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BayWalk is for shoppers, not for protesters


It's for shopping, not for protesting

It's almost amusing, however pointless, for several writers to oppose the limiting of protesters at BayWalk in St. Petersburg.

If you think that free speech means you can parade around my place of business and make my customers listen to your complaints about some government operation, you're mistaken.

Unless, perhaps, you can also furnish me with your parents' addresses so I can bring my friends to walk their sidewalks, and their employers' sidewalks, with complaints about your behavior or appearance. At their busiest times, of course.

Or maybe it means that people who want to attend a function have to tolerate gangs of young thugs?

What rubbish.

How can any business survive if its customers have to run such a gantlet?

BayWalk is an entertainment and shopping area. Turning it into a protest center will make it untenable, if it hasn't already.

Max R. Loick, St. Petersburg

City mistreats blacks, protesters

I want to live in a city that promotes, not discourages, diversity. By privatizing the public sidewalk in front of BayWalk, St. Petersburg is telling young black kids and demonstrators that they are not welcome in certain parts of town.

St. Petersburg was ranked the second-worst city in the nation in its treatment of the homeless. Their treatment of black kids and protesters is about as bad.

Brad Whittenburg, St. Petersburg

Wanted: helpers willing to get hands dirty | July 1

Don't cut jobs, then rely on volunteers

I recently volunteered to help with some of the everyday responsibilities needed to keep Fort De Soto Park clean and operational. This was in response to the July 1 article in the St. Petersburg Times. I was saddened to learn even more park employees might have their jobs eliminated due to budget cuts.

When my friends learned of the proposal to charge an entrance fee to the park, we all felt it was needed and were supportive. Then I learned the county had postponed the idea of an entrance fee.

I am giving notice that I resign as a volunteer for the county. I'm sorry, but I refuse to help the county take jobs away from people who need them by volunteering to do their work! I will not work for the county cleaning up the mess that uncaring people leave on the beaches and piers of Fort De Soto. Perhaps if these individuals had to pay admission they would clean up after themselves or stay out of the park.

Should the county change its policy of reducing the park's salaried employees, I would proudly donate some of my retirement time. In the meantime, I will work with worthwhile groups such as Tampa Bay Watch and Ocean Conservancy

Bob Lenz, St. Petersburg

Venetian Isles folks were a great help

I witnessed such neighborly care in St. Petersburg's Venetian Isles recently, I had to write. The chimney of my mom's home was struck by lightning while we were out shopping. Kind neighbor No. 1 across the canal saw the explosion of bricks and roof tiles and called the fire department when they could not reach anyone at the house. Kind neighbor No. 2 across the street met the firefighters from Station 12, who responded quickly.

Thank you to the firefighters who checked the whole house, turned off breakers, left a note about what they found on the roof and potential problems with the air conditioning, and stayed long enough to ensure our home was not damaged further.

Meanwhile, those wonderful neighbors took the time to call and leave messages for my brothers and me. We are very grateful and comforted to know that Mom lives in a great community with professional firefighters and caring friends.

Cindy Dobyns, Naples

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BayWalk is for shoppers, not for protesters 07/28/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 8:52pm]
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