst, a fish kill adds the odor of decaying fish corpses with each wave.
Our newspapers discuss red tide frequently and a local television station now includes a red tide report in its weather segment.
Red tide can be ameliorated, if we take action! Diverse sources corroborate several connected activities: water with excessive fertilizer is discharged from Lake Okeechobee into rivers with the red tide blooms; human meddling with the natural flow of water into the Everglades is done to permit the sugar industry to grow in the natural drainage areas, and the sugar industry is profitable only because of minimum price guarantees and prohibition of cheaper imports.
The sugar companies donate to high-ranking politicians. Their protection sustains the industry. Gov. Rick Scott received $980,512 and Sen. Marco Rubio received $486,765 in his failed presidential bid.
Elected officials from the cities, counties and state government from Southwest Florida counties need to tell the politicians protecting the sugar industry that enough is enough.
It was once said of Naples, Italy, “See Naples and die.” This has changed to “Smell
Naples and die.” Do we want this said of our Naples? Do we want to lose the tourists
and seasonal residents? The time for talk and platitudes is over.
Michael Finkel, Naples
Examining options to Comcast
Without warning, Comcast dropped the Big Ten Network. On April 10, Channel 472 (Big Ten Network) disappeared. I spent a few days calling the "Comcast robot lady" before deducing this was not a tech services issue. Rather, it is a big deal.
The local Purdue Club has an address list of 2,450 individuals and that does not include spouses, significant others, “friends of Purdue” or snowflakes and snowbirds not identified. Certainly, it will come as a shock to the sports department at Comcast, but the Big Ten has 14 member schools. If the other 13 universities have Purdue’s level of interest, that means Comcast has denied 34,300 households in the Naples area the opportunity to watch their teams compete in football, men’s and women’s basketball, track and field, lacrosse, swimming and diving, and hockey, as well as gymnastics, wrestling, softball, et al.
Instead, Comcast opted for the comic relief of telecasts of Paul Finebaum having phone conversations.
I have been advised to examine other service options and certainly will make the change.
Bob Strickler, Naples
Thanks for donations large and small
Four years ago, to celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Community Foundation of Collier County launched the first Give Where You Live 24-hour matching challenge in partnership with the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation with the goal of engaging this wonderfully philanthropic community with high-performing local nonprofits.
This year, 38 nonprofits, whose missions are focused on education and basic needs, benefited from nearly $4 million in contributions from the community matched by $400,000 from the Schulze Foundation and $100,000 from the Community Foundation.
The participating organizations recently met at the Community Foundation to review this year’s event, giving us an opportunity to reflect on how fortunate we all are to be part of this movement. Not only does the challenge offer a platform where anyone can be a philanthropist, it raises awareness of the many worthy causes in Collier County by connecting us with new people. Give Where You Live engages the greater philanthropic community, bringing us all together as we keep our eyes on the leaderboard and come up with new ways to spread the word about this incredible opportunity to make charitable donations go a little further.
As representatives of the three largest beneficiaries, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County, Naples Senior Center at JFCS and New Horizons of Southwest Florida, we would like to extend our deep gratitude to the Community Foundation, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and to this remarkably supportive community for your gifts, large and small, each of which makes a measurable difference in accomplishing our missions. Thank you for another incredible matching challenge and we look forward to participating again in 2019!
Rev. Lisa Lefkow, CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County
Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, president and CEO, Naples Senior Center at JFCS
Debra Haley, executive director, New Horizons of SWFL
Student protest orchestrated
As a Naples High School parent, I decided to observe the April 20 so-called student walkout to protest gun violence.
While the event was previously reported by the Naples Daily News as a meaningful protest by students, in actuality, it was nothing more than a coordinated political stunt, orchestrated by left-wing Collier Freedom and the Naples Daily News to disrupt the fine Naples High Golden Eagle community in order to promote their agenda to demonize the Second Amendment and all law-abiding gun owners.
First, let's start with the number of students taking part in the walkout. If 50 is considered a fair number, this means that close to 98 percent of Naples High students chose education over left-wing politicking during school hours.
Second, I was personally able to witness how the Naples Daily News reporter (with an NPR sticker on her car) and members of the far-left Collier Freedom (a group which has organized other so-called "student protests" where the students chanted, "Hey, Hey, NRA, how many kids have you killed today?") miraculously parked in the same area, then met on the sidewalk together on Golden Gate Parkway, where members of the group proceeded to climb the school fence like predators and hold signs stating, "The NRA is a terrorist ogranization."
Then, a handful of students were allowed to march over to this group, holding their signs of hate and division, to give out high-fives over the fence so they could be better photographed by the Naples Daily News.
Collier County Public Schools Superintendent Kamela Patton needs to focus the district on education rather than tacitly enabling students to be shepherded into a photo op political stunt coordinated by divisive Collier Freedom and the Naples Daily News.
David Bolduc, Naples