Towing at Brandon's Fourth of July Parade
Take a holiday from towing
I would like to thank the President's Roundtable for hosting another fantastic Fourth of July parade in Brandon this year. Having grown up here, we've attended many of the last 30 parades. Now that I have small children, they enjoy the festivities, too.
The last four years, I have parked in Clayton Plaza next to the former Eckerd drugstore. This year, I lucked out and got a spot 20 feet closer.
As the parade ended, we returned to the car, and saw a towing company hauling off a sedan where I usually park.
I was appalled. Yes, there was a "Tow Away Zone" sign. Yes, the towing company was operating within its legal rights. But to tow a car during the parade?
Half of the strip mall was closed for the holiday, and this driver had the courtesy to park by a storefront that has been shuttered for more than four years. And they get towed? Who complained?
My in-laws and I were disgusted. Yes, the letter of the law was in their favor, but the towing company exhibited poor taste.
I hope someone — the President's Roundtable, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office or the Clayton Plaza management company — can work out an agreement so no one has a sour end to the parade next year. Thanks again to all of the helpers needed to pull off the parade! Christine Robbins, Riverview
Danger slithers underfoot | July 4 story
Let's recognize snakes' place
I read Jan Wesner's July 4 article in hopes of finding at least a few educational paragraphs to balance the unreasonable fear that many people have of snakes. I was disappointed and hope that you might consider writing a follow-up article on the benefits of snakes, especially showing pictures of common garter, hognose, rat and other beneficial, non-venomous varieties instead of the bared fangs of a relatively rare Eastern diamondback.
You could mention that out of more than 40 snake species in Florida, only six are venomous.
You could list the many benefits of snakes: All snakes eat insects, worms and/or rodents. Yet snakes cause no physical harm to plants, the landscape or structures.
Snakes cannot chew or make holes. Snakes are only perceived, not real, pests.
Snakes help control the smaller members of the animal kingdom from becoming overpopulated. Farmers save money because snakes protect their farm products from destructive rodents.
You might consider adding some anecdotal information.
My brother-in-law's neighbor was constantly killing black garter and red rat snakes on sight.
He begged the neighbor not to kill the snakes on his property, and warned them of an impending rat problem.
Sure enough, two months later, they were asking my brother-in-law to please help them with their rat problem.
When you kill snakes, you are inviting increased populations of the harmful rodents.
I commend the style of Jan's article — she is obviously a talented writer.
Unfortunately, the myopic scope of the piece will likely serve to feed the unreasonable fear that many have about a very beneficial inhabitant of our state. Steven Sowell, Lutz