Letters to the Editor
Ready to relay?
I want to tip my hat for the valiant efforts of Mary and Murray Judson in hosting the Think Pink Day at the park on Monday, Oct. 22. Despite the chilly, gale force winds, there was a strong showing! I appreciate the Judsons taking on this tradition each year in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I also appreciate their inviting representatives of First Friday and Relay for Life to promote our individual cancer related causes.
As a Relay for Life representative, I am sorry that the weather was not more cooperative and that participants were too chilly to stick around for information or to ask questions about our event.
I would like to take this opportunity to let the citizens of and visitors to Port Aransas know that Relay season is here. To start the April 25, 2008, Relay for Life off on an exciting and improved note, the committee invites any and all to our Relay Rally on Saturday, Dec. 1, followed by a Happy Hour Kick Off Party on Monday. Dec. 3. Please continue to read the South Jetty for more information on this season's hottest party.
Lisa Shelton Port Aransas
Hunger is all year
I'd like to thank all of my friends and business associates who 'stepped up to the plate' and contributed to our efforts to provide the local food pantry with Thanksgiving dinners. Thanks to their generosity, we've been able to purchase through the Family Center IGA 10-12 pound turkeys, stuffing and gravy mixes, five pound bags of potatoes, canned vegetables, dinner rolls and butter and pies for 80 families for Thanksgiving at a cost of only $16 per family! If you'd like to help, please drop off your cash donations at American Bank for the Food Pantry patrons.
One thing that should be pointed out is that the two largest age groups of clients of the food pantry are the age 0-18 group and the over age 65 group - the two groups least able to provide for themselves. We're going to continue to raise funds for the food pantry on a year-round basis because hunger doesn't just go away after Thanksgiving - it's a day-to-day issue.
I hope the generosity of Port Aransas citizens will also extend to donations to the Emergency Service Toy Round Up being orchestrated through the police department, fire department and EMS again. Donations are being accepted at their offices at 705 W. Avenue A.
As I think back on my youth, I don't recall ever waking up on Christmas morning and finding not a single gift (even when I had been bad all year) - be generous and help ensure no young person in Port Aransas has this experience!
Doug Hale Port Aransas
I hope the citizens of Port Aransas and the surrounding communities realize that the Corpus Christi Ship Pilots deserve a huge thank you!
I was the principal race officer for the 2007 Harvest Moon Regatta hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook. On Oct. 25, over 230 sailboats departed from Galveston, bound for Port Aransas. They were escorted by the official Texas Tall Ship Elissa. Elissa escorted the fleet to celebrate her 130th birthday.
After the regatta, she parked at McDermott shipyard at Harbor Island for a weekend of tours. Then she sailed to Corpus Christi, where she welcomed a continuous line of visitors for a week. She departed from there on Monday, Nov. 5.
Without the assistance of Jim Dooley and the Corpus Christi Pilots, neither a safe regatta nor the Elissa's visit would have been possible. The pilots agreed to waive their fees in order to make Elissa's visit a reality. They also kept the communication lines open with the race committee so that we could keep weary sailors informed of the approaching ship traffic so they could maneuver to the side of the channel and out of harm's way.
Dooley even traveled to Seabrook for a captain's round table in September so that he could explain to the racers what they needed to know to safely transit the ship channel and the Port Aransas intersection.
The regatta filled city marina and Island Moorings marina, and the area hotels and restaurants for the weekend, as several thousand visitors came to welcome the fleet and party with the winners and to see the famous tall ship.
Without the assistance of the ship pilots, many area citizens might never had the opportunity to see the Elissa and the regatta would not have attracted the record crowds. I hope you are all as grateful to them as we are.
Andrea Todaro LaPorte
The folks at the South Jetty deserve high compliments for the recent four-part series about problems with regard to adult literacy.
That problem exists for the young person who can't read directions in a recipe to the young person who can't serve in the armed forces because he or she does not have a high school diploma.
That problem exists for the lonely old man in the nursing home who never learned to read his own Bible and now has no one to read it for him.
More than that, the problem affects all of us as was so cogently expressed in the South Jetty series.
Phil Reynolds' research for the second article was excellent and comprehensive. It highlighted the problems that exist across the country, which helped put the situation in Port Aransas into perspective.
I can say from experience that Dan Parker is a skilled interviewer who refuses to let go until one answers his question. Yet his sincere interest in his subject also puts one at ease and makes it easy to be honest. His ability to distill out the essentials from what a person says was highlighted by the quotes he used from Mike Hall about the importance of literacy in the workplace. We all think literacy is a "good thing", but Mr. Hall's comments made the necessity for it very real and very practical.
I also applaud Mary Judson for her interest in this topic and her willingness to devote this amount of space to it. The South Jetty always serves the community well. But they've outdone themselves this time!
Toni Somers Port Aransas
Last week at the Fall Back Festival at about 9:25 p.m., the lights went out in a large part of Port Aransas, with hundreds of people left in a pitch-black environment.
My first thought was to shout, "Please don't move. Stay where you are." But that was completely unnecessary. Everyone stayed in place and, one by one, those who had flashlights in their cars went to get them. The great staff of Pelican's Landing got out candles and lit them.
Those who were pouring wines continued to do so by flashlight; the food servers continued to serve food; the band continued to play without sound systems; the fortune teller and her assistant continued to tell fortunes for another hour-and-a-half by flashlight until the line of waiting patrons had talked to her; and the numbers for the Chinese auction prizes were drawn by flashlight while the people used their cell phones to read the numbers on their winning tickets.
The ending of this annual fund raising event could have been a disaster, but thanks to the great people of Port Aransas and all South Texas guests, there was no panic and no one ran for the safety of their cars.
I thank everyone who was there for keeping their heads about them, and I am so very thankful that there were no serious injuries to anyone.
Betty Crawford Port Aransas