Cuts could pull plug on pools May 31, story
A matter of safety, not just recreation
How many of St. Petersburg's children have taken swimming lessons and learned to swim at these neighborhood pools? And how many St. Petersburg residents will have the means to provide their children with private swimming lessons if these pools are shut down?
This is not just about recreation — important though that is. This is also about the safety of our precious youngsters.
Kathleen Rawls, St. Petersburg
Add secure bicycle parking downtown
St. Petersburg could learn from the six large U.S. cities that have bike stations (see bikestation.com).
These stations provide secure parking and other services for people who want to ride their bikes to downtown. Most of the bike stations are at transit malls (Williams Park for example), although private industry could provide space, possibly putting a modular building in a parking garage. Maybe BayWalk would consider using vacant ground-level space for this.
Many people would like to ride their bikes to downtown for work, play and shopping, but don't feel secure leaving their bikes in outside racks, and employers don't allow bike parking inside due to "liability."
St. Petersburg has added all these new bike lanes and trails. Now it needs to add secure bike parking at the final destination: downtown.
Malcolm Johnson, Seminole
City needs to be more boat-friendly | May 27, letter
St. Petersburg misses the boat
I have been saying this for the last 18 years (since I moved here). I have called Kathleen Ford out on this when she was a St. Petersburg City Council member, and her response was almost comical if not pathetic.
I attended the summit on waterfront access and boating held downtown last year, and more people came to complain about derelict vessels than the city's poor management of its most wonderful asset.
The bottom line is that most of the waterfront in St. Petersburg is controlled by landowners and business people interested in real estate development. If there were more restaurant and retail businesses along the waterfront, St. Petersburg would be a mecca for local and transient boat owners alike. The heavy use of the hourly slip rentals at the marina is a good example of the need for this sort of service.
Unfortunately, I believe St. Petersburg passed the point of no return, and downtown has become a quagmire of condos that will soon be owned by more people who want anything but transient boaters mooring at their front door.
Bill Orr, St. Petersburg
Beasts a burden as funds dry up | May 24
SPCA needs all the money it can get
I was dismayed and disgusted to find out they are cutting funding to the SPCA. That place needs all the money it can get. It really amazes me to no end that we can allow people to "double dip" but cut vital services to groups like the SPCA and fire and police. I think it is obscene.
Our state budget is in trouble. We need police officers, firefighters, emergency personnel and especially the SPCA. I am really outraged that these people can do this, but I am not surprised. I have always sacrificed and cut back, and I live frugally. I am a person who recycles, uses water wisely, and gives clothing and used household goods to the needy. I am not rich. I live on disability and just get by.
I am disgusted by people who are greedy and selfish and don't help others. I hope this letter gets someone's attention.
Eileen E. Abbott, St. Petersburg
Property tax bill answers question
Charlie Crist, governor of the entire state of Florida, had his annual salary listed as $130,273 per year, after a 2 percent pay cut (Top state salaries cut, May 30).
In the Neighborhood Times on Sunday (Ford's math is close; logic, fuzzy), St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker had his salary listed as $162,314 per year.
I must ask, "How is that possible?" Then I remembered, my now tenant-free warehouse still has a property tax bill equal to the rate during the best of times three years ago.
Jim Taylor, St. Petersburg
Good Samaritan deserves thanks
On Monday night, May 25, a good Samaritan saw smoke coming out of my garage as they drove past on 22nd Avenue N and called 911. I was in a front bedroom and was unaware until the people from the police and fire department knocked on my window and told me my garage was on fire.
Due to the quick response, my garage was spared, and the possible damage to my neighbor's garage was avoided. I don't know who it was, but I truly thank them.
Dolores Gabberty, St. Petersburg
Democratic process fails in Seminole
I enjoyed the recent articles in Neighborhood Times regarding Seminole government, specifically referencing how to fill vacancies on the City Council. The articles referred to the conflict in the filling of the most recent vacancy. A few members chose to seat the loser of our last election, while at least two members disagreed with the choice.
This resident, a regular participant at council meetings, addressed the council in favor of the more democratic process that was put in place to fill the previous vacancy on the council.
It seems to most of us that the most recent election in the city was to remove the incumbent and inject new blood into a stagnant group. The public had spoken, and the message was one of change. To discard the democratic process of selecting a replacement to fill the vacancy appears an attempt by those who did not get the message the people sent in the election, and quite frankly, an affront to all who voted in the last election.
Thomas J. Christy Sr., Seminole
Tierra Verde fight not over May 24, story
Obvious response in Tierra Verde
Your article on the continued development on the annexed area of Tierra Verde stated that "a majority in the annexed area supported the effort."
Gee, those who own the annexed property (and are the only ones on Tierra Verde in favor of annexation) support the effort? Of course they would! Maybe you'd like to ask all those who occupy prison cells if they'd like to be let out? Ask the rest of the residents of Tierra Verde, and you'll hear a resounding "No!"
The investors who own the annexed land took a chance and made some bad investments. Now they expect heaven and earth to change to accommodate them.
Debra Ford, Tierra Verde
Synchronize the lights in Pinellas
I know how we can consume less gasoline. Get someone in the DOT to synchronize the stop lights correctly on the major thoroughfares.
More green lights would burn less fuel. The stop-and-go traffic around Pinellas County is not only frustrating, it's burning unnecessary fuel.
Jackie Bonilla, St. Petersburg
Yakety yak, don't come back
Several years ago, restaurants and bars were required to have separate rooms for smokers and nonsmokers. What we need now is the same thing for cell phone users.
Inconsiderate, disgusting, thoughtless, selfish cell phone users yakking more than 100 decibels above the required hearing level and reiterating their reiterations at an endless pace — they should be banned, I tell you … banned, banned, b-a-n-n-e-d!
Joseph Welch, St. Petersburg