Today's Letters: Ironman received plenty of publicity

Letters to the Editor
Published November 15, 2007

Ironman received plenty of publicity

Reading the vicious letters to the editor concerning Clearwater's Ironman World Championship 70.3 prompted me to write my first letter to the paper.

For weeks we knew about the Ironman. There were signs on the roads, the evening news had spread the word and the St. Petersburg Times published detailed accounts of the run and potential problem areas. Why was it such a surprise to everyone?

I stood out in front of our complex on East Lake Road watching the cyclists and was appalled at the treatment the police officer received from angry motorists. He was unfailingly polite. I would have arrested nine out of 10 for rude and obnoxious behavior.

This is a world-class event held once a year, so deal with it. It is one morning a year and the rewards far outweigh the minor inconvenience. Kudos to all involved.

Bonnie Sima, Palm Harbor

Ironman a great PR opportunity

What a great thing that Clearwater is hosting the Ironman World Championship 70.3 for five years! The exposure for the area is worldwide. For example, Triathlete magazine has a special issue devoted to just the Hawaii and Clearwater races. Also, NBC will televise the race nationally in the spring. How much would that cost if the area was buying that much ad time on the networks and in magazines?

I can sympathize with people stuck in traffic, but it is only one morning a year and it was publicized for at least a month in advance to give fair warning.

If you're stuck in traffic anyway, why not just kick back and enjoy seeing some of the best endurance athletes in the world. Who knows, one might just get inspired by it all and you might be competing in this race a few years down the road

Steve Baumann, Clearwater

Events add vitality to the city

Disruption due to road closures and traffic redirection is a necessary, but inconvenient, by-product of events such as the Ironman World Championship 70.3 event last Saturday. Events like next week's Turkey Trot as well as the 4th of July fireworks and even the Christmas Boat Parade all result in an inconvenience. The frustration to those not directly involved who are simply trying to go about their daily activities is understandable.

However, how boring and mundane would Clearwater be without such events? World-class athletes along with remarkable physically challenged individuals traveled to our community and, blessed with ideal weather and countless hours of volunteer commitment, left with an impression of Clearwater as a true all-American city.

Let's keep a focus on the big picture. Events such as the Ironman triathlon help to make Clearwater the vibrant city we all desire.

Michael Carroll, Clearwater

Re: Mariner's ache grows daily story, Oct. 30

Why didn't FEMA help?

The Oct. 30 issue contained a rather remarkable article to the effect that FEMA turned down a desperate bid for help from a local fisherman, who needed help to recover and repair two fishing boats damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Dennis.

Facts and figures are stubborn things and cannot be ignored. The problem of the grounded boats would not be troubling the local authorities if the federal government had not turned down a legitimate claim for assistance.

Boat owner Joe Renardo is a local resident with a wife and four children, two of whom are in college, one studying law. He is not a deadbeat looking for a handout nor is he looking at something for nothing.

Again, in my opinion, voiced by many locals who have known the Renardo family for many years, the federal government should not turn down a legitimate claim.

By this letter, I challenge Congressman Gus Bilirakis to investigate this matter and let us know why FEMA would not help.

Meanwhile, the fines keep growing and growing and growing.

F. Kettrell Powell, Tarpon Springs



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