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Vol. 14 No. 25 - April 16, 2014

letters to the editor

Third bridge needed

All you have to do is come from LBK in the afternoon of any day and wait 45-55 minutes south of the bridge/pass to get to Cortez Road to realize AMI or LBK needs a third bridge. Or come from west Bradenton on Cortez any morning and also wait 45 minutes to realize we need to refocus or expand our analysis on what to do with the Cortez Bridge. It should be a no-brainer, a third bridge is needed!

The perfect place is to have a bridge from the mainland is at the 75th street and 53rd Avenue round-about, crossing the Bay, to the very southeast corner of Anna Maria Island. Simple logistics and a common sense traffic study, should reveal the need for another bridge to AMI and/or LBK. Better yet, have it a "Y" shaped one at the west end, to "Y" over to the North end of LBK.

With Whiting Preston asking for input on transforming his land in West Bradenton, now is the time to rethink the need for a third bridge. His development in that area should reflect an easier access to the islands, from West Bradenton. Folks still love the beaches and AMI needs help in reducing the congestion at the south end of the Island. Plus, a third bridge would offer more flexibility when one of the bridges needs to be repaired and would help in the event of an accident or an emergency evacuation.

Ron Simpson
Bradenton Beach

No man's land

Naming the "no man's land” at the end of Pine Avenue "City Pier Park" is a mistake. It does not come close to being a park. It should more accurately be called "Webb's Folly" since he personally dismantled it. Give credit where credit is due.

Rex Hagen
Anna Maria

When is enough enough?

Traffic in Holmes Beach is now so heavy we often have to wait 15 minutes or more to get out from Key Royale Drive onto Marina Drive. I imagine it is likewise as heavy on the rest of our little Island. Meanwhile, the Tourism Development Council reports collections from the tourist tax of over $1 million per month in this high season. Hasn't it already attracted enough tourists without spending more for this?

I would like to suggest that it start making considerable annual contributions to the Island police department budgets for the extra efforts required by our local officers. Certainly, if one-third of their collections were allocated to this purpose, the TDC would not be short of funds to cover their purpose of attracting even more tourists.

Recently, we have found traffic coming onto Anna Maria Island to be backed up to 75th Street in Bradenton and a tradesperson who was scheduled to come out recently on a Saturday called and said traffic was backed up to 59th Street. He finally gave up and rescheduled to come out at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

When is enough enough? I believe the residents are entitled to some consideration. Perhaps the entire tourist tax collections should be allocated to the beachfront communities who bear the brunt of the increased expenses.

Donald Schofield
Holmes Beach

Coast Guard Auxiliary a rewarding experience

I was so glad to see the Coast Guard Auxiliary name in the paper again. I do hope Carolyn Norwood informed them my father, Peter Greenwell, was the founder off the base station that was in our trailer at Gulf Park Trailer Park. He and Jim Templin were also co-founders of the Island CAP.

The joke in the those days was if it was too rough for the Coast Guard, call the Auxiliary. This was particularly true one New Year’s Eve (either 1947 or 1948) when the Coast Guard called us at dinner at the Mira Mar to help the shrimper Buwark, which was taking a beating in the Gulf.

This time even the Auxiliary couldn’t fight the elements, but dad got a hold of Auxiliary members and they got rescue parties organized to scan the Gulf waters from the Island beaches. I was one of the group that did find her and pull her into the beach, but no one was aboard.

About a week later, two bodies were found floating in the Bay, thought to be part of the crew of the Bowark.

My mother was with my dad in all of the Auxiliary searches and my husband and I helped in many. In fact, at the first Island reunion, I had a woman come up to hug me, thanking me for a rescue I was on for her and her husband.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is a very rewarding organization and quite exciting at times.

Billie P. Martini
Holmes Beach

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