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Where are youth stories?

Published June 13, 2004

I am writing to expose an opportunity to reach more of the community that the St. Petersburg Times has forgotten. On very few occasions there are articles detailing the hard work and selfless dedication to youth sports around track and field. With the Olympics fast approaching, one would surmise the Times would relish the opportunity to shed light on the accomplishments of coaches, athletes, volunteers and organizations that promote fitness of the body and spirit.

I implore the reporters to lend an ear and give some much-needed attention to an area that can use the recognition and exposure. For instance, there were at least seven Pinellas County track clubs competing for a chance to advance to the AAU club championships in Orlando recently and there was no mention in the sports section. Furthermore, the St. Pete PAL track club won its first state championship in track.

Please take the time and effort to recognize the athletes and people who are truly just in it for the sport.

-- Darryl D. Williams, St Petersburg

Rays need broadcast help

I wish to echo Walter Oberti's comments June 6 in Your Turn. We also are unable to get the Rays games on Pax. This is even more frustrating as we pay for MLB Extra Innings on DirectTV and so many times Rays games are "not available in your area." Another peeve is that Yankees radio broadcasts were also blacked out allegedly because Rays managing general partner Vince Naimoli was angry the Yankees drew fans at Legends Field. It is hard to become a fan of a team you cannot follow, and our set is more often tuned to Red Sox, Marlins or Cubs or Yankees games. To its credit, the Lightning has games on Sunshine and we became hockey fans and were able to follow the team. Devil Rays, take notice.

-- Doris Herman, Seffner

Not so Smarty coverage

I am a Lightning fan and enjoyed your coverage of the Stanley Cup. You dropped the ball, however, when it came to covering one of the greatest sporting events, the Triple Crown. Your article on Smarty Jones was good, but you gave no information on any of the other horses in the Belmont Stakes. I'm very disappointed in your not covering a race of this magnitude. Shame on your sports department.

-- Robert Connolly, Spring Hill

Cancer advice offered

(Florida women's track coach) Tom Jones must be congratulated. The other carcinoid cancer patients out here in the noncoaching world must have a different form of carcinoid than he does. We all have the kind that is resectable, treatable and, unfortunately, will recur, given time. Many of us live a very long and happy life with it; some of us are more ill than others.

I would suggest if Coach Jones would like to avoid disconcerting problems in the future, or at least keep them to a minimum, he contact Dr. Larry Kvols at the Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa. If you really like this coach, somebody give him a headsup and a URL,

Treatment, based on the most current research, is going to give Jones his best bet at controlling his cancer. Some of us started this journey long before the these treatment options were available. We only want the best, most current and most effective treatment for him, and assuming this is "curable" is not reality. Assuming he can live a pretty normal life is.

-- Dee Dee McKinney, Houston


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[Last modified June 12, 2004, 23:37:23]


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