Youth soccer: Adult bad behavior not new
In response to Laurence Reisman’s column April 28, “12-year-old soccer near Vero Beach: Relatives fight on field; kid cusses out ref”:
Over 30 years ago, my filming an Under 9 (year-old) game caught a parent coming onto the field to spit in the referee’s face, his son injured running headlong into the goalie, whose team was up 6-0. (The Florida Youth Soccer Association eliminated the parent from viewing any game in any club forever.)
Sadly, at the same time, the best youth soccer ref in Dade County was punished for not remembering to remove his Florida High School Athletics Association patch from his uniform when he should have been wearing his US Soccer Federation patch for that game.
After 13 Disciplinary Committee hearings on our “one-team” club, we decided to eliminate them participating the next year’s affiliation, rather than continue wasting 90% of our executive time on such nonsense!
Cutler Ridge Coach Peterson’s Under 8 program motto, “If you had fun you won,” kept no score and used modified international rules of six per side, allowing everyone to play every minute of every game. They blew a whistle to make sure the youngsters could look up at planes flying overhead!
Meantime, a nearby club’s dealt with recently arrived folks not liking the results in their 7-year-olds’ scrimmage!
Some things change, some not so much!
My own puzzlement today is how did we use volunteers and paid soccer stars as coaches and charge just $85 a season way back then? Today, we are fortunate to fund $300-a-month “activity fees” for each of our grandsons so they can learn to love all the games kids need to play growing up in America!
Jim Matthews, Tequesta, is former president of the Dade Youth Soccer Association/Cutler Ridge Soccer Club.
Trap-neuter-release policy reduces free-roaming cats
Whichever side of the argument about the trap-neuter-release policy for cats you may be on, the one thing we can all agree upon is the need to reduce the number of free-roaming and feral cats in our county.
The current Indian River County and Health Department policies have only produced more and more cats and have done nothing in the past 16 years to reduce the problem.
I think we can also all agree our current county leash law policy for outside cats borders is ridiculous and unenforceable, to say the least.
TNR may be controversial to some, but it has proven over and over in small and large cities throughout the country that it works and reduces cat populations significantly. Whether you’re for or against the policy, wouldn’t it be the logical idea to do something different rather than continue past failing practices which have only made the problem worse and has resulted in more cats?
Professionally run TNR programs result in fewer cats, and that’s a win for everyone!
Ted S. Pankiewicz Sr., Sebastian, is executive director of For The Love of Paws.
Column about danger of cats carrying disease fearmongering
The Cambridge dictionary defines a fearmonger as “someone who intentionally tries to make people afraid of something when this is not necessary or reasonable.” This in my opinion describes Richard Baker’s column May 1, “Remove cats from streets; keep leash laws to keep us safe from deadly diseases.”
He begins with the “terrible disease toxoplasmosis.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is contracted by eating undercooked, contaminated meat, unwashed produce and swallowing the parasite after contact with cat feces. The majority of people infected show no signs of infection.
The book he quotes actually looked at “statistically significant excess” of having pet cats from birth to 13. Not feral.
He mentions 95 cat bites, but nowhere links it to rabies. There is no connection.
“Opposition to humane control of community cats via TNR is often based on a misunderstanding of rabies biology,” says Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, at the University of Florida. “Some species, such as dogs, can harbor a strain of rabies especially adapted to that animal. Cats have never developed their own strain of rabies.”
Since 2006, 28 cases of human rabies have been diagnosed in the United States. The Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology shows no rabies in St. Lucie or Martin counties for 2021. Indian River had one case, a raccoon.
Baker picks tidbits from various sources to justify why he believes feral cats should be killed instead of being dealt with in a humane manner. When those opposing TNR talk about the “sad” plight of cats, it is disingenuous.
In an ideal world, cats would be indoors with loving homes. But this is reality. Although he does not say he is advocating killing feral cats, that is the alternative. If feral cats ceased to exist, people would still develop toxoplasmosis or rabies from other sources, and other horrors he blames on feral cats would still exist.
Linda Greenwald, Port St. Lucie
Public speech need not be vile
Some months ago I went by the house of a new person in town.
A single dad raising his young son, they seemed like a nice family. Recently, he put up a flagpole and a flag that reads: “(expletive deleted) Biden.” I see a few of these flags across our city as I travel about.
This flag was different, though. At the bottom it also reads “and (expletive deleted) You if you voted for him.”
Farther down the street there is a resident with two flags, one an upside down American flag (universal sign of distress), the other an “(expletive deleted) Biden” flag. To top it off, painted on the back of their pickup truck was “(expletive deleted) Ukraine.”
I’ve even seen a guy driving around town with an “(expletive deleted) Trump” sign on his car.
Is it just me or is anyone else disgusted and offended by this type of vile public free speech?
Welcome to the neighborhood…
Chuck Proulx, Port St. Lucie