Golf carts on roads
New rule imperils car, cart drivers
The Pinellas Park City Council recently passed unanimously an ordinance giving golf cart drivers in the Mainlands permission to access roadways adjacent to their community. One of these roadways is 40th Street N between the Mainlands and Wal-Mart.
Prior to their meeting I e-mailed council member Rick Butler to inform the council and him of my concern for the safety of both drivers of autos and golf carts in creating such an ordinance. Butler did not attend that meeting and, through no fault of his own, my concerns were not addressed. I feel this was a rush to appease people in the Mainlands, especially since I believe there are members of the council living in Mainlands.
I had expressed concern about carts not being equipped with headlights, taillights and seat belts. But what disturbs me more is the math. It just doesn't add up. The council stated that the drivers of the "golf carts must not impede the flow of traffic, and may not drive on the sidewalks." The width of one lane in the Mainlands is 17 feet 6 inches. The width of one lane of 40th Street N from Gateway Center to Mainlands Boulevard is 15 feet, and the width of one lane of 40th Street N from Gateway Center to Wal-Mart is 9 feet. An average golf cart is 4 feet wide. My truck, an Explorer Sport Trac, is 6 feet 6 inches wide, narrower than many sedans.
Do the math. If a golf cart rider cannot impede traffic, what happens? Why just these streets? Why not ATVs? What do the police think of this new ordinance?
Robert Bigham, Pinellas Park
Street begging has only gotten worse
Earlier this year I commended the St. Petersburg City Council for passing an ordinance that disallows street begging from the medians of our busy intersections.
Well, it didn't stop these people. After the police came they would just be given a pamphlet outlining the new codes. When the police drove off, I'd see them throw the pamphlet on the ground and continue begging.
Then I saw on TV last month where council members said they just could not enforce the new rules. Now it's become more rampant than ever. They flood the medians in the morning rush hour, right before lunchtime and when folks are leaving their jobs to go home. These are the most congested times of the day.
Then there are the aggressive church people who actually walk out through the traffic at the intersections and come right up to your car window. What if we all disobeyed the rules and got away with it? Ignorance is bliss!
Kyle V. Calkins, St. Petersburg
City ordinance against 'fortune-tellers'
Talent has nothing to do with religion
I must state my outrage that the City Council of St. Petersburg has passed a requirement that "fortune-tellers" must pay a registration fee unless they join a church and become a minister in a church.
This is a clearly unconstitutional ordinance, forcing people to join a religious group. Why this outrageous ordinance has not engendered any outcry shows that people do not value or understand that religious freedom means: freedom from religion as well as of religion.
As a noncommercial psychic, I have come to realize that this talent is not something that has anything to do with a religion. It is a talent we all have but has been maligned as some supernatural superstition. It is not any different a sense than sight or hearing.
This requirement that favors religious people —- when most religions preach against it — shows that some religious influence is at work to drive psychics out of a legitimate business or force them to align themselves with a religion. It's clearly an ordinance that goes directly against the Constitution. I hope that the psychics and astrologers will contact the ACLU to protect their right to religious freedom and to overturn this.
George Mazzei, St. Petersburg
Man hit by police cruiser
Time to ticket 34th Street jaywalkers
I read the article about the man getting hit by the police cruiser on 34th Street N in St. Petersburg and was surprised that we don't have many more people hit by cars in that area.
My husband and I drive that strip often. My husband works at Gibbs High School, and it had been his daily path for 25 years. People cross everywhere and anywhere without any regard to traffic. Sometimes it is pitch black in the early morning and you cannot see them when they cross the street. Very few people use the crosswalk in that area, and they just expect you to stop for them.
I do know it is an area that has been known to have a lot of criminal activity, drugs and prostitution, so maybe these folks don't really care about their lives enough to use any caution.
What happened to the days of tickets for jaywalking? We should enact this again since many in that area are on foot and continue to break the law. When someone is hit with a car it doesn't matter if it is the fault of the pedestrian. The lives of the people in the car are also affected.
I think we should set up a few people in that area and start ticketing for jaywalking. When I see children cross anywhere on the busy road other than the crosswalk, you know it is because they were never taught to do otherwise.
Nancy Johnson, St. Petersburg
One family's success | June 17
Dr. and Mrs. Singh earn high marks
Thanks for such an uplifting story! Several years ago I worked for Dr. Vibhuti Singh, the father of two of these valedictorians (from the Center for Advanced Technologies program at Lakewood High program, no less).
Dr. Singh was not only one of the most intuitive men I have ever known, he was also one of the kindest. A truly great and rare human being.
Let us not to forget Mrs. Singh, as she is half of that amazing equation. Congratulations to you all! Wow!
Beth Lindenberg, St. Petersburg