Value of libraries is clear Diane Steinle column, Feb. 15, and City may shut library doors | story, Feb. 13.
Closing libraries is misguided
Closing any of the libraries in Clearwater is another indication that the decision makers just don't get it.
Libraries serve more than one purpose. Some folks go to spend time reading the papers because they can't afford to subscribe or because they are lonely. Some use computers because they can't afford their own or to pick up e-mail when they are away from home.
The Clearwater East Library is always very busy and it is foolish to think that an alternative would be the St. Petersburg College library down the street. At SPC, there is only one parking lot that is semi-close to the library door and that is in front of the administration building, where the number of guest spaces is very limited. During registration periods it is almost impossible to find a place to park and navigating there is somewhat treacherous. The services would not/could not be the same. It is a ludicrous idea.
The decisionmakers in Clearwater cheat taxpayers out of services that should be available and are in every other municipality in this county. This means that we have to join the (wonderful and comprehensive) recreational activities in Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Safety Harbor, which charge us more to participate because we aren't residents of those municipalities.
In light of the necessity of cutbacks in spending, how does the city justify the inane roundabouts being built in the streets of the Skycrest area? Streets are narrow and passage is tricky. They are not only a hazard but will require maintenance once landscaping is added. Why not divert funds from that totally unnecessary project to help the libraries?
We, the general population of Clearwater, need to stand up and take back our power. We are paying for decisions that don't serve us well and makes the city look foolish.
Elaine B. Hogue, Clearwater
Closing the East Branch a mistake and East library would be missed | letters, Feb. 19
East Library serves great need
Regarding the proposed closing of the Clearwater East Library on Drew Street, letter writers Mitzi Kurmas and Sharon Tabbert voice the opinions of many concerned citizens who share their views.
There seems to be quite a cluster of libraries in the west sector of the city, relatively close to each other, while the East Library, remote from this area, serves a large residential area with a substantial circulation. Further east and north, the Countryside Library serves an even larger residential area with an equally large circulation. Both these libraries are continuously busy.
While we appreciate the budget problems we all face, we respectfully request that our mayor and City Council reconsider this proposal and look to other places to cut expenses or find other adjustments which would enable the library to continue its work. Hundreds of dedicated children, students and adults rely on this facility to fulfill their varied needs.
We, the public, must make our voices heard now! Appeal to our elected representatives to vote in favor of leaving our East Library open!
Marge McGroarty, Clearwater
$4-million at stake in PSTA dispute | story, Feb. 18
Weed out riders who abuse Dart
This article brought into focus a practice that I have long felt needed to be readjusted by the county "Dart" program. This is one of those taxpayer-supported programs that seems to be just tossed out there without any oversight whatsoever.
I say this with knowledge, as in the past I had a supposedly disabled elderly neighbor who abused this program two to three times a week. The unfairness was that she was extremely wealthy and well able to afford normal taxi fare or even her own driver if she so chose.
Yellow Cab stated that the riders have been pleased and have praised the company. I'm sure we would all be pleased to be transported around the county at taxpayers' expense for the sum of $3.50 — such a deal!
My point is, why do the taxpayers have to support such an uncontrolled program as this appears to be? In no way do I wish the truly qualified disabled to lose this program, but let's weed out the wealthy "pretend" disabled who abuse this costly program.
Gerald Thompson Palm Harbor
Thousands came to LIADO's Festa
I'd like to thank the St. Petersburg Times for its photos of our San Gennaro Festa, held at the Safety Harbor Marina last weekend.
As a proud member of LIADO, the Italian American Women of Today, I'm thrilled to report that we were able to give a great deal of money to the charities we support. The 2009 Festa was the best ever.
I'm contacting you to clear up one thing mentioned in your piece. It was stated that "hundreds attended." In fact, over the two days, a total of approximately 15,000 people attended the Festa; 11,000 on Saturday and around 4,000 on Sunday.
We work and plan all year to make each Festa better than the last. In only six years, LIADO's San Gennaro Festa has become a local favorite and we have many returnees from northern states, some who specifically visit Florida in February to attend our Festa.
Thank you for your time and coverage.
Louise Brescia, Clearwater
Keep the receipts, park employees
Okay, I've had it. The mentality at Honeymoon Island State Park regarding paper receipts has got to stop. Forcing receipts down your throat when you drive through the gate entrance is unnecessary, time consuming, and not eco-friendly.
Save paper and stop the destruction of our forests. If a customer does not want a receipt, for goodness sake don't take it personally. Some of the state park employees definitely need an attitude adjustment.
John O'Ryan, Palm Harbor