The Gabber Newspaper‘s June 29 letters to the editor.
The Value of a Tree
I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the fate of a magnificent live oak tree that stands tall and proud in our community. Estimated to be more than 100 years old, it represents not only a symbol of natural beauty but also holds immense value in terms of environmental preservation, water mitigation, and our inherent human connection to nature.
As we face increasing threats to our environment and its precious resources, we need to recognize the significance of preserving Gulfport’s mature trees. Living oak trees are vital habitats for numerous threatened species, because they are relied on for shelter, food, and reproduction. By protecting these trees, we are safeguarding the delicate ecosystems it supports, and the preservation of biodiversity within our community.
Moreover, water mitigation has become an increasingly pressing issue in our neighborhood. Large old trees, with their extensive root systems, play a crucial role in absorbing and storing water, mitigating the risk of floods, and replenishing our underground water reservoirs. With our frequent and intense rainfall events, we need to recognize their vital contribution in managing water resources and preventing water-related disasters.
Beyond these benefits, live oak trees hold a special place in our hearts, fostering a deep and timeless human connection with nature. These ancient sentinels provide shade, solace, and a sense of continuity to the community.
Sadly, in recent times, too may have succumbed to urbanization, commercial interests, or ignorance of their true value. However, it is not too late to change course and protect our natural heritage. I implore the community and its leaders to recognize the importance of these trees and take every measure possible to ensure their preservation. –Belka, North Redington Beach
Just wanted to give a shout out to Monroe Roark, the author of this article. Thank you for explaining about the free parking on the side streets and, of course, the SunRunner! —Stephanie Weaver, PSTA
Around 10:30 p.m. on June 17, members of Boca Ciega Yacht Club saw two men adrift in a small inflatable dingy. There were west winds at 12-15 knots, which were strengthening with lightning and storms approaching. The men had been fishing, but did not have navigation lights, life preservers, radio, paddles, and had run out of gas for their small outboard engine. Winds were so strong that even with paddles it would have been extremely difficult for them to get back to their sailboat. The men said they had been drifting for quite some time and had called out to other vessels as they drifted, but their calls went unanswered.
Three members of Boca Ciega Yacht Club quickly got on a sailboat, got out to the two men, threw them a lifeline, and towed them back to their own sailboat, anchored near the Gulfport pier. There was an affectionate cat aboard the sailboat anxiously awaiting their return. The men in the dingy expressed their gratitude from start to finish. A short time later, strong squalls did pass through the area, but all concerned were safe.
The moral of the story goes without saying: Please be prepared before going out on the water, be well equipped, and do not be complacent, as even the most innocuous of intentions can and do become hazardous on the water. Also, when possible, take the time and have the courage to help others in need and “pay it forward.” Most good deeds actually do go unpunished. On a humorous note, one of the men in the dingy was overheard saying, “I’m going to have a hard time explaining this one to my wife.” The other man in the dingy replied, “I’m lucky. No wife and no explanations.” —Guy O’Connor, BCYC member and Gulfport resident
About Letters to the Editor
The Gabber Newspaper encourages letters (one per person, per month). Include your real name and city, and please keep it short – <250 words. We may edit letters for content, clarity, and length. We don’t print letters that incite violence, include attacks on private citizens, or that intentionally mislead people. Letters may appear online and/or in print. Comments on The Gabber’s website and social media may get printed. Opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of The Gabber owners, advertisers, or staff. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or 2908-B Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport, FL, 33707.