Faith, joy remembered - May 10
After seeing the photograph taken at the service for Air Force Maj. Raymond G, Estelle II, I was compelled to write you. This photograph shows the love and the dedication of a man who believes in this country. It brought tears in my eyes as soon as I saw it. The photograph in the paper by Mr. Coddington shows a confident man. A man who has known love in his life. That love comes out boldly in the tender caress in which he holds his child. To his wife, his daughter and his son, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Mrs. Estelle, please don't forget he died doing what he loved doing.
William Manning, Ellenton
* * *
Dali: Prix too disruptive - May 10
Prix planners can improve
Mr. Hine gave voice to many downtown residents who also feel the barricades arrive too far in advance of the race and stay too long after. This year, it seemed longer than in the past.
I do support the Grand Prix, the Dali and all the other wonderful things that have been happening in downtown St. Petersburg. They provide many opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy our beautiful waterfront. In the process they contribute to our economy.
The barricades do nothing to enhance the beauty of downtown. They are unattractive, they block access and take away much needed parking in many sections. There is no question they are needed for protection of the race car drivers, viewers and the environment. But, the race this year was at the end of March and the barricades began being installed in mid February, almost six weeks prior to activities. They were still being removed in late April.
Yes, overtime is expensive, but tag-teaming the work while advancing along the circuit could cut the time we are all inconvenienced. The city deserves better from the race organizers.
Willi Rudowsky, St Petersburg
* * *
Move race to the fall?
Having the downtown waterfront cloaked in concrete and fencing from February through April - the most beautiful time of the year - for the benefit of a car race seems counterproductive to our city, our visitors and our residents.
I live downtown and walk/bike regularly (unless I can't because of the race) along the waterfront, so I watch the setup. It takes a month-and-a-half to set up and a couple weeks to take down.
Way too long. Somebody needs to explain the benefit.
A couple of weeks ago, St. Anthony's Triathlon brought many more people to the city, caused a minimum of disruption, and was a great show. We have events that limit access with fencing for a few days but nothing like the Grand Prix. If it is about bringing people to St. Petersburg, why not do the race in September when we could use the visitors. We look good on TV in September, too.
Gail Eggeman, St. Petersburg
* * *
Schenecker suit and divorce
A most bizarre battle
If there were ever a poster child for Florida divorce law reform, it would be Schenecker v. Schenecker. The audacity of asking the court to make her husband an alimony slave, to his children's killer no less, is unfathomable. But under Florida law it is likely to happen. "Need" and "ability to pay" will be the principal considerations even in this macabre dissolution. It's just another "no-fault" divorce.
The Colonel's best hope is to fight back with the civil suit and I applaud his effort. Raymond A. Baker, St. Petersburg
* * *
The missing fifth - May 11
Fewer men on the job
In David Brooks editorial, the author quotes a colleague David Leonhardt regarding the disparity that 96 percent of the men 25-54 worked in 1954 while today that number is 80 percent.
While he discusses the effects of structural changes in the economy, automation and foreign workers, what's missed is a most obvious cause.
One root cause has been the huge expansion of competition to the male worker ... the female worker. Equal opportunity for women in positions other than just the '50s traditional nurses, teachers, secretaries and stay-at-home moms has displaced a high number of jobs that would have trickled down the otherwise male only employment list.
Obviously, the superior worker should be working at each job, regardless of their sex.
But let us not draw erroneous conclusions about the "male unemployment solution" unless we reflect the working women in the statistical base and include unemployed women in the solution we propose. They too are heads of households.
Bob Emerick, Palm Harbor
* * *
Killing evil doesn't make us evil - May 10
No apologies necessary
I agree with Maureen Dowd completely. Osama bin Laden was a terrorist plain and simple.
He master minded the senseless killing of thousands of Americans. He led religious zealots that contend, simply because we don't believe the same way they do, that we are infidels who should be exterminated. Well, I'm sorry but we are also very strong and united people who defend our beliefs and the beliefs of others. We will not be exterminated and as we have shown, it may take some digging but we will ferret you out and do what is necessary to bring you to justice.
We should: 1.) Apologize to no one for taking him out and 2.) Keep the photos out of the press. I applaud the President for his actions and congratulate the United States Navy SEALs for doing their job in an expeditious and very professional and humanitarian manner. (They could have gone in guns blazing and killed everyone in the compound and left without a word.)
William Nelson, Tampa