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Ballfields are bad use of taxpayer money

Re: Pinellas buys well field story, Sept. 17

Bad way to spend taxpayer money

Here go our county commissioners again, trying desperately to find land to expand the East Lake Youth Sports Association's (ELYSA) ballfields.

This time they're trying to carve out 100 acres down the road from their prior failed attempt to secure 38 acres of the Brooker Creek Preserve off of Old Keystone Road in Tarpon Springs. This new proposed location, however, is no better, as it is a corridor for a multitude of species of wildlife that live in and around the Brooker Creek Preserve and that will, as a result, be displaced and in danger.

Why is the county trying so hard to secure land for more ballfields? Because some commissioners are up for re-election and they promised ELYSA years ago that they would lease them land for their expansion at the cost of $1 a year for 30 years, tax free. Wow, what a deal!

In light of school enrollment dropping last year and projected to drop over the next five years, an expansion of ballfields makes perfect sense! And with our teachers' salaries being cut, and cuts being made to other very important public services such as our police and fire departments, EMS, etc., a ballfield expansion really seems to be the most intelligent way to spend our taxpayers' dollars.

And who are these fortunate people who will benefit from these ballfields? Why, the many Pasco County residents who are members of ELYSA. Boy, I can't wait until November so we can hopefully vote in officials who have sense about how to allocate taxpayers' money.

Violet Miller, Dunedin

Re: Time to learn how to stretch a buck | Diane Steinle column, Aug. 27

Tips on saving and the good life

With eight in our family to feed in the 1940s and 1950s, I had big savings by planning the week's menus around the specials and "loss leaders" in grocers' weekly fliers. I saved on gas and tires by picking up grocers' specials as I passed each of the three grocery stores in our area when I was taking the children to piano lessons or to baseball games, etc. I carried a little cooler with ice in the car to keep perishables cold until I got back home.

I had some recipes where three pork chops (or other meats) were cut up and stretched for a tasty dinner for eight. I also saved the restaurants' profits when I cooked at home.

I watched what time of year bedsheets or paper goods would go on sale. Then I stocked up while the specials were on.

I compared the amounts of toilet paper and other items, then purchased the brand that gave me the most for my money.

I learned not to use manufacturers' coupons right away. I held onto them and applied them when I saw the item at a special price a week or more later. This way, I got double savings. I watched prices as my purchases were rung up, and I checked the register tape. Frequently, items were rung up incorrectly and customer service gave me $1.50 or $5 back.

I didn't charge anything unless I saw my way clear to pay it off before I owed interest. You get nothing when you pay interest. It's a waste of money.

By knowing how to do simple alterations and repairs to clothes, I was able to buy a beautiful dress on sale at a bargain price, then make simple alterations to make it a perfect fit for me. Likewise, my husband had learned to do simple repairs around our house that saved us a lot of money. We planted a small garden and I "jarred" tomatoes, etc., which we used in our meals all winter.

In later years, a lawyer I knew, and some other people, marveled that we had no debts, our house was paid off, we owned a boat and a summer cottage, and had fed and clothed six children. Applying principles to "make ends meet" is what enabled us to do this.

Janet Springer, St. Petersburg

Re: No stopping tide, storms story, Sept. 9

Loss of sand is really no surprise

No kidding!

Back in the old days, I don't think we had "coastal coordinators," but we did have sand that stayed around for a while — until someone started messing around with good ol' Mother Nature.

P.S. Honeymoon Island does get an A for planting the sea oats.

Mary Hover, Dunedin

Re: Our Electoral College remains best option | guest column, Sept. 19

Let popular vote decide presidency

The guest column by Jack Bray extolling the virtues of the Electoral College system requires a response.

His own words were that abolishing it "would place undue importance on the popular vote," as if this were a bad thing. Every other elected official, from local town councils up to governors and senators, depends on the popular vote. Why not the president?

Why should the nation be saddled with a process set up in the 18th century by men who were mostly slave-holding plantation owners? The Founding Fathers back then expressed the same contempt for popular will that Jack Bray now expresses, but is this the attitude we really admire?

There were four elections where the Electoral College nullified the popular vote. In each case there was great protest and dissension from supporters of the "losers": Andrew Jackson, Samuel Tilden, Grover Cleveland and Al Gore (all Democrats, incidentally).

Of all the many reasons offered by people for a loss of confidence in our system of government, one of the strongest must be to see victory awarded to the loser and defeat handed to the winner.

Lewis Lederer, Clearwater

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Ballfields are bad use of taxpayer money 09/22/08 [Last modified: Monday, September 29, 2008 12:30pm]
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