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East County Wednesday, Apr. 4, 2012 5 years ago

Letters to the Editor


+ Spoof storiesshock soccer parents
I thoroughly enjoyed the April Fools’ edition of the East County Observer.

I was at my son’s soccer practice at Premier Sports Complex on Wednesday night watching with the other parents. One of the parents arrived late, and the first thing he said was, “Did you hear that SMR has bought parking meters from Sarasota and will be putting them all over Lakewood Ranch Main Street and this sports complex? Not only that — if your meter expires, they will put a boot on the car and you have to go to Town Hall and pay $39 to have it taken off!”

He had all the parents’ attention and went on about how it will kill businesses in Lakewood Ranch, the sports complex, etc. I kept watching him to see if he realized it was a joke, and he was just trying to get the parents to believe it. However, I quickly determined he was actually upset about this news.

I couldn’t take it any longer and asked him if he read any other articles or how far in The Observer he got. He said he only read that article. I asked him if he noticed the date on the edition, and he said he didn’t. When I explained that if he kept reading, he would have seen on page 6A the article titled, “Gotcha!”

We all had a good laugh (at his expense), and I guess the moral to the story is you always need to read The Observer cover to cover.
Chris Pennewill

+ Won’t get fooled again? We’ll see about that!
I can't believe I fell for it for the third year in a row!

By the time I got to the boots for cars whose meters had expired, I was livid. Imagine elderly couples trapped for the night, because Town Hall was not open for them to retrieve their cars.

Thanks again for the laugh. And may we always retain a touch of immaturity.
Chris Amato

+ Edition delivers much-need smiles
As I read the first pages of the April 1 East County Observer, I was shocked at the news: Parking meters coming to Ranch; Pat Neal leads incorporation; and finally, my favorite: All residents of Tara and other neighborhoods would be receiving four chickens, plus coops. Finally: Government programs from which we might actually benefit!

All seriousness aside (as was the case with these stories), it was quite a relief to learn I was not having low blood sugar or in some wake-me-up-soon nightmare. I have to admit, I did ask my wife to read the articles to validate what I had just read.

Thanks to the East County Observer for this very special edition of the paper for a much-needed smile, and relief to find that on page 6A was the “Gotcha!”

Now, if we can only get that to happen with some of the Bradenton Herald and Sarasota Herald Tribune stories!
Dick Johnson
Lakewood Ranch

+ Spoof edition (nearly) fools couple
Congratulations! Your issue this year was fabulous.

My wife was so incensed as she read article after article that she wanted me to sit down and write a strongly worded letter to the editor. Pat Neal serving a no-limit term and appointing his successor was the final straw. It would probably have been along the lines of “North Korea, Cuba and Now Lakewood Ranch?”
Bob Gannon
Lakewood Ranch

+ Chickens cause concern out east
I could not figure out how diamonds could be found on Lakewood Ranch property, and yet officials had decided to put up pay meters in tiny little downtown Lakewood Ranch.

While reading the diamond story, I was still trying to wrap my brain around the thought that in the future my neighbors here in Greenbrook could end up with chickens in their backyard.

Too funny!
Nicole Wilkins

+ Meters would have created jobs
No doubt reader indignation prevailed over the parking meters story at Lakewood Ranch, but I saw a part-time job opportunity as the meter maid.

My hopes were dashed when I turned to page 6A.
Neil Carlson
Lakewood Ranch

+ Laughter is the best medicine
Not sure how you managed to get me for the third time in a row, but somehow, it happened.
I was outraged at the parking meters and then ready to text my friends about casting for “Real Housewives!” Thank you for giving us such a big laugh every year! This paper is the best!
Brooke Baker

+ Next year: They came from Mars!
Loved the April Fools’ Observer this morning. Just picked up the paper off the drive after a morning bike ride and read the headline. My husband and I were incredulous that such a crazy scheme could be cooked up by Rex Jensen and then spent the next 30 minutes debating.

I then read mud wrestling at Premier Sports, and, although I like to think of myself as broad-minded, thought this sounded a bit risqué. Well done, and very clever keeping it going right until the ‘Gotcha’ page.

"The chances of anything coming from Mars?" Maybe if you tell us that next year, we'll believe it!
Lynn Jones

+ Spoof stories satisfy Ranch reader
Upon reading today's Observer, I was ready to order a contract out on Rex Jensen!
Good for you: It was a great April Fools’ joke (thank God)!

I know there will be varying opinions regarding this joke, but tell them to get a life and relax.
Mary Morreale
Lakewood Ranch

+ We get them every time!
Just brilliant, hysterical and full of creativity! You fool (us) every year!
Keep up the good work!
Gene and Elaine Herman

+ Spoof edition clever, hilarious
Congratulations! Third year in a row you got both my wife and me. We think what you do is very clever.
Keep up the good work. Maybe some year we will remember around April 1.
Bob Stoll

+ Let’s see who else we can trick!
I almost fell for it this year, but I noticed the Observer was dated April 1
Now, I will leave this paper on the counter and let the fun begin!
Melissa Stanoch

+ What will we think of next?
Absolutely loved the articles. So funny, chickens for every house. Taxpayer-financed stadium is a hoot — could be believable. I believed the parking meters story then read on. Keep us laughing.

Thanks for a fun paper. Can't wait to see what you do next year.
Grace Beezie

+ April Fools’ edition a reader favorite
Just great!

Had me for a moment, then I looked at the date. I hadn’t realized this has been ongoing for so many years.

I especially liked the year you moved the John Ringling Bridge. I’ve told that story on several occasions.
Gerry Parker

+ Breaking news: Brown bunny coming
I am getting calls about the XXXtravaganza hunt for eggs in the mud. I’m getting a brown bunny for this event (Hulk Hogan).
Lori Basilone
director, Lakewood Ranch Community Activities

+ April Fools’ Day edition delights again
GOTCHA! You sure did!

I was ready to write blasting Rex Jensen and Pat Neal. Now, I think how clever they are!

Thanks! Very, very funny.
Carolynne Shumate
Lakewood Ranch

+ Springer for elections supervisor?!
So I’m sitting here minding my own business, when I hear the lady across the hall yelling, “Jerry Springer is running for supervisor of elections!”

You all amaze me each year. You get better and better!
Sondra Guffey
PR associate, Manatee Glens

+ A little fun is always a good thing
Best. Issue. Ever. Love it!!!
Candice McElyea
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc.


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