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Letters to the Editors

Boater decries abrupt loss of Anclote sandbar


© St. Petersburg Times
published February 24, 2002

Editor: The recent decision to close the north Anclote sandbar to fun is outrageous!

There was no consultation with the public, no debate in the Florida Legislature, certainly no public referendum. Instead a low-level staff member in a regulatory agency destroyed the last place in the area where human beings could have fun free of government regulation.

I will not accept this without a fight! I am a Pasco resident, a boater, a dog owner, and am particularly outraged at this latest government action against our freedom.

The sandbar is west of Gulf Harbors and north of Anclote Island. It is a place where people could travel by boat and have a campfire, drink a beer or soda, let their dog run around and just have fun. The birds came after the people and their presence illustrates the fact that fun loving people are not the enemy.

Anclote Island by contrast is a wonderful barrier island south of the sandbar. Anclote is huge in comparison and is now totally regulated by the state. Be careful if you decide to go because almost everything you do is probably a felony. The regulations have driven most of the boaters away, which is why the previously unregulated sandbar is often packed with boaters while the north Anclote shoreline is empty.
-- Jeff Lucas, New Port Richey

Auxiliary is grateful to assist with training of Coast Guard

Editor: Since Sept. 11, the Coast Guard has been busy protecting the borders of the United States, leaving little time for training programs.

It has called upon the Coast Guard Auxiliary to assist in the training program. The Coast Guard assigns two of its members to recover training items dropped from the C-130 aircraft that are useful for assisting stranded boaters. After these items are recovered by the Coast Guardsman they are taken back to the Clearwater Air Station to be used again on exercises that would benefit the boating public.

Items dropped from the C-130 aircraft include rafts, pumps, and other items necessary to ensure that the boating public is in good hands in the event of a mishap. The Coast Guard Auxiliary provides a vessel and coxswain and two crew members to assist the Coast Guard in the training exercises. These exercises are in the coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

We would like to thank the Coast Guard for allowing us to assist them in these training exercises. The members that the Coast Guard send us are qualified seamen and deserve the respect of all U.S. citizens.
-- Robert Bennett, New Port Richey

One word describes father who allows son, 7, to drive as a reward

Editor: Just when you think you've heard every idiotic idea some screwball can think of, up pops a world-class imbecile in Moon Lake. He rewards his 7-year-old son by teaching him to drive.

The boy is propped up in the car with dear old dad as co-pilot. Then it's off to have some fun. The boy is allowed to drive at night without lights. Stop signs are for grownups and if you must stop, smashing into another car is much easier then trying to reach that brake pedal.
-- Joe Kehoe, Port Richey

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