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Letters to the Editors

Enlist in fight to keep free our sandbar

© St. Petersburg Times
published April 7, 2002

Editor: I have just learned of the issues over the Anclote Sandbar from my husband. We live in Port Richey and own a few boats, are captains and intend on retiring in the charter business. Having lived here for 14 years, the sandbar has been a good part of our lives and our children's lives. We would like to see it stay that way for all who venture there for the peace, stars, fish and sharing of seamanship. There is no tradeoff.

Currently, it means more to me as I am nowhere near that dear body of water -- or a boat for that matter. I have been mobilized for the war on terrorism and am watching our skies, satellite controls, and missile defenses here near NORAD, in Colorado. I will be away from home for up to two years in this effort and will miss the fight on the sandbar grounds.

I want to know that our sandbar will be there unchanged as it was when I left to do my part to ensure peace on our home front from terrorism.

My current cause makes me a team member to protect our homeland as it is. I want to see the sandbar the same way -- free. Free to inspire children's dreams and imaginations, lessons to learn for young and old at their own paces on boating, camping, fishing, communing with nature and others, to that place we have enjoyed for many years. Why change a good thing, that we have not abused? Politics and regulations won't save what we all have respected naturally through the years. Know that we all need your support on this effort. Please protect my home front while I am protecting yours, and even though I can't be there. Let's roll.
-- Lynn Poligo, Port Richey

Coach Wayne Parzik's guidance changed my son

Editor: I was happy to read Jamal Thalji's article about Ridgewood football coach Wayne Parzik and I have to say it is about time that somebody recognized the great job Coach Parzik has done.

I would like to share a personal story about Coach Parzik that might shed some light on the outstanding character of this fine man. I am the boys soccer coach at Ridgewood, and, as such, I have often been in conflict with Coach Parzik over the use of facilities and equipment that both of our teams must share. As a lifelong soccer enthusiast, I have had many conflicts with football enthusiasts such as Coach Parzik. I often had the feeling in dealing with Coach Parzik that he had nothing but contempt for that sport that I so love.

So, it takes a lot for me to commit what would probably be considered blasphemy by my fellow soccer coaches to say what a great football coach I think Coach Parzik is. The reason I feel this way is because of something Coach Parzik did for a young, troubled teenager whom I introduced to him about four years ago.

This teenager came from a single-parent family and had trouble in school, at home, and with the law. This teenager had no experience playing football and was very withdrawn with no self-confidence. Coach Parzik took this teenager under his wing and made him feel like an important part of the program. He instilled confidence and a work ethic in him. He built this sullen, shy teenager into a successful young man who made the varsity football team his sophomore year and became a starter his junior year.

This young man also improved his grades, attendance, made the weightlifting and wrestling teams, got a job, and even took a young lady to the homecoming dance this year. Today, this young man is a productive member of the Ridgewood High School community who will be successful in the future because of the efforts and concern of Coach Parzik.

This young man happens to be my son and I would like to thank you, Coach Parzik, for all you have done for us.

By the way, soccer is the grandfather of American football.
-- Ed McComiskey, Ridgewood High

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