Re: Boots, shoes to stand for war's fallen, story, May 25
Respect our dead, not the enemy's
Who in the world thinks that Memorial Day (previously known in my childhood as Decoration Day) would be used as a vehicle for political protests? With the political left, nothing is sacred.
It is a day when our country remembers our warriors who have made the supreme sacrifice for our country. To make it a political event for a bunch of lefties who value our enemies' lives as much as our war dead is truly disgusting.
To be sure, lefty pacifists have free speech and did qualify for a permit for the display in Largo Central Park, but the rest of us can choose not to look or listen. There is no moral equivalency between the enemy's dead and our own.
St. Petersburg Times editors should not have sent the reporter to write this article. Your lack of respect for our war dead is profound.
Tim Shepherd, Palm Harbor
Officials must show more class
I attended the Memorial Day ceremony in Oldsmar at the Veterans Memorial Park on Shore Drive E. The Leisure Services Department had every detail covered, from the seating, the sound system, the color guard and a program covering the Pledge of Allegiance, Star-Spangled Banner, and the order of persons speaking.
What a beautiful day for an outdoor event! The speech given by Mayor Jim Ronecker was a wonderfully inspirational and touching one. Then Vice Mayor Eric Seidel introduced our distinguished speaker, Lt. Col. Jennifer L. Uptimore, Commander 310th Airlift Squadron, MacDill Air Force Base. Not only did he never say her last name correctly, he stumbled her accomplishments and ended up calling her Jefferson instead of Jennifer.
To top it off, City Council member Janice Miller, who acted as master of ceremonies, couldn't be bothered to wear an appropriate patriotic shirt, but wore a reddish, Hawaiian-style faded shirt.
If this is how our council members represent the city of Oldsmar at these dignified occasions, I am embarrassed and ashamed of them. They may represent this unpretentious community, but they have the obligation to do it with some etiquette and a little class.
Tiffany Kinworthy, Oldsmar
Re: Top beach may be Caladesi Island, Talk of the Bay brief, May 22
Caladesi Island accessible on foot
Your "Talk of the Bay" item states that Caladesi Island is accessible only by boat or ferry. Whether you came up with that or whether you copied it from "Dr. Beach" Stephen Leatherman, you're wrong. As any North Clearwater Beach walker — and your reporter is obviously not one of them — can tell you, you can walk to Caladesi from there any time, as your accompanying photo clearly shows. Accurate reporting is not a real strong point today, is it?
Jim McElroy, Palm Harbor
Help county: Cut city's bus 'Looper'
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority could trim $140,000 from its budget by eliminating the annual subsidy for the St. Petersburg "Looper," which serves only downtown St. Petersburg.
After several years of the PSTA improving routes and schedules, budget cuts are now reversing the progress. Twenty-two of the 43 routes are being reduced or eliminated.
Many changes are drastic and each will have a detrimental effect on some riders. Workers using transit to go to and from work may need to leave earlier and transfer more often. Elderly and disabled people needing transit to reach medical appointments or to obtain groceries will be adversely affected. Some may be unable to continue using transit service.
St. Petersburg should be funding the very localized Looper service for its residents and tourists. It does not benefit transit users in the balance of the county and should not be funded by the PSTA.
Chrys Holmes, Largo
Re: Winds whip up wave woes, story, May 13, and Beach lifeguards show their worth, letter, May 15
Lifeguard duty a responsible one
I know a bit about lifeguards. I was one while college was closed for summer vacation. I had earned my lifeguard certificate through the America Red Cross, and I worked one year each at two different private beach and tennis clubs. My final, third beach on Long Island, N.Y., was a bigger job with the Westchester County Park Commission at Glen Island Beach.
This is a life or death situation. We had high-up chairs on the beach and four rowboats out over the deeper water. Each guard took a turn in the first-aid room, nursing bottle cuts, rock scrapes, etc. We also had Westchester Parkway police to handle people from the nearby picnic area who were too drunk or fighting.
It is always a very responsible job when you are dealing with people's lives. All beaches and pools should have a lifeguard on duty.
Words of wisdom: If you are not trained in lifeguard-type rescue, you could be putting your own life on the line trying to save a person.
William (Bill) Gold, Palm Harbor