Couples fear reverting to second-class status
Ten years ago, after living in Sarasota for six years, my partner and I decided to get married on one of our trips to our hometown of New York. We had been together for 20 years and same-sex couples couldn’t get married in Florida.
Our ceremony was simple at Brooklyn City Hall. A dear friend was our witness and we then celebrated over lunch.
Our marriage was a milestone in our relationship, a symbol of our love and our commitment. We were thrilled to share the news with our family and friends and start enjoying the hundreds of rights granted to married couples.
It is extremely disconcerting to think about the possibility of returning to second-class status. Republican Senator Marco Rubio was wrong to say that proposed legislation to protect same-sex marriage was “a stupid waste of time”. Ask any same-sex couple you know.
Robert J. Evans, Sarasota
Renovations have ruined the acoustics of Van Wezel
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall was built for acoustic performance and the acoustics were perfect.
I heard Tony Bennett sing there without a microphone and only a piano to accompany him. All of us in the 26th row could hear every note and every nuance.
The problem with the current sound in the room came with the over $20 million overhaul of the facility. Non-acoustic artists had played in the installation and their sound engineers did not understand acoustics. They chased everyone out of the place.
So during the redesign, the acoustics were messed up by people who didn’t understand the science and spoiled the sound.
Fortunately, a shell was developed for the Sarasota Orchestra years later, which really helped improve the quality of the acoustics in its performance. But the acoustics are still sketchy, and it seems that with traveling shows, the current trend is for the music to dominate the actors and singers.
I would love to see the Van Wezel brought back to its original acoustic frame. It will probably never happen, so I will be happy to have many years of memories of this previous perfection.
Deborah Alborell, Sarasota
Christian nationalists look like the Taliban
No American wants others to impose their religious values on them. Yet we have a movement within the Republican Party known as Christian Nationalism that seeks to do just that.
Despite our secular Constitution, this group seeks to impose a religion on all citizens through government actions and edicts. It’s just plain un-American.
The same people who tout Christian nationalism are fiercely opposed to the Taliban, and rightly so. But what is really the difference? Both groups seek to impose a religion on others who do not want or agree with it.
The founders of our country did not seek to establish a state religion. After all, it was one of the worst things they ran from in England.
In Article 11 of the 1805 Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President Thomas Jefferson, it was stated: “The government of the United States of America is in no way founded on the Christian religion”.
Read Andrew Seidel’s excellent book “The Founding Myth” for many more examples.
Only a massive election against Republicans in November can stop this kind of madness.
Peter Burkard, Sarasota
Schools will benefit from the perspective of veterinarians
There were mostly negative responses to be had veterans as teachers in our schools. Here is my experience.
I became a substitute teacher in the Miami-Dade school system with only two years of college. After a few years, I continued and got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.
I was allowed to replace without any training or experience. However, I feel like I learned almost as much substitution as I did in all of my college classes!
Veterans would offer a whole new perspective to children with their life experiences and could open up a whole new career path for them.
Joan Hastings, Sarasota
Break with China; impose tariffs
It is time to end our dysfunctional relationship with China. We seem to be on a collision course with the country over Taiwan and yet we continue to support the Chinese economy by buying products made there.
We need to sever the financial relationship by adding heavy tariffs on products made in China, even if the products are made by American companies.
This decision will of course have consequences on the price increase.
Hopefully, these tariffs will attract more manufacturing to our shores and the “supply chain” issues might also disappear.
Bill Stelcher, Bradenton