Lack of lifeguards sends message

Letters to the Editor
Published August 13, 2006

Re: Who guards swimmers? July 27.

You ask the headline question: "Who guards swimmers?" The answer is: only Clearwater.

I moved to Florida last June. The year-round warm weather and saltwater beaches were the main attractions for me. I was totally shocked to my shoes to find hotel-laden beaches with no lifeguards for their guests.

I have swum the Pacific and the North Atlantic, and the beach towns there recognized that protecting the lives of the visitors who enriched the residents of the towns was the morally proper and practical thing to do. I had assumed all beach towns everywhere recognized this basic moral obligation regarding human life and assigned lifeguards to protect their paying guests.

I would beg the civic and business leaders of the other beach towns besides Clearwater on the St. Petersburg peninsula to look deeply into their souls and ask whether a Christian or any person who believes in the sanctity of human life could continue to let innocent men, women and children die on their beaches.

Lawrence Futty, St. Petersburg


Nesting birds deserve more protection

I am absolutely appalled that after countless articles in this paper, numerous attempts by well-meaning people and sincere efforts to educate the boating community, people continue to let their dogs run loose on islands that are inhabited by beach nesting birds. The birds have nowhere left to turn, as every inch of Pinellas County beachfront has been developed, and their success on flat gravel rooftops has been hampered by predators.

Many of these islands and sandbars where the birds are attempting to nest were purposely set aside for protection of the beach nesting birds. It seems the only fair solution would be to prohibit access to these islands while the birds are nesting. People have shown they can't read - or choose to disobey - the signs, or that they flat out don't care.

These birds deserve a fair chance at life, too. I call on county and state environmental representatives to step in and do the right thing!

Don Margeson, St. Petersburg


Developer sets example for park buyers

Re: They're happy with their lot and leaving, Aug. 6.

What a pleasure to read about the wonderful treatment of some mobile home owners by their park's buyers.

Our park was sold two years ago, but we still don't know to whom, or what their intentions are. We knew when moving here in the early '80s that this could happen and the owners had every right to do so - even though we repeatedly were told that would never happen.

We understand the buyout is "just business." Our only hope is that the buyer of our park will be as generous as developer John Loder. We'd be happy to receive just a portion of the $120,000 we have invested. We certainly don't want to act like "buttheads."

Mickey and Stan Jones, South Pasadena