Letter to the Editor: Batting cages need repairs

On Sept. 10, Hurricane Irma devastated Clewiston. City leaders asked for patience as they worked to repair and replace the things that were damaged. So, we waited and little by little they took care of the important things. Now 14 months have come and gone, things have settled down, but nothing has been done to repair the baseball batting cages. The cages shamefully remain in a tangled mess, leaving the kids to decide between not improving their skills or risking injury by training in a dangerous environment.

After the hurricane, Lance Ramer told me that he was planning on repairing and improving the cages. But Al Perry fired him. I spoke to Al three times. He first told me that he was waiting on insurance money. He later told me to round up volunteers and fix it — no equipment or materials were provided. I did finally attempt to fix it myself, but the job is bigger than one man. This should be handled by a professional. There are electrical hazards, lighting issues; the nets are tangled and torn. The mats are very slippery when damp and should be replaced by turf. Anyway, life teaches us that you only have a short time to be in high school and play sports. Those kids are running out of time, and we are letting them down. I believe that it is the City of Clewiston property, but is primarily used by Clewiston Middle and Clewiston High School students.

I have attached two photos to this email.

City Clerk Kathy Combass, please pass this information on to the city manager and the city commissioners. If you choose not to, please let me know.
School board members and superintendent, please help with this and support the kids.

Clewiston News [Lake Okeechobee News], please help monitor our actions.

If you get a chance to take a look at the high school baseball field, you will notice that the facility and equipment need a lot of attention. I encourage each of you to inspect the property and equipment for yourself. Time is ticking on the current students. When they are older and look back on these years, what do we want them to remember? What they accomplished or what their leaders didn’t.

Bill Murphy
Clewiston

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