CLEARWATER — Parking meters on Clearwater Beach look like the surest losers at the polls here Dec. 16 in the annual municipal election.
Holdover Commissioners Herbert Fields and Cleveland Insco Jr. already have backed complete removal of the devices, but they were outvoted 3-0 by the rest of the five-man board.
If attorney Alex D. Finch defeats Commissioner W.E. "Tommy" Strang Jr. in the mayor's race, it's a foregone conclusion the meter heads will roll almost immediately.
Finch fought an unsuccessful suit in Circuit Court for removal of the beach meters on behalf of nearly two dozen beach businessmen.
Former Commissioner Sam Roberts, trying to regain his seat, has come out with a platform citing "too many parking meters."
Roberts, a beach apartment owner, said he'll favor removal of all meters where a parking problem does not exist.
The beach meters were installed as part of a citywide program. It was initiated by a request from a group of businessmen who complained about all-day parkers in front of their stores.
The meters were originally in use along Mandalay Avenue in front of the Yacht Club and around Mandalay Park on Rockaway. They have since been eliminated north of Baymont.
Dec. 3, 1927
Train crew accused of excessive speed
LARGO — Charged with operating a train recklessly through the business section of Largo, W.A. Vassar, an engineer on the new Gulf Coast Limited A.C.L. train from New York to St. Petersburg, was arrested Friday evening.
R.T. Frederick, conductor on the train, was arrested on a charge of allowing the engineer to drive recklessly. Both were released on their own recognizance for appearance in Largo city court.
Largo officers declined to make a statement but told police that the train had passed through the business section at an excessive rate of speed.
The Gulf Coast Limited was making its initial run between New York and St. Petersburg when the alleged offense occurred. The train takes the place of the old Pinellas Special and cuts five hours off the old schedule.
Sixty-eight passengers were on board.
Dec. 12, 1927
Amusement park breaks ground today
CLEARWATER _ Work on clearing the site of the $250,000 amusement park to be built on Clearwater Beach Island just north of the gulf end of the new million-dollar Memorial Causeway will begin today.
The announcement followed the final conferences Saturday in Tampa between Edward P. Carrier, president of the Peale Realty company, and the group of Northern pleasure park capitalists and operators who said they would build the park.
The 20-acre site is valued at $400,000 and has been deeded to Southern Amusements Co., a Florida corporation which has been formed to control the Clearwater pleasure park.
The park will overlook the gulf. It will embody the best features of successful modern parks such as Luna park, Steeplechase in New York City, and White City and Riverview parks in Chicago.
Dec. 8, 1942
Trial date is set in wife-assault case
CLEARWATER — The trial of Ernest Turner of St. Petersburg, charged with assault with intent to murder his former wife, Betty, was set for next Tuesday as Judge John U. Bird opened circuit court here yesterday.
Turner is alleged to have struck his ex-wife over the head with a beer bottle in a Haines Road beer parlor Nov. 16. He had been released from county jail the same day while serving a sentence for assault so that he could prepare for induction into the Army.
Court was opened with a prayer by the Rev. Peter Carroll of the Episcopal Church. Judge Bird then called attention to the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The war situation almost caused an adjournment of court for lack of enough jurors.
The court had sent out summons for 36 jurors. Of these, only 24 could be found, and of that number, six were excused for various reasons including deafness, war work and other vital employment.
Dec. 1, 1958
Clearwater to seek new water wells
CLEARWATER — The city of Clearwater is planning a water well acquisition program as insurance against the widening gap between its growing demands and supply available from the Pinellas County water system.
Mayor Lewis H. Homer has assigned Commissioner Herbert Fields to survey available wells that watered citrus groves and are now subdivided.
Fields said he's hopeful the city can add several of these wells to the 21 currently in use.
Clearwater signed a contract with the county in March 1954, which appeared to answer its water needs for years to come. During a typical day last month, Clearwater used about 6.5-million gallons of water, but had to pump nearly 2.8-million gallons from its own wells while the county supplied 3.7-million.
The county has never been able to supply the minimum 4-million gallons per day guaranteed under contract.
There are days when Clearwater's water consumption nears 10-million gallons per day.