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Letters to the Editors

This woman stands out, crisis or not

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 26, 2000


Re: Hero didn't hesitate to jump into rescue, July 18.

I donate plasma twice a week at DCI Biologicals, where Kelly Griffin works as a phlebotomist. I have known her for the more than two years she has worked there. I have known for quite some time that she is a hero and that it was only a matter of time until she proved it.

She is a bright young lady with an effervescent, bubbly personality who always brightens the day of everyone who comes in to donate plasma.

Having been a donor for more than 10 years, I need to have the needle inserted much farther down on my arm than most other donors, and because there is more skin to go through, it hurts a lot more. Because of this I am very particular as to who inserts my needle, and Kelly is one of a very few phlebotomists that I have complete confidence in.

We've all heard the expression "I feel your pain," but Kelly really does. She never fails to wince after she inserts the needle and tell me she's sorry.

Being a hero requires more than a compassionate and caring attitude. It also takes quick, precise, intelligent and almost reflexive action, as well as regarding the other person's danger more than your own. Kelly has had these qualities in great abundance ever since I've known her, and I have no doubt that without Kelly's heroic efforts, Brenda Cook would certainly have lost her life. Let us not forget that Kelly had already thrown her life jacket to Brenda when she dived in and thus was in much greater danger. I feel greatly privileged and honored that Kelly considers herself my friend, and I am more than her friend. I'm one of her biggest fans!
-- Stephen E. Zimmerman, Clearwater

Coast Guard deserves applause

I want to let your readers know how good and valuable our Coast Guard is to all of us.

On July 3, my husband, daughter, two friends and I were out in Tampa Bay on our 19-foot boat. We were heading back in from Picnic Island, and the waves were getting really rough and high. From out of nowhere, two huge waves came over the front of our boat. In a matter of seconds the boat was going down. All five of us were in the water fighting for our lives. The boat flipped over. We were hanging on for dear life. A boater finally came by, 11/2 hours later, and said he had called the Coast Guard. About 10 minutes later, the guardsmen arrived. They pulled us all out of the water and saved our lives.

God only knows what would have happened to us if they hadn't come when they did. They were prompt, efficient and concerned.

I think your readers should be reminded of how dangerous it can be on the water, and just how great our Coast Guard is. I bet the Coast Guard does not get the recognition it deserves.

We don't know the names of the young men, but we all want them to know how much we appreciate them and everything they do. They saved our lives.
Joann Boone, St. Petersburg

Don't raise utility bills

Pinellas County commissioners recently proposed a 6 percent increase in electric bills for homes and businesses in the unincorporated areas. I am opposed to any more taxes for utility bills.

The homes recently annexed into Seminole saw utility taxes added to their electric, phone and cable bills. Because the residents didn't complain, did county officials think the residents of unincorporated areas wouldn't notice that they want to do the same to us?

Do we need to use more electricity? Most residents of the unincorporated area would do better to put in motion lights, which would come on only when needed. When residents of the unincorporated areas want lights, they will ask for them. In the meantime, I suggest that we have enough taxes in place to take care of street lights where residents feel they really need them.
-- Dorothy Book, Largo

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