Whenever I see an article critical of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers’ “environmental record,” I wonder if the writer actually understands what the Corps is — and the function that it plays in the construction projects.

Please note this fact:

The Army Corps of Engineers is a military organization. The work they do is work “ordered” by civilians in Congress, which approves and funds the projects.

If the Army Corps of Engineers is ordered by Congress to dig a ditch, it will dig the ditch. And if Congress orders the Corps to fill the ditch back in, it will fill the ditch back in.

It’s the same as when members of the military were ordered to go to war in Iraq. They did not question the order.

I have always had a positive experience with the Corps’ Jacksonville officers who have been involved in the Kissimmee River restoration and the Everglades restoration.

And I respect the fact that all of the Corps members I have known are combat veterans from Iraq or Afghanistan.

Yes, the Army Corps of Engineers’ bureaucracy is a nightmare.

But that is the way of government.

And especially the military.

So if you have objections or criticisms, please direct them to those who are giving the orders — and not to the soldiers who are obeying them.

Newton E. Cook, Tequesta, FL

Cook is a member of the Water Resources Advisory Commission, an advisory arm of the South Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board.




It is time to cease the attempts to remove the names of Confederate heroes from monuments and streets.

I am a World War II veteran who fought the Japanese during 11 different invasions in the South Pacific. Yet today I have deep respect for the Japanese.

How would some Americans feel if there was a call to remove the name of Martin Luther King Jr. from streets?

Both King and the Confederate heroes should continue to be respected.

Jim Snellen, St. Johns


the lgbtQ community


I try very hard to have compassion and tolerance for those whose beliefs are very different from mine.

But a recent letter writer shared his beliefs about the LGBTQ community in a way that was enormously disrespectful and distasteful.

The letter writer contended that “it shows a lack of compassion and wisdom to enable those who have distorted their feelings and mentality to pursue sexual perversion.”

According to the letter writer, we must reveal to these individuals — fellow human beings — “their waywardness” and help them fix their problem.

I would venture to say that the biggest “problem” the LGBTQ community faces today is the attitude of that letter writer, one that is which unfortunately is shared by many others.

I will try to feel compassion for the letter writer, who is an unfortunate person demonstrating a wayward disregard for the feelings of others.

Linda Willson, Jacksonville




When the idea first began that Russia hacked our election, I laughed and told myself that this controversy wouldn’t last.

But I was wrong.

After months of constant media jabbering, this idea has become commonplace.

But anyone with a knowledge of history knows that every dominant government in the world attempts to influence elections in foreign countries — and that it has been common practice for decades.

There’s hardly an election anywhere in the world that hasn’t seen one U.S. political party or the other try to influence the outcome. Many times, the U.S. parties will send cash and consultants to help similar political parties in foreign countries.

And in the past when U.S. election manipulation was unsuccessful, the CIA would sometimes work in secret fashion to undermine the winner we had opposed.

Using “Russia hacked our election” as political fodder is expected from Democratic Party members like U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff. But Republican Party politicians like U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain should be ashamed when they parrot Democratic talking points to an obviously ill-informed American public.

George Calvert, Jacksonville




Remember the seven deadly sins?

It is clear that many of them apply to President Donald Trump:

• Pride.

• Envy.

• Gluttony.

• Greed.

• Lust.

• Wrath.

I’ll concede that “Sloth” doesn’t apply.

Don Muldoon, Ponte Vedra Beach


melissa nelson


Hats off to State Attorney Melissa Nelson for her efforts to reverse the “lock ‘em up” attitude toward Jacksonville’s black community — particularly its juveniles — that was displayed by former State Attorney Angela Corey.

Rick Mansfield, Ponte Vedra Beach