Thursday, June 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

North Pinellas letters: Bring back the Belleview Biltmore Hotel

Re: Biltmore rezoning talks are back | story, Feb. 9

Hotel needs TLC, not removal

It's most unfortunate that companies in the United States can coerce municipal and state governments to demolish edifices that have attained historical status. Such atrocities do not occur in foreign countries that revere their heritage.

The Colosseum in Rome is nothing but a pile of stones piled on top of each other in a circular pattern. Do the Romans say, "Tear it down for a modern structure"? Definitely not.

The Pantheon in Athens is nothing but a bunch of columns on a hill. Do the Athenians clamor to tear it down? No, they wouldn't think of it.

Apparently, only in the United States do we have individuals who are ready to destroy anything for a profit. The Belleview Biltmore Hotel owners deliberately shut down the hotel and fenced it in for the sole purpose of letting it deteriorate in time by the elements and lack of upkeep.

Their sole purpose was to have the property condemned and demolished for multi-story dwellings at a handsome profit.

Should the residents of Belleair tolerate such behavior? Many will not. Belleair residents should stand fast and persevere. The property is designated as a historical site and should remain so.

The main building of the hotel can be restored with only the wings being removed. The hotel is conveniently adjacent to a prestigious golf club, and a shuttle van could transport guests to and from the beaches.

As a Belleair resident who lives as close to the hotel property as you can get, I don't consider the property an eyesore, but a place that requires reverence and care. Without the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, Belleair will be a small dot on the map as another small, insignificant town.

Al Vacca, Belleair

Remain vigilant, not complacent

My parents have been winter residents in Palm Harbor for the past 20 years and have enjoyed every minute of it — that is, until last week.

My father, who is 84, was out for a mid-morning walk in the McMullen-Booth Road area when two mid-20s males on bicycles ran him down on the sidewalk and kicked him after he fell.

He was bleeding profusely and got up and attempted to walk back home when a good Samaritan who also happened to be a nurse ran toward him and got him to sit down as blood poured from his face. She then ran to get her vehicle and drove him to emergency, where he received a dozen stitches in his eye area, including his eyelid. Of course with such trauma came other numerous cuts and bruises.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office was very kind and professional in taking the report, as were those who provided his medical care. This nurse who assisted was so caring and went over and beyond what one would expect from a stranger.

There are still many good people out there, so this will not cloud our view on Floridians who are great people. As for the thugs, they got away, but we believe that what goes around comes around. This demonstrates that one has to be vigilant at all times.

Rick Romain, Toronto

Re: Council veteran dies at 71 story, Feb. 12

Remembering Janice Miller

Our God always does what is best, and no less when he directed Janice Miller to Oldsmar. A servant to the end, our little town was enhanced by her efforts.

Kenn Sidorewich, Oldsmar


Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18