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Monday, Jun 18, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Jogging on the left

Jogging on the left

There seems to be an increasing number of self-proclaimed trail cops who feel compelled to tell joggers and walkers to stay on the right side of the public trails in Hillsborough County. They disguise themselves as professional cyclists on bikes that cost more than some automobiles. One of these Lance Armstrong-wannabes recently became excessively irate and screamed obscenities at me. When he hopped off his bike, Lance morphed into George Zimmerman, and I actually thought a physical confrontation was imminent. Luckily, he thought twice about the battery charge and fled the scene.

But now I feel the need to explain my reasons for why I choose to jog on the left side of the trail — and that is primarily for the safety of me and the cyclists who share the trail system.

In a recent close call, I was jogging on the right side of the trail, but stepped to the left to avoid a puddle of water. A cyclist, who was traveling in the same direction, brushed close to me in a near collision. His high rate of speed would have caused injuries to me and to himself if he had fallen and hit the pavement. So now I prefer to travel against traffic so that I can see the cyclists coming at me and can better avoid a possible accident.

And keep in mind that you have to go around my big butt regardless of which direction I am heading. Like many walkers and joggers, I am on the public trail for exercise and to release some stress. We don’t need pseudo-cops policing the trails and screaming at pedestrians as if we are breaking the law. They need to slow down, get a life, and for God’s sake, don’t wear the uniforms unless you truly have a corporate sponsor.

John Ficca


Grave-digger secrets

Regarding “Find A Grave helps with locating burial sites” by Sharon Tate Moody (Baylife & Travel, Oct. 20): Finding a grave site of a relative may be like detective work. You find the grave site, but how do you know who is really buried at the site?

Following the burial of a veteran in a rural community, I saw the grave diggers at the edge of the cemetery so I went over and talked to them. They told me a lot about the history of the cemetery. They said wooden slats were once placed over the caskets so they would not rise up.

In the cemetery were large tombstones, and plain, large unmarked rocks from a mountainside that had been placed over the grave many years ago.

What really caught my attention was when the grave diggers told me about one person who did not want to be buried in the family plot. When he died he was buried in the family plot. However, at night following his burial, the grave diggers relocated the casket to another burial site in the cemetery.

Known only to the cemetery workers, the deceased had secretly arranged for and paid for a second burial in another part of the cemetery.

Robert F. Sawallesh


Bucs need prayers, Tebow

My family and I have been hardcore Bucs fans for as long as they have been a team. I was born and raised in Tampa and had season tickets for years. We have suffered through many losing seasons but still stayed faithful even after moving to the North Georgia mountains some years back. We pay dearly to watch the Bucs play every week on NFL Sunday Ticket, so I feel I can voice my feelings. I agree with the recent letter by Wayne from Hudson on all points about going after Tim Tebow. Plus, Tebow knows how to pray, and the Bucs seem to need all the prayers they can get.

Norma Barco

Young Harris, Ga.

Same old, same old

Judging by his performance on Monday Night Football (Oct. 21) — 20 for 53 for 190 yards — Josh Freeman’s departure from the Buccaneers was no big loss. Changing uniforms was the only noticeable difference.

John Osterweil


Health insurance options

I was one of the first to try to sign up and shop the “marketplace” for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. I have also been one of the most frustrated by its failure to function. I wanted to let your readers know that the government website and the “navigators” are not the only way to get affordable insurance policies and access to the subsidies that you may qualify for.

Perhaps anticipating the predictable failure of the government’s plan, Florida Blue has recently opened numerous storefront insurance shops around the area.

The point is you can simply walk into one of these shops and have a trained insurance rep walk you through the various options and sign you up on the spot. They have more options than I was able to see on my Florida Bar Association coordinated resource page, and to be able to have questions answered as you compare policies is very helpful.

Randall C. Grantham


Johnson started raid

Regarding “Debt serious business” (Your Views, Oct. 23): Robert Frazier from Dunedin mentions in his letter that the two entitlement programs — Social Security and Medicare — need trimming. To the best of my knowledge, Social Security is not a government entitlement. The money put into Social Security was placed in a trust fund, with the funds put in by the employee and employer, and wasn’t government-funded. President Lyndon B. Johnson took money out of the Social Security Trust Fund and put it into the general fund to fund the Vietnam War. Succeeding presidents thought this was a good way to fund the programs that started all of our give-away programs. Social Security is an entitlement program for those who never put anything into it. For us lifelong workers, it’s our money and our employees’ money.

Buddy Siddell


Weather Center