I remember last year's Gay Pride Parade on Las Olas very well ("Removing the Unity From the Gay Community," Michael Freedman, July 30). I work at ZAN(Z)BAR on Las Olas, and our pride was in full bloom that day with all the balloons, decorations, and pride flags. Our owner, James Sands, passed out Pride T-shirts to all of us. It was my first parade, and I was thrilled to be part of it. This year, because of reasons generated by differing factions, the parade didn't pass by.
The Dolphin Democratic Club, led by Bill Salicco, has chosen to attack ZAN(Z)BAR as lacking in pride and not being supportive of this year's parade. Being a loyal Democrat -- and gay -- this is disturbing to me. However, when I look at the current division of Dolphin membership through the exclusion of lesbians in leadership positions, as well as other strong-arm tactics, I realize division and not unity prevails as far as Bill Salicco is concerned. A more inclusive Political Advocacy Coalition has been formed in response to Salicco's tactics.
Certainly Salicco should realize that inclusiveness enhances unity and pride. At ZAN(Z)BAR, people of all sexual orientations come together under one roof. All are welcome, none is excluded, and unity is promoted. Pride does reign at ZAN(Z)BAR on Las Olas!
A Word on Behalf on the Port Everglades Pilots
The article in your July 16 issue entitled "Waging War Off the Port Bow!" (Paul Belden) was sent to me by a friend, and I read it with great interest. My company operates a 200-passenger cruise vessel that makes regular trips through the canal locks on the St. Mary's River, where approximately 100 million tons of shipping are handled each year. I have had a master's license for 24 years and have always been keenly interested in ship-handling, and nowhere in the world is this art practiced better than on the Great Lakes. I maintain a home here overlooking the locks, and, during the winter months, I have another home on the passage into Port Everglades, Florida, where I can closely observe vessel operation into and out of this very busy harbor.
Your article mystifies me a little, as in my experience, the masters of ships almost always hold pilots in very high regard, appreciate their local knowledge, their ability to handle ships, and, where necessary, to direct tugboats to assist in docking. Port Everglades pilots have an outstandingly good reputation as evidenced by their many years of accident-free performance.
As to whether or not they are overpaid, I am not qualified to give an opinion. Suffice to say that I am glad doctors, airline pilots, and marine pilots are all well paid, and, when I am using their services, I trust they are well qualified for the pay they are getting.
Not mentioned in the article is the personal danger to which all marine pilots are subjected, and that occurs while getting on and off the ships they are servicing. When there are heavy seas running, the risk to life and limb while going between the pilot boat and the ship via rope ladder is something that should be considered in determining the pay they get. It should also be remembered that ultimately the master of the ship is responsible for its safety, and the pilot is basically there to advise and assist him in the safe conduct of a vessel in restricted waters.
It has been my privilege to have made several trips into and out of Port Everglades in the wheelhouses of large cruise ships as well as having ridden many times on tugs assisting the ships. I have also been able to monitor conversation and orders by scanner radio and have a grandstand view of everything that goes on in the harbor. In all cases it is my view that the ship-handling has been textbook perfect at Port Everglades.
Franklin D. Prouse
President, Lock Tours Canada