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Longboat Key Thursday, May 7, 2009 13 years ago

Letters to the Editor


+ Time on Longboat Key was time well spent
Dear Editor:

My wife and I came to Longboat Key 35 years ago, because a friend told us that it is an undiscovered place of beauty, a Shangri-La, an imaginary place on Earth. It was that and much more. And, we had The Longboat Observer to learn what to do.

At the time we were newly married, with a kid on the way. My wife cried that, at 28, she did not need a place here. Well, we bought a place in the Tiffany, used it for just two weeks a year when the kids were little, then we rented it. Later, my mother occupied it all winter, and we bought a place in The Castillian. But, about seven years ago, my health declined, and I retired early and we used the condo ourselves for five months a year. And, we still had The Longboat Observer to find out what was happening and what to do.

For three years in a row, I had a medical emergency that required a trip off the Key to the hospital. By this time, Longboat Key was built up and it took too long to get to downtown, doctors, the hospital and more. We reluctantly moved off the Key to the mainland, just by the bridge. But, we still have The Longboat Observer.

There is a reason I am telling you all this. First of all, The Observer is a great newspaper, the reasons for which are many.

I just had my 65th birthday. My wife threw me a surprise party. But the biggest surprise was just being there.

I have had three times where they brought me back to life, one with the Longboat Key EMS team. Twice they told my wife I would not make it through the night. My wife got some 60 people to send cards or e-mails of good wishes, and I would very much like one from The Longboat Observer.

Thanks, and I assure you that I will continue to read The Longboat Observer.

Ricky Burton
Editor’s note: A happy birthday to you, Mr. Burton. We’re pleased you continue to enjoy The Longboat Observer.

+ Proposed roundabouts would help move traffic

Dear Editor:

To say “roundabouts are not pedestrian friendly” is talking about something other than the multi-lane roundabouts proposed for US 41. What’s recommended there have proved walker-and-driver friendly across the U.S. (from Arizona and Washington to Michigan and New York). Such new roundabouts allow pedestrians to cross easily and safely, while moving vehicles through more smoothly and swiftly than the stoplight at Gulfstream/U.S. 41 that wastes your fuel and time waiting for the light to change. There are no stop signs and no red lights in these modern roundabouts.

Such modern roundabouts are working well with tourists (Vail, and Avon, Colo., and Hilton Head, N.C., etc.) the elderly (Jupiter and Coral Gables, etc.) and pedestrians (Clearwater Beach, etc.) ... so well that drivers ask for more (upon resident petition, Clearwater now has 14 more either built or in design). See where the first video shows walkers and drivers getting along fine in this Clearwater roundabout that moves the highest volume of both vehicles and pedestrians in the USA. That video shows that what’s recommended is not a St. Armands or Southgate “traffic circle” of a bygone era, nor what you may have experienced outside the U.S. or in a New England 1930s-era “rotary.”  
Rod Warner
Editor’s note: This letter was written in response to a letter by Stuart Hartley, published in the April 30 edition of The Longboat Observer.

+ Beauification of road
is not a top priority

Dear Editor:

On the day hundreds of thousands of bipartisan Americans protest historic government taxation, spending and debt creation, we read that Longboat will receive $500,000 to beautify Gulf Of Mexico Drive. This, on one of the most beautiful barrier islands in the country. Also, in one of the most affluent neighborhoods.

Multiply this by mindless, unprincipled stimulus tactic by thousands of large and small towns across America who were asked to “come up with something we can spend YOUR money on.” Thank goodness the U.S. government is watching out for us!

P.S. Who in the town came up with this enabling “Top Priority?” Got any water for these new plants and trees? How about additional sidewalks? Center turn lanes to relieve traffic congestion? Good grief!

Bob and Shannon Gault
Longboat Key

+ You say tyranny;
we say recovery

Dear Editor:

Your editorial, “Live Free or Die” (April 9) concerning so-called Tax Day, was a reactionary polemic which had nothing to do with reality.

You claim that “the new administration and Democratic Congress have crossed the line that separates liberty and tyranny.” However, this achievement expresses the will of the We the People, as overwhelmingly demonstrated in the election: The President and Congress both won at the ballot box, and not by a one-vote court majority shutting down Florida recounts as in 2000.

Your claim of “tyranny” is laughable, and reminds of an earlier era in 1860 when a similar epithet was expressed by short-sighted Southerners about President Abraham Lincoln and the duly elected Congress.

Here, on Longboat Key, which your paper describes as “paradise,” waterfronts are filled with multi-million-dollar homes and condos. Scions of industry and the professions recreate in resplendent leisure, enjoying the fruits of their success. Yet you claim Marxism and Socialism now abound.

I suggest if you are interested in freedom and liberty, try being poor, homeless, unemployed, uninsured and desperate to feed your family. These folks die a little every day while you reject the notion that our government should help the least of us.

We voted for this president and this Congress because we believe in freedom for both the individual and We the People.

We voted against a party that shreds our Constitution, advanced agendas of pre-emptive war, committed torture, illegally wiretapped American citizens, disregarded our environment and fired loyal government employees because they refused to kowtow to political pressures and chose to uphold the Constitution.

We voted against a group of people who did not know how to analyze intelligence, fight a war, understand an enemy or deal with a natural disaster or an economic one, insisting the levies were safe and fundamentals of this economy were sound. 

The current administration attempts recovery, and you call it tyranny. I call it representative democracy. I do not fear big government in a country of 400 million, I fear bad government and, as such, I am proud to have voted for and support President Obama and the Democratic Congress.

Paul Rosen
Longboat Key

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