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Readers ask St. Petersburg to leave turtles, their owner alone


[Chris Zuppa | Times]

Ken Conklin has no children. His connection with Myrtle reaches beyond most man-turtle relationships.

But now the $25,000 home Conklin has built in his back yard for Myrtle — the pond that now also holds Chickenbutt and Chickenhead and the other turtles — has become the subject of a city permitting fuss. The City of St. Petersburg began bugging Conklin about his massive deck that skirts Myrtle's pond. They called it an unapproved room addition.

The city says it must be reduced from about 500 square feet to 80 square feet. It would have to be moved away from the edge of his property to comply with "setbacks."

Conklin could face a $500 a day fine if he doesn't comply.

But readers say the city should look elsewhere for blight.

"Hey, St. Pete: Leave the guy and his turtles alone for God's sake," wrote Mike from St. Petersburg. "Neither he nor they are bothering anyone. No one seems to mind but the city, BUTT OUT!"

"Seriously, St. Pete? Why not get all those cars off the lawns!" wrote Tom of St. Pete.

Walker of Tampa had another suggestino for the city: "St. Pete, how about focusing your efforts on the McMansions that fertilize their grass with harful chemicals that kill turtles, not a man who is trying to help them."

"I guess there are not enough social problems to focus on at this time," Susan wrote. "Get real St. Pete. This stinks."

"City of St. Petersburg pencil pushers at work again. Leave this guy alone, for god's sake," wrote 727guy.

Andrea of Palm Harbor commented: "I think there's enough negativity and stress in the world as it is. Please, let's bring back a little happiness in this area. It one day can become an attraction for the city to make money off of."

Have your say: Watch video of Conklin and Myrtle | Join the discussion

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:52pm]


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