1. Archive

New bridge plans don't tackle risky right turns

Published Sep. 3, 2005

Re: Neighbors have uneasy view of bridge plans, story, July 14.

Harbor Club condominium residents Harry Nigolian and Peter Ferrara call the Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge "just a commuter bridge." Never mind that it is also the only route to safety for thousands of people in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

I also live on what is actually called Sunset Bay, the northeast bay off the causeway boat ramp. I also had concerns about the concrete obstruction that dominates the horizon and my view. My wife and I decided we could live with the blight and have been happy here on Sunset Bay for three years now, even though the blight is still there.

No, not the bridge, It's that bland, white, square, huge excuse for a building called Harbor Club Condo C. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

The taller, cheaper bridge affords safe egress for beach residents _ no need for a bridge tender and the high maintenance of a bascule bridge. Ramp parking may actually increase and trailered boats will no longer have to make a dangerous left turn leaving.

I still have to worry about right turns onto Bluff View Drive off West Bay Drive westbound. The pedestrian crossing makes cars stop suddenly, with miles of cars coming down over the hill behind you. It's dangerous now and none of the new bridges address this hazard. There's a turn lane for eastbound; there needs to be a right turn lane for westbound so drivers can safely stop for pedestrians, many of whom, I'm sure, live in Harbor Club.

Kevin R. T. Laughlin, Belleair

One of Williams' greatest

ovations: Yankee Stadium

I have been listening to and reading the many articles about the late, great Ted Williams.

I thought of an incident involving Ted Williams that your readers might find interesting. It happened during World War II while Williams was working for Uncle Sam as a pilot. At that time, the Army had a baseball team called theArmy Allstars. This team was made up of big-league players who were in the service.

I happened to be in New York City on this particular day when a friend called and said he had tickets to the Yankee baseball game and asked me to join him. They were playing a double-header that day. The regular game opponent was the Cleveland Indians, but they were playing the ArmyAllstars in the first game.

For several days before the game, the papers were speculating as to whether Williams' schedule would permit him to play. On the day of the game, no one seemed to know. Before the game, the public announcer would call out the name of the Allstar player, and that player would come out of the Yankee dugout and walk across home plate to the visitor dugout amid the applause of a packed stadium crowd. After what seemed to be the last name to be called, there was a short pause and the crowd quieted down. Then the announcer said, "And last but not least . . . " I am sure he said more, but no one heard it. The roar was deafening. That old "Ruth-built" stadium shook from rafter to sill.

I looked down, and Ted Williams jumped out of the Yankee dugout like an 18-year-old high school kid, waving his cap over his head. He stopped at home plate and bowed to all sections of the stadium before entering the visitor dugout. That was the greatest ovation I ever witnessed. It was even greater when you stop to think that Ted was a Boston Red Sox player and this happened in Yankee Stadium.

I hope there are others around who were there that day.

Roy B. Anderson, Clearwater

Williams set standard for

players, game of baseball

Ted Williams' influence on baseball will live on. He has left an indelible mark on our national pastime. His presence will continue to be felt by:

Anyone who crosses over the white line onto the playing field.

Any player who gets a hit or makes a great throw or catch.

Any aspiring young ballplayer hoping to reach the majors.

Any instructor or coach teaching the values of the game.

Any manager motivating his team.

Any baseball fan sitting in the stands.

Any parent who takes his or her child to a ballgame at any level.

Any father who plays catch with his children.

All those who love the game.

He is the standard by which all others are measured. Baseball and Ted Williams are synonymous.

"So long, kid. Here's looking at you."

Thomas J. Sweeney, Largo