Re: Playgrounds losing out to budget cuts story, Sept. 25
Too much spent on absurd items
A little over a year ago, I retired from the city of Clearwater after 30 years of service. I watch the City Council meetings and have read several articles in the newspaper regarding the city's spending.
The city continually cuts benefits for the employees, yet spends the taxpayers' money in absurd ways. They pay for all their extra perks, and then do something so ridiculous as to send an employee to a convention in Tampa along with setting them up in a motel when the employee lives in Tampa. Another senseless waste of taxpayers' money.
Another item would be the glass recycling program. In the City Council meeting, it was established that it would not be cost effective for the city to recycle glass. However, they went ahead and placed glass recycling bins out around different areas of the city as a pilot program, without even having a market to process the glass. The Solid Waste department stated that they would pay for the disposal during this pilot phase. Where does that money come from? I am sure they are not taking it out of their own paychecks!
The city wants to take away the playgrounds for the children and waste the taxpayers' money on pilot programs, that they already know will not be cost effective, pay for motel rooms that are not needed and give perks for cars that are not necessary.
Let the children play and quit wasting money on unproductive items.
Carl H. Swigart Jr., Clearwater
Re: Superintendent not a fan of student early release days story, Oct. 9
Use substitutes one day a month
First, I want to congratulate John Stewart in accepting his new position as interim superintendent of schools for Pinellas County. I wish him all the luck in the world.
Second, I think I might have a solution for the problem early release days cause for parents, especially working single parents.
Why not have substitute teachers come in for one full day of every month and take over all classroom duties while the full-time teachers have a full planning day?
Then, if they are finished with all the planning they need to do, they could utilize the rest of the day to get caught up on any leftovers. (I know school teachers get behind and have to work many hours catching up at home.)
This might solve two problems.
Nickie McNichols, Clearwater
Re: Armed Forces museum's move isn't a sure thing story, Oct. 2
Museum good fit for Harborview
Visiting the Armed Forces Military Museum in Largo was a very enjoyable, nostalgic experience for us, a small group of Vietnam veterans. Sadly, we were the only ones there. Although the Piazza family has amassed an outstanding collection of military memorabilia, the obscure location minimizes attendance. The museum is worthy of a more prominent location.
The Harborview Center in downtown Clearwater affords this. Harborview would be accessible and convenient to a wide spectrum of residents, their houseguests and tourists, with Clearwater Beach, excellent restaurants and shops nearby. The museum at Harborview would certainly help revitalize downtown Clearwater, which seems to be "dead in the water" at present.
I hope Clearwater and county officials listen to their constituents and bring the Armed Forces Military Museum to Harborview, an outstanding location where it can expand and be appreciated.
Jim Pochurek, Palm Harbor
Flip-flop theft ruins beach walk
After a long day of endless rain, I thought I would go take a long walk on Clearwater Beach. It has always been one of my favorite things to do. It cures everything — stress, boredom, depression and too much dessert after dinner.
I walk the beach almost every night of the week. I always park down toward north beach and walk to the beach. I kick off my flip-flops and start my walk. When I return they are always where I left them, along with some other trusting soles — no pun intended. It always gave this strange sense of camaraderie.
Tonight when I got back to the spot where I left my shoes, I just stood there looking. I thought I was in the wrong spot for a moment. Someone actually stole my old worn Columbia flip-flops.
I thought, what kind of person would steal someone's shoes? A homeless person in desperate need? Someone feeling the hard economic times? Just some kids who would think that was funny or didn't think at all?
As I was driving home, I felt a deep sadness. Yes, they were just flip flops, but they belonged to me. Someone didn't just steal my shoes, they stole the innocence of my evening walks and gave me a little less faith in mankind, so I hope it was worth it and you're enjoying them.
Caren Errington, Clearwater