Rough Seas
Congratulations on a very interesting and informative article by Denise Dowling [“The Perfect Wave,” November]. It was enjoyable to read about surfing on the East Coast and also learn about some of the pioneers of surfing in Rhode Island.

What was not so enjoyable were some of the comments from the early surfers. Perhaps the sport has grown, but their attitudes may have not.
Opening up with the comment about Peter Pan’s bumper sticker was a real eye opener, especially because Pan has been a major promoter and supporter of East Coast surfing for years. On one hand he has a family surf shop and teaches surfing and on the other he appears an angry local.

“If someone drops in on you,” Pan says, “you have the right to run them over and knock them off their board.” Hmmm…This is like saying if someone cuts you off on the freeway, you have a right to crash into them and knock them off the road!

Pan, a member of the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame, needs to use his influence to promote harmony and goodwill not just for East Coast surfers but all surfers.

All surfing should begin with respect for the environment, the waves and other surfers, whether experienced or beginners.

It is a privilege and honor to be a surfer. No one should feel as if they control the waves just because they were fortunate to get there first.
Spread aloha—share the waves.

Michael Willis
World champion of extreme big wave surfing
Solano Beach, California

As a former Rhode Islander and member of the surfing community since 1965, I can relate to what amounts to overcrowding in the lineup, but there is no excuse for a lack of courtesy. We are all sharing a special gift—Mother Nature’s waves! What is the point of establishing a turf rule? And who cares who was the first to coin the term ‘K 39’ or ‘the Pier’? Let’s get back to basics like when we first started this wild ride—trim and slide. 

Ed Drozda
North Attleboro, Massachusetts

I would like to respond to Melissa Heywood’s letter in the November issue (“No Class”). I think what we have here is a case of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” No one seems able to speak out about the woeful state of public education. Of course there are wonderful teachers that make a difference in their students’ lives. But it’s this ridiculous sense of entitlement that today’s teachers have that is the problem. They really feel that they deserve these salaries and benefits, and there is absolutely no accountability. I’ve seen kids that can’t add without a calculator, fill out a job application or follow the simplest direction.

I’m so sick of teachers moaning and groaning about what they have to put up with and how they don’t get any respect. Respect is earned; it doesn’t come with the territory. If teachers worked in the private sector where you have to make contributions to your benefits, they wouldn’t survive.

Kathy Noonan

CORRECTION: The photo credit for the silver winner in the residential renovation category of “Stars” [November] was incorrect. The correct credit is Warren Jagger.