Re: Tragedy points to need to study no-wake zone, editorial | Aug. 18
Close calls abound on Anclote River
For 50-plus years, I have practiced safe boating in West Central Florida, mostly in the area from the Anclote River south to the Skyway Bridge.
It is tragic to watch people buy boats and become automatic captains. Regularly, these captains pass the "Resume Safe Speed" sign and open their boats full throttle, knowing a park on the Anclote River has many swimmers and a very busy launch ramp. I watch, day after day, many close calls at this Anclote launch ramp and just cringe. Why do people seem to lose common sense when boating?
We should change the idle speed sign and put it in front of the beach next to the park. We have to, or else continue witnessing death and destruction.
Bryan Holton, Holiday
Re: Tarpon man killed after boats crash | story, Aug. 11
Boating speed a major problem
We met Michael Billiris and went on his Aug. 7 cruise. On the way out into the gulf, we passed several small boats that created wakes large enough to rock the cruise ship and knock over items on the deck. It does seem as if there is a problem with speed, wakes and reckless endangerment.
Our condolences go out to his family and friends.
Chris Clement, Palm Harbor
No room for trust amid mudslinging
This is an open letter to the good folks of Pinellas County. I hope all of you are getting fed up with your doorbell being rung at inconvenient times, enough flyers on your door to fill one level of the Toytown landfill, but particularly with the mudslinging. I've gotten to the point that I don't know who to believe — the candidate (don't go there with me!) or the newspaper (I'm not touching that!). Unless I know the candidate personally or trust an organization's endorsement of a candidate, guess what? I don't trust anyone until Nov. 3.
I'm beginning to think a constitutional amendment is in order to prohibit negative commentary on the "other guy" in the race and, more importantly, to limit the campaign money available, by having the state, county, city or whatever bureaucracy provide all the campaign money, with no additional money allowed.
It actually would be less costly to all of us in the long run and would effectively end the mud-slinging. The general public would be free to spend money on charities instead of campaigns, and candidates would all start on an equal basis instead of trying to see who can out-spend whom on the television ads. As the song so beautifully says, "Imagine …"
Cindy Gamblin, Dunedin
Re: House candidate wants illegal immigrant 'camps,' story, Aug. 12
Keep internment camps in the past
In America's not-so-proud past, various ethnic groups (i.e., Native Americans, Japanese-Americans) were forced into internment camps. Now, Florida House District 48 candidate Marg Baker wants to send undocumented aliens to internment camps.
I read in the St. Petersburg Times that Baker said the camp "has nothing to do with cruelty" but is "a place with all the basic necessities but none of the luxuries. Not like camps that were erected in the '40s that were illegal and inhumane." I must ask, does Baker think that 21st century interment camps would be any more legal and humane than interment camps in the past?
Kenneth Sota, Safety Harbor
Re: Schools take new approach to discipline story, Aug. 8
Schools' focus in wrong place
I continue to be amazed at the Pinellas County school administrators who are once again focused on catering to students who are disruptive and uninterested in participating in class. While it is nice that the suspension rates are down, I do not understand the benefit of asking teachers to "track misbehavior" and "respond in ways that keep students in class." Don't teachers have enough to do teaching the curriculum?
And what of the students who are in class to learn? That they are subject to ongoing disciplinary games with the disruptive students versus a positive, safe learning environment is appalling. I feel very blessed that my children are enrolled in Pinellas County fundamental schools, which have high expectations and consistent discipline for student conduct.
Suzanne Zsiga, Largo
Re: Development proposal for Cooper's Point
Planning board a waste of money
Instead of cutting the Police Department, Clearwater should cut its Planning Department and the Community Development Board. I bet that would save a chunk of change. If they can't understand the Bald Eagle Management Plan, then I don't think they can understand the city's comprehensive plan or the proposals put before them, either.
I think I'll make sure to mention to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that planning departments and city councils can't grasp the plan when it comes time to comment on the management guidelines.
Barb Walker, Palm Harbor