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Letters to the Editor

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  • | 5:00 a.m. February 25, 2015
  • East County
  • Opinion
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Thanks for your courage
Dear Editor:
As an East Manatee County resident and weekly reader of the East County Observer, my interest is usually in what’s happening in our growing part of the county and in human-interest stories. 

On Feb. 5, I was shocked to read your “NEVER AGAIN?” opinion page. Thank you for having the conviction and courage to speak out on this important issue and use your platform to encourage others to speak out. 

Too many Americans are naïve, uninformed and dangerously satisfied to ignore what’s going on around the world, even if it is taking the lives of innocent people.

But as you point out, this evil is real, and we are just an opportunity away from unspeakable terrorism right here on our shores. And thank you for underscoring that this is indeed a radical Muslim, jihadist threat with intentions on world domination.

We can thank our God-fearing founding fathers for indelibly stamping a conscience upon our country that cares about human suffering throughout the world. That sense of responsibility for justice has made America the super-power of the world, blessed of God and admired by all who love freedom.

Your article has increased my respect for your newspaper.

By the way, I read your entire article to our church congregation and posted the pictures on the large screens. I’m pleased to report that it was well received. There are many people longing for leadership at this critical time in history. God bless you for stepping out.

Pastor Phil Derstine

Monorail won’t work for University Parkway
Dear Editor:
I read Mike Finney’s piece on a possible University Parkway corridor monorail. I believe there are more holes in this concept than found in a block of Swiss cheese.

There hasn’t been a monorail (other than a Las Vegas installation that went bankrupt) built anywhere in the United States in decades, except for a short,  slow people mover. The one exception is in downtown Seattle, a one-mile 1962 leftover from the World's Fair, where there is a tremendous density of employees and visitors. There is no potential ridership density of any magnitude in the University corridor. Who is going to park his car at the nearest proposed monorail station on University, take transit to the new mall, which would require walking about a quarter-mile from the station (in almost daily summer rains), then lug his packages back a quarter-mile, wait for a monorail (or any other mass transit, for that matter) at the station on University, get on and off the monorail, and then drag his shopping purchases to his automobile? Not gonna happen.

As far as running to the airport, why? There aren’t enough people flying on any given day who would drag their bags to a monorail station, wait for the conveyance, then drag the bags from the monorail airport station to the terminal.

There were 15 flights the other day departing Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (not counting code shares as separate flights) with a total of approximately 2,000 seats available. Just for fun, let’s estimate that 20% of those available seats would be occupied by passengers living adjacent to University Parkway and wanting to take a monorail. So, Mr. Finney would advocate building a multimillion monorail line for elusive shoppers and 400 potential riders a day to the airport? 

If the traffic flow managers for Sarasota and Manatee counties would just do their jobs and time/regulate the lights through the University corridor, there might not be any talk of building a monorail to nowhere.
Steve Edwards
Lakewood Ranch


So how long does it take?
Dear Editor:
Not one of these routes has mileage included in the story.  Why?  I don’t understand why Americans measure distance by a clock.  A clock tells time, not distance.

The time it takes to go a given distance depends on the speed.  So if you say it takes 9 minutes 36 seconds to go from Lakewood Ranch Main Street to Honore Avenue, how fast are you going?

Whenever I ask someone how far a certain place is and they tell me the distance in minutes, my response is, how many miles or how fast are you driving?

We need to take another look at this.  When I was a kid nothing at all was measured with a clock except time.

Dick Baumgartel