+ The Observer editorials have changed my opinion
Congratulations on your splendid editorials.
They are definitely refreshing, in the present condition of liberal media, both local and national, print and electronic.
More importantly, they contain common sense and intelligence, clearly and directly, stating facts.
I used to believe that municipal mismanagement and dysfunction was a Northeast condition. The incompetency relative to the city of Sarasota has changed my opinion.
Keep up the good work; your opinions are needed and necessary.
Victor J. Cameron
+ Tips for safe holiday shopping
Right on schedule, just as we’re feeling warmly about the holidays, we read about a woman robbed at an ATM and an elderly man knocked over and robbed in a parking lot. It breaks our hearts to read about these incidents.
It’s not surprising if reading these stories makes some of us a little nervous about venturing into the holiday shopping jungle. That’s an understandable, but not a necessary, response.
As with everything in life, information will make you smarter, and if you’re smarter, you’re more confident. And if you’re angry, and confident, you’re better protected. So even though you may read these tips every year, they bear repeating:
• Lock your car doors when you’re in and out of the car.
• Be observant and alert. Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Avoid people who are just standing around. Be watchful. Don’t be looking in your purse or reading your texts while walking.
• Trust your instinct. If it doesn’t look or feel right, return to the store. Find the police officer or security guard, or wait until others are walking to the area to accompany you.
• Shop with a buddy, so you don’t walk to your car alone.
• Don’t leave your purse in your shopping cart where it can be easily snatched. Keep your wallet in your inside jacket pocket. Keep your purse strapped and under your arm.
• When walking to your car, have the keys in your hand.
• Avoid being so overloaded with packages that your ability to see or move freely is impaired.
• Put packages on the floor or in the trunk, not on the seat where they’re easily visible.
• Check the back seat before entering your car.
• Walk with confidence and a “don’t mess with me” attitude.
• Be aware of strange vehicles following you home; make sure they turn off or pass before you enter your driveway.
• If you see someone being hassled or attacked, make noise, get the police, get involved.
Let’s take back our malls and our parking lots, and be able to really enjoy the holiday season!