Barge blamed in drowning

Some friends and I spent the day in Bradenton Beach on Saturday. We had canoes and kayaks and set up our picnic in the public beach just north of Longboat Pass. We paddled across Longboat Pass to the sandbar where we toodled around for about an hour. The current there can be really strong. Also, parked there for God only knows why is a barge that is apparently stored, and a tugboat, too.

We were picnicking next to a young family with little kids all in life jackets when they went near the water. We had been smiling and waving at the little one as his Daddy took him floating (not running) on the wave-rider. We stayed about an hour on the sandbar and when we came back the outgoing tide was putting out a horrendous current. A police boat pulled up and we saw snorklers hit the water. Daddy and Mom had apparently gone for a ride on the wave-runner (these were not jerks!) and the strong current flipped the wave-runner. Mom made it but Daddy got sucked under the barge by the current and drowned.

I don’t know when anything has shook me so much. It was just a horrendous freak accident. How do you tell the little ones that Daddy is not going home from the picnic with you? God in Heaven!

I want to extend my heart to this family but more to send a message that barge has no business being tied up in a public access/beach area! If so, it should be posted as to how dangerous it is. But for the barge he would have just gone under the bridge with the current and been able to get out on the beach on the side. Get that barge out of there!

Jane Gill


Kudos, Buchanan

Our congressman, Vern Buchanan, continues to show that he is willing to make difficult votes and take unpopular positions regardless of the political consequences. His “No” vote on the cap and trade bill was a perfect example of this. I appreciate his commitment to doing what is right.

Far too often politicians forget who they are working for when they are elected, but that is not the case with our congressman. Buchanan is unique as he seems to genuinely care about people and the needs of our area.

I have been fortunate to meet him several times at community events and I can say, that we are very fortunate to have Vern Buchanan representing us.

James Kelsey


National pride gone

Whatever happened to my America? I mean the America of low unemployment, high morale — pride of country?

I finally realize that it’s the Democrats vs. the Republicans and the public be damned! What happened to my America? Here are a few examples:

I find Congress to be repugnant, ignoring the wishes of the people who elected them and doing whatever is necessary to maintain their precious “elite” status. Can you imagine these people passing legislation of hundreds of pages without having the time (or inclination) to read them!?

We hear much about alternate sources of energy sometime in the dim future, which is certainly both noble and necessary, but in the meantime our leaders refuse to drill for the oil we have here in our own country — although the vast majority of people polled want us to do it.

Our stimulus programs/TARP were ill-advised and huge failures. Now the next thrust will probably be for national health care. Is there one country where that has been a huge success?

I place the blame for our sorry state of debt squarely on the mass media which presents slanted views. Whatever happened to the Winchells, Murrows and the like who told it as it was? If this deplorable lack of backbone continues, what comes next? Socialism? Fascism? One-man rule?

Our national debt is a disgrace, and I worry about our children and their job security. I worry about our grandchildren who are not disciplined to do with less.

Cap and trade has to be one of the most transparent farces yet.

Leonard Wolf


Politicians failing us

All U.S. senators and members of Congress, from both parties, should forfeit their salaries and benefits as a measure of solidarity for jobless Americans until we get unemployment back down to about 5.5 percent and have universal health care. That should help them get their minds back on the most important task at hand, which they seem to have forgotten.

All Americans should change party affiliation to “independent” and bankrupt both parties. That should get their attention as well. People should go to the local voter registration office and change their party affiliation to independent and then mail a copy of the changed registration to their state party head and put them on notice.

Bryan St. Laurent