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    Letters to the Editors

    Don't be afraid of holiday flying


    © St. Petersburg Times,
    published November 28, 2001

    Bravo to Tampa International Airport and all the other airports we traveled through during the Thanksgiving holiday.

    My husband, 3-year-old daughter and I traveled to Nevada to visit my parents during the holiday, and all is well in the skies. All the cockpit doors are securely locked, the lines for security are long but organized, and courtesy has come back in full swing. It seems people are friendlier toward each other knowing we are all in this together.

    I made my reservations well before the Sept. 11 attacks and was hesitant about traveling with a toddler in tow. But as President Bush states, we shouldn't let terrorists run our lives and change our way of life. My family and I had a stopover in San Antonio and feared the worst. We were pleasantly surprised when all our flights departed and even landed earlier than scheduled.

    To all who are fearful of flying during the holiday season, I say, "Go for it!" For when you arrive safely at your destination and hold the ones you love near and dear, the holidays seem to take on a different perspective.
    -- Diane Rancan, Palm Harbor

    Supercenter's service is fine

    Re: Shoppers find new store is super, but slow, story, Nov. 22.

    Your recent article on Wal-Mart's new supercenter in Pinellas Park was nothing more than wasted news space for habitually negative people.

    I have gone to the store on U.S. 19 at various times of the day and week, and -- except for one Sunday afternoon -- I have never waited in line for more than a few minutes. I have gone to Winn-Dixie, Albertson's, Kash 'n Karry and Tyrone Mall and had to wait in much longer lines, be treated very rudely by inexperienced children cashiers, and park far away because there were more handicapped parking spaces than there were employees working at these stores.

    My wife and I make, at minimum, weekly trips and more often every-other-day trips to the Wal-Mart Supercenter on U.S. 19. We have never had trouble finding what we were looking for or finding help. The cashiers, for the most part, are courteous and friendly; and I rarely have a problem with my order.

    At the previously mentioned stores, my orders constantly were rung up wrong, coupons were left off or double charges made on items. I often had to go back in and get in line to get a correction made. Most of the time I was glared at by a child who did not know how to do his or her job, or worse yet, did not want to be there.

    These stores don't come close to doing the business the superstore does and yet no one complains about them or gets a front page story.

    It seems to me Ray Fisher and the others in your article were predisposed to not like the supercenter; therefore, it was irresponsible journalism on the part of the Times to not get other views. The managers there did not know of these incidents. Doesn't that tell you something?

    The managers we have encountered have been friendly, courteous and helpful. We have had to deal with managers by phone and in person. I have never seen them slow to respond, but I have seen times they were overworked. If Mr. Fisher thinks he can do a better job, let him. I wouldn't want their job.

    My wife and I used to travel to Tampa or Sarasota to shop the supercenters there. The value is unbeatable and we did not have one. Now that we do, we will not shop anywhere else.
    -- Ritchie and Gay Ritchison, Pinellas Park

    Trail cyclists must obey traffic signs

    Re: Bicyclist's death shows need to open trail after dark, letter, Nov. 16.

    The trail passes in front of our mobile home park in Palm Harbor. We must cross it to exit the park.

    On a recent evening, just after sundown, as we were driving from the park, two cyclists flew across our path. We stopped because we have a stop sign. They also have a stop sign. Only by a couple of seconds did they miss being hit broadside, as in the dark they were not visible.
    -- Leona McGuire, Palm Harbor

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