Blows cap BayWalk meeting | Oct. 16, story
Sidewalk giveaway a poor solution
Why do I think that the recent decision to privatize a sidewalk at BayWalk just won't work? Why do I wish that the St. Petersburg City Council, the mayor and BayWalk itself had listened, I mean really listened, to council member Leslie Curran, a business owner herself, when she insisted that there are creative alternatives out there?
She never claimed to have the answer, she just knew, deep down, that there is a creative solution. Why do I think that giving control of a little bit of sidewalk will do relatively nothing to allay the public's fears about safety, which the Times itself concluded is a main obstacle to BayWalk's future? The shootings, altercations and general level of concern occur outside of that little strip of sidewalk, and a plan to address this is still missing.
I want BayWalk to succeed as much or more than anyone, yet I am concerned that the future decisions affecting our important plaza will continue in this unimaginative manner and will lead to moderate success, if any at all.
Rand Moorhead, St. Petersburg
It's what we needed
Kudos to good ol' Herb Polson for coming to his senses and voting in favor of vacating the public sidewalk in front of BayWalk. Finally, we'll be rid of the thugs, habitual harassers, panhandlers and others who interfere not only with the business owners' rights to conduct business, but also with the rights of those of us who live and work near downtown. Those of us who pay taxes for the privilege of living and working there will be able to once again utilize this great facility.
Thank God for people like those council members who understand that a few malcontents cannot violate everyone else's rights in order to exercise their own!
Emily Seaman, St. Petersburg
Influencing investment of billions | Oct. 11
One taxpayer is left with an uneasy feeling
Bill McCollum, the man who would be governor, seems to be receiving and using money for influencing programs he has control over and returning the favor to the contributors. He does say that there is no conflict of interest in this process. This does not leave me, an invisible taxpaying voter, with a confirmable feeling of "Oh, then it must be okay."
On the front page of the Business section of the same date, the so-called "Florida stimulus czar" is asked a straightforward question about how much of the more than $15 billion we are getting has been spent so far. He answered this apparently simple question in political Orwellian style: "We're still gathering information to incorporate … "
No longer can I find a feeling of "Oh, then it must be okay." I wish I had a mortgage company that would allow me to submit that kind of blather if I had a late payment to explain.
Where are the leaders who hold these truths to be self-evident and not self-serving in the world of big politics and even bigger money? Please bring them forth to the benefit of all, not just a privileged few.
Len W. Mortnesen, Tampa
100 years later and it's still hell | Oct. 11
A blight on our state
Ben Montgomery and Waveney Ann Moore deserve commendation for their determined reporting on the Dozier School for Boys. For too long, Florida has treated many of the residents there in a callous, cruel fashion, reinforcing a regimen of punishment and indifference instead of rehabilitation.
Thankfully, officials have agreed to the reporters' requests to inspect the facility, which cannot happen too soon. Based on what we have read, the school is a blight on Florida's system of so-called justice and will continue to foster high rates of recidivism until its ills are addressed.
Hopefully enough citizens are enraged by the findings of Montgomery and Moore to demand changes and more stringent state oversight. Keep up the good work that opposes the forces of imprisonment as a means to raise revenue.
Michael Henry, Bradenton
100 years later and it's still hell | Oct. 11
Shut it down
This is so sad. What is the solution? There needs to be an end to this situation immediately. Why is this tolerated? I am sick while reading this.
My mother taught in the prison system for years and said that most all of the prisoners were victims of society. She said that society needs to take care of children, that children should be protected from abuse. She essentially saw good in all and felt that if a prisoner's life as a child were better and more attention was given to the needs of children, our prison system wouldn't be so full. She is gone now.
We need to be advocates for children. This is wrong and the facility should be closed down. Listen to these grown men. It is evil and they are all scarred, inside and out. Please do something now.
Marya Morrison, Palm Harbor
Obama calls for $250 payments to 57m seniors | Oct. 15, story
Can the political pandering for votes from the members of both parties be any more apparent than with the $250 Social Security give-away?
There is no justification for a cost-of-living adjustment, but politicians can't chance alienating the senior vote. They will wait until next year, an election year, and give away money to secure their favor.
Where will the money come from? Neither President Barack Obama nor the members of Congress really know or care. They will simply add it to the already obscene national debt and let our children and grandchildren figure it out.
The Founding Fathers all felt that the debts of a nation are no different from the debts of an individual and that passing on to future generations inherited debt was absolutely immoral. We shall see in the coming years the merit of their wisdom and the consequences of our selfish extravagances.
Dave Loeffert, Dunedin
Obama's senior moment | Oct. 16, editorial
For once I have to agree with an editorial you printed. President Barack Obama is so arrogant, he thinks he can bribe us seniors with a few dollars so we should feel good about him. Fat chance. I for one am not that gullible.
I am not too sure how they figure that the cost of living has not increased this year, because I pay more and more at the grocery store. Must be some of that fuzzy math the government uses.
I suggest to Obama that time would be better spent reining in spending, instead of trying to break the bank.
Harold Walker, Dunedin
Interracial couple denied license | Oct. 16
What future might bring
The justice of the peace in Louisiana said he was denying an interracial couple a marriage license because, "My main concern is for the children."
Maybe he's concerned that another child from an interracial marriage might grow up to be president.
Joseph H. Brown, Tampa