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Kayakers deserve credit for their effort

Our family wants to thank you for the excellent articles by Terry Tomalin about his kayak adventure. We love kayaking, and my husband and I have been out in a storm (we weren't out far and when things got bad, we quickly paddled home). We admire the kayakers for going out in the first place. You are amazing for finishing under the most awful conditions. We were impressed when you decided to finish together.

We hope you plan to do this again, and the next time get nicer weather. You probably didn't intend to be a source of inspiration to so many, but you certainly are.

Barbara Hodges

Tampa

Gender equity

What a disappointment. Your paper has great sports coverage, but the manner in which you treat the women's NCAA basketball tournament is grossly unfair. Why not put their teams in brackets similar to the men? You have to really search to find out who is playing. Come on, give them and us a break.

Jim Mitchell

Largo

Gender equity II

You can bet your bippy that had it been Tiger going for a 59 instead of Annika, ESPN would have stayed on the air until the conclusion of the round.

Al Alt

Clearwater

Fry scores with Jordan

I think Darrell Fry hit the mark on Michael Jordan. I lived in Chicago for three of those six great championships and Mike knows the special magic he shares with that city could never be replaced. I also don't think he feels, or should feel, pressure to be the NBA's savior. You don't mess with perfect stories, no matter who begs.

Kevin Rogers

St. Petersburg

Waldon a great example

I've been carrying around this article for a week showing friends and family. Right here in my hands lays the past and future of college and pro basketball.

The article tells us about USF's loss to Charlotte in the quarterfinals of the C-USA men's basketball tournament. Apparently at the end of the game, USF was down by three points when B.B. Waldon, a USF junior forward, shot, but it rimmed out and USF loses.

We expect him to blame the coach, the other team, the refs, the ball and the rim. What I read is, "It went in and then it ended up rimming out. There's nothing I can do about it except go work on that shot."

Did he just accept blame, then admit that it's up to him to prepare himself for next time? Good luck, kid. You'll never make it in the NBA (National Baby League). Rule 1: Never accept responsibility for your own mistakes. Rule 2: Never admit that you may have to work on part of your game.

I miss that kind of attitude in both the college and pro ranks.

So Mr. Waldon, I want to thank you for a glimmer of hope. I wish you well wherever you go, whether it is the pros or the business world. Just for a moment, you brought the game back.

Chuck Shedd

via e-mail

Rays raise the bar

I read in your newspaper that the Rays are trying to improve their customer service. I was at Florida Power Park for the Phillies game Sunday, sitting in Field Box 6. A woman seated near me with a deaf son (who had two replaced kneecaps) approached two gentlemen representing the Rays and asked if they could be reseated because of her son's difficulty with his seat.

Immediately they gave her and her son new seats and went out of their way to be nice. It was great to see the Rays respond that way to a family in need, and it made me proud to be a fan.

Joe West

Clearwater

Thank you

One of the most enjoyable aspects of returning to Florida each year from Nova Scotia is the St. Petersburg Times. You have a great balance of coverage on international, national and state affairs. Human interest stories are always well-written and researched.

Your sports coverage is top notch. I particularly enjoy Gary Shelton. He is never snide, snivelling or sarcastic. His opinions are never contrived, convoluted or contradictory. I find his work incisive, informed and interesting.

Hubert Mizell's coverage of the Master's golf tournament each year is as colorful and bright as the azaleas and magnolias. Can't wait.

Tom Osborne

St. Pete Beach

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