+ Memorial Day marks a day of respect
It is not difficult to understand the true meaning of Memorial Day. Just for a moment, try to put yourself in the shoes of a mother or father who has lost a cherished son or daughter who was serving his or her country in the military. Imagine, for a second, the sister or brother who learned that his or her sibling would never be coming home again to spend time with them. Briefly consider the anguish of grandparents never being able to hold their grandson or granddaughter in their arms again.
On May 25, we, as a community, have a chance to not only remember those remarkable servicemen and women who stood up for our country, but to also admire their families who have endured such tremendous loss. Fallen U.S. soldiers and their families have earned our respect. Before you enjoy this Memorial Day holiday with your family and friends, please ask yourself what it might mean to the families of the fallen and to the veterans who fought side by side with those memorialized, if thousands of local families took one single hour out of their lives to pay their respect at the Memorial Day parades taking place in their communities. May we never lose appreciation for the sacrifice made on our behalf.
+ Thanks for making the cleanup successful
Sarasota Bay Watch would like to thank all of the partners and participants of the May 2 Quick Point cleanup for helping to make the event a huge success. The interest and dedication of the Longboat Key Club, Save Our Seabirds, Florida Audubon, the town of Longboat Key and the Sarasota Bay Estuary Bay Buddies Program showed how a community can pull together to help preserve our natural resources.
Special thanks to Bill Johnson, Sarasota Bay Watch event coordinator, for his tireless efforts in pulling everything together. We also wish to thank Capt. Jonnie Walker, David Bosselmann, of Save our Seabirds, Ann Hodgson and Ann Paul, with the Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries.
More than 60 participants collected trash on Quick Point before returning to the Key Club for lunch and a presentations by the Audubon Society, Save Our Seabirds and Walker. Participants viewed the Bay Isles Rookery and had a wonderful lunch poolside at Portofino's, courtesy of the Key
Our appreciation goes out to one and all who made the event possible.
+ Roundabouts have gotten a bad rep
In his recent letter comparing Carmel, Ind., and Sarasota, Beatty Collins has a lot of stuff wrong — unwittingly, I suppose — which needs to be corrected.
Carmel’s population has been growing rapidly from the quoted 37,000 (2000 census) to nearly 70,000 as of 2007, heading for 90,000, according to its mayor. Far from being rural Indiana, it is to Indianapolis what Sarasota is to Tampa.
The letter writer further states that the older population visiting or living in Sarasota cannot navigate roundabouts the way Carmel’s younger population does. Pure poppycock! Statistics show that the elderly (in Clearwater and elsewhere) adapt readily to roundabouts, where the speed is about 20 mph — which is better suited to their slower reaction time than traffic-light intersections.
There are many examples in the USA where the public (elderly included) petitioned for more of them once they experienced the ease and safety of modern state-of-the-art roundabouts. And the safety of traffic light and other “square” intersections? Not a week passes when we don’t read about fatal accidents due to red-light running, improper left turns and more at these intersections.
Yes, Carmel’s mayor did describe the Keystone Avenue project, which calls for lowering that avenue at major intersections to create an expressway with underpasses through the city. But, in addition, there will be roundabouts on the upper level — and no traffic lights whatsoever. Lots of action in that city with well more than 50 roundabouts.
And, finally, to those much-maligned, old high-speed traffic circles. Yes, they were dangerous, but they bear no resemblance to modern roundabouts, which operate at low speeds and are designed to smooth out the stop-and-go traffic that we now have to bear with our ubiquitous traffic lights.
+ Florida offers plenty of subject matter
Florida has plenty of sunshine and pristine wildlife. Please make an effort to cover some of the wonderful environmentally progressive things happening in the community.
Editor’s note: We couldn’t agree more. Check out our weekly feature of the best sunset or sunrise photo of the week that highlights one of the Key’s most beautiful assets, in addition to our coverage of environmental events, such as the Sarasota Bay Watch Quick Point cleanup May 2.
+ GMD beautification is a laughing matter
After mailing out our tea bag to the White House to protest the reckless spending in Washington, we were truly shocked to see the headline in The Observer that a half-million dollars in stimulus money was going to be used to “beautify” Gulf of Mexico Drive. We checked the date of the paper to be sure this was not the April Fools’ issue, but, in fact, it was the pig-trough issue.
How can the Town Commission justify spending this money and, furthermore, how can it commit the town to continue spending money to maintain these beautifications while simultaneously telling us it must cut services due to budget shortfalls?
Whatever happened to the concept of xeriscape landscaping? Planting trees requiring maintenance does not seem to fit this bill, plus, why spend a significant portion of the money for landscape planning? Does the town have no one on staff that can accomplish that? Lastly, how does Longboat Key qualify as an “economically depressed area?”
Give us a break. By approving this project, the commissioners are embarrassing the citizens of Longboat Key by placing us squarely in the trough with the rest of the porkers.