+ Do your part to keep athletes on Key safe
With great disappointment, I read your article regarding the bicycle accident on Longboat Key two weekends ago. The coverage was not only incomplete and inconsiderate of the victims, The Longboat Observer missed an excellent opportunity to remind motorists of their responsibilities as drivers.
Within an hour of the accident you reported, another cyclist was hit by a car, also on Longboat Key, an accident you failed to report. Earlier this month, yet another cyclist was hit by a motorist on Longboat Key, as reported in your article. On Oct. 31, 2009, a runner was hit on Longboat Key. Clearly, there is an issue.
Is the answer to admonish athletes to be “more responsible”? Certainly, we as athletes bear responsibility for our own well-being. However, motorists also have an obligation to share the road. The vast majority of runners and cyclists on Longboat Key are seasoned athletes. These people are training for marathons and half-marathons, Ironman and Half Ironman races, century rides and sprint triathlons. Although most of us aren’t elite athletes, we aren’t novices. We know the rules of the road, and we follow them.
The tips you offer in your article border on ridiculous, given the situation. Nothing suggested in your list (a mirror, a helmet, using turn signals, etc.) would have protected these women from a driver who crossed two lanes of traffic and hit them head-on in the bike lane.
Because athletes are aware of the steps necessary to help ensure their safety, perhaps it would be more beneficial to your readers to remind them of basic safety procedures, including:
• Don’t text or talk while driving.
• Be aware of people, places and things around you.
• Make sure you are not impaired (either by exhaustion or substance) before getting behind the wheel.
• Make sure your family members are mentally and physically capable of driving or take steps to keep them from driving.
Drivers, Sarasota and Manatee counties are brimming with athletes who are going to continue to train. This is part of the healthy lifestyle so many in this area have chosen, and we would appreciate your support. Please do your part to keep us safe; we will certainly do ours.
The second cycling accident mentioned in Susan Meyers’ letter occurred Aug. 21 on Bradenton Beach. — Ed.
+ Article did not express what happened
I must say that I thought the article you wrote about the bicycle accident did not properly express the incident that occurred. These women were riding in a group. There were more than three riders, but the three you mentioned were the ones hit. The womanwhom you described as suffering from “possible injuries to her lower extremities” had both her legs and pelvis broken. She had compound leg fractures, so, indeed, it was “possible” she had injuries to her lower extremities.
I find it terrible that you end the article with a quote by (Police Chief Al) Hogle, “You should have a mirror on your bike and be looking over your shoulder.”
I’m not sure how this would have helped these women who were riding in a group, in the bike lane and were hit head on!
More education and awareness needs to be given to motorists to help them be aware and prevent accidents. The gentleman who caused the accident was ill and had been seeing a doctor. Instead of driving, he should have called a cab, and then these women, mothers, wouldn’t be in the hospital facing months of recuperation along with multiple orthopedic surgeries.
We reported information available from the Longboat Key police report. — Ed.
+ A 150-foot cell tower is no ‘stealth tower’
Jim Eatrides refers to the monster cell tower he is promoting as a “stealth tower.” The 150-foot tower would be visible from 16.2 miles away. It might be a “stealth tower” if it were inside the church steeple, but it is planned to be even higher than that and alongside it.
A more appropriate name might be a “wealth tower,” designed to make him rich, or perhaps a “death tower” because of the radiation from it, the hurricane risk and the effect on the upmarket reputation and property values of Longboat Key.
Such horrors belong in industrial estates not on a church property.
+ Flying the flag at half staff is arrogant
I usually don’t write letters to the Editor, but after reading your article, "Colony leaders reminisce,” I felt I have to.
At the end of the article it states that Dr. Murray Klauber and Katie Klauber Moulton lowered the American flag to half staff at the entrance to the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort.
I was under the impression this was an honor for, among others, deceased presidents, policemen or firemen killed on the job or in some cases servicemen and women who have given their lives for our country.
I didn’t realize flags were also lowered when a business failed. If this is allowed, there would be flags flying at half staff all over Longboat Key.
Perhaps such an act of arrogance may help to explain why the Colony is in the situation it is in today. Shame on the Colony.
+ Longboat Key Club’s plan is not best
As a part-time resident and property owner on Longboat Key and as a social member of the Longboat Key Club, I have closely followed the debate and am opposed to the Key Club’s redevelopment plan. Keep Longboat Longboat.
I have visited the island every year since 1973 and am aware that it is deteriorating and that property values have declined and most likely will continue to decline even if the communists in Washington somehow manage to deficit spend the national economy into a short-lived temporary recovery. I do plan to permanently relocate to Longboat after I retire in five years.
+ Longboat should have refused ‘gift’ signs
Our fair isle is now embroiled in deciding what to put on the signs on Gulf of Mexico Drive, which were so magnanimously given to us by our government borrowing from our grandchildren. This dispute is a classic case of “unintended consequences.” Surely, it would have been better for our leaders to have shown the character of refusing the “gift.”
But it’s too late now, so I suggest that at least one of the slats on one of the signs reflect the views of the opposition. It should say, “This sign is an example of the stupid wasteful spending of our governments.”