Thank you, Lucy Morgan
Legend Lucy Morgan 1940–2023 | Sept. 22
Of all the unflinching reporting that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lucy Morgan did for the Tampa Bay Times, the work that was personally life-changing to me was her 1994 series describing her mother’s stroke and subsequent decline in health. Most moving and revealing was her admission that she — this tough, capable, professional woman who was comfortable and successful in calling out corruption and hypocrisy among the most powerful (usually men) in state government — was unable to rein in the “system’s” endless and clearly futile treatments to which her mother was subjected. Gawd almighty, I thought, if Lucy Morgan found herself in that situation, what chance have I to be the advocate I need to be for my own parents as their decline approaches? This reporting was never far from my mind, and I cited it to many friends and family, as I became involved in my mom and dad’s elder care. Thank you, Lucy, for helping to steel this daughter for the challenges that lay ahead.
Shelley Manes, St. Petersburg
Rays of hope have dimmed
Too bad about the Fairgrounds | Letter, Sept. 20
We’re with the letter writer who lamented the decision to keep the Tampa Bay Rays in Pinellas County. Some time ago, we promised in a letter to the editor to become season ticket holders if we no longer had to make the long and treacherous trek to St. Pete to catch a game. We were both earlier excited at the possibility of a Fairgrounds or an Ybor City relocation, for the reasons cited. So much for that hope. To disappoint us even further, my son and I were gifted a Rays-Yankees game by my wife for Father’s Day. We parked where others did, paid our $20 to the dude directing us, and enjoyed great seats to see our two favorite teams. We were surprised to find our car ticketed after the game. Despite two letters to the city to explain the situation — and receiving no replies — we were forced to pay an increased fine to its collection agency. We said then that we would be thinking twice before attending another Rays’ game in St. Pete. Well, this week’s announcement has made that official; we’ll stick with Major League Baseball and the Yankees only. I’m happy that the Rays are staying in Tampa Bay, but I believe that redeveloping the Tropicana Field site in this way is a huge mistake. Mark my words.
Richard W. Sherin, Tampa
Reaction to ‘radioactive’
These Florida lawmakers oppose fertilizer giant Mosaic’s ‘radioactive roads’ | Sept. 20
It’s hard for me to defend the Mosaic Co. I’m an environmentalist, and my normal attitude is that any company that sits in the nexus of big mining and big agriculture should wear a guilty-as-charged banner. At first, the Mosaic proposal to experiment using low-level radioactive waste material in road construction was suspect. However, reading this article on those in the Legislature opposed to the so-called “radioactive roads,” I’m wondering if we’re reacting rather than thinking through the issue. Radioactive is a word that, well, is radioactive. However, it’s important to recognize it’s also a word to describe something that can be measured. Radioactivity is something inherent to our environment; we’re subjected to radioactive bombardment at a very low level continually from a variety of natural sources. Radioactivity must be measured to understand the risk from exposure. Mosaic’s initiative is a controlled test to demonstrate the feasibility of building such a road using waste material, and in measuring the radiation risk level. We need to focus on the measurement aspect of this experiment. Once the regulatory bodies analyze all pertinent facts and projections, it’s worth the small risk for this trial so that the radiation can be measured, and the risk levels determined. Mosaic is not creating additional radiation but is shifting the material from storage stacks that have no purpose to a use of benefit in Florida road construction. With careful measurement, it’s worth a try.
Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport
Saving the land
Conserving North Fla. land can save us all | Column, Sept. 20
It is fantastic to see the piece by Heather Obara concerning the needs and benefits of conserving our natural areas, so important to our collective well-being. The conservation trust organizations doing all the work to hobble together the significant Florida Wildlife Corridor and other rural properties to preserve Florida’s future are admirable and deserve all of our support individually and politically. However, conservation of local natural lands and habitat is an even more endangered prospect, particularly where these habitats provide a variety of development appeal, such as being close to the coast, water courses and upland (dry and drained) habitats. Fortunately, Pinellas County commissioners have backed the public purchase and preservation of the Gladys Douglas Preserve and now, most recently, the West Klosterman Preserve. The purchase of the Pinellas County School Board-owned preserve is legally required, not a giveaway of school resources, and will put money in the school systems coffers to provide on-the-ground benefits to schools in Pinellas County. This is a win-win for the community.
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The West Klosterman Preserve property is an ongoing project to raise funds to preserve a disappearing upland habitat that adds 14 acres to the 76-acre Mariner’s Point Conservation Area. This will rightfully expand this important relic home to rare plants and a corridor for wildlife in heavily developed Pinellas County. You can learn more at wkpreserve.com.
Bruce Turley, St. Petersburg