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It's vital to appreciate peace, beauty

Meditative meals

It's vital to notice beauty around us

A hot afternoon in June found me sitting in a makeshift garden surrounded by bathtubs, benches and beautiful music. I went to St. Petersburg's own Chattaway restaurant for some made-from-scratch fried chicken and those perfect crinkly fries that call to the mind the innocence of youth.

I found jazz. And as I sat reading 1 Dead in Attic, a book of short essays about New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and listening to the impeccable saxophone of a young man called Henry Ashwood Jr. as he worked his way through Coltrane and Brubeck and other sacred names, I couldn't help but realize, just for a moment, how very lucky we are to live here, in this place, in this city, where there are moments that give us perfect opportunities for peace amid the speckled light of the sun sprinkled through the leaves and the casual conversation of the long slow lunch and the bop beat of ease.

New Orleans reminds us all that it could be gone so quickly.

Now and then it is vital, I believe, to stop and listen and look and breathe deep and see the possibilities for beauty that surround us.

John V. Omlor, St. Petersburg

New rule imperils car, cart drivers | June 21, letter

Golf carts save gas, give independence

The letter writer is apparently concerned about golf carts traveling on 40th Street from Mainlands to Wal-Mart.

In the first place, a driver can't go more than 20 mph the whole length of 40th Street because of the speed tables.

There is not much traffic, so how hard is it to pass a golf cart without oncoming traffic? Golf carts are not allowed on the street after dark, so headlights are not required.

On the other hand, the golf carts save gas and parking spaces and allow some people who do not drive anymore to be more independent.

I remember driving on the main street in Sun City, Ariz., where the traffic is horrible, but the cars and golf carts got along just fine.

I have never been to Sun City in Florida, but I hear there is no problem there either.

S. Snyder, Pinellas Park

Seat belt law

Let drivers decide whether to wear it

I'm having a huge problem trying to understand the rationale of our lawmakers.

I drive a car that weighs more than 2 tons sitting on four steel-belted tires. There are front and side air bags, and more, but they want a police officer to write a ticket if I'm not wearing a seat belt.

Meantime, I see cars passing me with drivers talking on cell phones, reading maps and other actions taking away their concentration from their driving.

They will offer a motorcyclist, riding a two-wheel vehicle with comparatively no safety devices at all, an option of whether or not to wear a helmet.

If this seat belt law was enacted for my protection, I appreciate the thought, but I am old and mature enough to think for myself. I would at least like to have the opportunity to have an option to wear a seat belt as the bikers do to wear a helmet.

I think we would all be better served if lawmakers concentrated more on stopping the cell phone usage while driving rather than the big push on seat belts.

Robert Ipri, St. Petersburg

fast facts

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Letters for publication should be addressed to Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. They can be sent by fax to (727) 893-8675 or through our Web site at They should be brief and must include the writer's name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

It's vital to appreciate peace, beauty 06/23/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:33am]
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