1. Archive

Admirable qualities are not related to race

Published Oct. 2, 2005

Re: Get ready to call St. Petersburg native an admiral, by Jon Wilson.

I believe the article to be misleading to readers, especially young adults. The emphasis is on the fact that Capt. Brown, a St. Petersburg native, is expected to become the first black U.S. Coast Guard admiral.

Is it more important to remind readers of the obvious facts?

1. Someone instilled in Capt. Brown the value of education.

2. Admission to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy is based on SAT scores, character, community service, etc. This is the only service academy that does not have congressional appointments. You are selected for admission on your academic record, conduct and attributes.

3. His selection for admiral is based on his amazing academic achievements, moral character and service record, not because of his race.

Wendy Grogan Dorsky, St. Petersburg

Park not the place for aggressive geese

Re: Geese chased from park will return; Honk if you love freedom.

The residents of Pinellas Park are indeed fortunate to have Freedom Lake Park. The park features a walking/jogging trail around a lake. In the early morning, a reflection of the American flag can be seen across the water. Occasionally a mama bunny and her baby come out for a morning stroll along the shore. Some flowers, trees and singing birds add to the beauty. Picnic shelters, grills and playground equipment make this an ideal family spot.

Into this tranquil scene has come a group of African geese. The geese have been seen charging park visitors as they protect their territory. They are aggressive and have caused walkers/joggers to fear being attacked. Following a complaint to the city, the geese were removed because they were considered to be a public safety hazard.

Our City Council, in its infinite wisdom, decided that they knew more than the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission when they allowed the geese to be returned to the park, apparently to appease the mayor and his cronies.

Animals are unpredictable and it is difficult to say whether or not they would bite someone. It is strange that the council would consider the feelings of "animal lovers" and not the safety of children running and playing. Perhaps the council would like to hear from the lawyer who was aggressively approached by the geese while walking and volunteered to take the case of anyone bitten by the geese. As a tax-paying resident, I would prefer that the city avoid as many lawsuits as possible. Plus, any act a park visitor might take to protect themselves from the geese would probably be construed as "cruelty to animals."

The mayor also seems concerned about signs prohibiting people from feeding the animals. (The signs have been there for about a year or more. If the mayor spends so much time at the park, why wasn't he aware of the signs?)

The "do-gooders" would do well to educate themselves about the feeding of wild animals. They do the animals no favor by making them dependent on someone handing them their food.

Even though God created them, we do not stand in anthills, play with snakes, shake hands with an alligator or live in a cave with a black bear. Everything has its place and aggressive geese do not belong in a public park.

Ruby Lowe, Pinellas Park