Allie Kissam Deventhal submitted this note:
“Thanks to all of you who contacted me after the reunion. What a pleasure to see and hear from you. What a memorable time!
It has been a sad and frustrating few months in southwest Florida. The area is going through a true environmental crisis with red tide in the Gulf of Mexico and blue green algae in the fresh water canals due to discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Many fish, shorebirds, and mammals, as well as aquatic plants are dying, and people near the canals are getting sick as well. Naturally, some of the problem is political, with the wealthy sugar industry officials having power over state and federal politicians, delaying legislative efforts to improve the situation. The residents are finally getting fed up enough to act, and the primary and midterm elections should be interesting. Another big issue in Florida is gun control, after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February in Parkland, FL, killing 17 students. Watching the surviving classmates react to the shooting has actually given me hope for the future. These kids are well spoken, and have taken gun control on as their mission. While some similar efforts have petered out in time, these students are getting ever stronger and more committed, despite obstacles along the way from gun rights supporters.”