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Zephyrhills should get behind BMX

Editor: After attending the Zephyrhills City Council meeting Jan. 26 and reading Molly Moorhead's article, a couple of things really stand out.

First of all, there is a big difference between a skateboard park, where the city assumes all liability, and an American Bicycle Association-sanctioned BMX track, where the ABA carries a large liability policy, freeing the city from responsibility.

The Dade City Motorcross races motorcycles. Dade City BMX races bicycles. The ABA sanctions the Dade City and Oldsmar tracks, but there are also National Bicycle League tracks throughout the state of Florida. The ABA is the world's largest BMX sanctioning body.

According to its Web site, "ABA BMX racing is a sport of youthful achievement and the American family. While the young boy or girl BMX racer develops skills at an individual pace, they are learning about winning, losing and trying again. The racer's family learns that time spent together is support of the racer . . ." The ABA has more than 60,000 members nationally, with more than 350 members in Florida from 4 years to 55 years old.

If Molly visited the BMX track, she would not have described it as a "linear track, over hills, across bridges and through tunnels to the finish line." She would have described the steep incline of the starting gate, the many obstacles a rider would encounter with tabletops, stepups, rollover, berms, over the bridge, under the bridge, rollers, doubles, drop downs and rhythm sections all before the finish line.

Currently many cities and counties throughout the country have agreements with local track operators, who supervise and manage the nonprofit facilities. It is not operated as a profitmaking business, rather with passion for the involvement of the youth and their families. Similar to Little League, Pop Warner Football and a host of other sports activities, membership in the governing organization is required. But, membership in the ABA or the NBL is good for an entire year from the time of enrollment. Unlike other sports, anyone with a bicycle can compete in each and every local event.

It would be great to see the city of Zephyrhills get behind a popular and growing sport to promote competition and family involvement and provide an area for the proposed move.

John Jeffcott, Zephyrhills

Festival imagery inappropriate

Re: Letter writer out of line in pushing his agenda, Jan. 27 letter

Editor: I'd like to comment on this response about the Chasco Fiesta/Fiasco and the majority rules. First of all, this person seems very close-minded. It was the majority that ruled in the mass heinous genocide of the American Indian people. So, I ask, just because the majority rules, this makes it right? Hmmmm . . . very scary indeed!

However, just because Pasco County has only seen a few people against this act of racism, and racism it is, does not mean that thousands or millions of others agree with it. Sadly, too many people stand in the shadows, hoping it'll just all go away.

I am a mother of a child who happens to find this offensive as well as degrading. This is of great concern to me. This festival with the use of American Indian imagery and stereotyping does create a racially hostile environment for our children.

Lisa Visconti, Cape Canaveral

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