Monday, June 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Clearwater employees go above and beyond for student program

City workers get students excited

This year Pinellas County Schools Superintendant Michael Grego offered teachers an opportunity to be creative and come up with supplemental educational opportunities for students as part of a summer extended learning program.

With the support of Linda Whitley, the county supervisor of social studies, and Keith Mastorides, principal at Clearwater High School, I was able to develop a Civic Leadership Academy that would give students the ability to go behind the scenes throughout the city of Clearwater and allowed students to engage first-hand with the leaders of several city departments.

In January this was merely an idea and I wasn't entirely sure I would even be able to get it off the ground. I contacted City Manager Bill Horne's office about the idea, hoping that they would respond favorably, but since I had no previous experience with the city, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I received a response the next day and within two weeks I was in a meeting with Assistant City Manager Jill Silverboard.

It was absolutely remarkable the way the city responded to give the students of Clearwater High School a truly unique experience. The class was able to go on location, get behind-the-scenes tours, and ask questions of 21 different leaders of city departments. The city truly gave the students the VIP treatment.

It amazed me how many city employees spoke about their jobs with such passion, and it was obvious that they take a great deal of pride in the services they are able to provide for the citizens of Clearwater.

The enthusiasm that the city workers demonstrated really sparked a great deal of interest and lots of questions from the students. You could see their eyes get wide with excitement and anticipation as they learned about all of the competing interests that must unite and cooperate to make a city run effectively, as well as the realization of all the exciting career opportunities that will be available to them in the future.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Clearwater City Council, the city manager's office, and everyone else in the city who really went above and beyond the call of duty to help spark the interest of these students who will someday become the next generation of civic leaders. Without this overwhelming support and enthusiasm from the city, this would never have been possible and I think that is something that all of the citizens of Clearwater can truly be proud of.

Bryan Conley, Palm Harbor

Enterprise Road rules defy logic | letter, June 30

Enterprise at U.S. 19 needs a flyover

I left a message with the Department of Highways a month ago complaining about the removal of the red light at Enterprise Road and U.S. 19 in Clearwater and the dangers it will cause.

I also have emailed the Clearwater city manager, Bill Horne, about the catastrophe waiting to happen. Mr. Horne said this project was spoken about at City Council several years ago.

This is the perfect location for a flyover and would save lives and greatly improve the flow of traffic.

Sal Spinnichia, Clearwater

Nielsen steps up to help the poor

The purpose of this letter is to bring inspiration to those who feel that the practice of caring for others and giving of ourselves to benefit others no longer exists.

Helping Hands is an outreach of Countryside Cares Inc. providing free food and clothing for low- and no-income families in Pinellas County, located at 2565 Blackburn St. in Clearwater. We are a nonprofit corporation, operating exclusively on donations from our community and volunteers.

After mailing out numerous letters looking for organizations that would partner with us in this service, we were contacted by the Nielsen Company (formerly Nielsen Media Services). Nielsen was having a day dedicated to volunteerism and wondered if we would be willing to partner with them in this endeavor.

Nielsen and Helping Hands not only served together on their Volunteer Service Day, but they also sent volunteers to help on the day we received food from the annual United States Post Office Food Drive.

Our hope is that more business will focus on creating a higher standard of living and quality of life in the communities in which they operate. As they give back through volunteerism, others will be inspired to find a service organization or ministry that speaks to their hearts and offer to serve someone less fortunate.

It is with deep gratitude that we acknowledge and commend Nielsen for their care and willingness to serve the poor of our community.

Naomi Powell, pastor of Mission & Outreach, Countryside Christian Center, Clearwater


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 ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

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

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Tuesday’s letters: Fewer guns would reduce suicides

U.S. under suicide watch | June 8Fewer guns mean fewer suicidesIt is a fact that deserves more attention, but got only one sentence in the article about the U.S. "suicide watch:" "The most common method used across all groups was firearms." I spe...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for June 15

New group to address real women’s issuesLast Saturday our Congressman Gus Bilirakis sponsored a "Woman’s Summit" at East Lake High School that was supposed to deal with women’s issues. Some topics covered were gardening, weight loss and quilting.Mayb...
Published: 06/11/18

Monday’s letters: Bring back the ferry, kick-start transit

Cross bay, but who’ll pay? | June 8Ferry could be a gateway to transitIt’s great news that St. Petersburg is committed to bringing back the world class cross bay ferry service. What a common-sense and practical thing to do in order to ease us int...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/11/18