First taxes, then concessions Jan. 14, editorial
Commission favors developers, itself
This is more than just a violation of the County Commission's fiduciary responsibility; it is a clear and present dereliction of duty.
Commission members approve entering foreclosure proceedings — at taxpayer expense, mind you — against Pinellas homeowners for $10,000 in back taxes, and their response to developers who fund their campaigns and owe hundreds of thousands in back taxes is to grant special zoning favors and coin them "good corporate partners."
From the now-infamous Jim Smith debacle to the soon-to-be environmentally disastrous Toytown project, to name only a few, it's clear that our County Commission hasn't the slightest interest in serving the needs of Pinellas County but rather the wants of its own political careers.
And the truly sad part about all of this is that the television series 24 has begun its new season, and this latest example of malfeasance on the part of our County Commission will soon be forgotten, the St. Petersburg Times is certain to recommend their re-election, and a multitasking and indifferent electorate will comply.
We deserve the government we elect.
Norm Roche, Clearwater
It's not your book
I have wanted to read Barbara Walters' new book, Audition, since it first came out, but the $30 price tag made me hesitant. I went to the Gulf Beaches Public Library recently to find it. I'd like to emphasize the word "public" for a reason that will become clear.
I was pleasantly surprised when a message on my answering machine three days later said that it was there waiting for me. What a fast response to my request!
Eighty-some pages into the memoir, I was shocked to find that someone had written comments in the margin. Reading on, I discovered more "editorial comments," prompting me to get an eraser to undo a former reader's remarks.
I want to emphasize that the public library "loans" books. They do not belong to a single person; they are for all of us who hold library cards. If you feel the need to make notes, highlight or editorialize, buy your own book. Especially in our current fiscal state, do not destroy what we may not be able to replace.
Please show a little respect.
Nancy Bloomer, Redington Shores
City has paid for BayWalk demise | Jan. 13, story
Listen to our ideas
Hats off to the Times for the insightful report about the financial history of BayWalk. It's good to know that the we residents of St. Petersburg have a say about "our" investment.
Regarding the perspective of the current owner, Fred Bullard, I disagree with his opinion that it will take a lot of money to update BayWalk. Big money is what caused the problem in the first place! Who wants to shop at stores with $125 shirts and blouses anyway?
Let's face it, BayWalk is boring! Outside of a few interesting businesses like Muvico, Shapiro's and Ammazza Pizza, people-watching is the most exciting thing that attracts me.
Thank you, Aaron Sharockman, for soliciting our ideas for a renewed BayWalk. Let's hope that the new owners will listen to the feedback from the community that sustains them.
Jeanie Cline, St. Petersburg
Who's to judge?
I have a handicapped parking tag. When I went into Publix the other day on 66th Street N in St. Petersburg, I was appalled to hear someone call out to me that I was not handicapped.
How in the world did he know my situation? I have a rare condition called Stiff Person Syndrome, which is a disability. I also have a heart condition.
So what gives this person the right to assume I do not need to be parking there?
I find that the snowbirds who come from the North seem to have a chip on their shoulder, and each time I have encountered them it has been in a Publix or in the parking lot.
People, I will not let you stop me from shopping where I want. If I feel I need to park in a handicapped spot and I have a sticker, don't be so quick to judge me before you hear the facts.
Steve Strickland, Kenneth City
Bay Pines docs rock
This is a heartfelt tribute to the wonderful and skilled doctors of the Bay Pines VA Medical Center.
My husband, Henry A. Richardson, has been treated there for the past three years, and we are constantly amazed by not only the excellent care he has received, but the kindness, respect and consideration shown to us by the entire staff.
To say that he is privileged to be a patient there is an extreme understatement.
Maureen H. Richardson, St. Petersburg
The mulched lawn
My son, Rob, lives in a house that has no sprinkler system.
As the drought continued and worsened, he watched his lawn develop brown patches and empty spots. Finally he gave up trying to hand-water it and brought in a large load of good-quality mulch. He covered his entire lot with a nice, smooth brownish nonlawn. It actually looked pretty neat and uniform.
I notice that several of his neighbors have done the same thing to their yards, and it's not half bad. They are saving a lot of water as well as the work of mowing and the resulting toxic fumes. It's a good idea for greening America.
Why do we all have to have a green yard?
Lorraine Madison, St. Petersburg