Thoughts on elections…

Staff Columnist

Just a very short couple of thoughts on the election process here in our Town, and specifically this year.  In our Democracy the collection of the will of the citizenry is essential.  Participation in the election is both a right AND a duty.  Please make your opinion known by registering it by means of your ballot.  You must see candidates electioneering signs all about Town.  All should observe these as well as the advertising placed in both local Newspapers.

Longboat Key News will be featuring increasing election coverage.  Some of you may have received your ballots from either of the County Supervisors of Elections.  Use them wisely.

As your local correspondent I’ll offer suggestions as to my choices among the candidates asking for your vote.  I know that many voters actually ask for such suggestions.

Here goes for 2018.

District 3:  Ken Schneier

District 5:   Ed Zunz

At-Large:     Irwin Pastor

ALSO:  I recommend YES Votes on the two Questions on the Ballot,

  YES on the Referendum for funding through Bonds of our two Fire Houses.

YES on the Revised Town Charter

Election Day will be March 20.

Carrier Visit Marks New U.S. Ties with Vietnam


By Jake Maxwell Watts

(The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, March 6, 2018)

Last week we printed in these pages a brief of note reported in The Peoples Daily China on this same subject. Clearly this is a big deal.  Those of us who served in Vietnam, and particularly in and around DaNang, should take note.  Reactions will be mixed of course.

“Da Nang, Vietnam – Thousands of American sailors descended on this Vietnamese resort town Monday in a historic port call by an aircraft carrier strike group as the former Vietnam War adversaries forge a closer relationship to counterbalance expanding Chinese influence in Southeast Asia.

The visit by the USS Carl Vinson comes 53 years to the week since U.S. Marines came ashore in Da Nang at the launch of the Vietnam War.  On Monday, the Vinson became the first carrier to visit Vietnam since communist forces won the war in 1975, at the head of a task force of 6,000 personnel coming in peace.

The visit ‘demonstrates the dramatic progress that we have made in our bilateral relationship in recent years’, U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink said at a news conference.  The countries, he said, share ‘a desire to maintain peace, prosperity, unimpeded commerce [and] freedom of navigation upon which the region and our allies depend.’

The carrier’s visit follows  meeting  in November between Presidents Donald Trump and Tran  dai Quang.  Both governments share concerns about Chinese claims to the South China Sea, an artery of global trade that is also claimed in part by Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei.”

Watts continues:  “Sailors from the task force will volunteer at homes for the elderly and orphans, play Vietnamese sports teams, and take part in a garlic-pealing competition.  Vietnamese working as firefighters, chefs, engineers  and other professions will visit the carrier to see how it carries out its missions.

While trade and investment between the two nations remains a key interest, concern about growing Chinese has driven the U.S. and Vietnam closer.  In the past year, China has continued construction on artificial islands in the South China Sea and sought to strengthen  its own ties in Southeast Asia.  The U.S., which says it wants to keep international waters open to all, has used the Navy to challenge Chinese claims.”

“Although neither Beijing nor Washington admit it, there is of course competition between them for influence in Southeast Asia, especially among the South China Sea claimants,” said Murray Hiebert of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Your Correspondent served in Da Nang some 50 years ago.  I remember it as a beautiful city on a fabulous harbor.

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