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ROTC program gives youths self-discipline

Four years ago, my son, Jonathan O'Connor, signed up to attend the Navy Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program at Dunedin High School. It has been the most rewarding experience to date of his young life. He will graduate in June, along with the remainder of his class and, of course, with the other senior cadets in his NJROTC class.

He has had the experience of learning, not just about the Navy and its resources, but possibly even more important in today's world, about self-discipline. This has been the single highest quality each student could learn. He got the opportunity to travel to Norfolk, Va., and Washington, D.C., to board ships and submarines, to compete against other cadets in ROTC programs, and to take part in academic teams, sports, rifle marksmanship and drill team exhibitions, plus so much more.

The pride and leadership demonstrated in Dunedin High School NJROTC program will become a legend to each cadet. Its graduates will continue their stories long after the sparks of graduating have dulled.

Judy Thompson, Palm Harbor

Clearwater study doesn't settle dispute over pay

The Oct. 24 article Clearwater unions picket over stalled contract talks paraphrased me as saying that the city's market study was flawed. It is a relatively accurate study. The only problem is that the city looked at fire departments that work as much as eight hours a week less than we do to make its comparison. We used the city's study and its numbers to compute hourly wages for the Clearwater firefighters in relation to other departments.

Based on an hourly rate, we are approximately 5 percent underpaid by their market study!

In the Oct. 3 article, the city stated, "Even if firefighters don't receive a cost-of-living increase, they will be eligible for merit increases." Not true. Only 39 percent of the firefighters will be eligible for any actual pay increase versus 61 percent for Clearwater police who just got a 13 percent pay raise.

Thanks for the study, Clearwater. Now, show me the money!

Patrick Shepler,

president Clearwater

Fire Fighters Association

Firefighters' quick action

reassures condo residents

Recently, an alert condominium resident was awakened around midnight by a loud noise. Upon checking out the cause, the resident saw smoke pouring from one of the apartments. A call was made to the Clearwater Fire Department and residents of Waverly Towers condominium were told of the first-floor fire.

A total of 18 firetrucks soon surrounded the building. Help also came from the Largo and Dunedin fire departments, as well as the Clearwater Police Department. Even though damage from the fire and smoke was extensive in our four-story condominium, it would have been worse without the immediate and concentrated effort.

It is comforting to be aware of the concern and efforts manifested by those people coming to our aid and staying until the early hours of the morning. They made sure it was safe for residents to re-enter the building. Many thanks from all of us here at Waverly Towers.

Enna F. Chester, president,

Waverly Towers Association

A round of applause for

talented trio's concert

To all you folks who didn't attend the free concert at Dunedin Library, you missed a wonderful evening. It was a gift by the Lied Trio. These kids do a fantastic job and we loved every minute of the performance.

All too often we hear about the bad teenagers, but we never hear much about the good teenagers. These are great teenagers and I'm so glad I got to hear and meet them. Thank you Josh, Adam and Julie. I hope to hear more of your work.

Winnie Langkop, Clearwater

Lunch funds need to be

refilled by borrowers

This letter is written in response to the other letters about the child who lost her lunch money.

It is our _ the parents' _ fault. There is a fund at these schools for such mishaps. As usual, we write about the lack of this and that, but we are supposed to repay the loan of money to your child. But instead, we complain of lack of service when we don't do what is right. These are our children and we are responsible for them.

Let's do what is right and repay the lost or forgotten lunch money. Then this problem would not happen.

Philip Seger, Clearwater

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